As a developer I’m used to using WordPress daily, along with our other open-source CMS solutions, and I’m become accustomed to there being few limits. What I cannot stand are arbitrary limits that are just there to prop up old business models.
In the initial days of websites, before database driven CMS systems became commonplace, a website company would have various packages on offer. These packages would frequently be listed as ‘silver‘, ‘gold‘, ‘platinum‘ and ‘diamond‘, or maybe as ‘basic‘, ‘standard‘ etc. These packages would have mostly the same features (free domain, year hosting, etc), but then there was the X list of items.
These are things such as X number of email addresses, X disk space, X bandwidth per month all of which went up with the more expensive packages.
This is fine, but these packages would also have X number of pages listed.
Now if you’re creating a website within Dreamweaver you would create the first static HTML page, then have to duplicate it to create the next and so on. Then going back and ensuring that the menus linked to each other, and that the client provided you with the content to insert. All of which is time consuming.
Database Driven CMS To The Rescue
However with a database driven CMS, such as WordPress, once the initial template has been created, the content of pages (and any corresponding menu) is automatically inserted.
WordPress supports unlimited number of pages, and the menu system is flexible enough to allow anything you want.
Reintroducing Arbitrary Limits
I recently had the pleasure of looking at a potential clients existing website and it’s admin. Even though that CMS was database driven, they had implemented it in such a way as to have these old limits (such as number of pages) baked into it. If you’d hit your limit of pages it actually asked that you upgrade your system! It also didn’t allow editing the menus as this was set by the developer.
The client was frustrated in that there was little they could do. Because of the fixed page limit (and fixed menus), they had no choice but to edit existing pages and squeeze more content onto them.
I should point out that there were a number of other fixed aspects to their site, which if changes were required, the developers then charged to make.
Finally Some Common Sense
We don’t believe in these kind of arbitrary limits. We’d prefer giving our clients the ability to have as fully flexible a site as possible, to allow editing all the textual content, and to reposition content if necessary. It takes more work upfront, and cost, to ensure this remains true on our sites, but the advantage to our clients is immeasurable.
I guess this is the reason why that potential client became an actual client.