Are you a WordPress skeptic? Wonder what all the fuss is about? What is the big deal with the world’s most popular content management system – fueling a third of the world wide web? I wasn’t always a WordPress fan (back in my code-from-scratch days), but I have since converted and I’m a full believer! But like all good things, WordPress is not perfect, and its important to be aware of its shortcomings…
- It’s FREE! Boom! Who doesn’t love free stuff.
- It’s as user-friendly as it gets. Seriously.
- Plugins galore. Want to add ecommerce? How about event registration? Need a way to manage job applications? There’s a plugin (or 12) for it. (See cons…)
- Search engines love WordPress. WordPress is coded in such a way that search engines are able to easily gobble up the content. Couple that with an SEO plugin like Yoast and you can make some serious magic happen in Google rankings!
- Cheap and gorgeous themes. Anymore, I use the same theme for ALL my websites. That’s right – one theme. But it’s actually a theme-builder which means I can make my clients’ websites look however I want. While I have a favorite theme I use, there are loads of fantastic themes that are gorgeous and customize-able. If you’re technically savvy and don’t want to pay for a web designer, there are most certainly DIY-friendly themes available for your cause!
- Hackers love it. Here’s the deal – WordPress puts out new version updates every few weeks. When they do, they also provide a nice little list of what they ‘fixed’ from the previous version. Sadly, this list basically tells hackers what vulnerabilities exist. So unless you update your WordPress version quickly, your site is at risk for a hacker attack. Luckily, there are hosts that have caught onto this and offer automatic version updates. (Shout out to the crew at Flywheel.) Along with WordPress updates, plugins and themes are updated often as well. Same rules apply to those. It’s important to keep all pieces of your website updated to prevent hacking.
- Updates can break stuff. Sometimes these updates don’t play nice with other updates. Your site can be working perfectly one day, and then a theme update can break a plugin. Or a WordPress update can break a theme. This is rare (especially if you use well-supported plugins and themes), but can happen. Daily backups come in handy on these days!
- No support line. Unfortunately, you can’t call 1-800-WORDPRESS when your site goes down and you don’t know why. The support for WordPress generally comes in the form of googling and forums and that developer you paid to build your site. Some hosts do a great job of supporting WordPress as well, but it’s typically not their fault if WordPress breaks.
- Plugins galore. Wait – this was a pro, right? Indeed. But it’s worth noting that ANYONE can create and publish a plugin. Which means there are hundreds of excellent ones, and THOUSANDS of crappy ones! I have my go-to plugins that I trust and that I know will be kept up-to-date. There are many plugins produced that never get updated which can break sites in the future.
So there you have it – the pros and cons of WordPress. Fortunately for you (and me!), the cons can be easily handled by good hosting, good security, and good developers.