With the intent of full disclosure, we at worldwideRiches, do create, maintain, support and host websites using the Wordpress platform. In these unique situations, the client's needs outweigh the disadvantages of Wordpress. Having said that, if you consider your website a critical component of your business's livelihood, you should, at a minimum understand Wordpress's vulnerabilities and limitations before jumping into this type of solution.
With vast experiences creating and fixing 500+ websites over the past 20 years, I have gained a unique perspective on the website development industry. Over those 20 years, I have received many 911 calls from companies whose Wordpress websites have been hacked or simply stopped working all together. I have written this article to help companies assess the risks and make educated decisions about their future website platform.
Wordpress was originally conceived as an open source platform to allow the average "lay" person to easily blog - a blogging platform. Because of its ease of use for blogging and its open source foundation, it has since morphed into a full website development tool.
It's open source nature and the ability to extend the core's software functionality through the installation of feature rich third party plugins (such as Woo commerce and Yoast SEO) has made it extremely robust with functionality, but also left it vulnerable to low quality, bug laden plugins and security flaws.
Below is a list of key considerations to understand before selecting the Wordpress platform for your website.
The main selling point of Wordpress is the ability for site owners to update the site's content. This is true; however, what is not apparent is that there is a substantial learning curve to using the Wordpress' content management tool effectively. Additionally, since this tool is kludgy and unintuitive, you will find updating content time consuming and frustrating.
In almost all of the Wordpress installations we have completed, the client eventually asks us to make the site changes because they are too cumbersome and time consuming. Furthermore, Wordpress documentation and tutorials are incomplete and inconsistent, causing hours of frustration to the novice Wordpress user.
Wordpress plugins are external software modules that can be added to your website to extend its functionality. Some popular plugins are contact forms (ie. Contact Form 7) and social media sharing tools (ie. Share It), and most plugins are free.
Plugins are susceptible to software bugs, hacking and viruses... and it happens a lot! In the past 3 months, we have been hired by 2 companies to solve their Wordpress hack and virus issues. The first company, was hacked via a gap in an installed plugin of a contact form. The hack installed political propaganda web pages and graphics, changed the admin password, and then started spamming the uploaded content to the world. The second hack also involved a security flaw in a plugin. This hack compromised the server and started sending thousands of spam messages per hour.
Since Wordpress is built on a template concept, your design is constricted to the design limitations of the template you select. In concept, it's simple: insert your logo, add a few pictures, add content, and your website is up and running.
Yes, on the surface it sounds simple. However, designing a website that instills trust, exudes professionalism, and motivates a visitor to generate a lead or sale is more complicated... and one soon realizes the limitations of the template. Customizing/tweaking Wordpress templates soon becomes very expensive and time consuming.
Wordpress uses a CMS to build its web pages.
Wordpress is slow! The CMS running on the server requires more server resources than a traditional web page. It requires the overhead of the management system to create the web pages, manage themes, and more. Therefore, the web page takes longer to build and loads slower. Also, Wordpress adds a lot of extra, unnecessary code to each web page, increasing the physical size of the page, thus slowing its delivery time to your phone or PC. Site speed (web page load time) is one of the critical Goggle keyword ranking factors; slow site speed can negatively impact your keyword ranking.
Wordpress and Wordpress plugins are in constant need of updating to newer versions. Why? Software updates are required to fix bugs and security flaws.
Sure, the software upgrades are quite painless. However, Wordpress recommends backing up the code and underlying database prior to the upgrade. The purpose of the backup is to ensure that you can revert back to your previous working version in the event that upgrade corrupts your website. If your website's uptime is critical to your business, this task is essential. Unfortunately, it is also time consuming and costly.
There are Wordpress SEO Plugins for optimizing your website for Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Yes, there are plugins such as Yoast SEO. But, Yoast only allows a certain subset of elements to be optimized. You can not optimize your site' SEO 100% with a Wordpress plugin. Below are just several of the many items that SEO plugins can not eliminate or optimize on your website:
The other misconception, and the more important one, is that just by having an SEO tool installed on your site, it will be optimized. A tool alone does not optimize your site. You need the expertise and knowledge of how to use the tool. Implementing an SEO strategy is complex and comprehensive. It requires years of knowledge of how organic search works and the experience to create an effective SEO plan to accomplish your goals.
If you decide the WordPress platform is right for your project (or not), we have the experience and expertise to help you navigate the decision and implementation processes. We also have taken the lessons learned from fixing Wordpress websites and created a unique Wordpress Hosting platform that greatly reduces risk, issues and frustration by providing state of the art security features, automatic plugin updates (reduces hacking vulnerabilities), backup and restore tools, access to Wordpress experts, US based Wordpress and web hosting support and more.