To WordPress or Not to WordPress
After you make the exciting decision to build yourself a website, you need to decide which tool you will use to do so. Hands down the most popular platform used to create websites of all shapes and sizes (including giants like the New York Times, Walt Disney, Facebook, and the New Yorker), WordPress offers lots of advantages and flexibility.
WordPress isn’t for everyone, though. You do need to be aware of and ready to deal with a few drawbacks. Before you make the decision to WordPress or not to WordPress, take a closer look at all the fabulous pros and a few of the cons of adopting this software.
There is good reason that almost 75 million (yes million) websites use WordPress. Here are a few of this software’s most useful features.
WordPress is customizable.
Everyone wants a website that is a completely unique representation of their brand. Achieving that level of customization is possible with WordPress. There are two ways in which you can customize your site with WordPress:
- You can choose from a stunning array of themes, templates, and add ons. In fact, WordPress offers about 55,000 plugins from which you can choose and more than 30,000 themes. With that many choices, you can mix and match to create a look and functionality perfectly suited to your brand.
- You can also develop your own functionality and look using WordPress’ open source code. This code is free and available to anyone to use as they wish. As a result, with enough knowledge, or with the help of a WordPress developer, you can customize your site in almost any way you desire.
WordPress offers total control.
With other website platforms and builders, you don’t always retain control of your website. For example, if you decide to go with a different website builder during a redesign, you may not be able to bring your current website with you. If you want to change web hosts, you may have to leave some or all of your site behind because you do not own it.
WordPress, however, allows you to retain full ownership of your site. Since WordPress is an open source software, your site belongs entirely to you. You can add features, implement redesigns, move to different web hosts, and more without losing parts of your site.
In addition, you have the ability to control every detail of your web design. While other platforms may restrict your access to the back end of features like templates and themes or restrict your ability to combine features and functionality, WordPress allows you to completely control every aspect of your website. As long as you can manage the code, or hire someone who can, you can edit, add, remove, and create the functionality and look you want.
WordPress offers a robust ecommerce platform.
Many businesses offer their products and services online. WordPress is a good choice for building an ecommerce site because it offers a robust platform that follows WordPress’ reputation for customizable and versatile functionality.
The primary ecommerce plugin for WordPress is WooCommerce. This plug in offers a number of advantages for a business looking to build an ecommerce site. They are as follows:
- Flexible payment options
- Free transactions
- Open source code for free and customizable site building
- Detailed product pages
- Ability to build the ecommerce site on top of your existing site
- Access to the rest of WordPress’ plugins
Of course, WordPress is not perfect. There are a few potential problems of which you should be aware.
In general, WordPress is very secure and developers are diligent about updating and protecting their plugins and templates. However, because WordPress is so popular, it is an appealing target of hackers. Because it is open source, there are variations in how secure templates, themes, and plugins are. And, because the software is open source, individual users are responsible for staying on top of updates and the overall security of the themes, templates, and plugins they use.
As a result, WordPress, if not handled correctly, can lead to security problems. This means that users have to be careful to select secure features and maintain them. Otherwise they may create weaknesses that can be used to compromise their site’s security.
As has been mentioned a few times, WordPress is an open source software. As a result, it requires some hands-on work with coding to customize your site and build in functionality.
This fact may be problematic for users who are not familiar with computer code. Trying to go beyond simple usage of templates and themes, or trying to evaluate various templates and themes, may be outside their realm of expertise.
A slow website can seriously affect that site’s performance. People tend to abandon websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load, for example. Even search engine crawlers will leave a page that is taking too long to load, leading to reduced page rankings and less visibility in the search results.
WordPress sites, if built incorrectly, can slow down your page load times. Clunky code, large images, or unwieldy add ons can add time to your pages’ loading speeds. And that can discourage visitors from exploring your site.
To WordPress or Not to WordPress: Conclusion
Fortunately, none of these drawbacks are insurmountable. Quite the contrary: Taking steps to mitigate these potential issues is both possible and desirable in light of WordPress’ powerful, diverse, and excellent web development options.
The best step to take is to hire a WordPress developer (like Sequential Tech) who can help you develop and maintain a secure, speedy site. The right developer can ensure a secure site, build in the functionality you need, maximize page load speeds, and maintain your site over the long term. With their help, you can create a beautiful, powerful, flexible site that meets all of your website needs.