We have all been to those seed banks that look alike. We’ve also been to the seed banks that are really unique. As a seed bank owner, you want the best. You may think the only way to get that custom look and feel is by paying for a custom built website. You don’t! Thinking you need a custom built seed bank website is a common misconception that many seed bank owners believe and we are going to set the record straight so you don’t have to make the same mistake that so many others already have… Lets face it, most seed bank owners are not web developers or web designers and their only knowledge of these subjects comes from what they have either heard or read. Years back, the only real option for a great website was to go custom. Nowadays this is an antiquated thought and is no longer the case. In fact, you are better off using an open source platform than going custom.
As a seed bank owner, you may not be aware of the full potential that open source platforms offer. Did you know that using an open source platform like Magento or WordPress can yield the same designs and functions of a custom built website? If you didn’t know this then you are either misinformed or you’re just plain unaware. Anything that a custom platform can offer can also be done with an open source platform.
Seed Bank Platform Costs
The biggest problems that you will face with a custom built website is cost. Most of the time the creator of your custom platform will be the only one that can easily make changes for you. There are tens of thousands of support options available for open source platforms and many developers, freelancers and agencies that specialize in their development. With a custom built website, your options are quite limited to who you can hire. You will probably be getting all of your support from that one person and everything will evolve around their schedule. With an open source website, your support options are endless. To go open source, you can still have a developer build on that platform and customize it.
Seed Bank Security
Security is another big issue with custom built websites. You may have heard how unsafe platforms like WooCommerce can be and this is why you are wanting to switch to a custom built seed bank. WordPress and other platforms can be unsafe when you don’t have proper security set up and fail to keep things updated. But with the right security integrations and safety measures, you open source website will be safer than any custom built seed bank. That is a fact. Using a custom built seed bank platform is not the safest way to protect yourself and your customers unless you are going to forkout millions each year.
Seed Bank Website & Server Stability
Stability is also a huge issue when dealing with custom built websites. Your custom built seed bank may have been built with the best of intentions, but it can never stand up to the open source platforms and I will tell you why:
- Open source solutions like WordPress, Magento and PrestaShop are massive projects that are community built and driven.
- They have years of testing and improvements built into them.
- They are 100% transparent and any issue or feature is checked by an enormous community of people across the globe.
- Their code is publicly available to everyone to see, so you don’t have to worry about what your e-commerce business is running on.
- Open source platforms are scalable to any size and can be used for almost any type of website.
- There are communities built on these open source platforms with hundreds of thousands of contributors, developers and testers monitoring and updating them around the clock.
Open Source Seed Bank Platforms
Unless you are eBay or Amazon, you don’t have the money to pay a development team capable of matching even a single percent of what these open source platforms have behind them.
Imagine if WordPress or PrestaShop only had between 1-5 people working on their platforms during regular business hours. They wouldn’t be what they are today. The fact is that a custom built seed bank can never offer the security or stability of an open source platform. It is a fact. We see more and more seed banks and bigger e-commerce businesses moving to open source platforms from custom built ones all the time.
Is Open Source Enough For My Seed Bank?
Did you know High Times Magazine is built on WordPress?
Leafly is built on WooCommerce and WordPress as well. Leafly used to be built on WordPress, but recently switched to another open source option/ High Times is a global company and their website serves millions of users everyday (which is more than any seed bank in existence). There are more huge corporations and companies running successfully on open source platforms than custom built ones.
Seed bank owners (like many business owners) are gullible when it comes to things they don’t fully understand and they are forced to depend on others to make and consider choices. Trust is hard to get in the world today and many seed bank owners are easily mislead by shiny things. The best choice you can make as a seed bank owner is to never go the custom route. You can still have a custom built theme or custom built plugins made for your open source platform if you are having a hard time finding something you like. If you are getting the runaround from your tech saying “this can’t be done on Magento or WordPress”, then you need to get a better tech.
Custom built websites for medium and large e-commerce businesses are more than 500 times more likely to fail in their stability and security departments when compared to an e-commerce website built on an open source platform. If you truly care about your customers safety and your seed bank, go with one of the many battle-tested e-commerce platforms that are readily available for free.
Anyone pushing you to go the custom route is not only trying to rip you off, but they don’t really care about you or you business. That’s a little harsh… Let me backup. If someone is pushing you to go the custom route, they either don’t know what they are doing or they are trying to get you stuck with them for a long time. There is no reason to go custom these days. Even a solid team of professionals cannot make up for the tens of thousands of people working on the open source options available. Unless you have millions to spend on website development alone each year, then you have no business looking into a custom built website.
This article was originally written by Chronic Built and was then rewritten for seed banks specifically by our Mark Stump.