WordPress was originally built as a personal publishing platform for bloggers, consisting of a user-friendly dashboard, and a simple site structure.
Over time, WordPress gained momentum and businesses began using the platform as a website builder to promote their products and services.
Although the platform works well for bloggers, WordPress is not an ideal website tool for established businesses for a number of diverse reasons. Those reasons involve weak site security, limited web design and functionality, and poor cost-effectiveness. Read on to learn why our custom web design agency is over this popular platform.
1. WordPress Sites Are Vulnerable to Website Hacking
Website security should be of vital importance for any reputable brand with an online presence. According to online sources, WordPress websites can be vulnerable to hackings due to poor hosting environments, out-of-date technology, and out-of-date WordPress plugins or themes.
A hacked website is a serious security risk and can be detrimental to a brand by greatly affect its users, data, and credibility. If your website is not managed and updated on a monthly basis, you could risk someone breaking into your site and using it for their own malicious agenda.
“The main downsides of WordPress are the lack of native fields, lack of flexibility, and the quirks involved in creating and maintaining custom post types.”
2. Lack of Straight Forward Native Fields
Mostly everyone agrees to use the advanced custom fields plugin for fields, but why should one of the most basic parts of a CMS require a plugin? Plugins themselves are not necessarily evil and are sometimes needed, but when a basic core functionality is required, you would hope that this functionality is either built into the CMS or offered as some extension preferably developed and maintained by the same people that develop the CMS.
3. Theme & Plugin Updates Will Likely Cause Problems
WordPress websites heavily rely on themes and plugins. Many times, plugin updates come into interference with one another and this can result in lost functionality. This can be a huge issue especially if your brand’s contact form relies on a plugin. One might not even realize a plugin is not working for a length of time if someone is not consistently monitoring the website. A website owner would also need to spend time and money to fix the broken plugin or have it completely customized in order to fit the website. Both of these options can be incredibly costly over time, and there will be no end in sight.
4. Slow Website Speed
Page speed is a crucial component for both user experience and SEO ranking. Modern users hate slow websites and won’t wait more than a few seconds for a page to load before bouncing off the page. In addition, search engines such as Google, rank websites accordingly to their speed.
5. Lack of Flexibility
Php is not a good language for templating. You may wish to use the WordPress dashboard but bring your own templating to the table. If you are looking to use WordPress in a headless configuration you may consider the wp-json API. A few gotchas will most likely arrive unless your use case is extremely simple. You begin realizing you need extensions and extra patches to be able to see ACF fields and the URL queries may start getting long and obscure. You may think about using graphql, but there is no native graphql server to interact with the database. I have seen a few plugins that attempt to offer this, but we are immediately off on the wrong foot by requiring that external plugins be added for very basic and important services.
6. WordPress Sites Are Difficult to Scale and Customize
If you are looking to develop a custom and functional website that performs based on the growing needs of your business and consumers, you can forget about using WordPress. With a limited ability to alter the design and functionality of the website, you’d have to hire an experienced web developer to customize WordPress themes and plugins, this however will not be enough for a growing company with rapidly changing website needs.
Needless to say, a limiting WordPress theme will not allow you to stand out amongst your competitors. Today’s users are intrigued by captivating web designs, your brand will not be able to captivate users using a basic WordPress theme that looks similar to many other websites.
In addition, building a WordPress site that can handle a lot of traffic can be challenging to do. This would also require you to hire an experienced developer to set up an environment that can handle a larger amount of traffic which could eventually cost you about the same as hiring one for custom web development.
“There are oftentimes too many different ways to achieve something and this leads to bugs and confusion. A lot of this could be cleared up by having a much simpler dashboard with important native functionality baked into it without needed plugins”
7. Quirks When Creating & Maintaining Custom Post Types
If you would like to create custom post types you can either create code in the functions.php file or download a plugin to create/manage these. There are strange quirks that always seem to arise. For example, let’s say you change something in functions.php about your custom post types like the slug (which is a common example). You will notice this does not change things right away. It is understandable that if you make a code change, there may need to be an extra step to make a database change, however in my opinion there should be a management section without needing a plugin in the WordPress dashboard that takes care of all of this for you. Why should you have to go to settings > permalinks and click “save changes”? It’s very hacky and unintuitive. There are oftentimes too many different ways to achieve something and this leads to bugs and confusion. A lot of this could be cleared up by having a much simpler dashboard with important native functionality baked into it without needed plugins. Plugins are meant for extending functionality not basic, important CMS functionality.
8. It’s Not the Friendliest Platform for SEO
As discussed above, added load times from clunky plugins negatively affect speed which in turn can negatively affect user experience and overall, your site’s SEO. In addition, many WordPress themes aren’t optimized for mobile functionality which will also greatly impact your SEO with mobile-first indexing search engines like Google.
What many users do not know, is that by default, WordPress hides the website from indexing and will not be found via a search engine. You will need someone to go in the backend to adjust the settings accordingly in order for the site to gain organic traffic via search engines.
9. It’s Not Cost-Effective
As previously mentioned, WordPress websites depend on third-party themes and plugins. Updates to either often results in numerous breaks in technology. When this happens, you’ll have to spend additional money on a developer’s services trying to fix it which can be quite costly. Website owners would benefit more from hiring a web design agency to develop a custom website built with a content management system that is even easier to use, less clunky, and set up for the exact needs of their in-house team.