WordPress started out in 2003 as a blogging platform. It’s since become the leader in the industry for powering websites, with over 40% of the market. No one can rival its popularity as an open-source, content management system (CMS), and has been described as the Swiss Army Knife of its field: the embodiment of multifunctionality and inventiveness, but do you need all the bits?
Having previously explored the pros and cons of Squarespace, this article will explore the pros and cons of WordPress, and how it might or might not give you the cutting edge.
5 Reasons To Choose WordPress Over Any Other CMS.
Due to its origins in blogging, users have found WordPress to be easy to navigate. It’s no problem to create pages for your site, and update content as you go along. Just like Squarespace, previous website design knowledge isn’t essential.
The block editor is easy to use for beginners, to add and content in a style of your choosing. The editor enables the user to add anything from written text, to images, to audio. It also has a powerful templating engine. WordPress has a database of blocks and themes to choose from; however, plugins are where the choice really does make a difference.
You’ll have complete control of your website files and data. You won’t be tied down to a web hosting company, and you can move the website to wherever you want.
With a choice of over 60,000 plug-ins available to choose from, the ability to customise and enhance your WordPress site feels endless. If you’re looking for a really specific edit to your site, the chances are, there will be a plug-in available to suit your needs. There are also thousands of third party plug-ins available that are compatible with WordPress.
A plug-in works like an app on the WordPress site. In the same way an app can change the way your mobile phone or tablet appears, you can do the same on WordPress. A lot of them are free. Their uses don’t stop at appearance. You may wish to bolt on some additional functionality, such as adding contact forms, or e-commerce front ends. Plug-ins range from simple additions, to large scale functionality. With almost endless options, you really do have the scope to create something quite unique.
Optimisation of content, meta tags and focus on keywords, are so important in your quest to bring more traffic to your website. Once again, the use of plug-ins really supplement the need for excellent SEO.
A great example of a plug-in is called Yoast. Deemed the number one plug-in for WordPress users, it will really help your site perform better in search engines like Google, and improve the overall reading experience for your users.
With there being so many themes available, it could bring the responsiveness of the site into question. A lot of your audience are likely to use their mobile phone to browse your site, so responsiveness is key, to not make them go elsewhere. WordPress does a very good job to ensure the user experience remains smooth and timely.
5. Open Source.
As the software is open source, the sharing of code online by programmers, will help you save on development and time costs. This is very useful when working with a third party when trying to develop your website, as the code can be easily edited to suit your needs.
5 Reasons That Might Make You Avoid WordPress.
WordPress is an open source platform. That may well be noted in the pros above, but it can make it a target for hackers. Security has to be spot on, particularly when WordPress holds such a large market share of internet sites.
Good knowledge of safe plug-ins is essential. Choosing with caution is a must, however when there are 60,000 to choose from, this can seem a little daunting. Website vulnerability can hurt your credibility and risks potentially passing viruses on to your users.
2. User Experience.
Again, a pro that can also be a con. Some of the themes have unnecessary generic code. This will slow down the site and its loading speeds. For the new users, and the least experienced in web design, it would be difficult to know which code is useful, and which isn’t. You may need third party help if this becomes a problem.
Seeking a WordPress expert in the first instance would remove some of these concerns. This doesn’t appear to be something that Squarespace users have suffered from as much.
In this digital age, plug-ins (and apps) need regular updating. Although updates are there to enhance the user experience, this can be frustrating. Without updates, this can either slow down your site, or in some cases, stop it from performing at its optimum.
The sheer volume of them can put off the business owner. Squarespace doesn’t use plug-ins, and although this may be limiting for some, it can be easier to make a decision on.
4. The Price.
WordPress itself is free. However, in the bigger picture, it can become quite expensive. Not all plug-ins are free, reliable or safe. Maintaining a unique website could involve buying plug-ins, so that you’re not using the same themes as everyone else. And it can cost to keep them up-to-date.
5. Customer Services.
In short, there isn’t any. Users therefore rely on forums or paid help. Bring open source and a non-commercial product, you are very much on your own when it comes to realising and trying to fix issues.
WordPress is great for those who want something adaptable and flexible. The user has thousands of options at their disposal to make something truly unique. It can be as simple, or as complex and sophisticated as you want it to be. If you are wanting to run a small business, or simply host blogs, WordPress may not be needed, and there are other, more straight-forward alternatives out there.