WordPress - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
WordPress is a blogging platform designed for the specific reason of making blogging easier. However just like any other platform, WordPress needs to be installed on a hosting server for it to work properly.
WordPress has been designed to remove the HTML knowledge usually needed to create a website or blog by allowing you to just write the content and WordPress converting it into a website ready format which search engines recognise
Below is a list of why Wordpress is a good blogging platform to use:
- WordPress is free - great option if your on a very tight budget.
- WordPress is easy to use - updating and creating a page on your site requires no previous experience or knowledge of coding.
- WordPress plugins - easy to install plugins can be used to improve SEO (being found on Google) and to fully customize your blog.
- Worldwide Popularity - it is used and trusted by millions of people all over the world.
- WordPress has a theme functionality - this allows you to customise the look of your blog/page and ensure you can differentiate it from everyone else.
I found a great article written by Daily Blog Tips which lists Top 50 Free Responsive WordPress Themes to help you get started on your new WordPress site.
We have discussed the good aspects of using the WordPress platform but here are a list of the limitations to using it on the free setup available:
- WordPress can shows ads on your blog - ads that have no relevance to your site can appear on your page which can be frustrating and look unprofessional (for businesses).
- WordPress has a limited set of themes - themes are available to customise your page but only a limited number are available to choose from.
- WordPress can be vulnerable to hacking - because it is the most widely used platform it opens it up to hackers easily targeting it.
- No support available - if you are having issues installing a free theme for example, support is not easily available to help you fix it.
- Not fully Search Engine Optimised (SEO) - you do not get many in-built SEO features with free option and this will limit your chances of being found on Google and other search engines.
WordPress is a blogging tool but for companies wanting to have full control over there website a Content Management System (CMS) is more likely the best option available. It’s much easier and more flexible long term to work with a platform that has been designed from scratch for you which is what a CMS usually is.
Let's compare options available with WordPress and a customised Content Management System below:
Software updates can cause issues?
WordPress software updates can vary depending on the widgets and plugins you have on your site, you may need to re-design the entire website when a new plugin comes out. Whereas with a hand coded Content Management System (CMS) the developer or company who have built this system for you will be able to offer on-going support ensuring you keep the site fresh and error free.
Is WordPress Search Engine friendly?
WordPress wasn’t designed with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in mind there are add ons available to create SEO friendly pages but it very much depends on the support level (how much you are paying for support) as to what you can do and change. With a customised CMS the SEO would of been integrated at an early stage as part of the full package, ensuring best chances of being found on search engines.
Is WordPress actually free?
As mentioned previously aspects of WordPress are free for example you will get ads running on your site with the free version and the code is open source (available for all to use). However what you also need to take into account are other options including hosting and expertise to integrate a new theme and plugins which may be needed. Also on-going support when you get issues with the blog/site or need to upgrade it as the current version becomes old and dated. Taking all the above into account a one-off fee to have the site built by a developer or company could save you time and money in the long term.
So in summary..
WordPress is a great blogging platform although the security concerns and on-going support could work out costly long term. As a simple cost effective blog only WordPress is a good starting point but if you are looking for an overall system where you can edit multiple pages for your website then a customised Content Management System based on safe and secure technology such as Microsoft .Net and MS SQL Server could prove a better investment.
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