WordPress is a Blog... Not a commercial website platform. We have stayed well away from developing websites in the 'universal' beginners WordPress platform. Today we delve into the reasons why we don’t use it and why we don’t recommend it for our clients.
Wordpress was originally developed as a Blog platform for presenting latest news articles. A very straight forward function. Over time web developers have utilised this baseline platform to develop their own plugins and modules and release these to the market as free plugins to extend wordpress to 'act' as a content management system, a online shopping cart platform etc.
So far this sounds like it could be quite helpful, but when things are free, they aren’t always the best option... In fact they can be far more costly than ever imagined!
There are three major problems with using Wordpress.
As wordpress is developed and contributed to by thousands of developers all over the world, including third party plugins and modules for shopping carts and CMS, the system has a certain level of functionality pre-developed, however if you need some custom elements to your website (99% of websites generally do) it starts to become quite troublesome to perform these custom updates the system wasn’t designed to handle. A small addition to a product may cause another Wordpress plugin that runs the online checkout portion of the website to function incorrectly or cease working etc. It's like trying to build a car using parts from all different manufacturers and expecting it to perform as smoothly as something purpose built.
With WordPress being one of the world's (if not the most) recognised web platforms, it is constantly targeted for vulnerabilities and hacks. This increases the potential risk you have of your website being target for attacks. While wordpress themselves constantly release updates to their system (see support below), any third party plugins or modules to enable shopping carts or CMS functionality in your website also have their own vulnerabilities that require the plugins original developer to fix.
Wordpress isn’t a simple platform to grasp from a usability perspective. Allowing what should be simple updates to your website (changing product images, pricing etc) can be an arduous task, trying to figure out how to make the update, and then the process of actually making the update. On top of that, as per the security note above, Wordpress is targeted heavily for vulnerabilities and needs to be kept up to date all the times to ensure it is secure. This requires more regular support and costs to ensure you and your customers are protected.
Wordpress wasn’t designed to be a universal platform, it was designed to be a blog and over time people have hacked/extended it to do more and has been a past nightmare for our new clients that have come to us with a troublesome and complicated website built on the WordPress platform.
We develop websites how they should be built - Your website isn’t built up of a mishmash of plugins and modules from third parties reliant on regular security patches and updates. We build your website custom to your requirements to perform and convert browsers into buyers.
Adam Zuchetti explains how you should choose a reliable website developer.
Without recommendations from someone you know, what can you do to ensure the web developer you hire is a reputable one?
As one such industry player points out, there are no formal qualifications required to become a web developer.
“For content management systems, you can get something like an open source program like a Joomla or a WordPress, and there are no qualifications around that,” explains Tim Barnett of digital agency 2BInteractive."
The trick, explains Tim, can be to go for a developer who builds proprietary CMSs.
“So if you’re going to a company which is using a proprietary content management system, then you’re assured that you’re going to be getting people developing that who actually know what they’re doing.”
However even this can have its limitations, says Tim.
“That’s in terms of the actual coding of it. In terms of the rest of it, there are no qualifications.”
This is where it becomes valuable to look at the previous work of the developer – beyond obtaining simple testimonials.
“I guess it really comes down to proof in the pudding, seeing what those agencies have done in the past. Not just looking at the testimonials on their website, but ask those agencies for references and speak to some of their customers and find out their experiences,” advises Tim.
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