smooster vs. WordPress
Ocotober 30, 2014, by Sebastian Maier
Originally intended as a blog software, WordPress has developed, in recent years, into one of the most frequently used CMS globally.
Since, at first glance, we are marketing a direct rival product, it is only natural that we will receive questions about the differences between smooster and WordPress.
For this reason, I have compiled a comparison of smooster and WordPress based on the most important functions of a CMS. I hope this comparison makes it a little easier for you to see where smooster, which was planned and implemented as a CMS from the outset, differs from the self-acclaimed “most successful publishing system of the world”.
In WordPress, there are three ways, in which you can use the CMS. The first option is wordpress.com, where a simple sign-up is sufficient to use it via the browser. However, it is not possible to install additional plugins. You also have to choose between the given themes. Personal themes or those of other vendors cannot be used.
Another variant is setting up WordPress via a host, but neither maintenance nor business hosting or support is included in this. The third option is to install and setup WordPress yourself. If necessary, a professional web developer can carry out this step, but there are typically costs starting at €1,000. In the same vein, you have to carry out updates and maintenance yourself or have a professional do them.
smooster is a software as a service, which is directly available in the cloud without any installation. Everything is already included – the website goes easily online with one click. You can also carry out updates and maintenance via smooster.
Creating a Website
The basis of each website on WordPress is a so-called theme. This theme comprises both a specific design and certain, but each very different, functions like SEO or responsive design.
In WordPress itself, users can select paid and free WordPress themes. In addition to that, there are now numerous vendors, who offer paid and sometimes very specific WordPress themes. A theme’s design and even functions are only adjustable to a certain level.
Once you have selected your theme, you can make limited adjustments in WordPress. For example, you can change menus or images.
With smooster, the starting point of a website is always an individual design that complies fully with the individual requirements of the customer. smooster implements this design 100% pixel perfect – including a correction loop.
The CMS itself is finely adjusted to the individual design. In the template, you can freely determine the editable areas. In contrast to WordPress, it is, therefore, not necessary to go on a search for a suitable theme with the necessary functional requirements. Of course, it is also possible to have a customized WordPress theme developed, in which the cost would be at least 30% higher.
On your own, you have to assemble additional functions such as SEO, social media integration, and newsletters in WordPress in the form of plugins. To do this, you go to Plugins -> install in the CMS and search for keywords.
Searching for suitable plugins, which have been prepared by very different – sometimes private – vendors and often bear a charge, often occurs using the trial and error method. How a plugin ultimately behaves within your own theme, is usually only visible after installation. It is possible to rate a plugin with up to five stars, which is an initial indication of its function for other users.
In smooster, SEO functions are already included and constantly developed in line with the state of the art. For other functions like newsletters or videos, smooster uses well-known and proven services that the customers already use – for example, MailChimp, YouTube or Instagram.
Hosting, Support, Maintenance und Updates
To set up a WordPress website, the user selects his hosting service provider and the appropriate package on his own. He carries out WordPress updates and maintenance on his website alone, except he is cooperating with a contractor, which can cost between several hundred and several thousand euros.
Since WordPress is a free CMS, there is no support. If a problem occurs, the operator of the website either contacts his hosting provider, hires a web expert or looks for help on an internet forum.
In smooster, the basic monthly fee of €9 already covers hosting, support, maintenance, and updates. Support is guaranteed between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (UTC +1) and the customer receives a response to his support request within an hour.
Thus, you have a central contact person not minding whether there are problems with the CMS or with the hosting. Outside these hours, helpful YouTube videos are available.
Changes to the Website
In WordPress, you make changes to the website in text fields in the CMS. During editing, though, you do not immediately see how these changes affect the website and its design. If you want to view the changes before publishing the website, you have to open a preview page in a new window.
In smooster, you edit the website directly in the website and, thus, immediately see what the result looks like. This function is called “inline editing.”
Under learn.wordpress.com there are WordPress tutorials; in addition, countless blogs and YouTube videos deal with instructions.
The operation is designed so intuitively that no training is necessary. In addition to this, you can find numerous tutorials on all topics in the smooster knowledge base. In case you do not discover what you are looking for, you can contact support.
I hope that, through this article, it has become slightly clearer the extent, to which smooster and WordPress differ from each other. The issue here is not about which CMS is better or worse, for this always depends on individual requirements.
WordPress is tilted more to the DIY enthusiast, for whom a finished design is sufficient and who is ready to put much time and energy into the maintenance of his website. smooster is for the lover of service with individual design demands and the desire for a method of operation that is just a tad easier and more intuitive than with other systems.
My suggestion is, first test the CMS of your choice extensively, because, as a rule, you will work with it for many years. Compare the systems to find the one suitable for you. For example, you can test smooster for 30 days with absolutely no obligation.
Which CMS do you use and why? Or has this comparison helped you towards deciding which CMS to use?
(Headerpicture: Photo from Nikolay Bachiyski, flickr.com/Creative Commons License)