Why WordPress is Wrong for your Business
Imagine if every time you wanted to update your website you had to edit a file, mess around with HTML and PHP code, upload the file to your server and then open it in a browser to see what it looked like.
When I built my first website way back when, that’s exactly what I had to do. I went to my company’s website and viewed the source code (the code of every website is publicly available – just press Ctrl+U or Option+Command+U or Command+U on a Mac). I would copy chunks of the website code, save it to a file, change the code around and see what happened when I ran it in the latest Netscape browser.
I was armed with nothing more than curiosity, a desire to learn and the code of the existing websites I saw online. I suspect this is how many an early website got their start and it’s definitely a fun if not very efficient way to learn.
Back then there was less competition than today, especially in the design of a website, but also in the areas of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), site content and versatility.
Fast forward to today, when setting up a professional-looking website – although by no means a trivial task – can be done in a matter of minutes once you know what you’re doing. With platforms like WordPress and Joomla requiring no coding knowledge whatsoever, there’s no excuse for any small business owner not to have a web presence.
Well, almost none:
WordPress is at the forefront of these easy to use platforms. Running about 25% of the WorldWideWeb and with over 80 million websites, it’s the number one choice for small business owners who need very little technical expertise to have an online business presence.
But is this a good thing? Read on for why WordPress is not necessarily the best choice for your small business.
Why WordPress May Not Be Right For Your Small Business
1. It’s Easy. Really Easy.
The sheer popularity of WordPress speaks for itself. No piece of software gets to run 80+ million websites, or 25% of the WorldWideWeb, by being difficult to use. Sure, nowadays there are many easy-to-use website frameworks, but WordPress is the original and was always designed with good usability in mind.
1.2 WordPress is Easy to Host
Almost every mainstream hosting provider provides a simple way to install WP, usually with a few clicks and little technical knowledge.
WordPress installation icon on Siteground
It’s also not hugely demanding on the web server’s resources.
1.3 WordPress is Easy to Build and Customise
With the many different themes and plugins, you can pretty much do what you like with WordPress with little to no programming knowledge.
1.4 WordPress is Easy to Learn
Although it’s estimated it takes about 100 hours to learn WordPress well at a technical level, it takes practically no time to learn how to get started. Thousands of inexperienced users are starting with the platform every day with few problems.
1.5 WordPress is Easy to Maintain
WordPress can be quite easily maintained with a bit of time, consistency and diligence.
Just like you bring your car or your teeth for a regular checkup or service, there are now services designed just to make your life with WordPress even easier by outsourcing these regular maintenance tasks. Check out sites like ourselves here at WPStrands or the more established folks over at WPSitecare.
1.6 WordPress is Easy on the Search Engines
Out of the box WordPress is pretty good at getting found by Google and Bing and the rest. Although it’s getting harder because of all the noise online nowadays, it’s still much easier with WordPress than some other platforms like Drupal.
2. WordPress is Full-featured
A default installation of WordPress has enough features to get an average, functional website up and running quickly.
But you want something extra, you say? That’s where the almost 50,000 plugins come in.
Want to embed a Google Doc into your site? There’s a plugin for that!
Want your visitors to be able to play a game of Asteroids? Yep, there’s a plugin for that!
Want your page to spin round and round for no reason at all? Of course, there’s a plugin for that![bctt tweet=”… learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard. #WordPress #WPStrands” via=”no”]
3. WordPress is Flexible
WordPress is so flexible it’s practically double-jointed.
The 50k+ available plugins can probably be put to use to do pretty much whatever you need.
4. WordPress is Versatile
Although it started as a simple blogging platform, WordPress has evolved to become much more than that. Today it is a full-featured CMS (despite what some say) used to run every kind of site from Mom and Pop blogs LINK to ecommerce sites to huge media empires.
5. WordPress will Save you Money
WordPress is free, as in open source. Setting up a website is as simple as buying a domain name, a hosting account and clicking on “Install WordPress”. You no longer need to pay a specialist developer thousands of dollars to have an online presence for your business.
6. WordPress is great for DIYers
Any averagely intelligent person can learn how to set up a WordPress website in a matter of hours.
Invest a mere 100 hours more and you’ll be able to program it to do whatever you want. It takes nothing but time to learn the ins and outs and time is so plentiful we all waste lots of it on sleep, entertainment and keeping fit.
7. WordPress Integrates with Everything
WordPress is so popular that most software companies will have a way to integrate with it.
For example, if you use Google analytics to track your site visitors (and you should) there’s a plugin to bring that info right into your WordPress dashboard.
If you use MailChimp to manage your list there’s a plugin to connect it to WordPress.
There are even plugins to integrate e-Commerce services and Microsoft ActiveDirectory networks.
With Zapier you can integrate WordPress with FaceBook, Twitter, Evernote and 100 other services.
8. WordPress has a Great Support network
Documentation – The Codex
A great community of mostly helpful people is there waiting to answer your questions and solve your WordPress problems.
WordPress Support Forums, FB groups, Websites
A ton of helpful sites dedicated to WordPress exist to round out the channels of available help.
9. Security risks
This is the BIG one!
WordPress fans claim it’s pretty secure out of the box. But then, you may rightly ask, why do so many WordPress sites get hacked?
Surely it’s not just because WordPress is so popular and website owner knowledge is often not enough to effectively manage the site on an ongoing basis, as I’ve written about before?
WordPress is the most hacked website platform in the world and brings disrepute to many a would-be Website manager who makes the simple mistake of forgetting to update for a year or two.
Hacks on out-of-date WordPress sites like the Panama papers or the spree earlier this year where over 1 million sites were hacked and defaced should be enough to scare away even the most die-hard WordPress fanatics. But it doesn’t and they’ll probably never learn.
No small business owner should be burdened with the inconvenience of having to update software more than once every year or two, with taking and checking backups day in and day out and with running security scans to make sure his/her site is not one of the 30,000 that have been hacked in the past 24 hours. You have enough to do in your business without this overhead.
If you insist on using WordPress then the simple solution is to have a professional management service look after it long term. This way you can free yourself of most of the ongoing problems small business owners are faced with when using WordPress.
When I think back to my first hacked-together website I get that happy jittery feeling thinking about all I learned through the struggles of doing everything from scratch.
Had WordPress been around back then, sure, I might have saved 1,000 hours learning things I didn’t need at the time. But then I would have been faced with the age-old dilemma of victims of technology everywhere – what to do with all that free time!?
This article is tongue in cheek and is not meant to constitute advice nor advocate bad website management practices. At WPStrands we love WordPress and treat it very seriously as a critical part of any small business owners set of tools to make a great business that they love.
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