Both Sharepoint and WordPress are excellent platforms to use for an intranet. They have different benefits, and of course, downsides so if you’re in the process of making a decision on which system to use, here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons to each one.
Let’s start with the benefits of using Sharepoint.
- If you already have an account with Microsoft then a user will use the same login information to also access this.
- This links directly into Office 365 so files opened in Sharepoint can seamlessly be edited through the correct Office 365 product.
- Tying in with point 2, users can use real-time document collaboration too, so multiple users can all edit the same file.
- There are two versions of Sharepoint, Online and Hosted. The Online version is held in the cloud and the Hosted version is self-hosted by your company.
- The self-hosted version is highly customisable to suit the needs of your company and your users.
- Using this to also house all of your internal files means just one central place for all of your files.
- It has an extendable integrations system, so links with a number of major software companies if needed.
- An IT department, in theory, could build and maintain an Intranet built on Sharepoint.
- Security should be excellent as long as passwords are complex.
Some of the disadvantages of Sharepoint are:
- Due to the complexity of the system and the number of out of the box features, the learning curve can be a pretty steep one when getting to grips with Sharepoint.
- The process to design and build can be long (and also expensive!). Most intranet builds can have a turnaround time of around 1 year.
- Sharepoint isn’t actually supported by Microsoft; the business model is such that they sell the software but push users to deal with 3rd party consultants or companies for them to support/build these on Sharepoint’s behalf.
- The search system can be complex; to get the best out of the search system, this requires an understanding of syntax search. The search feature can be customised though.
- Sharepoint as a whole appears to be slow to adapt and release new features compared to smaller more agile softwares.
- Online Sharepoint auto-updates, so if your version of Sharepoint has been customised this will need to be checked for bugs or issues after each update.
- Hosted Sharepoint doesn’t update at all once set up, meaning a self-hosted system after a year or two has the potential to be hugely out of date.
- If the hosted version is chosen, a specialised hosting platform will be required, which starts at around £2.5k per year.
- You may need to budget for your IT department to run and maintain this rather than their main roles within the business unless a consultant was brought in to manage this.
On the flip side, the benefits of using WordPress are:
- The system can be designed to work exactly how you want it to work – there’s no framework that this must fit to.
- Features such as the Search can be customised to work exactly how you wish.
- Design and build will be similar in length and cost to a normal website build and is much faster than the Sharepoint process.
- An intranet built in WordPress can be fully maintained by a web development agency as it’s built in the same code, rather than requiring a specialist developer for Sharepoint.
- Features or updates can be applied easily because WordPress has been built with the developer in mind. Integrations are simpler than Sharepoint to add in.
- Hosting price-wise, this would be similar to the hosting of a regular website so a much lower cost than Sharepoint’s specialised hosting platform.
But there are, of course, downsides to a WordPress version as well:
- Depending on if you want users to log in to this intranet, they will need their own account, which can’t be linked with their Microsoft / Office 365 account.
- This won’t allow for collaboration of files like Sharepoint will. This will purely allow a user to access a file and read it.
- Security will still be excellent but in comparison to a closed-off system used by Microsoft, this can be viewed as a downside.
If you’re in the process of deciding which platform would work best for your business, we can discuss your full requirements with you and help you to make that decision.