Here's something most agencies will not tell you: they can experience feature anxiety when recommending a technological solution for your business.
A common process is for freelancers or agencies to send out proposals of delivery of a particular project for any client where they outline their approach, justify it and estimate it and this process can sometimes have unspoken anxieties including how you price yourself, but one major one we want to cover today is feature anxiety.
What is 'feature anxiety'?
We're using this term to refer to that feeling where an engineer or agency doesn't really want you to ask for certain features, or rather, they can't efficiently implement them using the chosen technology.
For example, you're putting together a proposal for a marketing site for a new company selling cookies, maybe your tech stack of choice is Sanity.io, a perfectly usable and a huge time-saver for getting a CMS up for your project so you can focus on the design and frontend. However, at the back of your mind sits the question of "I hope they don't ask for ecommerce" or user logins or a larger mix of unsupported features of Sanity.
But good devs don't get feature anxiety!
Ok look, it's not about lacking the ability to do it, it's about the feasibility and efficiency of delivering extra features.
Can we deliver an amazing UI and editorial experience in Wordpress? Yes but we wouldn't, we'd choose a different CMS (psst. Payload); the same way we wouldn't dig a tunnel with a teaspoon.
It's about choosing the right tool for the job and at the time of your initial ambitions you may have done exactly that, but if you need to build on top of it then some platforms can make it really hard.
What's the solution?
We wouldn't shout about it from the rooftops if we didn't believe in it and if we didn't go through the very same journey over many many years in this field. You gladly choose the best tool at the time but you secretly hope the clients don't ask for a certain extra feature you know you would need to engineer around in that tech stack.
And for us, Payload simply hasn't had that issue. If you want to learn a bit more then we'll expand on why and how it affects our work.
Why does the chosen solution matter so much ...
Some platforms give you a lot of free wins early on and then make the unique parts either difficult to achieve or paywall them entirely. So yes, the tech stack you choose matters a lot, you want one that's flexible but also well maintained and has a strong ecosystem for help, for hirings and addons and plugins and many more. That balance is difficult to achieve especially in our space as things move so fast, what's new can be old by next year or some competitor is eating its lunch.
Strapi is a prime example of a passion project that is now one of the most popular CMSes out there and still it lacks certain key features such as the ability to customise the admin panel exactly to your needs.
Sanity.io doesn't give you an actual backend, so while the magic content lake is fantastic to use, there are things you cannot do for yourself and you need a separate back end system that lives adjacent.
Every bit of tech has its own trade offs and that part is where you can be overwhelmed with inefficiency if you're trying to put a shoe on a horse so to speak.
... and why Payload?
From our experience it simply handles all of these major areas really really well. It's fully open source and the design philosophies behind the way it's structured means that you really can take a marketing site to a journey of becoming a large ecommerce site with users, reviews and a whole support system without requiring a rebuild or a change of tech platforms.
It also doesn't get in your way at all, there's no black box involved, just good Typescript code and you still have all the other aspects we've mentioned: a strong community, plugins, tutorials and even more importantly growth.
We have delivered ecommerce websites with relative ease in Payload and same for third party integrations all while being able to customise the admin panel too as it's just React; hey, we've released a dashboard analytics plugin that pulls in your analytics data into graphs per article to prove just how flexible Payload really is.
This CMS is already outstanding and it will still surprise you.