One of the first things you will have to tackle when transforming your business to online is having a website. For many cases today, it’s not even a question of transforming to online, but it’s a given to have a website as soon as you start a business – whether it’s sole proprietorship such as blogging or being a net influencer, a startup, partnerships or company limited.
And if you are to ask around, what’s the fastest and most effective way to get your website up and running, many will tell you: WordPress.
Is it the only option? Why do most people instantly tell you to look into wordpress? Well, there are in fact many CMS (content management systems) to choose from such as Joomla, Wix, Drupal and so on and so forth. And you can still consider custom coding your website from scratch. However, wordpress is one of the easiest to set-up and the most customizable (in the non-coder friendly context).
And are there any reasons to not use wordpress? Quite frankly, yes.
Let’s take a look at some of the key pros and cons of using wordpress.
When To USE WordPress?
Here are some of the key benefits for using wordpress to build your website.
1 – SEO Friendly (Search Engine Optimization)
One of the obvious pros of using wordpress is the fact that it comes with lots of SEO plugins and features. Here’s a list of some of the best rated wordpress SEO plugins.
Yoast SEO is perhaps one of the most widely used. It offers full SEO website optimization functions, such as a simple interface to update SEO meta tags, titles, descriptions and keywords. The Yoast SEO plugin also automatically generates an XML sitemap. And these are just some examples of what Yoast has to offer.
Ahrefs SEO is an all-in-one SEO data insights tool that is also available as a wordpress plugin. Basically, with this plugin, you can monitor keyword ranking changes for your various website pages. There’s also a very useful content gap analysis tool that also enables you to identify content opportunities for your website and blog area (if you do maintain one).
Google Search Console is one SEO tool you simply should not go without when it comes to SEO. It’s offered for free by Google to give website owners insights on their website’s presence on Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page), and a means to monitor how the search spider is interacting with the website.
When there are crawling errors or server security issues (these definitely do impact SEO), the errors and alerts would show up on the Google Search Console with details pinpointing where the problem might be.
There are lots more wordpress SEO plugins you can try. These 3 are what we recommend to not go without.
2 – Built-in Blog Functionality
If you’re considering content marketing and maintaining your own blog area, you’ll definitely want to consider wordpress.
While many might think, it’s just a blog. Apparently, a blog system and its URL architecture can be much more complicated than the standard website. For instance, you’ll want to be able to generate dynamic and ‘smart’ URLs that provide additional insights on the content of each webpage for search engines to more accurately index and rank.
You’ll also want to be able to assign webpages or blog post to more than one category. Or in other words, you can think of it as sub-pages of a website.
Here’s a good reference for SEO friendly URLs and wordpress’s built-in blog is just the right tool to get this up fast and for your content writers to easily maintain.
3 – Little to No Technical Skills Required
The initial website setup part would require technical skills, but the part for users to maintain existing content and uploading new web content is really easy.
If you’re able to use word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Apple’s Pages, then wordpress content management system is a walk in the park.
4 – Widely Supported
The wordpress support community is huge and available in multiple languages. Most importantly, it’s updated by active users, so you don’t necessarily have to rely on a single centralized source for troubleshooting and getting help to fix issues.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can do so at the wordpress open community forum https://wordpress.org/support/forums/.
When NOT TO USE WordPress?
So, are there any reasons or scenario when not to use wordpress? Like everything else, there are pros and cons. So yes, there are reasons to not use wordpress and here are 2 key downsides to the CMS.
1 – Security Vulnerability
Because wordpress has been created to be highly flexible with the possibility to mix and match various plugins, software updates and version incompatibilities frequently result in security issues.
Does that mean wordpress is an absolute don’t if you’re worried about website security?
It does mean, you have to be diligent when it comes to software updates, doing weekly security checks and rectifying plugin incompatibility issues.
Listed here are some of the notable and frequently seen security concerns and hacks with wordpress. Knowing what they are and how they work would really help in keeping your website secure:
- Backdoor – a method by which unauthorized users are able to bypass the normal security measures such as login page to gain high-level access, i.e. super-admin access. And thus be able to control the website like the owner would.
- Malicious redirects – injecting of scripts by hackers to route website users to destinations where they may get scammed or their systems get infected with malware.
- Drive by downloads – a script that takes advantage of your browser or application with a security flaw to trigger unintentional download of a virus or malicious software onto your computer or portable device.
2 – Scalability Challenge
While it’s very possible to scale your business and online presence with wordpress, the challenge here is about doing it successfully with the various plugins. Whereby each plugin has its own limitations and there’s no knowing when a plugin will stop getting updated.
Scaling with your own custom coded website or CMS can be very beneficial. This is for cases such as large scale e-commerce systems or similar, that requires highly customized integrations with cross-system data such as SKUs and barcodes.
The Verdict: To WordPress or Not to WordPress – That is the question.
Creating a website might not be as straightforward as it appears. Besides getting insights and opinions on the technicalities, really look into your business model, your business KPIs, milestones and objectives.
Getting it right from the get go can save you a lot of valuable time and money.