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When you're a Rails developer but your client wants WordPress

rogerjin12 profile image Roger Jin ・2 min read

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Suppose you've built a Rails app for a client. A couple of months after launching their MVP, your client wants to ramp up their marketing and they ask you to add a blog to their website. "It'd be great if it were WordPress", they tell you. "Oh, and our SEO consultant tells us it should live on our primary domain versus a subdomain."

The thought of WordPress sends shivers down your spine, but you start quietly doing some research on your options.

Integrating WordPress into your Rails app is impossible, but if you run WordPress (or a similar blogging solution like Ghost) separately it'd require hosting and have to live on a separate subdomain, which will cause great dissapointment to your SEO-enthused client.Â

You explore the workaround of setting up a reverse proxy, but it looks extremely unpleasant. And even after all that trouble, you'll still need to figure out how to customize templates to get the design to match your beautiful Rails website–you wonder if they could share the same layout and CSS...

Determined to find something that can integrate into your Rails app, you scour Github for open-source blog engines. You hop from one promising repository to the next. The first project you find looks good but hasn't been updated in three years. Another requires adding a bunch of bloated database tables to your already over-burdened database. Your hope begins to fade...

If this situation sounds familiar to you, you're not alone.

It's why we created a blog engine and CMS that integrates with Rails in one minute. Friendly UI for your clients, zero maintenance for you, and did we mention it integrates with Rails in one minute?

Here's proof.

This post originally posted here.

Discussion

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peter profile image
Peter Kim Frank

Hey Roger,

ButterCMS looks awesome. I love the way you outlined the "journey" to finding (and presumably building) this solution. It sounds like your team really understands the "itch" that folks are "trying to scratch," and that shines through in the familiar winding path of finding the right solution.

Thanks for sharing!

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Patrick Schönfeld

Not meant to diminish your efforts, but: If the customer explicitly wants Wordpress (which could be the case because of the quiet big community around it, availability of ready-to-use plugins etc.) then this isn't solved by just providing another CMS, is it?

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rogerjin12 profile image
Roger Jin Author

Thanks for raising this point. It's ultimately up to the individual developer / team to have the conversation with the customer to understand their core business needs and then determine the best solution. There may cases where a client insists on WordPress for reasons that can't be overcome. However, in the vast majority of cases, the end-needs of the client don't truly "require" WordPress. Clients generally overvalue plugins as a means to an end that can be solved just as easily with a non-WordPress plugin or light custom solution. Plugins aren't a free lunch – they come with their own baggage of security issues, updates, dealing with 3rd-party code, etc. In most cases, for Ruby developers, WordPress requires significantly more time and complexity to setup and maintain than something that drops into an existing Ruby app... that's why tools like ButterCMS exist :) Hope this helps!