re: How do you convince a client to a static website? VIEW POST

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By "business value" I don't mean investors, but businesses themselves. I don't doubt the capabilities of JAMstack, but it remains a loosely defined term. WordPress follows a predictable architecture, and other than for any custom-made plugins, it takes no time to figure out how it works. This is important for the next guy who gets to maintain the system, as opposed to some stack that is built from MongoDB, React, and what not.

The clients with which we work are designing and requesting functionality that would not be maintainable were it implemented in a few hours with a suite of WordPress plugins, so reaching for these modern tools is much more feasible in my day-to-day work.

Believe me I'm happy to hear that. I'm not an evangelist for WordPress. It is poorly designed, and becomes a maintenance nightmare over time. But, for most of the business cases out there, it "just works", the talent is in overwhelming availability, and you can get started within minutes.

Now, that is business value, and no matter how passionate we developers are about the next big thing, it makes no difference to the business owners.

I feel compelled to repeat myself, since people seem to be getting the impression that I'm putting WordPress above everything else: Simplicity and speed are real, massive advantages that are hard to argue against. Sites like Disney run happily on WordPress. If you understand the client's use case or can tell them truthfully about talent availability down the road, then by all means use the JAMstack or even go full custom. But for God's sake, don't go about asking how to convince them to use your favorite tech.

I"m going to argue a different way in favour of the 'JAMstack'; I hate marketing buzz, but whatevs.

This is the business value from what I can see; I'm newer to SPGs, so I could be wrong, but it's my current opinion.

Static sites do the following:

  1. They are very very fast. Most WP sites that are setup on a budget are not fast and actually require hiring the right developer, not just 'any' developer to get it to serve quickly. Not the case with SPGs, if you can write HTML, CSS and JS then you are booming; it's very hard to make a slowly served site I'd wager.

  2. Clients think they can just slap in a plugin and get a rocking; this is why wordpress is slow and they don't know who to call or what to do and they are channelling money into SEM and SEO and losing money there hand over fist; this is a huge value.

  3. The code tends to be more easily read. This means if they call me up and say 'hey Roger can you create an xyz or do xyz', often I can do it in an hour or so and it's still fast and it's still easily read by the next guy.

  4. Backups are built into the system al a github/git.

  5. Security issues are basically null. In comparison to any surface like WP, effectively using Hexo, et all is a zero risk scenario.

  6. Price. Outside of tools like Contentful and their type, the pricing is as close to $0 as you can get, which means I'm getting the lions share and that is good for me and good for my investment in good customer service.

Important caveats:

  • With Netlify and CloudCannon content management is included and no longer an issue of paying some over charging headless CMS provider extortion rates to just serve content.

  • Most SPGs come with Let's Encrypt and CDN built in and not as a value add either.

Honestly I'm very happy to have finally sold a client on a SPG and while down the road they may need to include a more diverse solution; today it'll be a great launch site for them handling so many potential scenarios without additional work on my or their part.

PS. This doesn't at all dismiss wordpress; that would be silly to say one over the other, just simply that SPGs have a ton of value and are very valid from a business use case.

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