Wordpress is good for what it was designed for, but without in-depth knowledge and constant maintenance, it may not be the best option for many business or company websites.
Wordpress is a free content management system that is built with PHP and MySQL and was originally designed for blogging.
Wordpress is a very popular option that many web designers use for their clients' websites, however what is popular is not always the best option and many businesses find this out the hard way after investing a lot of money and resources.
Below are some of the possible issues that you may be faced with if you have a wordpress website and you should carefully consider if a wordpress website is the right solution for your business or company.
Security is the biggest issue for owners of a wordpress website. Because this system is very popular, it is also a big target for hackers. Vulnerabilities are constantly being found and exploited and these will need to be patched regularly. While the core software is created by wordpress, there are optional "themes" and "plugins" available, but these are created by third parties, hobbyists, etc and many of these are not maintained for security. This can then open doors for hackers to take advantage of.
Once hacked, a hacker can access your website and database information, change your website in any way that they like, send out unsolicited spam emails from your account, or even re-direct your website somewhere else such as a competitor or a scam website.
Many web designers will create a wordpress website, hand it over to you and then forget about it. They will not tell you that the wordpress system needs to be maintained and updated regularly. Updates are released every few weeks for the core software (not including any third-party themes or plugins) and need to be installed to ensure that you are up-to-date with the latest security patches. If you have installed any third-party themes or plugins, these also need to be updated but these will not always be available at the same time as the core updates.
A lot of time needs to be invested just to keep the system updated and this should be handled by a professional to avoid installation problems. Updating the wordpress system does not include any visible updates to the website that your clients will see. It is just to keep the system up-to-date.
Your website should be as fast as possible. The internet is a very competitive place and many people are not going to wait around for your website to load. If your website is too slow, they will simply move on to the next website, which will most likely be your competitor. This also affects search engines such as Google. If search engines cannot view your website within a certain time, they will not be able to index it. Some search engines may even penalise you for having a slow website.
Wordpress websites are generally slower than most websites. This is usually caused by using incorrectly sized images, bloated source code, and many third-party themes and/or plugins. Some of these elements can be fixed by the web-designer, however for many websites affected by this issue, this is simply not done. As long as it looks good, some website designers either don't have the skills or simply don't care to optimise a website for speed.
If not built properly, your wordpress website could be hogging system resources. Having certain themes and plugins, or simply having too many plugins installed can cause your website to be a drain on CPU and memory usage. This could result in your website loading slowly and even timing out which means that visitors will be waiting a long time and then simply be presented with a blank white page in their browser.
If the issues are not fixed, then your only option is to increase the available resources which generally means paying for an upgraded hosting option. In some cases you may be required to set up a dedicated server for your wordpress website.
In terms of file-size, some wordpress websites are too big for what they actually need or use. This is caused by a number of factors such as incorrect image sizing, too many image sizes stored in separate files for each image that may only be used once. Unused themes or plugins also take up a lot of space.
Some plugins make backups of the entire wordpress website, adding more and more files with every backup that is stored. While it is good to make backups of your website, this is usually handled by the hosting provider. By adding backups into the website folder in the way that these plugins do, it can actually hinder the backups being made by the hosting provider due to size. Restoring a future backup or moving a website to another server will take a lot longer due to the increased size.
Incompatibilities can occur usually with third-party themes and/or plugins. Sometimes a theme or plugin will work fine on its own, but when in combination with another theme or plugin, can cause issues with your website.
Another common cause is when a mantenance update is installed, your themes and/or plugins can stop working correctly. The affected themes and plugins will then need to be updated to resolve the issues. How long it takes for a theme or plugin to be updated depends on the creator of the theme or plugin, if it is still being maintained. Until updated, your website may not appear or function as intended.
The issues caused by incompatible themes and/or plugins include your website performing slow, your website not displaying things how they should be displayed, missing components on your website, or your website not working at all.
Wordpress is a great system that enables people with limited knowledge and minimal skills to create a website fairly easily. While you cannot expect more for a personal website, it may not be the best solution for your business or company website. It is generally better to get your business website created properly from the start with a custom website that does not rely on wordpress. Your company website is one of the first things that potential customers will see and it needs to set a good first impression.
If you already have a wordpress website and you are experiencing some of the issues listed above, you should firstly go back to your web designer and ask them for help. They should be updating the core system, themes and plugins regularly, and they should be creating your website not just to look good, but to work effectively for your business or company.
If going to your current web designer is not an option for you, please contact us here at Digital Dreams. We have successfully converted many wordpress websites into normal, fast and efficient websites that look the same or better than the old wordpress website.
If you are about to get a new website, carefully consider the issues listed above and weigh up the costs, including the costs to your business if your website stops working. If you have any questions, please contact us, and one of our friendly team will assist you.