Software as a Service (SAAS) project management solutions have grown in popularity for the past decade. Unlike the rest of the project management industry, WordPress seems to be standing strong in the face of SAAS growth.
When setting up a project management portal on a WordPress website, you have several options at your disposal. You have the WordPress plug in options, SAAS and a host of PHP scripts that you can be extremely cheaply. Making the decision as to which will be the best for the website can be a daunting task.
After some consideration, most people boil down their options to either a WordPress project management plug in or a SAAS service. Therefore, we will compare the two to see which benefits plug ins have over SAAS
Owning and having control over your own data
Being able to preset your content the way you want is an invaluable tool. There are more than 55,000 plug ins you can use to present your data. Unlike SAAS where you would have to await software updates from the software creators, you can make updates to your content yourself. You can choose which updates you want and which to reject. The automatic software upgrade of an SAAS offers the user less control.
In addition to choosing what and when to upgrade using a WordPress login, you can also choose the upgraded features that your customers can access. Depending on the traffic of your website, there are certain features that you may want to segment among visitors of your site. On the contrary, with a SAAS you choose to accept all their services or use another project management solution. You choose to use a SAAS solution for convenience not for control.
WordPress plug ins are more customizable than SAAS
When it pertains to customization, SAAS solutions come nowhere close to WordPress plug ins. The flexibility all WordPress plug ins offer is astounding. You can customize the content to your heart’s desire. You can choose from thousands of themes for your WordPress client dashboard and also constantly change it to keep pace with the rapid pace of online media. Moreover, you are able to customize your WordPress client portal without locking yourself out of the normal upgrade route.
WordPress plug ins all serve a purpose and you will have to decide which plug in best serves your purposes. The plug ins can be completely installed in a matter of minutes and used immediately.
On the other hand, SAAS project management services offer minimal opportunity for customization. Once you choose a SAAS solution, you may to build your own customized plug in. everything is open sourced and all the available tools are ready for use. SAAS is much more centralized as opposed to WordPress where control is given to the end user.
Being able to build off of the project management system to fit your workflow
As stated in the paragraph above, WordPress plug ins allow the end user a lot more control. One of the ways to exercise that control is to use the project management solution to suit your particular workflow.
Each user’s project will have different workflow processes that will require solutions that can adapt themselves to the workflow. The ability to use WordPress and customize it to your particular workflow is a big advantage WordPress plug ins have over SAAS solutions.
SAAS solutions already have predetermined workflow processes programmed into the software. Customizing the system to fit your workflow can only be done at great cost or if you are also a very skillful programmer. If the workflow is crucial to your project, you would be better off using a WordPress plug in than acquiring an SAAS service.
WordPress plug ins are more affordable
One of the most significant reasons that WordPress has been able to withstand the SAAS onslaught is because of its affordability. WordPress has a superior advantage pertaining to costs.
You will easily find WordPress plug ins going for $99.00 per year for unlimited services including unlimited users, unlimited moderators and unlimited page views. In fact, the most expensive WordPress plug in service you will find is $199.00 per year. The difference you get in the WordPress plug in service depends on several features such as the type of support you are eligible for.
On the other hand, SAAS services can be as expensive as $700 a month. You will find other SAAS services that are more reasonably priced but the average cost of SAAS is about $49.00 a month. Therefore if price is an issue, you are best suited to go for a WordPress plug in after considering all other factors.
Simply stated, as contrasted to almost every SAAS service, most WordPress project management plug-ins are a steal!
SAAS services have limited functionality when compared to WordPress plug-ins. Functionality includes how you can integrate other business solutions that you’re currently using on your website to accomplish a goal or perform a function.
WordPress plug-ins can have over 60 add ons which are tools you can use for a whole host of purposes. You can utilize tools such as invoices, order forms and communication tools on WordPress to increase workflow and productivity. They can also aid the management and completion of your project.
SAAS services are not as functional. You cannot add any tools when you acquire SAAS services. Many SAAS services have not even though about creating an ‘add-on’ feature and those that have created it have implemented it rather poorly.
When using WordPress for your business back office system, your clients will log into a single, branded website. Consider if you have a separate SAAS for invoicing, communication, project management and document management. Your clients will have to login and remember multiple different websites, each with different branding.
With WordPress all of these systems will look consistent all through a single, integrated login.
Ease of Set up
It is a lot easier to set up a WordPress plug in on a WordPress site than it is to set up an SAAS service. SAAS services are hosted services which lacks the features to seamlessly integrate to the rest of your WordPress infrastructure.
Unless you create a single sign-on plug-in when using hosted SAAS services, your users will have to create two separate accounts.
Setting up a WordPress plug in takes a bit more steps than an SAAS service but the process is less cumbersome. Many people spend a lot of time setting up on WordPress perusing and choosing between the hundreds of themes. Since you cannot do this when using a SAAS service, it can be faster to set up.
Permissions and Security
SAAS services tend to have basic security but very few of them can handle multiple complex permission processes. Therefore, WordPress plug-ins are better than their SAAS counterparts when it comes to security.
A WordPress plug in can have all its security built on top of the WordPress security model. Sometimes, it can be built on the security system and expand it as well. Regardless of the approach used, you will end up with a security system that is safer and more flexible than one you will find in a SAAS system.
SAAS services are relatively novel and still have time to develop whereas WordPress security systems have been around for a while and have been tested time and time again with excellent results and equal reputation.
Ability to Sell Projects
WordPress as a project management tool has a big advantage over SAAS services when it comes to the ability to sell projects through WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, or Gravity Forms. The reason for this is the ease of data sharing that WordPress plug ins provide.
When using a site that utilizes SAAS services, you can sometimes be unable to track your data on the site. This is a big disadvantage especially if you work with sensitive information. You’re trusting the company to keep your private data secure and to not sell it to third parties.
Moreover, when using a SAAS service, all data sharing promises and legal agreements become null and void in the case of transferring ownership or bankruptcy proceedings. Therefore, in case the owner of an SAAS service is honorable you cannot guarantee that it will remain so in the event of ownership transfer.
Data Ownership / Lock-in / Backups
Owning your data is a big benefit of using a WordPress plug in. simply stated, you own the data on your site and it never leaves the site – period! You not only own the original data but you also own the back up. You can trace and retrieve whatever data you require as long as it safely backed up.
On the contrary, SAAS services can in some cases be unable to store backed up data. The SAAS service exports your data to their servers but this data is not backed up and in case of an attack by malevolent parties or your data gets destroyed, you cannot retrieve it at all.
Another advantage of using WordPress plug-ins when it comes to data ownership and storage is that you can decide the frequency with which you back up your data. You can schedule hourly, daily or weekly backups. Some WordPress plug-ins have the ability to take a snapshot of the database every five minutes. Moreover, once you have backed up the data, you can fully restore it to your site as opposed to a SAAS service where this is impossible.
The last advantage of using a WordPress plug in regarding data ownership and storage is that you can have multiple layers of backups. You can back up your data with your host while using a snapshot plug in and also back up your data in a tertiary offsite location using a service like Updraft Plus. When using a SAAS service, you have a single scheduled backup and you have to be content with that.
Combining Project Management Solutions
When doing a project on WordPress, you want to have the best solutions to the hardest challenges you face. Unlike SAAS service, a WordPress plug in can add more creators and contributors to your site so that you can come up with the most creative solutions possible.
WordPress plug ins make it easier to add contributors to your site and you can also specify the level of access they have in the site. You can receive the boost of creativity you need without the contributors having too much freedom on your site.
Since many designers and writers will already be familiar with WordPress and its plug ins, you spare yourself the time and effort it would take to train others on your content management systems.
There are also many developers who use and understand WordPress so if you want to alter your site in a certain manner, it is easy to find a developer to create a WordPress plug in for you.