A planet of blogs from our members...

Caktus GroupDjango vs WordPress: How to decide?

In the early stages of a web development project, your first step is a big decision: what’s the right tool for the job? What kind of software makes the most sense for me?

A lot of our clients come to us at this stage, seeking advice on how to approach this decision. And it’s an important one: once you invest in a particular platform, the cost to switch later may be high. You’ll want to make sure you have all the info before making your decision.

Should you use WordPress or Django?

To answer that question, I first need to explain what each of these systems are because we’re actually talking apples and oranges, or maybe apples and fruit salads.

When people say WordPress, they’re referring to the content management system (CMS) that’s used to create and upload the website content. Basically, WordPress is the dashboard through which you organize text and images to display on your website. WordPress is built using the PHP programming language.

Django, on the other hand, is what’s called a web framework. Built on the powerful Python programming language, it’s a set of tools and libraries that can be rapidly deployed to build custom web applications. If your project needs a CMS, Django has a variety of options to choose from. (Our favorite is Wagtail CMS.)

When is WordPress the right fit?

Are you starting a blog, a brochure site, or a small e-commerce site? Go with WordPress.

WordPress is a straightforward and inexpensive tool for a basic site. With a plethora of free themes to download, it’s a quick way to get online and start promoting your content/business/side hustle. Although, if you’re going this route, you may also want to check out options like Squarespace and Wix for even easier site-builders.

If you started with WordPress but realize you want to customize the user experience in ways that the CMS doesn’t facilitate, or you want to connect to custom external applications, then it’s time to look for a more powerful tool.

Why does Caktus prefer Django?

We work with clients to develop custom, scalable, innovative web solutions that deliver sustainable business value, and for that we need the flexibility and power that Django provides.

If I cut the marketing-speak, here’s what that actually means: We work with you to identify specific business challenges that can be addressed through a software solution. WordPress is far too constrained to be useful in this context — we need to customize the application to your specific and unique needs, and for that we need a flexible and comprehensive framework. The complexity of your work requires a powerful solution.

There are also specific things that Django simply does better. Does your project include any of these?

  • Interactive or dynamic content
  • Customizable API integrations
  • Strong data security measures
  • Rapid scalability
  • Custom reports & charts
  • Different views for different types of users
  • Custom validation of data
  • Mobile-friendly applications
  • Fine-grained user permissions

Basically, if you want full control of your user experience, then you’ll definitely want to pick Django.

After all, there’s a reason sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and EventBrite use Django rather than WordPress.

So what’s the next step?

If you think your project falls into the WordPress category, go for it! Head to wordpress.org to learn more.

If you think Django will better suit your needs, we’d be happy to talk it through and share some advice. Get in touch with us now.

Caktus GroupCaktus Embraces GDPR Compliance (and you can, too!)

If you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably here for one of two reasons:

A) You’re a European firm who’s interested in hiring Caktus, in which case: Yes, we’re GDPR compliant! Ask us about it here.

B) You’re trying to figure out what GDPR is and if you need to care about it. If so, read on!

GDPR, or the European General Data Protection Regulation, is a set of rules about how companies collect and use individual personal data. While the law is based in the European Union, it also applies to any companies outside the EU who do business there. That’s why US-based companies like Facebook and Google were paying attention, and why we wanted to ensure compliance as well.

It helped that we were mostly compliant to begin with.

GDPR is designed to ensure that personal data is protected and respected, which falls right in line with our Caktus values. We’re passionate about data security, and we have always maintained strong internal security protections around data that we store or process. Also, we have protections around access to personal data, don’t sell or share contact information, and have always approached our marketing and sales activities from a foundation of respect and honesty.

So what did we change?

To confirm our compliance, we reviewed and updated our internal policies regarding data collection, storage, and usage. Much of this simply involved adding more detail to our current processes. We also examined unusual edge cases and ensured we have policies in place to handle those scenarios. This resulted in a new and more detailed Privacy Policy, plus new internal documentation that explicitly states our guidelines around data collection and management.

We also made a number of small but deliberate tweaks to how we collect and use personal data. For example, instead of pre-checking the “Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?” checkbox on a contact form, we leave that blank. Therefore, by checking that box, you’re now providing “active consent” to receive our newsletter. You will not be opted-in by default, and that’s the new standard to which we’re holding ourselves. (Speaking of, if you’d like to opt-in to our newsletter, you can do so here.)

We’ve learned a lot, so let’s put that knowledge to use.

Internally, we’ll use our deepened understanding of data protection to ensure that we continue to meet and exceed the law. This will be an ongoing and evolving international conversation, and we intend to stay on the forefront of any changes.

We would also be happy to share what we’ve learned. If you’re exploring a project that will involve the collection or use of personal data, we have an intimate understanding of GDPR compliance to complement our technical expertise. Contact us to start that conversation.

Philip SemanchukThanks to PyOhio 2018!

Thanks to organizers, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees for another great PyOhio!

Here’s the slides from my talk on Python 2 to 3 migration.