For those people that have concerns, for one reason or another, about using the WordPress content-management-system (CMS) platform as the backbone of their website, it’s likely that you’ll perform a Google search for “WordPress Benefits and Drawbacks” or some similar query. This reflects a level of curiosity that most site owners don’t have, so it’s a good thing to do your research.
And you may come across articles written by WordPress “haters”, for lack of a better term. If an entire article is devoted to all of what’s “perceived” to be wrong with the software, and nothing right about it, we suggest you retain a healthy dose of skepticism. Some of these articles are put out there by website developers that are trying to carve out a niche for themselves (appealing to those that have an irrational fear of it). So those article authors are speaking to their audience by giving them exactly what they want to hear.
That being said, they do raise interesting discussion points, but don’t really give the full story. Here’s a list of some of the negative perceptions that we take umbrage with.
MISCONCEPTION: WordPress Is Easily Hacked
Some may suggest that open-source platforms like WordPress are designed to let “just anyone” contribute code for the greater good – giving the contributing authors the perfect opportunity to build malware and bugs right into those products with no one being the wiser, and making it more susceptible to hacking.
REALITY: Every Software Is Vulnerable
EVERY website is vulnerable, regardless of whether its uses a CMS like WordPress, Joomla, etc… or it’s hardcoded (i.e. uses straight HTML code instead of a CMS). There’s no such thing as 100% guaranteed protection. You cannot have a website on the internet and not have some degree of vulnerability. Just like you can’t drive the highest rated safety car on the road and expect that you’ll never get in an accident. If anyone guarantees you that their method of building a site is hacker-proof, we would suggest being highly skeptical.
That beings said, it IS very important to take precautions to mitigate risk, and discourage hackers (regardless of the method in which your site is built) by making it more trouble than it’s worth for bad actors to get in to your site. That’s why for every site we develop nowadays, we do the following:
- Change the default login link
- Limit the number of login attempts
- Use only STRONG passwords
- Use SSL certificates
- Encourage SiteLock daily scans
- And more…
MISCONCEPTION: WordPress Sites Break Frequently
Some may suggest that WP sites often break because the live, but static, theme becomes incompatible with the newest updates if the theme author doesn’t update it regularly. And that can cause front-end and back-end features to fail.
REALITY: Every Software Has Compatibility Issues Over Time
The same issues apply to any other website software. It also applies to sites that are hardcoded. What if the HTML code that person wrote is no longer compatible with the latest version of modern web browsers? Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.. are always updating what features are allowed vs disallowed on a website. For instance, Flash coding is now being blocked in more and more web browsers. So just because a site is hardcoded, doesn’t mean that risk will go away.
Additionally, as part of our website maintenance package, we will login quarterly to perform all pending software updates.
MISCONCEPTION: WordPress Websites Are Slower
Some may suggest that WordPress sites load slower than hardcoded sites.
REALITY: Speed Primarily Depends On Features & Other Factors Aside From the CMS
A poorly hardcoded site could be slower than WordPress. When we build a site, we make efforts to use as few plugins as possible. Even still, a plugin is just a pre-packaged set of hardcode. So there’s fractionally but barely that much difference in the end. If you need a feature, it’s either coded or its coded. You can’t get around that.
There’s other things we do when building a site to make sure it functions quickly that have nothing to do with the CMS:
- Placing all CSS in a separate stylesheet
- Compressing image size
- Keeping it simple: no crazy animation functionality that takes too long to load
MISCONCEPTION: WordPress Sites Aren’t Search Engine Optimized
Some may (falsely) suggest that WP sites won’t rank as high as a hard-coded sites with equal content.
This is complete nonsense. Yes, speed and clean code are factors, and we already addressed those issues above. But the most important thing that impacts SEO is content. All other things being equal, if your site has more content that’s relevant to whatever someone is searching for than your competitors’ sites, Google is more likely to rank your site higher. Other SEO factors include: links from other sites, proper use of heading tag heirarchy, meta titles and descriptions, and plenty more. It has nothing to do with the CMS or or lack of a CMS.
So that’s the long and short of it. If you have further questions about it, or interest in building a site, contact us today.