A good CMS, but how good is it really?
Websites are here to stay, whether you have a startup or a foundation. Almost all organisations have a presence with details about their company, their services, contact details, customer reviews and often a blog.
Wordpress is popular
There are currently nearly 2 billion websites and, according to Internet Live statistics, the number is growing by the second. Just over 30% of those websites are built with WordPress, a content management system (CMS) that can be downloaded for free.
What started as an Open Source blog platform has become one of the world's most popular packages for website development, often for a number of good reasons;
- - WordPress has a large community of developers to continuously make WordPress better.
- WordPress is SEO-friendly, which is necessary for your website to stand out in the search results of search engines like Google
- WordPress has a large number of built-in and external themes available.
- WordPress is often scalable (responsive), which makes your website look good on both laptops and mobile devices.
Is WordPress really the best choice?
So if you're thinking of a new website for your business, you might think that a free, popular platform is the right choice. It's certainly true that that Wordpress has a lot of advantages. But of course, every package has some drawbacks. Here are some reasons why we don't recommend WordPress for all websites.
Lots of maintenance and security releases
"What's wrong with maintenance releases?" you'll think, "These are good, right?" of course, but if you look at WordPress's release page, you'll see how often maintenance and security updates are released. This is something you should always pay attention to.
Keep in mind that updates can affect your website and plug-ins, as I explain below.
Plug-ins are always needed
Although WordPress can do most things, the basic platform is still limited compared to a custom designed and built site. To address this limitation, WordPress users and developers have created plug-ins to enhance WordPress. This seems like a good idea at first glance, but some of the common problems with plug-ins are:
WordPress updates: WordPress updates can break plug-ins, but without the updates, your website can be vulnerable to attacks, so you will often have to decide whether convenience or security is more important for your organisation's website and your contacts or customers
Delays: WordPress can be slow if it is not optimised. And that's true with the basic code alone. If you add a lot of plug-ins, WordPress can become even much slower. And what do visitors do when a website takes too long to load? Right, they go to another site, which can therefore cost you customers concretely. In addition, a slow website is also negative for your socre in search engines (SEO).
Outdated plug-ins of varying quality: like Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store, the WordPress plug-in 'store' can be a minefield of outdated or possibly low-quality plug-ins that end up doing more bad than good for your website. Plug-ins that have not been updated for later versions of WordPress can adversely affect your website's performance and security.
Plugin conflicts: Plug-ins from different developers may conflict. That popular e-commerce plugin may not work well with your SEO plugin, which can ultimately break down the website. E-commerce plugins add shopping functionality to a WordPress website, but they can't always meet very specific needs, like a customised website can. And what if an essential WordPress update is incompatible with your e-commerce plugin? How much will it cost your business until a plugin update is released?
No optimal database
The WordPress database includes all the content of your website, from the home page to contact page and all pages in between. So this includes your blog, but also your products and customer data if you use an e-commerce plugin. This data is stored in WordPress via a single table.
The downside of this approach is that there is no scalability, as there are limitations on the number of rows of data that can be stored and retrieved for larger data sets.
WordPress 5.0, a major update
The long-awaited release of WordPress 5.0 at the end of 2018 was more in the spotlight than past WordPress releases. But as with major releases of anything, there was some fuss. A new implementation of the WordPress editor caused problems with website layout. People discovered a solution by installing the previous editor as a plug-in, but problems like that are very frustrating for website owners.
Manage your website yourself or outsource anyway?
A major reason why many people are attracted to Wordpress is the fact that they want to have complete control over their website.Only if your WordPress website requires several plugins, working with it again is not as easy as thought.If your Wordpress website has many plugins, you often have to hire a developer to work with it.
And developers, again, often prefer not to work with WordPress but with other tools to manage complex websites.
Themes - how unique are they?
One of the biggest strengths of WordPress is the ability to work with themes. But at the same time, it is its biggest weakness. If you choose and install a theme, you will notice that your site starts to look like many other websites. Of course, your website has its own branding, but you can't help but notice that it still looks like a WordPress site.
We believe WordPress has its place; however, we do not believe WordPress is a solution for every possible website. As the requirements for website functionality become complex, WordPress quickly requires too much maintenance and additional plug-ins to make it work effectively for your organisation.
Especially in terms of expansion, scalability and performance, WordPress then often lags behind other solutions.
What do we recommend?
Although we work with WordPress, for many web-based applications and advanced websites, we prefer to work with a framework, which allows us to build websites with code blocks that we can easily extend and customise.
This allows us to create websites designed to our clients' specifications, rather than being limited to the existing features of third-party plug-ins.
One of the frameworks we love is Exolog, which in addition to a framework also has a content management shared (CMS), which allows clients to manage the website.
Have more questions?
Call Martijn on 06 480 840 58, schedule an online meeting or send him an email, because your website is one of the most important decisions you make for your business. Simply put, it's the digital bridge to your customers, so you want it to be made in the best possible way, and we'd love to help you with that!