WordPress – the pros and the cons

The advantages and disadvantages of choosing Wordpress as your website's CMS.

Just under half of all the websites in the world are run on WordPress, of websites using a content management system (CMS) over 60% use WordPress as highlighted by Search Logistics. And it’s the CMS (software that allows you to build and manage digital content) of choice here at Rubber Duckiee. So, why do we, and so many others, choose to use it?

Advantages of WordPress:

We’ll begin with the good stuff.

  1. It’s straightforward: Not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford a web developer, or has the time to learn to code themselves. With WordPress you don’t need to be able to code in order to set up a simple website, and when it comes to those which have been built on it by a developer its interface means you don’t need technical knowledge to be able to navigate and manage it.
  2. Added extras: With WordPress you also get access to a massive library of themes and plugins. These allow you to customise the design of your website and enable the website to do more in terms of its functionality. However, while there is pretty much a plugin for anything you might want your website to do we recommend exercising caution when it comes to which ones and how many you install. Plugins can be a security risk, as we have discussed here, this is why we prefer to code our own plugins for our client’s websites. If this isn’t an option for you then make sure you keep up to date with updates for your plugins and don’t opt for one which isn’t regularly maintained by its creator.
  3. There’s lots of support: With so many people using WordPress there’s now a very active community of people engaged in sharing their experiences and ideas for improvement which you can tap into.
  4. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): The way in which WordPress has been put together means it has built in several features making it good for SEO purposes. For example, its clean code structure, the ability to edit URLs which can improve you search engine visibility.
  5. It flexes: You might start off with a small informational website and then, as you grow, want to be able to offer eCommerce functionality. With WordPress that’s no problem as it can scale as you grow and evolve as an organisation. A word of warning though, you may need to review your hosting however, to ensure it can accommodate an increase in traffic without becoming slow and laggy for your visitors. As you grow it’s also wise to keep your navigation and the design under review so the user experience is not reduced as you add to your website.
  6. It’s light: WordPress itself is relatively lightweight in terms of its core installation. By this we mean it does not come packed with lots of additional features or bloat, consequently the file size on your server is smaller than it might otherwise be. In this respect it holds it’s own against its direct competitors Drupal, Joomla and Magneto, in some cases being 50% smaller in file size.
  7. It connects: WordPress has its own rest API endpoint pre-built and ready to go, this means it can be directly connected to custom applications such as mobile apps, web apps and even desktop applications. The API also allows for automated processes to and from external sources allowing it to become a seamless part of a technical stack or part of a process.

Disadvantages of WordPress:

Moving onto what you need to watch out for now:

  1. Being hacked: It’s a common misconception that WordPress websites are by their nature more prone to being hacked than websites run on other platforms. As the world’s most used CMS it’s not surprising that it’s also one of the world’s most hacked CMS’. This does not mean however that it is inherently vulnerable to attack. If you follow established security procedures and remain up to date and vigilant then there is no reason to suppose you are more likely to fall victim to an attack than if you had used another platform. For more information on how to remain secure please read our article on the topic here.
  2. Slowing as you scale: As we touched on above, as you build up the size and complexity of your site it will be crucial that you stay on top of optimising it and checking your hosting capabilities match the demands being made. Otherwise you’ll find your users will start to experience annoyances such as slow page loading times.
  3. Managing updates: The WordPress team regularly release updates relating to the core software, its themes, and available plugins. These serve to address any discovered security vulnerabilities and provide new features. To prevent your website from becoming vulnerable to attack or elements breaking you’ll need to keep on top of these updates and also review compatibility issues between your third party elements, like plugins.
  4. Customisation limitations: As with anything, there are limits. While WordPress is pretty user-friendly and you can go a long way without any coding knowledge, at some point, if you want to go beyond the standard settings, you’ll either have to learn a bit by way of coding or hire a developer to implement your ideas.
  5. Plugin problems: This is the flip side to the good stuff mentioned above. The plugin library allows you, without any coding knowledge to build a website with decent amounts of functionality but as we’ve mentioned, this comes with risk – security wise and conflicts between plugins.

Need help with your website?