March 5, 2019 announcement
If you have ever chosen WordPress to create your site, you would know how different types of plugins can make your site feature-rich. However, this also means having numerous plugins for as many functionalities you want on your site. And then you need to install, implement, and update them; not forgetting how futile their subscriptions can be if the plugin developer cannot resolve an error. If these concerns have bothered you and yet, you haven’t opted for its more reliable alternative – SaaS (Software as a Service), we recommend reading further to know some very good reasons to make the switch.
Many developers have already moved over WordPress plugins and opted for SaaS. SaaS is not only a great substitute to WordPress plugins, but is also the future of WordPress-supported websites and blogs and even E-Commerce sites – perhaps, this is the reason why developers even vouch for it. Can’t see reasoning behind their opinion?
Let us explain their perspective:
Firstly, what is SaaS?
SaaS is a cloud-based model that is designed to provide applications as a service and you source these through the cloud itself. This means you can expand your website, enhance it with functionalities, and even customize it with add-ons without downloading, buying or maintaining a regular WordPress plugin.
You can simply use the service on the Internet, accessing it through your browser. What’s more? SaaS applications for WordPress are relatively new and hence, are either available for free or cost a nominal monthly subscription fee.
Why SaaS, not a WordPress plugin?
Comparison: SaaS and WordPress Plugins for Users
1. Simplifies site management: As compared to code-based plugins, SaaS is based on a different architecture. As for plugin-like functionalities, SaaS is equally good and in some ways, goes further in making site or e-store management simpler.
2. One dashboard for all tasks: You can customize your site any time, make changes to enhance user experience, monitor the visits or purchases, gain valuable insights, handle queries and complaints, and do much more through one simple dashboard. Of course, the design of the dashboard also matters, but most SaaS models are created to simplify your tasks and some are even objective-driven, so ease of use remains at the core of any SaaS model.
To give you an example, we at WPdrift created a unique WPdrift dashboard to enable EDD stores or blogs based on our favourite WordPress. The dashboard is a single interface with bifurcated layouts for a blog and a store, so you can simultaneously monitor both. You can view data on blog visitors, posts and comments on the blog layout and read insightful and actionable data in real time on the store layout. All this by simply altering between the two layouts.
3. Helps formulate data-based marketing strategies: From a marketer’s perspective, such an analytics-powered dashboard built on the SaaS model can prove to be a blessing for him as he can make his strategic decisions for product, pricing and promotions in time to beat the competitor. A single plugin, on the other hand, cannot be capable of providing data-driven insights and reports for e-commerce stores. And it can definitely not give detailed information that is needed to create go-to market strategies.
4. More reliable than plugins: If you rely on a plugin for registering and managing subscribers or fulfilling purchase transactions or any other important functionality, you cannot control its seamless functioning. If the plugin crashes, you are bound to lose crucial information or deal with some damage somewhere. And you may not even be able to retrieve the lost data, no matter how soon the plugin update is released.
SaaS is run with live support, which can track an error and provide help instantly. In that sense, it is more reliable especially, when you handle the website or store on your own.
Comparison: SaaS and WordPress Plugins for Developers
1. Equally compatible: A plugin is created keeping in mind specific platforms, this makes the integration easy for developers. For SaaS to offer similar functionalities as a plugin, it needs a connector plugin. The connector plugin enables SaaS to offer the features of the standalone plugin and also bring its native features, designed to offer ease of use.
Unlike a plugin, a SaaS architecture is not only compatible, but also proves flexible for use with different platforms. In that sense, SaaS provides the freedom to use platforms, which a plugin cannot do. Even migration of data, when using SaaS for a WordPress blog or site, is relatively less time-consuming and less expensive.
2. Versatility of use: Developers who swear by SaaS often benefit more because of its web browser-based accessibility and also because it doesn’t get affected by coding issues or bugs. Moreover, since SaaS isn’t limited to one platform like a plugin, the developer enjoys versatility of use.
This also means that the developer can implement a SaaS-powered store or blog or website for almost any industry. In fact, SaaS is already being used for finance, HR, accounting, customer support and a few more industries.
3. Larger scalability than plugins: Scaling isn’t a problem with SaaS-led websites and stores, so a developer can pitch his service to companies of all sizes.
Also, the simplified interfaces of SaaS models allow the developer to create e-commerce stores and WordPress-supported websites and provide the backend support for his clients without much-ado. Since SaaS models are Cloud-based, the entire program is run from a server and therefore, glitches or crashes don’t occur. Therefore, a developer also doesn’t waste time behind the maintenance of the store or website due to technical issues.
4. Richer UX: In comparison to platform-specific plugins, SaaS programs are most often objective-driven. For example, there are SaaS programs for EDD Stores, for content scheduling and publishing, for monitoring transactions, and many other requirements. The more specific an objective for a SaaS program, the better its interface and richer its user experience.
Also, SaaS being a relatively new product, SaaS programming companies are still competing with plugins, which developers are used to trying out and uninstalling if they don’t fulfil their purpose. SaaS programs, on the other hand are designed and improved upon constantly to ensure a fulfilling user experience and even better UX than plugins. Not that these may not experience a frequent churn, but SaaS programs constantly take customer feedback to provide an improved interface and in turn, user experience. This not only helps reduce churns, but also ensures a better impression and confidence among developers.
5. Designed for convenience: You install a plugin on your client’s site but because of coding errors, the functionality has to be put on hold until the plugin developer figures out a solution to the problem and releases an update or until you find a similar plugin. Either way, you would be stuck without providing a timely solution to your client.
As mentioned earlier, SaaS programs are continuously improved upon basis customer feedback, so that developers like you don’t have to go through the above. Also, plugin scripts often affect the page loading speed. In fact, if a plugin provides complex functionalities, it will most certainly cause a delay in loading your pages. SaaS programs allow the page to load first and then load the scripts. This especially proves beneficial when you want to ensure better site performance for heavy sites.
To summarize, SaaS-based programs prove reliable and easy to use for both, the developer and the end user (could even be a marketer, who has access to WPdrift’s dashboard or any feature-rich dashboard that suits his requirement). Its various aforementioned advantages make it more useful and popular than a WordPress plugin. Given its reliability and scalability, SaaS is also gaining the confidence of developers now more than ever.
If you have any queries about our product or SaaS in general or have a contradicting opinion, do write to us in the comment section below.