At its inception in 2003, WordPress was just a blogging platform—now it is the largest CMS on the market. Powering over 34% of websites on the internet as of September of 2019, WordPress has established itself as a leader in the industry. When it comes to choosing a platform to build your website with, we are highly likely to recommend WordPress. Check out our infographic on why WordPress gets our vote. That being said, WordPress isn't the only option. You should still be evaluating what CMS will work best for you—I am going to run through the pros and cons of WordPress, to help you determine if you should join those already using the platform.
Pros of choosing WordPress
1. User Friendly CMS:
WordPress is a strong content management system because of its origin in blogging. It is very easy for an admin to navigate through the backend of their WordPress site, edit pages and upload new content. WordPress makes it simple to organize content without a lot of website management knowledge.
There are over 54,000 mostly free and paid plugins available to WordPress users. These plugins allow you to customize and enhance any WordPress site. If you need to make specific changes to the functionality on your site, chances are there is a plugin to do just that. We wrote a guide on how to assess the quality of these plugins to ensure they don't hurt your site's security.
The importance of SEO best practices are at an all time high. WordPress does a good job of promoting these best practices. There are many SEO plugins available to help optimize content, meta tags, keyword focus and much more! Our plugin of choice here at ArcStone is Yoast SEO.
Having access to free plugins, like Yoast, means each WordPress site is SEO ready. There isn't a better platform than WordPress when it comes to SEO optimization.
WordPress has thousands of themes available. Generally, these themes are very reliable when it comes to being responsive. With an increasing amount of internet surfing done on mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly site with consistency across all devices is very important to the UX; WordPress does a good job with this. Get some guidance in selecting your theme with "How to choose the best WordPress theme for your needs."
5. Open source:
"WordPress is an open source software and any one can use, study, change and redistribute its source code" (WPBeginner). Many of the themes and plugins are free under the GPLv2 license and being an open-source software, WordPress programmers are able to openly share code online. The sharing of code can result in the ability to save a lot of developing time and costs by using an existing code.
Using an open source platform is also valuable when you're working with a 3rd party partner or agency to develop your WordPress website. You won't be stuck working with a proprietary software that only a small group of developers can work on. There are a number of different WordPress developers out there that have the ability to support your website if you ever need to change partners.
Now, why WordPress isn't always the best fit (and what to do in that case)
Installing updates is important to the health of your WordPress site, but can be a nuisance if not done thoughtfully. Premium WordPress themes are updated and improved often. These updates are important to maintain proper security on WordPress websites. Updates may bring some small problems to a website in which case you may have to revert to an older WordPress state.
To prevent this, at ArcStone we vet updates before implementing them across clients' sites and keep a close eye on each site after installing the update. This is part of why, if you don't have a developer or IT team, it might be best to have a professional host and support your WordPress site.
Being an open-source platform, WordPress is attractive to potential hackers. To mitigate this risk, again, it is always good to be knowledgeable in choosing plugins and themes for your WordPress site; always assess the quality of a WordPress plugin and install with caution.
Certain themes contain a lot of unnecessary generic code. This can decrease the speed of the site and cause slow load times. Without prior WordPress experience it can be hard to understand what code you need and what code you can do without. Again, this is something an agency like ArcStone can help you navigate!
We all hesitate to invest in customization, as it can get expensive. WordPress is a very flexible tool unlike many of the other drag and drop web builder tools out there. However, if you aren't a WordPress expert and you didn't have one develop your site, then this can be an issue. As mentioned above, updating core WordPress may cause some problems on your site. These updates may break up some of the functionality and if you don't have best practices employed when designing the site, this can become an issue.
With all these factors to consider, we will always recommend you at least consult with a WordPress expert when building out a WordPress website. Many of the cons listed above can be swept away with the right person and/or agency managing your website. Consider reading our blog post on choosing a web agency to help you launch your most user-friendly and secure website yet.
If you are interested in learning more about ArcStone, please contact us today! We offer WordPress hosting, support, complete redesigns or partial website refreshes.