The World’s Most Popular CMS Shouldn’t Be the Top Dog
Before we make a case, let’s lay out the basics:
WordPress is a free, open-source Content Management System (CMS) that utilizes the PHP scripting language and MySQL, an open-source relational database management system. In order to use WordPress, it must be installed on a web server that’s part of an Internet hosting service or network host.
WordPress started in 2003 as a blogging system, and the roots of that beginning are visible to this day. It was created out of a desire for better looking and better functioning personal publishing tools, and, while WordPress started as a blogging system, it’s grown to become a full CMS with thousands -- 54,221 to be exact -- of plugins and widgets.
As of January 2018, approximately 74,652,825 websites utilized WordPress, representing over 29% of all websites on the Internet and 59% of all websites using a known CMS. That’s right, it’s the world’s most popular CMS, and we’re telling you that you should consider using something different.
WordPress has its uses. It can be good for things like blogging, entertainment, weddings, and social networking. However, its real limitations lie in enterprise, financial, system critical, and secure applications. It’s open source, free, easy-to-learn, and offers an increasingly large number of plugin and theme options. However, building a website that excels is about more than simple back end management.
Yes, WordPress is popular, but it’s not the future. Below, we’ve decoded why it’s worth looking at alternative CMS solutions for your business:
- That bit about WordPress being started to support the blogging world? It’s still true. While it’s also true that it’s evolved into a full CMS, it has blogging roots, and it’s fundamentally built that way. WordPress can be tough to scale. Essentially, it’s a blogging platform that’s been retrofitted to become a CMS.
- While WordPress is free and open source, it can actually become quite expensive, sometimes even more expensive than building a custom website. Why? Because you’re going to have to customize and maintain all of the templates and plugins you selected to suit the needs of your business, and most plugins and templates charge for use. These costs are not cheap, and you’ll need a WordPress-versed web developer also in order to make the most of your plugins.
- We mentioned that, as of this publication, there were 54,221 WordPress plugins. That’s 54,221 potential security threats and 54, 211 potential compatibility issues. WordPress is in a perpetual state of maintenance and upgrade. Updates aren’t a bad thing, but platform-wide updates mean that it’s up to template and plugin creators to keep their software functioning with each new version. If you’ve customized parts of WordPress, those customizations could be lost with an update. What’s more is that your plugins could be invalidated on new versions of WordPress.
- You can start out with the best out-of-the-box thematic and plugins, but, at the end of the day, you probably want your business’ site to stand out. That takes customization, something WordPress isn’t well suited for. If you start to make too many tweaks to pre-built themes and plugins, you might as well have just gone custom from the start. This customization can be hard to maintain and can lead to additional security issues, performance problems, and compatibility errors.
- WordPress isn’t great for SEO and requires a number of SEO plugins to optimize. Default configuration will need to be adjusted to improve things like SEO, and you’re going to need to know how to change the default settings. If you don’t, you’re going to have to pay someone to.
- The reliance on plugins in WordPress means that performance for you, your developers, and possibly even your users can be severely affected. A single web page could have 50 plugins running on it, each of which takes time to load and impacts page performance.
- There is no customer support for WordPress beyond communities of contributing individuals unless you purchase VIP WordPress support, which is very costly. This means you will have to purchase WordPress support from a company or subscribe to the VIP support.
- An experienced developer will help you find and implement the right tool for your needs. You should be wary of any developer who only uses WordPress or doesn’t present you with your development options beyond WordPress. They’re likely doing this because -- initially -- it’s easy and cheap.
Still unsure about whether you’d like to go custom? That’s ok! Nixa.ca can help you decode your CMS and custom site options, WordPress and more. Our team is all about helping you find the solution that is right for your business, maximizing your return on investment and preparing you for a great future online! Reach out to their web development professionals to learn more about how you can make your business stand out among thousands of template-based sites.