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How to effectively sell ProcessWire to Customers?


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Despite praising the flexibility and advantages of using ProcessWire as a CMS, I am currently loosing a lot of business, because clients insist on using WordPress, which we all know is a pain to go back to if you once enjoyed the clean API of PW. Many times I get the impression that people don't buy what they don't know.

How do you go about this?

Do you simply give in and implement it in WordPress?

I think it would really help if the official ProcessWire site had an attractive landing page that explains the advantages of using ProcessWire for non-technical users. Probably without bashing WordPress, but making a strong point... ;)

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I understand how you feel. It's quite sad that so many people have closed their minds to platforms that either don't live up to their promises, or just fail on their backsides at almost-regulated intervals.

Luckily, my experience hasn't been so bad - guess I just have an open-minded client-base. There have been several instances where WordPress was brought up, and an explanation of PW's benefits was required. However, all of these went smoothly, and not one client has forced WordPress into the equation. They're all happy with PW, and have outstanding things to say about it.

I prefer to not argue with people, and so would say to a potential client insisting on WordPress that it shouldn't be used just because everybody else is using it, "but, if you insist, here are a few designers and developers that would be happy to help you." (And then proceed to list the 5999 designers and developers here in SA that use it religiously.)

It's not easy, I know - but your preference of ProcessWire is exactly that: your preference. And so, it isn't easy to make your clients feel about it the way in which you do. I guess my initial experience was along the lines of my client relying on me and trusting me extensively - to the point where they just ran with it (instantly).

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@Beluga I like the approach of discussing and agreeing project requirements with your client and then recommending a suitable platform and selling a solution instead of disqualifying WordPress immediately. Hitting directly on WP is probably the wrong approach, especially for clients who only know WP and have no technical experience.

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Hiting directly on WP (or other systems) always has it's bad feelings for the client - ranting on other systems is always no good way to sell your own product.

Personally i'm in a position that most of my few clients are really non web affine and they have no clue about different tools or how to use them...but they know wordpress, too. But i show them the last half year security problems (without knockin down WP and stay ojective as far as i could) and we are ready to go one step further with PW and no other system...but i could imagine the problems with business clients that have dangerous ssuperficial knowledge that makes your life harder!

Best regards mr-fan

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I've hit this problem before. I started out as WordPress developer. WordPress is immensely popular to the point where plenty of clients think WordPress = CMS. If you mention another system they will think "they wont be able to edit it". WordPress is very much do-it-yourself and plenty of clients like that. However working in an agency it's a nightmare. You will find that they always break things, or use dodgy shortcodes and your often trying to provide support.

When building a bespoke website in WordPress, I often used ACF to make sure it was locked down, no Visual Composer to play around with elements. But all it gave me was headaches. The API is allover the place and not to mention each plugin has it's own set of functions you have to worry about (WooCommerce). I've been using WordPress for years and I'm still always searching stuff like "How to get category image as thumbnail size", which turns out you have to call about 20 functions and pass it through the eye of sauron before it spits out just a url with the image size. 

With WordPress there is no guessing. ProcessWire I learnt the rules of the API and from there, I could guess how to do things and often it worked! This is a signature of a system that works for you, and not you having to work for the system. jQuery is a lot like this and the reason I love jQuery, I know I get the with .width() so the height should be .height(). Simple.

So that's everything my side, how about the clients? 

Well, I always found convincing clients was very easy when the subject of security came up. I often tasked them to find a hacked ProcessWire site, then do the same for WordPress. Obviously we knew who the clear winner were there. 

After that is speed. All my ProcessWire sites run lightning fast.

But I just think morally it's better to go with ProcessWire. WordPress is now taking up roughly about 20% of the web, this calls for a very unsafe web. That's 20% of websites with known vulnerabilities coming out almost every week. It's got so bad, Google now scour websites and report hacked sites on their search results.


Here is an example we had recently; 

A potential client came in thinking he had an audience of about 30,000 per month. He was using his cPanel's analytics and always went off those. He decided with that amount of viewers he should invest in marketing. We hooked up Google Analytics to see demographic, page views, user journey etc. to discover he was only getting 2,500 per month.

After accessing his analytics we found that he had 27,500 hits per month to /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php 

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The trick that works most of the time is the security issue, a little googling and evidence shows itself in blog posts all around the web.

I rarely have tech wise clients, though some of the few who actually DO know a bit about web technology and are on the Wordpress hype train, I take out this weapon:

"Did you know Wordpress in in fact a blogging software?? Then, let's think again, do you think your website is a blog?" It's like using confusion on a Pokemon. The train of thought is that they are using the wrong tool for their problem and that actually stops people to think, what do I want from my website??. I then go with the "more professional, custom solution called Processwire" pitch. Also, very important, I talk about how costly can Wordpress become if you want to start customizing content management and display, unsafe plugins, and the safe ones that mean extra costs, maintenance for Wordpress updates, etc. With PW, you get what you need, solid cost effective solution.

Though, the smarter ones will say: Hey, everyone is using it!! What's the deal with you weirdo!! After that, I'm left with my last weapon which is walk away!! And impressively, that one actually sometimes work! It's like, after showing them that the way to Wordpress goes through Mordor, they start feeling the fear and come back.

ps. I'm really liking the LOTR metaphors.

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Usually if I have a client who has used Wordpress or Drupal I just up sell them on the factor we can make it less cumbersome to use, which is generally to case. There's of course lots of other reasons too.

If they haven't used any cms before then but have heard of Wordpress etc I generally list off pros and cons of the each and generally walk on Drupal 7 or lower projects a they require more effort in my experience and money.

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