Wither WordPress

wordpressMore than once I’ve had customers come to me asking for a website and telling me that they want a WordPress site. The first question I always ask is “Why WordPress?” And without exception, none of them ever can really explain why.

WordPress is largely misunderstood. It originally started as a blogging platform (in fact, it is what is driving this blog!) which metamorphosed into a website design platform. But it still has all of the back end of the content management system which most websites simply do not need. For most simple business websites, it’s inappropriate. It’s rather like wanting to buy an oven to make cookies for your kids and then investing in a huge industrial sized restaurant oven with all of the bells and whistles with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time. It may be nice, but it’s way more than what you need.

And in some situations it may be dangerous. There are millions of sites created with WordPress on the net. But since they all use the same technology, if hackers find a way to exploit one, they have a way to exploit millions, yours included. Once again, for simple websites it’s more than you need and the back door that hackers might use to infect your site may well be in all of that extra weight that you’re probably don’t even use.

Portability is another factor. If I want to move one of my clients websites to a new server, all I have to do is take the copies I have on file and re-upload them. With WordPress it’s different. You have to move the database, you have to reinstall WordPress (and make sure you have the right version – I’ve had transfers fail because we transferred a database but used a newer version of WordPress and it all fell apart.) And that doesn’t even include all of the plug-ins that you might have added. They will all have to be reinstalled and reconfigured as well!

I have heard that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is much easier using WordPress as well. But the SEO work that WordPress does is pretty much standard practice for web designers anyway. It just doesn’t add anything that is not “best practices” among most web design firms as it is.

Since you have this huge backend, WordPress can also be very resource intensive. Which means that your website is going to load slower. And it’s probably loading things that your website doesn’t even use.

So, you have a website that is resource intensive, slower loading, needs tons more space than you probably really need and in which hackers regularly look for security flaws to exploit. And which may turn into a nightmare if you decide to switch servers.

This is not to say that WordPress is a bad system. I use it myself. But it needs to be used when it is appropriate. For most sites, it is not and may even make your site more vulnerable as a result.

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