Enterprise and WordPress aren’t two words you often hear together.  Many enterprises feel that WordPress doesn’t scale, lacks resilience or simply isn’t enterprise-ready for a variety of reasons.  Which is a shame, given that so many seek the rapid development and deployment characteristics it’s famed for.

How to make WordPress Enterprise-grade?

So, what are these sought-after attributes which would elevate WordPress to become Enterprise WordPress?

  • Scalability – supporting tens of thousands of active users, across multiple regions. Allowing large numbers of administrators to make updates, without conflict or loss.
  • Security – WordPress gets a bad rep for hack attempts but can actually be impressively hardened. Details such as stripping out plaintext usernames from HTTP headers, alongside firewall and hosting improvements raise WordPress’s security up to an enterprise standard.
  • Staging and Version Control – it’s just not professional to make changes in a live environment. Enterprise administrators and content creators need a content-creation workflow; generating new content in a dedicated ‘staging’ environment and then deploying to the ‘live’ site when it has been reviewed and approved.  Beyond this, development changes need to be tested for user acceptance between the development site and deployment to live – GitHub and other version control mechanisms need to be in place to handle rollback and selective deployment.
  • Customised user experiences – different visitors to a site have different interests. Users expect to be able to tailor their website experience, through self-selection, to their needs and interests.
  • Single Sign On – a WordPress website needs to integrate seamlessly with broader enterprise sign-on processes. Users aren’t going to accept the need to manually sign in each time they visit the site.  Using ADFS, to connect WordPress’s login authentication with Active Directory listings, bridges this gap.  More than just username, email and job title can be transferred (securely) as part of this handshake.  Use groupings within Active Directory to determine administration levels in WordPress.
  • Deep analytics – in some closed environments Google Analytics isn’t an acceptable analytics solution, so alternatives (e.g. Piwik) need to be implemented.

Experience in adapting WordPress for Enterprise businesses

Well, guess what?  We’ve worked on projects for enterprise clients where we have modified standard WordPress to what it better classed as Enterprise WordPress – achieving all of the above, whilst still maintaining the agility and ease-of-use which WordPress is famed for.

Is WordPress the best CMS for Enterprise?

WordPress is undoubtedly a brilliant CMS and with the aforementioned tuning it becomes a formidable solution for enterprise requirements.  However, there are plenty of other impressive CMS options out there – from Sitecore, to Drupal, Adobe to Kentico… it really depends on what your requirements are.  We’ve worked with them all over the years.  Some we love, and some we like a little less.  We tend to find Enterprise requirements often suit high-end .NET integrations with multi-stage balanced deployment frameworks – fitting well with Sitecore or Kentico, or they tend towards the open source end of things where Drupal and WordPress shine.

WordPress and Drupal are pretty different beasts though.  WordPress being far better for rapid development and Drupal providing a more structured, templated, approach for larger teams who need to be kept on track.

Want to know more?  Get in touch, we would be happy to talk you through what’s possible.  An enterprise-grade CMS doesn’t need enterprise-grade license fees!

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