With around 28% of the world's websites running on WordPress, this article may seem to be sharing an unpopular opinion, however, as a web design and development agency that always aims to provide the best consultancy, advice and recommendations, we find ourselves time and time again, helping business owners that have had poor experiences with WordPress move away to something far more optimised, sustainable and controllable for their brand.
In summary, we really don’t like WordPress and below we’ll tell you why!
Disclaimer: WordPress has its place, but we rarely see a WordPress website that hasn't aged horribly compared to other options! Barr Media just wants to educate and show you what other options there are so you can make an informed choice before going with a particular platform or agency.
Anyway, let’s get into it!
When WordPress was created in 2003, it was just a simple blogging platform that made it easier for DIY website builders to publish dynamic content. However, over the years, it’s grown into much more. We’ve seen it used as a simple site management system, an e-commerce platform, a sales management system, a lead aggregator and even complex web apps with users, APIs, big data and more. Whatever you’re thinking - it’s probably had an attempt in WordPress to create it.
The problem here is that when you try to do everything, you more often than not end up not being particularly great at any of it and this is certainly the case for WordPress. The vast array of plugins, themes and solutions for the platform, create flexibility true enough, but often at the cost of user experience, website security and performance as well as maintenance and cost to you as a business owner.
Rather than focusing on continuing to build on the fantastic blogging platform, it started out as they've tried to be the platform that can do it all. An amazing goal and vision that has unfortunately led to many shortcomings.
Being the most used content management system (CMS) with a previously mentioned almost 28% website share, WordPress regularly becomes the target of both hackers and spammers attempting to knock your website offline or access it’s backend data for a variety of reasons.
If your site is a larger web platform with for example users, email lists or data, e-commerce and payment gateways security is of vital importance as any vulnerability can bring negative impacts with the law and of course, your credibility and customer trust.
Considering the security issues, developing a WordPress website for certain purposes could present a larger risk than other solutions.
WordPress remains a slow platform compared to other lighter-weight solutions. Your page load speed is affected and made slower by various factors incorporated within WordPress, for example, heavy plugins, too many plugins installed, crowded backend databases, un-optimised themes and more. WordPress is a huge platform with immense ability to be flexible, however, this flexibility often comes at the cost of performance unless thought about and minimised as much as possible - a problem that doesn’t often exist when building with other solutions.
Furthering on from the points above, having the page load as quickly as possible is a crucial factor for both user experience and SEO ranking. Modern users hate slow websites and don’t wait more than 2 seconds for the page load. Meanwhile, Google and other search engines rank websites accordingly to their speed.
So with that in mind, WordPress might not be the best option for you especially if you’re looking at creating something more complex.
Plugins are pieces of software that can be added to your WordPress website into order to extend its functionality. With such a huge selection of plugins, you could definitely argue that the eco-system is a definite strength for WordPress, however, it has also created a lot of traps with security, possible website breakages and more.
In terms of security, WordPress plugins are completely third party coded. This means that you are held to the coding standards, good or bad, of that particular plugin developer. If security wasn’t at the front of their mind, then there is a good possibility that there could have vulnerabilities within it. This argument is fully backed up by a report done by ‘wpscan.org’ who found that 52% of all known WordPress security vulnerabilities come from plugins. You could vet every new one installed to ensure it is completely safe for your website however, this negates the argued time-saving benefits that plugins are supposed to provide.
Additionally, plugins can slow your website's performance. This is especially the case if you have too many installed. Any good developer that you hire as a business owner should be trying to create the fastest loading platform as possible for the brief but working around the WordPress plugin eco-system can make this much harder. Additionally, there’s even the possibility of crashing your website if two installed plugins conflict with each other.
Consider what plugins you may need or ask a developer. If your website might rely on a lot of these, there may be better solutions out there.
So what's the alternative?
As previously, WordPress does have its place, however it’s definitely not suitable for all projects and before it's used should be carefully considered and compared against other solutions.
From working with you, we can find the right option that aligns with your business goals to create a website that works well and looks good doing so, so you can spend more time doing the things you love.
We are able to offer our own solutions as well as a range of alternatives that we can build with so your brand has the means to grow.
Got a website idea and are looking for a high-performance site? Get in touch with us and see how we can help, we work with budgets of all sizes and are more than happy to have a no-obligation chat.
We want to help you build a website you love, whether that’s hiring us or just pointing you in the right direction to that perfect solution. We want to help brands become their very best.