Is XPRS a worthy WordPress alternative?

Is new website builder XPRS something designers should be looking at? Daniel Katz investigates.

WordPress has been around for a long time and has been through many iterations, becoming better with each new version. But it still has its problems. Open source programs are a great concept but there are many compromises on what should be considered as essential features and on security issues.

Specific complaints include the endless updates and constantly changing interface and the fact that it is incomplete. We need plugins for everything from SEO to e-commerce because WordPress does not include commonly needed features in the core program.

Incompatible plugins are a major source of the problems that arise with WordPress sites. We need a better WordPress, one that fixes the issues that every WordPress user has. XPRS from IM Creator is the most recent candidate in the search for a better WordPress.

Issues for Designers

Code

WordPress is not easy to work with unless you have a lot of coding knowledge. Designers get their kicks from design, not code, yet coding is the only tool available to compose a design in WordPress. In XPRS you can change, edit and customize everything, without handling any code.

WordPress is an open-source project and anyone with the knowledge to so do can edit the code without any restrictions. XPRS code is proprietary, meaning that you are unable to edit the code, however you can add HTML code to the body or header of your website.

In the perfect CMS you would not need you to handle code at all as in XPRS, but might want to be able to access it as you can in WordPress.

Hosting

With a WordPress site you have total control of your hosting. You can pay extra and get faster hosting, install your own software, have full access to server statistics and use a CDN and more.

With a XPRS server you have no hosting options. You cannot export the site to your own web hosting service. There is no facility for a dedicated server, VPS or your own dedicated IP address.

XPRS sites are hosted on Google’s and Amazon’s cloud servers, which should give you the flexibility of cloud hosting, but if you prefer total control of your data this lack of choice will be a concern.

The perfect website builder would give the user full control over hosting, as WordPress does. This is a very important area where WordPress sites have a big advantage.

Site Speed

WordPress sites are slow. This is because of all the calls to the site databases that the WordPress software uses and is an unavoidable consequence of using it. Every plugin also slows down your website.

You need to run a site through GTMetrix.com before and after activating any plugin to see exactly how much your site has been slowed down. A better WordPress would load faster.

Cost

WordPress is free though! No. The basic platform, unsupported themes and plugins are free. If you want a good theme that is fast-loading with decent support, documentation and features you will often pay $200 a year. Yes, you can find deals that give you access to a large number of themes for $400, but the perception that WordPress is free is an illusion.

Your choice of hosting services is an additional cost with any WordPress site. A better WordPress would be free and would work out of the box without having to pay for any extras.

XPRS is free and comes with many professional templates. If you want to connect your own domain, it will cost just $7.95 per month. A white label solution that will give you unlimited licenses costs $250 a year, giving you the option to open your own design business.

Themes

Even with premium themes you still need to open your wallet to buy the premium plugins you need to build the website your client wants.

A better WordPress would have great-looking themes available for free. These themes would not need plugins to make them fully functional.

There are many more WordPress themes available than there are XPRS themes, XPRS themes look great and are very easy to change without any coding knowledge. Some WordPress themes do include editing tools, but many do not.

XPRS themes look great and are easy to change without any coding knowledge

Plugins

Plugins are essential with any WordPress site because the basic software lacks essentials such as contact forms and e-commerce. XPRS has plenty of options and does not use third-party plugins.

This is limiting in some ways in that the user is limited to the original designers’ vision rather than that of the whole user community as in the case of WordPress.

Updates

When you build a WordPress site you know there are going to be weekly security updates to the WordPress platform itself, to themes and to plugins. All of these mean backing up a site before you install the update, just in case the update totally destroys your website.

A better WordPress would not require constant security updates. Website builders such as XPRS are more secure and do not need to be constantly updated.

Changing Templates

When you change themes in WordPress you often have to make manual tweaks to your content. In XPRS there’s no need to change templates. Since all templates are made out of Polydoms blocks of content, you can add any piece of content you like from any other template.

Responsive

There are responsive WordPress themes, but the best of them cost money. If you blow up a screen on a laptop or desktop monitor strange things start to happen with a WordPress site; text overflows its assigned area, layout items overflow and basically it no longer looks as you intended.

A better WordPress would be truly responsive and would look good no matter what screen magnification or device was used.

XPRS sites have the advantage in this respect and maintain their formatting no matter the level of zoom you use and on any device.

Support

When you need support on WordPress issues you are limited to forum and FAQ support. It's always there and it is free, but there are no additional options. A better WordPress would have proper support from experts in the software. You would be able to talk through issues with a real person.

XPRS has a support chat facility and an email address for when agents are not available.

Conclusion

WordPress is far from perfect and it really is time its position as the best website design software was challenged. XPRS from IM Creator looks like something that designers should be looking at. The power to create the site your creativity is striving for without stunting your ideas with the need to code them will appeal to every creative mind.

What would you require from a website design program to class it as better than WordPress? Please share your thinking using the comment facility below.

Words: Daniel Katz

Daniel Katz is a freelance writer who happens to be an internet marketing, web development and web design aficionado. When he's not writing he probably researches the latest trends in the web design and development scene to keep up to date for his various projects.

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