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8 reasons why we don’t use WordPress

Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018

1. WordPress is haunted by security issues.

Being a popular platform is not a good thing when it comes to security. WordPress sites are like powerful hacker magnets, and we don't want your site to become a victim. Hundreds of thousands of WordPress sites are hacked every year. The website security company Sucuri reports that 78% of the sites with security issues they work on are WordPress sites. For example, WordPress sites are a frequent target of brute force attacks. Once a bot discovers a site built on WordPress, it can send its attack scripts—such as a script that tries usernames and passwords on your login page—over and over again, until it breaks in. While WordPress’s core software is built and tested by a centralized development team, the same is not true for the thousands of themes and plugins. Some inexperienced plugin and theme developers don’t know they’re exposing security holes, but hackers will find them. Other more malicious developers intentionally add a security vulnerability, so they can gain access where they shouldn’t and do whatever they want to your site. Sure, WordPress’s security weaknesses can be managed. But it takes work and constant monitoring to keep a WordPress site secure. We would rather devote time and money to your site’s quality than spend it dealing with WordPress security issues.

2. Software upgrades are constant (and automatic upgrades aren’t necessarily a good thing).

WordPress frequently releases regular site improvements and security updates. To make frequent software updates easier, WordPress now includes the option of automatic software upgrades. When turned on, this means every time a new version of WordPress is available, it will automatically be installed on your site. This is a great idea on the surface, but it has big potential to backfire. If WordPress automatically updates and the theme breaks as a result—you need to figure out where things went wrong. This kind of breakage can happen with your theme, or any of the dozens of plugins in use, when you have automatic upgrades on. If you don’t run automatic upgrades, you’ll need to rely on your development team to stay on top of them. Software upgrades are released every one or two months. If you have plugins or a theme installed, that means you also need to make sure they work with the latest update. That’s a lot of overhead just to make sure your site is secure.

3. Themes appear awesome. But the awesomeness is limited.

A theme is a set of pre-built layouts—essentially the design of your site pages. You can find a good-looking theme for as little as ten or twelve bucks on a theme site. In an ideal world, you’d pick a theme, pass it to your development team to install and maybe tweak a bit, and you’d be all set. If only it were that simple. Themes are a good solution for non-developers. However, a third-party theme is not a good starting point for most professional web teams. Rarely are themes built to meet high-quality code standards. All too often, there are issues visible on mobile devices, tablets, or less common browsers. It’s unlikely that a pre-built theme meets accessibility requirements for those with impaired vision. If the coding standards are subpar, your development team will have to spend time fixing the theme or scrap it altogether. If you want a custom design that matches your brand, then a pre-built theme may not work at all. As soon as you want to start customizing the theme with more than your logo, things start to break down. Off-the-shelf themes work best if you do not need to customize them beyond a few limited choices, and you can live with them being just the way they are. Themes are great if you don’t want your site design customized. We want to be able to customize what your site looks like—with no limits. Besides, for us, a site that doesn’t adhere to standard coding practices is simply not good enough. The poor code quality and design constraints of pre-built themes do not work for a custom website.

4. Plugins: thousands of opportunities to introduce conflicts, increase security risks, and slow down your site.

There are tens of thousands of WordPress plugins. With so many plugins, surely you’ll be able to find one to service each of  the features you need, right? In fact, you will likely find multiple plugins for each of the features. But plugins are not all created equal. Plugins are one of the biggest risks for site hacks. If they’re built by an inexperienced developer, or they’re not maintained, they introduce security risks. Also, the more plugins that are installed on a site, the more opportunities there are for conflicts between them. A plugin conflict can do something as innocuous as make one plugin not work at all. But it can also crash your entire site. And more plugins mean more opportunities to slow down your website. More plug-ins mean more code running on your site, more database requests, and generally more site load time. Keep in mind that it is not unusual to have 50 or more plugins on one site. With these factors and a lot of plugins, your site has a lot of variables. Plugins definitely require regular maintenance and the more you have, the more time is required.

5. The software is “free.” But that doesn’t mean the full cost of site ownership is cheap.

WordPress is free and open-source software. You (or your web developer) can download and install the WordPress software at a hosting location of your choice and you don’t have to pay a license fee to use it. However, that doesn’t mean you can get the site of your dreams for no cost. Any customizations you want require developer expertise. That includes design and layout changes and new features. Many WordPress development shops have a set of paid plugins they use on every site that they incorporate into your website—they can’t create a great website without them. The problem arises when you need to change the operation, features the plugin provides or fix it over time.  Site maintenance requires time and money—and WordPress needs a lot: frequent core software upgrades, plugin upgrades, theme upgrades, and the testing that goes along with them.

WordPress is designed so loosely, that all the pieces, plugins and technology fall apart constantly. You'll need to hire a WordPress developer on a regular basis just to make sure it's all still working properly. This can often cost thousands just to make sure all is working well and that's not including any website changes, improvements or modifications as your business grows. WordPress is not cost-effective for small businesses. You can save more money overtime on a custom site from Engagelogic. We deliver a better product, by using our own CMS with fully paid up license. We wrote every line of code and can adapt as we need to.

6. The features that make WordPress so easy to get started with can hinder long-term success.

At its core, WordPress is a blog platform—that’s why it was originally built. While it’s evolved to be more powerful, it still adheres to its original structure. This structure works well for simple sites. If your site is made up of standard pages like home, about, and services, as well as a blog-like series of articles (like company news, latest product releases etc.) then the inherent WordPress structure works well. But as a site evolves, this constraint really gets in the way. For example, a site that requires a searchable product database, resources like white papers and case studies, and a directory of sales representatives can be built with WordPress, but it’s going to take a developer more time to set up the data structure and make all of these parts usable for a content editor.

7. What happens when your developer needs help? Support is not available from WordPress.

Every developer runs into challenges getting website features to work or certain components to play nicely together. Even with years of experience this doesn’t go away. When it comes to getting help for Wordpress, it gets tricky. There is a large do-it-yourself support community for WordPress, but there is no readily available way for a site owner or developer to get support directly from the WordPress development team. Sure, you can get support from a company that does WordPress support—but these are not the people that build the WordPress software. For those willing to pay, there is VIP WordPress support available. It starts at $15,000/year. That is not a typo. It’s really only appropriate for large sites. As a company that builds and maintains websites for dozens of clients, not having access to the development team of the website system we rely on isn’t good enough. What happens if there is a core system bug we need fixed, or we can’t figure something out and my team and I don’t have access to the developers that build the product?

8. You won't be able to edit on your own without a ton of training.

Engagelogic designs and develops websites, and even members of our team get frustrated and confused with WordPress. That's because it was not designed with clients or business people in mind. It was made for coders. The backend of WordPress is so confusing, so annoying and frustrating, that people refuse to attempt to edit it on their own after their first few attempts. WordPress is not user-friendly, no matter what any WordPress developer claims. Besides, WordPress Developers will drive you down a dark path of coding & customization. You run a business, not a technology experiment. WordPress Developers will make your project too complicated, take too long, and cost too much money. Be prepared to hire multiple WordPress developers over the next two years to fix up your site until you get to the point where you're ready to give up and try something new.

The Engagelogic CMA excels in the areas of ease of use, speed, performance, standards-compliance, accessibility, mobile- and print-friendly and SEO-tuned architecture. Let us show you.

 

 

 

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