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

FULL DISCUSSION
 

Coming to this thread a little late, but I have recently had to answer this question many times over, so I decided to do a little googling and arrived here...

First, I think the discussion here went a bit off the rails. Some people went down the path of "use the right tool for the job," which is valid, but irrelevant to this thread. The situation I find myself in more often is the client is a candidate for JAMstack, but that means they are also a candidate for Wordpress, how do I convince them to buy my product? The fact is these tools both get the job done but I work faster and deliver a better product in a custom, modern tool chain. So, if you want me to build your website, then these are the tools I use, and I can give this to you with exceptional service, fewer compromises, and at a good price.

In the end, you are the product, not the website. So when I sell a client I sell myself first. So when we arrive at the question of CMS to use, the tension is between wanting ME to build it but not wanting to use something they haven't heard of.

Here's the thing, I don't do Wordpress, or joomla, or drupal ever (anymore). I don't have to make every website on earth. I spent the better part of my early career wrestling with these CMS's, and they worked well for me back then. The issue is, most clients quickly learn they don't want to mess around with design as much as they thought and are constantly calling for tutorials on how to edit the navigation or to add a tag or how to edit something I had to hard code because it wasn't something the CMS supported out of the box.

Then I got DDoS attacks on wp-login pages, databases that weren't backed up, or had to deal with a purchased template that didn't work 100% on the version of PHP they were running on some cheap hosting provider. I even had a template that used to mysteriously wipe the custom CSS for no apparent reason. I've spent hours trying to implement a design that a friend of a friend gave to a client, frustrated at the fact that I knew I could hard code it in thirty minutes if I didn't have to deal with making it totally editable in this CMS or work with X plugin.

Then I got used to version control, continuous deployment, automated testing, and at last found Contentful. I got used to an easy CDN for images that handled all sorts of manipulations as well as being able to do full re-designs later on without ever having to migrate a database or deal with hosting. Clients were actually editing their content only, they got exactly the design they wanted, for the budget they set out for. They were happy and so was I.

The fact is I don't need to build everyone's website. And if someone comes to me that really cannot live without Wordpress I'm happy to point them in another direction. But if you want my team and I to build your site it isn't going to be with Wordpress. I will work my ass off to get you exactly the design you dreamed about and will make sure that you are satisfied enough to never want to go with another developer.

There's a lot of talk about business in this thread without actually talking about a customers number one business need. A reliable, consistent developer that delivers a super fast, awesome website and can be called on over and over again to deliver updates. My advice to you is sell yourself and your company first to the client, then use whatever technology helps YOU deliver on the best possible service to that client.

After reading this thread I realized there's a million technical reasons to not use Wordpress anymore, but very few that clients understand, because what they are buying is a service not a website.

Whether or not there is immense business value in a specific site architecture is the wrong argument to have. There is immense business value in having the right person or team do the job and do it right the first time. I craft websites now that are always backed by a headless CMS but may or may not be JAMstack compatible but I constantly remind myself before every pitch the technology is irrelevant right now, make sure they buy the team first.

 

Great point of view. I agree 100% about selling yourself and your services first. I don't see a problem in working with WordPress, mainly because I am rarely in charge of the backend, database, or security.

Thank you for the great response.

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