Today I’m going to answer a question from Marie, the founder of a legal tech startup. Her question is:

Can I build a startup MVP with a WordPress website?

Before answering this question, let’s add a bit of context.

Marie already has a custom-built product. While she has a growing ecosystem, she’s wondering how to deliver a brand new application with more functionalities.

She already knows how much it costs to develop a custom application, and for this second one, she would prefer a more economic approach.

Among the technical solutions to develop this new offer, the CMS WordPress is something that looks compelling. The question is, is WordPress suitable to build a startup product? 

Let’s review the basics.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) that enables almost anyone to build and edit the content of a website. One out of four websites are built with WordPress.

Pros of WordPress

  • It’s easy to edit the content
  • There are hundreds of thousands of plugins to create all sorts of functionalities to your heart’s desire
  • There is a plugin architecture which means you can get any WordPress developer to create a plugin especially for you

So far using WordPress to build a startup product sounds like a good idea, and it’s definitely an option. But let’s move to the cons. 

Cons of WordPress

  • It’s a Content Management System, in other words it has been designed to handle simple web pages. 
  • As soon as you start tweaking it here and there to turn it into an irregular e-commerce website, a marketplace or a more complex website with dozens of plugins, it’s going to slow down and you might not be able to handle large audiences on your platform. 
  • The information system, is not built for complex applications. 
    • You can either use WordPress’ database to store your information (but it’s not going to be optimized at all), or
    • You can create a tailored information system too, but that will make updating it more complicated. 
  • WordPress is indeed hard to maintain with software updates, there are compatibility risks on every new version, etc. The plugins are developed by everyone and anyone, so they are not always top quality. They could work for small projects, but not systematically for big ones. 

WordPress is rarely the end solution

If you are willing to get your hands dirty and invest some time trying to do things yourself, it’s definitely something to consider. In a few days and after buying some plugins, you should be able to have a working prototype with custom screens.

It‘s particularly suitable for a limited budget and if you just want to test you market. Now this is not the only option to build an MVP and you should also consider this: WordPress is rarely the end solution. 

You will have to drop it and restart from scratch sooner or later… 

WordPress is an economic solution to build a temporary MVP and start generating revenue.

Conclusion

So to answer Marie’s question, if you need to build a new product, you need to make a decision based on two factors:

  • Budget, do you have a big enough budget to consider real development?
  • Your market understanding: Do you need to confirm you market hypothesis? Or do you already have a working business and want to industrialize it with a new tool?

If that‘s the case, maybe the risks are not that high, and you should consider a more reliable solution.

Now if like Marie, you have a specific question for your project, just go ahead and ask on myctofriend.co/ask.

I will do my best to answer your question by video or redirect you to any existing content that will answer it.

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I’ll be waiting for your questions, and I look forward to seeing you in other videos. Cheers.