Over the past couple of summers, I’ve had two junior product management positions that provided me the opportunity to work across two very different CMS platforms: WordPress and Brightspot. In both roles, I was responsible for building websites from scratch without any formal training on either CMS.
The first platform I used was WordPress. After being tasked with building a company site from scratch for a small accounting startup, my boss gave me a quick tutorial of the platform and an overview of the content he wanted. From there, I worked on it over the course of three weeks. The site was not extensive, with a few pages of general information and contact forms, but I definitely faced a lot of challenges as I built it out.
In my second position, I used Brightspot CMS. As a recent college grad working on the product management team at Perfect Sense, I was able to help build 25 sites in a three month period with little to no training.
Here are the main differences I encountered between Brightspot and WordPress.
Building a site on WordPress felt like pulling teeth to me. The main issues I had were:
- The difficult dashboard: WordPress’s dashboard is difficult to navigate for even the simplest of tasks and was nearly impossible once we started trying to do more complex things.
- Cumbersome plugins: With no development background, I found the plugins difficult to manage. How do you even know what the best plugin is or if updating the plugin will break something on the site? If and when something broke (which was often) development help was needed immediately.
- Incomplete search functionality: I had a lot of issues with WordPress’ search capabilities and gave up using it because I could never find what I wanted and would just end up looking manually.
In comparison, Brightspot was easy to use and understand. The CMS was built by editors for editors—designed to lessen the dependence on IT and making it possible to publish seamlessly. Only having basic guides to use and a list of parameters I needed to include, I was able to launch a new site in just a few days. Once the content I needed was uploaded, I just had to decide how I wanted it to look.
In my experience, it was hard to reconcile the vision my boss described with what the platform would allow us to do. Using WordPress gives you access to many templates that dictate what your site will look like. Some of these themes come with the WordPress subscription, but others require you to pay to use them. Although there were quite a few templates, the options within the template tended to be more limited. This made it difficult to move things around and customize the site. If you find a template that exactly matches your vision, you’re in business. But if not, it’s impossible to customize without development assistance and even then you’re limited.
However, Brightspot comes with multiple themes that each have countless options for how your content can look. This gives the user many different ways to customize a site and the ability to make it look almost any way you’d like without the need for IT help.
Ease of Use
With WordPress I struggled to help build one site in three weeks. Plus Wordpress did not offer much in the way of support for users of their more basic solutions. Even after spending all that time on the project, I never felt like I came close to becoming a “power user.”
With Brightspot, the first site I built was based completely off of editorial guides. Using only these comprehensive guides, I was able to create my site completely independently. As I quickly picked up on how to use the CMS, I began collaborating on client sites. In three weeks, I was able to help stand-up six Brightspot sites—which was vastly different from my experience with WordPress.
Overall in my experience, WordPress was cheap, but hard to use. There was not much room for creativity without paying extra. On the other hand, Brightspot definitely provided more value for the price. But don’t just take my word for it. Here are why some big name customers made the choice to move off of WordPress and onto Brightspot.
Customers that Switched from WordPress to Brightspot
As the largest media company in the Spanish-speaking world, Televisa decided it was time to replatform at the end of 2017. At the time, they were working across nine disparate WordPress instances, which left them unable to publish in real-time and had created significant overhead.
With Brightspot, Televisa can now manage 9 sites—8 of which are headless—from one CMS. The publishing experience has been improved overall, new sites can be created and launched independently, and they have full control over the look and feel of the platform. Overall, switching from WordPress to Brightspot cut Televisa’s launch times in half and greatly reduced overhead costs across the board.
After purchasing Craftsy, an online interactive craft education site, NBCUniversal decided to rebrand the site’s subscription service, Craftsy Unlimited. Seeking to improve the editorial experience, empower editors to become publishers, and lessen the dependence on IT, the team behind Craftsy also decided it was time to replatform off of WordPress.
In just two months from handshake to go-live, NBCUniversal relaunched Craftsy Unlimited as mybluprint.com on Brightspot. With Brightspot, the team at Bluprint was able to expand their content offerings and publish and make changes to the site quickly and easily, without relying on developers.
If you're still stuck on WordPress, it’s time to find a flexible, customizable platform that works for you. Request a Brightspot demo today!