MicroCast

Episode 34 - Reasons not to use WordPress

Why WordPress sites are bad for small business


The current market leader in websites is WordPress powering 50 million websites.  It’s “free” technology for creating the site, appeals to the cost-conscious business, seems easy enough and offers some great looking layouts to make site creation easy.   If you already have WordPress as the underlying technology your site is built on or are considering using it, here are some downsides that should give you reasons not to use this “market leader”. 

Sometimes we get lulled into a false sense of security because we use a product that the majority of the marketplace has adopted as its standard. We think because everyone is using it, it must be the best option, the most reliable and the safest choice.  But the business landscape   is littered with customers not having their needs met by the market leader. 

We all thought the only way to watch a movie at home was to go to the Blockbuster store, only to have Netflix come along with a better way to do business and shutter Blockbuster stores nationwide.   And does anyone remember MySpace, the first and most successful social media site?  It’s gone by the wayside as better options to share our lives were invented by Facebook and Instagram.

So, let’s think about the current market leader in websites, WordPress.  50 million websites are powered by WordPress.  First, it’s “free” technology for creating the site, appealing to the cost-conscious business, seems easy enough and offers some great looking layouts to make site creation easy.   If you already have WordPress as the underlying technology your site is built on or are considering using it, here are some downsides that should give you reasons not to use this “market leader”.

WordPress relies on plugins for much of its functionality. Plug-ins are created by independent developers that add certain things like displaying an accordion list or your image gallery.  Most people with WordPress sites are awestruck by the added functionality that makes websites look better and more custom but fail to understand the inherent risks.

Because plugins are created by different people, they are often not supported the way you think they should be so if a plugin crashes, taking down your website or the functionality you like, you may not be able to get things back to normal.  Sometimes plugins don’t play well in the same sandbox.  The initial plugin you added worked great, but then you added another one that sent your site into chaos.

Software updates can break your site.  Just like any other software, WordPress is constantly evolving, and updates come pretty often, sometimes each month.  The problem with updates is that they cause issues.   The theme that you chose may no longer work.  The plugins you added might not be compatible with the new software version.  And remember, this updating process happens all the time causing you to have to be on your toes.

Maximizing how your WordPress site is found by search engines isn’t always easy. Search engine optimization can be more difficult with WordPress if you don't know what you're doing. Plugins are available to help with SEO, but then you run the risks associated with plugins, so may end up with a bigger problem on your hands. Many factors play into search engine rankings, and if you aren't aware of all of them when building your website, you might choose a theme or plugin that actually works against you.

WordPress can have hidden costs to develop and maintain.   Most people find that creating a WordPress site requires that you hire outside developers. These developers can fall in love with the code and all the crazy things they can do with WordPress. Without realizing it you can become their technology experiment, have your project become super complicated, take way longer than you think and cost you too much money.

WordPress sites can be notoriously difficult to maintain, often breaking down every few months. They need to be constantly managed, updated and fixed as updates come downstream. You may have to hire developers to deal with technology updates and fixes.

Editing a WordPress site is not for the faint of heart. I have developed and managed WordPress sites and if I get frustrated or confused, as I often do, I can only imagine how a non-technical business owner feel. WordPress was designed for coders, not business people. I find that WordPress is confusing because it’s not built to be user-friendly for the average person. That’s why so many WordPress sites get launched, but rarely edited or updated.

WordPress sites have issues with security. If you don’t change it, the default setting for WordPress is to allow an unlimited number of login attempts.  Hackers love this and can force their way into your site or overload your server trying.   Aside from unlimited logins, WordPress has a number of other security vulnerabilities.

If the software updates are not maintained, well defined holes in security remain on your site.  Many people may use the same themes for the sites and once a hacker has found a way into the theme, every site with that theme is fair game.  Sometimes WordPress sites can be a visible and easy target for hackers.

Remember that you download WordPress for free at WordPress.com. And so 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 try to hack every WordPress instance out there. It doesn’t take long for hackers to find vulnerabilities especially if you are hosted alongside other WordPress sites on hosting providers like GoDaddy.

Takeaways

Despite the fact that WordPress has almost 1/3 of the marketplace, and for all the reasons listed above, it’s not the right choice for a small business.   It may be free to use the code, but it will cost you in additional development, plug-ins, maintenance, fixes and updates.  Beyond that, there are security flaws that entice hackers to install malware or ransomware and once they figure out how to do it, they’ll go from one site to another to compromise its security.

So, if have a WordPress site and want to make a change, help is on the way.  Convey is getting ready to launch a new program to give you that high-quality business website you deserve, keep it updated with fresh information automatically, and give you other valuable marketing tools in the same technology to drive demand.  Our technology is constantly using the most updated tools, is mobile optimized, helps you get found on Google, is constantly refreshed and managed by Convey and makes sure you are impressive when customers and prospects find you in their online buying journey.


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