14 Reasons You Should Run To – Or Away From – WordPress

Despite the staggering popularity of WordPress, many people say negative things about it. It’s true that it’s not the right website software for everyone. But it’s extremely versatile and full of great features. I find that most people taking a quick dislike to it fall into 2 groups:

  • People who want to play at design, but lack the skills needed. They fiddle with it for awhile, and it either ends up looking awful or doesn’t match some website’s features they’re trying to duplicate. No system will turn a newbie into a web designer.
  • People who find the interface confusing and cluttered. It is quite complex. But not only is it learnable, there are easy ways to simplify the interface for someone who only wants to write articles, for instance.

I have worked with many web content management systems (aka CMS), so I have a better basis for comparison than most.  I get around! Reasons to be cheerful…

This survey is biased - WordPress is clearly on the right.
This survey is biased – WordPress is clearly on the right.

Reasons For:

  • WordPress now comprises 20% of websites worldwide. It has been continuously improved over the years, and now has strong content management capability. eCommerce, photo galleries, blogging, info sites, customer interaction, portfolios, sites for displaying cute cats, on and on.
  • There are scads of free and paid plugins that add all types of functionality to it.
  • There are excellent themes available to easily make your site look great, even good free ones.
  • It’s highly flexible for a developer to work with, and documentation is plentiful.
  • Its development team is continually adding features and fixes.
  • Free to download and install.
  • Because it’s so popular, there are proficient WordPress developers and designers everywhere.
  • There is a huge number of tutorial sites, ranging from informal YouTubes to high-quality paid instruction. By contrast, a CMS that’s obscure will be lacking in that area.

Whatever It Is, I’m Against It – Groucho Marx

Reasons Against:

  • Because it’s so popular, it’s a big target for hackers. With this in mind, careful security practices are needed, which require some tech savvy, at least enough to follow instructions for good practices, although you could also argue that good security practices are needed on any type of site. It’s just that if you’re using some obscure CMS, you may have fewer attempts at malfeasance.
  • To get control of every little bit, some tech ability is needed, including editing code.
  • It’s a somewhat large system, so for some small purposes, such as 1-page sites, it may be overkill.
  • Free plugins vary in quality. It’s helpful to have pro experience to evaluate them and use them sensibly.
  • There are CMS’s that are easier for newbies.
  • There are some specialized purposes that are better served by other tools. No system does everything, no matter what its fanboys say. For instance, I wouldn’t recommend WordPress for groupware or a wiki. I can often recommend another system if WordPress won’t do.

The oldest argument you’ll hear, that it’s only a blogging platform, is so out-of-date as to be entirely worthless. If someone tells you that, then they are years out-of-touch, have not been paying attention, and have certainly not seen the current system.

You may have your own reasons. Does WordPress bring you great happiness? A sense of despair? A desire to eat ice cream? Please tell us in the comments.

8 Comments


  1. I really want to like WordPress but find that there is often a “sameness” about many WordPress sites i.e. Content/right sidebar widgets and many are really post driven rather than page driven..

    I am playing with Genesis/ExecutivePro and find myself torn between the ease of having a solid starting point and the rigidity of the basic template. Disclosure – I definitely do not have the “arty” side of web design skills.

    I have no problem with getting my hands dirty on code ( in fact I enjoy so doing) but I ask myself the question : if it necessary to dig deep into code would it not be easier (for a 4-5 page site) to code it up in html/css from scratch ?<\q

    Reply

    1. Padraig,
      You’ve essentially asked the eternal question. 🙂 There’s no simple answer, as much as we’d like there to be. And we all want to have our cake and eat it, too. 🙂 Any WordPress zealot will simply tell you that there are [some big number] themes or sites that use unique layouts, and they’d be right.

      I am, in fact, a Genesis fan, but I know it’s not for everybody. The problem is that if you ask a fan of any system, no matter what it is, they’ll recommend that one system. This is a thinking error, and is just simple human nature.

      I’ve used lots of website frameworks other than WordPress, too, and some of them would be better for certain purposes.

      If you have a simple site, by all means write the raw code. You will lack content management, probably a lot of useful SEO features, and so on, of course. For super simple sites, yet having some content management, I’d point you to GetSimple, ProcessWire, or LightCMS.

      Good luck.

      Reply

      1. Thanks for your input Dave – food for thought.

        Off-topic – see you are a guitarist . Me too but not to the level on your MP3s. Really like the Ashoken farewell – first time I ever heard it I was convinced it was an Irish piece ( I am Irish) , an example perhaps of musical influences crossing the Atlantic.

        Padraig

        Reply

        1. Padraig,
          Good to meet you! I had noted your name, and thought you may have been Irish. I have some Irish ancestry.

          Glad to hear you play the guitar as well. Thanks for the positive comments on the music! I agree, the Farewell sounds very Irish.

          One time a photographer friend wanted some music to accompany his video for Independence Day over here. The idea hit me to arrange Yankee Doodle (of all things) as a slow waltz. I thought that instead of being prideful, it would have some poignancy and even irony. What I came up with feels very Irish, at least to me. If you’d like to check it out, I just added it to my tunes page. It’s not polished, but I was happy with the feeling.

          You’ve reminded me that I need to get current flamenco up there (those are way out of date). That’s what I play most of the time nowadays. 🙂

          Thanks, Go raibh maith agat,
          Dave

          Reply

          1. Daithi,
            Ah ! Ta beagan Gaeilge agat !

            “I have some Irish ancestry” . We are everywhere – probably more Irish outside the island than here on it. Like most Irish people I have cousins in New York.

            I Like the Yankee O’Doodle!

            Padraig


          2. Aye, cool!
            That sounds a little like my name en español. 😉

            If you don’t mind, I’ll co-opt your title for my arrangement!

            Daithi


  2. Go for it !
    Irish seems to closer to the Southern European languages whereas English seems to more Northern European.

    Padraig

    Reply

    1. Padraig,
      Thanks, I put that in there. 🙂

      Interesting about the languages – I love learning them and collecting bits of each. I do accents, probably my best one being Indian, followed by Marlon Brando. 😉 I need to work on my Irish and Scottish.

      D

      Reply

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