WordPress has become the most widely used website software which today makes up over 34% of websites internet and the my software of choice for building basic to large scale ecommerce websites.
One of the main reasons, that as a content management system (CMS) it puts control into the hands of website owners to make content updates without having to rely on their web developer.
WordPress has also become a well known brand – so much so, that most of my clients already mention it prior to discussing their project requirements.
However, there are several misconceptions from business owners and even developers who haven’t worked with it that I’d like to cover in this article.
1. WordPress Development is EASY
It’s true, WordPress has certainly made developing websites easier in some aspects and possible for even those who are not very technical.
“Just” install WordPress, “just” install a theme, “just” install a plugin, “just” replace some images add content, move this here and Voila! A brand new website right?
Wrong. This is not the process of building quality WordPress websites and if this was the approach taken by your web design company – you have likely just wasted money and become a member of the 91% club of websites who receive no traffic.
WordPress has a large library of thousands of plugins which are essentially additional code packages to extend functionality. However, finding the right solutions however can be quite time consuming. Often times finding the right plugin that is compatible with your website requires testing, familiarizing and sometimes modifying existing code in order to achieve website requirements.
WordPress has certainly made building websites easier, but that doesn’t necessarily mean building WordPress websites is easy.
I also believe this common misconception and the inequities between what different web designers/agencies may charge has led business owners to believe buying a $500 website will get the same outcome and results as a $5000 website which couldn’t be further from the truth.
The value of a website is typically based on time, experience and quality of service. These factors all contribute to the likelihood of your online presence having a competitive advantage and more importantly getting results.
2. WordPress is only good for small websites
WordPress was originally launched as a blogging software but has since evolved into a scalable content management system that today powers popular websites including Disney, Bloomberg, Time, SONY, Rolling Stones & Microsoft News to name a few.
It is flexible, scalable and can be an effective framework for just about any type of website, from small to large scale projects.
WordPress is an ideal solution for creating anything from basic landing pages and corporate websites to large-scale online communities, news portals, ecommerce websites and social medial platforms.
In order to address high traffic or resource heavy websites, an experienced WordPress developer knows how to leverage web development standards, server technology, caching and the use of the right plugins in order to achieve a website that loads quickly, runs smoothly and is scalable to a businesses needs.
3. WordPress websites all look the same
A fresh WordPress install comes with its own default theme which is typically used by beginners and maybe like 3 other developers who use it. This isn’t typical practice for most WordPress developers, but to each their own.
Installing a theme is easy however trying to configure and modify can require a lot of time, effort and additional CSS & PHP.
Not all themes are created equal and often times, despite looking aesthetically pleasing, can be difficult to work with, are poorly made, can be incompatible with many plugins and present a set of issues.
Themeforest is the largest theme repository which currently provides 46,351 available WordPress themes which can be purchased from around $50 USD.
I’m sure if you spend enough time you can find a WordPress theme that appeals to your desired look and feel but from experience I’ve found this to be a poor approach.
Themes can be used as a framework and are flexible in achieving their own distinct appearance & layout. In fact, most of the time you wouldn’t even know they were using the same theme.
WordPress themes can be complex, require a steep learning curve and provide their own custom interface which can be used to control appearance, layout and include additional functionality.
4. WordPress Sucks!
I’ve actually debated this with a full stack web developer once who refused to work with WordPress and rather build websites from scratch.
First off, as someone who graduated in computer programming, I commend anyone who is capable of doing this, due to technical knowledge and patience required.
But developing in WordPress can potentially cut project development time and costs to a fraction. Additional functionality can be easily added through the plugin library with the click of a mouse.
Need a social media integration? Click. Need to add security? Click. Need to integrate a newsletter software? Click. Integrate with a CRM? Click…and so on.
Many plugins are sold and supported by web development teams and companies constantly looking to improve their product.
Need help? The WordPress Community at WordPress.org consists of over half a million users willing to provide assistance to answer any questions.
‘WordPress is slow’ is another common misconception I’ve often heard. As mentioned previously, with the right use of server technology, plugins and configuration, you can improve performance on a WordPress website to load in seconds.
If you’re looking to create an aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly, feature-rich, search engine optimized website – WordPress can help your business achieve its online goals.