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heldercervantes

Help me defend PW

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Comunity unite!

Today I tried to convince a "quite high profile client" to have a new site built with ProcessWire. He's not completely convinced.

This is a well known, nation-wide brand with a big audience. They've invited a few agencies to show them what they've got, requiring an open-source platform "such as Wordpress or Drupal". We've of course introduced them to the wonderful world of PW but, since they've never heard of it they weren't quite comfortable and insisted on either the W or the D. It's a basic known vs unknown dilemma.

Their main concerns:

  • Support / Community - finding other devs in case my company shuts down
  • Security - don't want to get hacked
  • Guarantees - as in they feel comfortable that WordPress and Drupal won't go anywhere and keep getting updates, but what about PW?

So help a brother out: If you had to answer "Why should I buy as website built with ProcessWire instead of Drupal or Wordpress?", what would you say?

Thanks,

HC

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Not an easy task. The bigger they are the dumber they get...

Because it's late and I'm sleepy, I will answer directly to those points:

  • This won't be an easy one. If I look at the developers directory there are only two PW Devs in Porto
    post-88-0-49793700-1430265167.png <- On the left it's me, and on the right it's you.
    You can state that PW is growing fast, supported in factual statistics preferably (you would need them, of course). You can also argue that ProcessWire has a lower learning curve than other CMSs for an experimented developer. And, of course, they're not forced to hire someone in Portugal in case something happens to your company (make sure you keep the comments on your code and all namings in English, which is good practice anyway). If you think it can help, point them here http://www.cmscritic.com/dir/products/processwire/ and tell that even their website is built with PW.
     
  • That's an easy one! You don't have to look for a long time to find recent examples of security holes in WP. As for Drupal, a quick googling brought this up http://brightlemon.com/blog/community-pulls-together-drupal-highly-critical-security-announcement. As for PW, you have tis http://www.reddit.com/r/webdev/comments/2zzo0t/any_reason_i_cant_find_anything_about_processwire/ :)
     
  • Can't look for it now, But there are one or two posts where Ryan talk about this subject. Anyway. Processwire is Open Source and was forked hundreds of times. There are already a lots of great devs depending on it to earn their living to be sure that, whatever happens, PW won't go anywhere. Show them how active PW's development on github is.
Edited by diogo
added something to the first point
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You might want to show them the Canton speakers site done with PW that was introduced lately and also announced in PW weekly newsletter. This is a worldwide brand. If they trust in PW, why shouldn't your potential customer.

EDIT

And cmscritic.com might serve as an example. Their article ProcessWire vs WordPress has some good arguments for PW and against WP.

Then there is this article about PW in the german IT magazine c't: "German computer magazine c't has just published an article about ProcessWire, and Tuts+ has announced they are going to commission tutorials on ProcessWire" (taken from PW weekly #43).

Some ideas for your points 2 and 3:

- you could offer free updates for a period of time since it is so easy to do

- if you have the capabilities, you could offer a free port of the system to WP or Drupal in case PW development will stop in the future. This will underline your total confidence in PW

And, if you have the opportunity, you could show them the PW backend and how easy it is for editors to work with.

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Best way would be to show them in real time. Take your laptop and show them, depending on who you are dealing with: admin, editor, end-user, site owner, techie or non tech, etc., the part they are going to do on the website:

a) setup

b) admin

c) pagetree (editing and maintenance)

Now compare that to the others in time, learning curve, easiness, etc.

Speaks for it self so never try to convince them. They should convince

them selves.

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Been working in pw for nearly 5 years and it's still receiving constant updates and getting better and better. (While some other cms' have fallen by the way side).

Show them some of the other agencies using pw and refer to the security supports tickets (I am yet to have had a security issue with pw which hasn't been server not application level).

Also tell them Drupal is verbose and painful to template and create modules for, and Wordpress is shit for most things... Both are the case :)

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Hey, uhm, not a nice situation.

Here is a case study where a agency was able to go another way: https://processwire.com/talk/topic/7494-case-study-the-triumph-of-national-geographic-traveller-india-in-processwire/ They should build a big website with one of the other systems, they switched to PW but ommitted a conversation with the client in the first place, ...

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The fact that I got all this input overnight is in itself a good argument.

I intentionally omitted what I already did in the meeting to defend PW, and it's nice to see other people mentioning the same things:

  • Told my personal experience, not being a backend coder, I have built my personal site completely from scratch and didn't get stuck even once;
  • After my experience, brought PW to my engineering department, asked them to build one of our client's site with PW and got such good input that it's now our dev platform for small to medium projects (cases such as Volvo's CRM we use our own platform);
  • Showed him hands on how easy it is to make changes to my own website, added a field to my portfolio section, customized it and had it output on the frontend (under 5mins);
  • Demonstrated that PW doesn't make any assumptions whatsoever as to what you're going to build, being a blog, products catalogue, news magazine, etc;
  • Mentioned that it's been around for 7 years (is it?) with regular updates and we have a new major update coming this week;
  • Explained the learning curve: any programmer that picks up PW will be building a website the next day.

Still, great extra arguments here. I owe you guys a beer!

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The fact that I got all this input overnight is in itself a good argument.

I intentionally omitted what I already did in the meeting to defend PW, and it's nice to see other people mentioning the same things:

.........

  • Mentioned that it's been around for 7 years (is it?) with regular updates and we have a new major update coming this week;

.........

http://processwire.com/about/background/

The PW 2 line has been around since somewhere in 2010 i think, so about 5 years. A complete rewrite but built on the concept, ideas and experiences of its predecessors.

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I'm afraid technical arguments won't count pretty much. From my experience it's references that matter. I would show them off the most prestigious sites I could find in the showcase section. The Canton site mentioned above is a very good start in this respect.

If it comes down to a more in depth discussion I would point out the following:

  • PW is plain PHP in a way. No template language etc. Every PHP developer may still maintain it even if development is discontinued
  • easy straightforward admin, no expensive tutorials etc. required for editors
  • best choice for managing large amounts of structured data as shown in the skyscraper profile (if this matters for your client of course). Again this makes up for an easy to use admin (single point of entry for data etc.)
  • low development and maintenance cost thanks to straightforward system architecture

If this all doesn't convince them, I recommend a WP install with a ton of rubbish plugins and a good maintenance contract for you - kind of a revenge and after-sales-satisfaction (for you, not for them)  >:D

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So it's all boiling down to risk. Could you make it risk-free for them?

Tell them if they're not happy with the system after 6 months, that you'll do "X".

X could be that you'll give them their money back or you'll only invoice for the second half of the project after 6 months. 

Whatever it is, take that risk upon yourself and make it a moot point for them.

You could also point out that the PW forums have quite a few ex Drupal and WordPress users.

Show them the recent WP security scares. Ask them if they want to introduce that security risk into their corporate environment. Do they wish to introduce a security risk into their clients homes?

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btw. this one is also build with PW:

http://www.computerbase.de/

Highly doubt that's built with PW. It's running on nginx - and there is no official support for that as yet. It doesn't respond to ?it= queries. It doesn't seem to use the built-in XSS protection PW has (lack of the X-XSS-Protection:1; mode=block response header). It has no wire cookie (or any other like it). Etc...

If the site really is running ProcessWire, they've done a damn good job at hiding it. Perhaps they're using PW as a data-backend?

If not, I really wish it was.

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While Praegnanz do use ProcessWire in some of their projects, I doubt Computerbase.de is among them. Here is a German blog post about the project, where they say they were only responsible for the frontend design: http://praegnanz.de/weblog/computerbase-workflow

Gerrit van Aaken of Pragenanz is one of the best-known German web developers and he occasionally posts here in the PW forums.

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@Mike - also in terms of the nginx comment, if you run cloudflare, then wappalyzer shows Nginx (and also cloudflare)..

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@Mike - also in terms of the nginx comment, if you run cloudflare, then wappalyzer shows Nginz (and also cloudflare)..

Ah, also true... 

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Hi all,

apologies, re-reading Gerrits blog post mentioned above it indeed doesn't say this is a PW project. I remembered the blog-post wrong. Sorry for this.

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there are always countless arguments for/against any product. i often hear from clients: "one says this, the other one says that"

then i show them what google says and they get big eyes:

post-2137-0-04999100-1430383281_thumb.pn

I've also a setup of a simple former joomla site converted to PW and show them the difference in direct comparison. that's the arguments they will understand - at least in my experience. most of them don't understand what we are talking about when we go in detail, so the trust a name they know, because they are afraid of making a mistake. that's psychology ;)

use this thinking for your (and PW's) benefit! make them aware that they can make a mistake by backing the wrong horse:

post-2137-0-23754100-1430383692_thumb.pn

good luck!

PS: also make them aware that they don't only have to trust the product but also YOU as a developer/agency! the product is only one part - the other part is your work and what you make of it.

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I do like the Google Trends graphs, but be careful because if you put any of the "big 3" on the same chart with ProcessWire then PW doesn't even get above the bottom line.

This is useful in highlighting a decline in two of the largest, and you can see that their share isn't necessarily translating into gains for Wordpress either.

post-1-0-36049200-1430394580_thumb.png

And though ProcessWire is a low line on this one compared to the others, there's a decline on the other three on this graph.

post-1-0-63862500-1430394625_thumb.png

I think these two graphs help highlight a change is already taking place and Wordpress seems to be staying steady(ish), but be aware that if they were all on the same graph then the lines on the second one wouldpretty mjuch flatline against those on the first one.

I also looked around a few other sites that claim to be able to show usage stats for CMS' and they seem incapable of detecting ProcessWire (one site said there were only 17 detected installations last year or something like that - pretty sure there are more than that in the showcase :)). I guess what I'm saying is that any figures should be taken with a pinch of salt, but the ones above do look pretty.

If it helps anyone with this sort of argument, the ProcessWire site and forums attract on average over 2,200 users per day on weekdays according to Google Analytics. That's not to be confused with sessions, which is more like 3,200 per day. The Google Analytics graph for the last 4 years shows a healthy boost year on year.

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Pete, you are right.

That's why I'm using the PW trend only as a very first WOW catcher. of course i'm honest to my clients and show them the comparison to wordpress. and i explain them why wordpress is so famous and why i trust in processwire for this special project.

post-2137-0-02998600-1430396903_thumb.pn

post-2137-0-08534600-1430396907_thumb.pn

this does not mean that tv is far better then smartphones ;)

maybe this comparison does not match 100% to pw<->wp, but at least i experienced that the WOW-chart made my clients feel more confident to "try" something new and made them hear my explanations with other ears then before.

and at least it may kick out 50% of his competitors that are offering them a drupal-based solution ;)

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Thanks for playing with google trends on this subject....just checked my former CMS and community and it seem that i've had luckily the right decision in 2014.....and basicly the luck to find this alternative.... ;)

http://www.google.de/trends/explore#q=WebsiteBaker%2C%20ProcessWire&cmpt=q&tz=

sorry for offtopic heldercervantes just a note on the comparison topic in this threat...on the defending side i've the luck to work only for non techi/smaller clients - my problems is usually that i've build a relative professional website and they ignore the promotion and informal potential of a good website....they just wanna have one.

The only real thing that i know from other parts of my life and other communities, is that a trough positive, wise work from even positive and wise people always and always will outlive everything else. And especially on webdevelopment a new thing isn't always a bad thing if objective reasons on the desk!

For sure the newest trend isn't always the way to go and sometimes it could be expensive to switch or change systems......but THAT would be the best argument at all that even if you build a site with PW and lets say in 4 years there is nothing - how much effort would it really be to switch??

- data could be easy used/migrated

- on the frontend part there is nothing that comes from the PW Core - so absolute no problems on this side

so may you write a comparison of exact this subject (the fear or killer case in their argumentation) with Wordpress, Drupal and so on.

What would be the effort to switch in worst case.....i think we all know how such a sheet would look a like... :rolleyes:

best regards mr-fan

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I've done a site for a big german company. Unfortunately I'm not allowed to say which one. But... they were unsure if ProcessWire will be the right decision. After showing them the scyscrapers example the felt in love with ProcessWire. Maybe it helps to describe the unlimited possibilities which can easily built with ProcessWire.

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The Google Trends analysis IMO isn't of much help, it doesn't show the inherent "value" of PW as a CMS/CMF, it just throws hard to analyze numbers at the wall. In sheer numbers, WordPress should be the "B357 3V4R" solution out there. ;)

WP also benefits from having a LOT of marketing and PR involved, which the PW community doesn't really have (yet?). Look at the ecosystem around Laravel.. Laracasts, dedicated podcasts and blogs, training sessions and communities all over. It didn't get to be known with no effort, there has been a lot of time (and money?) put into it, the creator and his team have explained this numerous times.

On another note, I actually have a two-pager to introduce PW to clients, unfortunately it's in French and heavily branded and I don't have much time to translate it right now. But it might be of interest. :) 

The main selling points I see and discuss in it — and I'd be very interested to know what's your opinion on this and what has worked well or not so well for you — go like this:

  • Ease of use (for users and devs alike) — self documentation, data validation, fast development cycle
  • Extremely fast — w/o caching, it's fast. With caching, it's fast as hell. Still need moar speed?! Throw ProCache at it and bingo! Static websites with all the benefits of a dynamic system and none of the pain of static generators. And fast websites mean better SEO, better visibility and better conversion rates! Win-win-win!
  • Scalability — Does small and large scale sites really well. Hierarchical structure, when necessary, make it easy to manage content (plus it's built-in search system).
  • Stability and security — Costs less to maintain and isn't very prone to attacks due to its inherent architecture. You don't need to update it every other day.
  • Efficient development — Up to date development paradigms, easy to maintain and develop with growth in mind, content "agnostic" (i.e. it not targeted at one kind of use/market). Most things are already in core, no need to extend the core to do things I consider basic in this day and age, and pay annual fees for them on top of that.. I prefer to invest that time and money helping PW the best I can, that's how open source is best IMO.
  • Relational content — It's hard to explain to clients, but it's seriously what generally cuts in when I need to select a platform for a client and really, PW wins hands down on this. Everything is a page and a page can be related to any other page in the way that pleases you. This enables really powerful contextual information, advanced "member" sections and such. 

I think that sums it up, then I usually add one or two paragraphs at the end that describes further why PW is a good choice for this project. Most of these arguments have been working well so far.

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