Website Wondertool or Bloated CMS? Is a WordPress site the right choice for your business?
— 5 min read
“WordPress is used by 43.2% of all websites on the internet.” (W3Techs, 2022). That’s one hell of a statistic but does popularity equal excellence? More importantly, is the best solution for your new business website the right one because everyone else is using it?
The Evolution of WordPress (WP)
Before I dive in, it's essential to establish why WordPress dominates the market. WordPress was initially built in 2003 to be a platform for blogging with the native functionality of adding static pages, new posts and the ability to share these posts via social media when there were only about 40 million websites. However, by introducing an open-source plugin architecture model, WordPress grew exponentially via plugins (software add-ons) which enhanced its native capabilities and provided easy access for everyone to create their own space on the web with virtually any type of website. Today, WordPress has evolved into an “all things for everyone” solution and is responsible for almost half of the 1.17 billion websites in 2022.
Sounds great. What’s the problem?
WordPress is open-source, which means no one owns it. Still, it does bring the benefits of vast customisation options and a massive community for fixes and continued innovation, especially with regards to plugins and a lot of “talent”? available for cheap that can set up a website in a matter of days.
WP may be adequate for the recreational web resident. Still, suppose when it comes to business, there are significant flaws that should warrant concern and consider alternatives the main reason. In that case, I do not recommend WordPress for any serious business.
1. Easy setup but lack of (WordPress) support
With the number of WP websites in existence, everyone and their dog is a WP developer these days, so the talent bank is significant. The quality of talent is often questionable. Many new businesses fall victim to snake oil website salesmen who promise a cheap and fast website as a solution to get going. These developers use WP to slap together some themes, plugins, and voila. Once a site is born, they collect the payment and disappear.
Everything looks nice and refined from the beginning. However, when it is time to update the content and maintain the website, the danger and issues can quickly arise and jeopardise the success of a new business website.
With no official WP helpdesk, fixing and updating depend on the developer's skill level you get, who may or may not have learned WP on the fly.
2. Difficult (and costly) to edit
WordPress was not designed with clients or businesses in mind but made for coders so that the backend dashboard can be confusing, annoying, and frustrating to the non-developer. Even though excited initially, many businesses refuse to attempt to edit it on their own after their first few attempts. It is simply not user-friendly, no matter what any WP developer claims. It might be fun to play around with for coders, but it is so great for business owners who need to make the website work for them and convert leads to sales and inquiries.
You will likely need a specialist to perform edits and then make various checks to ensure that everything on your website works well and that all plugins function without any compatibility issues.
Such an approach is ineffective for small businesses which need to invest more in their advertising and promotions and not in constant tech updates to keep their website up to date. So if your company has revenue of less than dhs 500,000 (US$150,000) per year, you do not need to spend time, money, and effort on building a website on WordPress.
3. Welcome to maintenance and security hell
You need many plugins and themes to force WP to be a good business site (and not just a blog). All these addons must be regularly updated. That will only happen if the plugin creator continues to plug security holes and regularly publish updated versions. If not, you will need to completely replace it with a newer alternative and possibly reconfigure the website. Most businesses do not do this and don’t plan for such maintenance, which will result in high running costs if you don’t want your website to be a pit of security issues and spam-filled user experience for your visitors.
Let’s talk about hacking. Because millions use it and when a vulnerability in the security occurs in one website, it is highly likely to be found on many other websites. Not only this, but it is easy to distinguish whether a website is open-source, and robots can search the web looking for all the WordPress websites, making them easier to target than a bespoke website. Due to the sheer size of the WP community, vulnerabilities in WP websites tend to become public knowledge very quickly - great for hackers, not so great for business owners who have to keep spending to fix these issues.
4. Google (and your visitors) hates slow websites
Google considers a fast page one that loads in under 2 seconds. This criterion will soon become 0.5 seconds. All pages which are not considered fast are automatically ranked lower since they are not the best content for Google’s users. The trouble with this is that WP doesn't specialise in speed!
Themes, plugins, and core PHP files consume valuable server resources to build and deliver pages to visitors. Too many things running at once will slow down your pages and affect conversions. Modern users and scrollers hate slow websites and aren’t ready to wait more than 2 seconds for a web page to load.
5. Your WordPress Site is unique - no, it’s not!
With over a billion websites built on WP, you miss out on a chance to highlight your brand uniqueness and truly make an impact. With the likelihood that millions of businesses can use the same theme, your website may struggle to stand out.
So what’s the solution?
There are much better alternatives for CMS than WordPress in the new web of cloud service, serverless functions, etc. All these services are professionally run and can be integrated into the website using API calls. Most of them offer more intuitive UI, which requires less training for anyone to use.
Conclusion: A custom website is the way to go!
Even though WordPress is a popular content management system due to its simplicity and is considered an inexpensive way for businesses to get started online, we hope that you seriously consider the drawback mentioned in this blog.
In our experience in building and renovating websites of different types, we have learned that a custom website which may be slightly more expensive to set up will serve you better in the long run and cost you less overall, especially if you want to develop a robust, secure, and functional web platform. In terms of branding, it is better to make your customised website with designs that match the brand's image rather than making it on WordPress.
Don’t fall for the WordPress hype. Contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or scan the barcode below so that we can book a FREE short call with you to talk you through what a custom build website entails, show how it can look and function, with a design your business, and your customers deserve and most importantly, at a surprisingly affordable price point.