While Affino often gets compared to, and mentioned in the same context as CMS solutions, it is in fact a relatively new approach, and as different as Office was when it was first introduced by Microsoft as an integrated suite to replace Word Perfect and Lotus 1-2-3.
Even though it is not easy to compare Affino directly to WordPress, here are some of the key discussion points that arise:
Commercial SaaS solution, competitively priced and delivers a high return on investment
Can be free, but requires potentially costly third party plugins, custom development, and integrations for basic business functions
Affino's unified and holistic nature means longer-term overheads tend to be low, with the principal cost taken up by the core SaaS service
Depending on your setup, and if trying to deploy a similar solution to Affino, cost of maintaining such 3rd party plugins, custom components and integrations will be high
When setting up fully-fledged digital business hubs, Affino's integrated approach leads to fast deployment times
For very simple free sites, WordPress is undoubtedly quicker and easier to set up, as soon as you start adding basic essentials such as CRM integration, registration, engagement walls and personalisation, then Wordpress deployments take considerably longer
Once everything is up and running, beyond needing to add new content and media, Affino is fully self-contained, and its many automated processes will run by themselves, meaning minimal operation overheads in terms of human resources
The more full-featured you make your site - the more plugins you need to use, and the greater the overheads of manually maintaining the daily tasks and functions, and interconnection of them all
Has less than 100 functional modules, but all of these are fully optimised and singularly honed for interconnected tasks - you don't even need to plug the modules in, you just need to activate them and they are fully seamlessly integrated with everything and working straightaway
40,000 or so plugins - lots of themes and myriad small micro-task widgets - makes for a lot of choice, but a lot of duplication and option paralysis too, questions about quality and security of some of those plugins also
With Affino you get a single customer view of all contact details, from site registrations, subscriptions, ecommerce purchases, newsletter sign-ups, delegates, award entries, leads, CRM contacts and more
The fragmented nature of WordPress plugins means that in most instances the data is siloed within the specific plugins being used, integrating the plugins and keeping them integrated tends to be costly and complex
With Affino's DIY Design-Centre and smart functional Design Element widgets - there is a huge range of layouts which can be achieved without needing to code
Has the advantage of using ready-made Themes and a big community designing and developing those themes. Having ready-made Themes means rapid deployment for the core publishing pages, but often means limits in layout flexibility too - which are only overcome by coding
All Campaigns, Promotions, Sales and Marketing functions are seamlessly served from the core system to be indistinguishable from the other content and media served up by the site - Everything is fully native and thus properly resistant to adblockers and privacy tools
Use of 3rd Party Plugins means separation between core WordPress CMS elements and promotional elements which means plugins tend to be easily blockable, and some WordPress sites can be failing to target up to 40% of their audience
Business Processes and Workflows are built into the Affino Platform and fully integrated with the CRM and the Automated Customer Ladder system of incentivisation, tracking and rewards
It is questionable if Affino's level of business workflows and automation would even be practically possible with WordPress - would require a serious amount of investment in integration and custom development
Having a Core Centralised CRM which tracks and analyses everything - gives Affino a significant advantage, the native serving of content and functionality - i.e. 'Persistence' means Affino is resistant to adblockers and tracks even more of what goes on - which most other systems miss
Lack of Core Central CRM and use of non-native Plugins means that WordPress cannot track and analyse to the same degree that Affino can
All of Affino is developed in-house to the same high standards of security and integrity, Affino also runs an automated bot sniffer which tracks and screens potential malware and shares intelligence with all Affino sites through a central service
Use of 3rd party plugins and components, as well as the size of the WordPress ecosystem makes it more liable and more susceptible to hacking and malware
Dedicated Digital Business Platform with fully rounded solutions for Media Businesses, Publishers, Professional Services, Recruitment, Events and Vendors
A general all-rounder blogging platform / CMS with some smart plugins, but does not offer fully dedicated through-the-line integral business sector solutions
WordPress is a great system if you just want something quick and simple, i.e. a few pages with basic editing. If however you want to grow a commercial enterprise with built-in business workflows and automation it is likely you would benefit more from a dedicated dynamic business solution like The Affino Unified Digital Business Platform.
We often get asked to explain what makes the Affino Unified Digital Business Platform special and different when compared with something like WordPress. For the sake of brevity and ease of reference we usually jump to the standard automotive analogy of fully-loaded high end saloon vs kit car.
The kit car has thousands of optionable plugin parts made by all manner of companies, big and small. You've got dozens if not hundreds of options for most every conceivable part, and you can even machine your own parts. However, not all of these are to the same quality, and as they must, they plug into the system fairly superficially. A great analogy is the In-Car-Entertainment systems of old - where you commonly used to fit your own car stereo and speaker systems. Nowadays, nearly all cars come with a fully integrated stereo which is fully baked into the car's other electronic systems - meaning that music gets automatically paused or muted when a call comes in, or other essential activities, notifications or alerts need to take precedence such as GPS. You can try to go the old-school route of integrating a third-party ICE solution, but the installation and ongoing maintenance proves to be an expensive and tricky process, as different solutions update / upgrade at different times and more likely than not will be partially incompatible for a stretch or two along the process, and the parts manufacturers go out of business or discontinue their product lines - much like apps in an app store.
The inclusive characteristic is very much the core fundamental of the Affino platform - a fully holistic system where everything is seamlessly integrated at a core and pervasive level. Most importantly, everything in Affino is driven through its central and core 'business-brain' CRM component. So all Affino functionality behaves fully symbiotically with other elements of the system and routes all activities - contacts, interactions and transactions through the core of the system. Moreover, Affino has several business algorithms - automated processes and workflows built into the core of the system in order to help you run the solution to deepen engagement and improve conversion rates. It is a fully-fledged business solution, set up with the highest number of possible revenue streams available in a single solution.
There is always a time and place for solutions like WordPress, but they are in the main CMS-type solutions with some clever bolt-ons and plugins - like a store module for instance. For Affino, all of this is built-in to our solution by us, to the highest standards of integration, security and business flexibility. No other system gives you the same degree of process automation and seamless integration with smart business intelligence across the board.