There, I said it, and it felt good. I’ll say it again. Don’t build a website with WordPress: a statement many inexperienced and uneducated in this industry will fail to tell you, despite the honesty behind it.
To be fair to WordPress, I don’t give this opinion because I don’t value WordPress or see the power behind it – it’s definitely there, and when used right, it’s a great platform.
My opinion is primarily based on the misusage of the blog platform across the industry.
- It’s a blog platform. Many web development companies and web developers alike don’t use it as a blog. The platform was created to be the ultimate blog, and when used as a blog (such as my own personal site – JustinBasch.com), it can be great - again, if done properly (which many fail to do by securing it, hosting it properly, etc.). It is not a CMS platform but many have “hacked it” into a CMS because of the cost factor.
- Functionality Limitations. Wordpress is not that scalable. Given that it’s a blog at its core, it’s not meant to be your ultimate company website that helps you streamline your day to day operations. You are limited for the most part to the plugins available to you. If you want something custom, it's often going to cost you a pretty penny. The website definitely isn't as scalable as a custom built website with a modular system for example.
- Plugin Credibility. Everyone who uses WP, ends up using plugins, right? They save a lot of money on development, yes, but here's the problem: the developer behind that plugin. How do you know that developers credibility? Is he a hacker? You don't know. The likelihood is low but you don't know if the plugin was built to function as advertise and then secretly logs and email your admin credentials upon login. Most plugins are free, you're not at all skeptical someone spent a ton of time and hard work to build a plugin you can utilize to make money off of?
- Plugin Compatibility. Let’s say the developer’s reputable – that doesn’t’ mean the plugin is. Many plugins often cause problems as a result of not being coded to the 9’s and affecting other plugins/components of WordPress. Many build plugins by doing the minimum it takes to get that function to work. When done right, a developer goes far beyond that and makes sure it is 100% compatible and that other plugins/programming won’t break the website!
- Maintenance Heavy. WordPress constantly has to be updated. Both the core platform and all of the plugins. The reasons vary from vulnerabilities found and compatibility fixes to new features of the plugin. If you don’t stay up to date, your website can become more and more vulnerable to hacks (which I’ll expound on below).
- Open-Source = Open-Attack. Let’s face it, you can download WordPress for free at WordPress.com. You know who else can? Every single hacker on the planet. What this means for you is that when one hacker finds a way to hack it, he’s going to create a script that tries to hack every WordPress instance out there. It doesn’t take long for hackers to find vulnerabilities and that’s one of the many reasons WP constantly comes out with new updates that are a lot more essential of an update than they make it out to be.
- Hosting. If you are going to have a Wordpress website, the last thing you want to do is put it on a GoDaddy or HostGator or 1&1 server. Even if you have the most secure/locked-down site, you're going to want to spend what many will say is above average money on hosting to ensure that not only is your site secure, but the server is secure.
Many don’t think they have to worry about the server the site is on, but it couldn’t be more false. If a hacker successfully hacks one WP website out of the often 100s on these companies servers, that back door access will bypass 90% of your "secured/locked down" WP site sharing web space. Inevitably, your hosting is either going to cost you more a month for a more secure environment than you would normally need or it's going to cost you to repair hack damage.
- Developer's knowledge. If a developer or development company is recommending WordPress for a company website, you should instantly question their industry knowledge. There is a great chance they are only recommending it because it is the easiest and cheapest route for them to take. Many companies won't develop a custom content management system like we have because it takes a lot of money in the research and development department. Their only real fall back in getting you a website developed is to use WordPress. A developer or company like this is not who you want to strategically align yourself with to help you grow on the web! (One bad decision often leads to another, and one good decision often leads to another as well!)
Going to use WordPress anyways?
Like I said, it is a powerful platform when used right – keyword used right. If you’re going to use WordPress I would make the following three recommendations:
- Use it for a blog. Don’t try to build your startup company or any company website on the WordPress platform. Unless you have a full development staff in-house working on it like a large news company such as TheBlaze.com, chances are, you’re doing it wrong.
- Secure it. Even if it costs you extra money, make sure you secure the WordPress instance to the umpth degree. Change the obvious /wp-admin to a more secure location, IP restrict the admin panel, delete unnecessary files, etc. (There are many, many more).
- Host it right. Make sure if you’re hosting WordPress, you’re hosting it with a company that specializes in it and can back up why you should host with them. Don’t price-shop around at the big out of the box companies like GoDaddy, 1&1, and HostGator. They are going to put you on a server with 100’s of other websites and when your website gets hacked or goes down, they not only will have no backup but will likely tell you to call your developers, as they have no development support staff available to you.
For secure and affordable WordPress hosting, you should reach out to a company such as EndLayer (EndLayer.com) that puts an emphasis on quality and not quantity. I'll fully disclose that I am a co-founder at EndLayer and one of the reasons we created EndLayer was to provide business and website owners with proper website hosting.
If you’re considering using WordPress as the platform you build your website out on, shoot us a message and let us at least help guide you to making the best decision possible. Like I said, I’m not against WordPress, it is a wonderful platform and resource, but I loathe it’s misuse!
What do you think of WordPress? Comment below and let us know!