WordPress is the most widely used web platform in the world. It has 10,000 + prebuilt templates to use and has virtually unlimited plug-ins that will fulfill any developers need. Some of the more sophisticated and feature rich websites built today are on WordPress. Once the site is developed and published, it can be updated by non-programmers. WordPress also can be very search engine friendly and can have features added that make it easier to optimize for organic search.
However, WordPress has some drawbacks that need to be considered and weighed against the needs of your business. Specifically:
- WordPress can be a bit more complex to set up than what the average user can handle. With features, comes complexity. So in most cases, even with pre-designed templates, an experienced WP programmer may be required.
- WordPress can be slow loading; this is especially true of some of the predesigned templates that are available. Slow loading websites are at a distinct disadvantage in search results. One of the tasks of a web developer is to streamline the template, optimize the code to minimize download times. Caching plug-ins can dramatically speed up download time, but can make editing a bit of a headache for the novice.
- Because of its popularity, WordPress is probably the most “hacked” platform in the world. Special security features need to be considered as well as having your site constantly monitored. It is critical that WordPress be kept up to date with the latest revision, sometimes updates can cause some of the programmed functionality to falter, so the site needs to be checked every time it is updated.
All of the above drawbacks can be managed, but this usually requires on-going maintenance by someone who is knowledgeable in WordPress and has some programming expertise. It is also a good idea to use hosting companies that specialize in WordPress. A properly maintained WordPress site will cost more, but if WordPress is the right platform, the cost is more than worth it.
But WordPress is not right for every application. If you are not planning on updating or adding content to your site on an ongoing basis, and your site has minimum functionality, it might be better to stick with an html site. An html site will usually load much faster, is not usually hacked and can be hosted anywhere for minimal costs. There are lots of low cost programmers around that can make changes if you need to amend content.
If you plan on updating and adding content frequently then WordPress is definitely a good choice for you. When developing a WordPress site, we recommend the following:
- Use one of the recommended security plug-ins, change the admin url to something other than wp-admin. Passwords should be at least 8 characters and use numbers, caps and symbols.
- Check the site using Google’s page speed checker (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/) to score you site. We always try to score an 80 or above for both the mobile and desktop.
- Create a child theme from your parent theme; this will come in handy when you start updating WordPress.
- Periodically check your site for malware and viruses, there are a number of good tools available.
- Use a hosting company that specializes in WordPress, these hosting companies may offer monitoring tools and virus protection.
WordPress isn’t always the best choice, but in our opinion, it is the most feature rich and versatile website building tool available.