Before using WordPress to build your website, you must first know its advantages and disadvantages. This way, you can make the right decision. In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of using WordPress.
What is WordPress?
A content management system (CMS) is software that provides an interface through which you can publish posts on your blog or website and manage content in general, without worrying about the underlying software framework.
WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) and website builder used for creating blogs, online stores, and other types of websites. Once WordPress is installed, you are prompted to log into your admin panel, where you will add pages to your site, add posts, install plugins and themes, and so on.
The two ways to use WordPress are through wordpress.com (a private publishing platform) and wordpress.org (for standalone WordPress hosting).
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
WordPress.com is basically a publishing platform where you can go and set up a WordPress site without having to start from scratch or worry about hosting it. The platform provides you with everything you need to quickly set up a WordPress site and put it on the Internet.
The second version of WordPress is the self-hosted one, which you can find at WordPress.org. At WordPress.org, you can download free WordPress software and modify it to your liking. You are also free to install it on any hosting provider you prefer.
Basically, the only difference between the two is that one of them provides centralized WordPress hosting (wordpress.com) while the other gives you free, editable code that you can host anywhere you want (WordPress.org).
Before using WordPress to build your website, you may first want to know its advantages and disadvantages, especially regarding the use for which you intend to use it (blog, online store, etc.). That way, you are better equipped to make a healthy decision in the end.
In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of using WordPress.
Advantages of using WordPress
Pro 1: WordPress is easy to use
WordPress is very easy to use, regardless of whether you are a programming guru or a senior with no technical knowledge. It comes with a simple user interface (also known as an “admin panel”) where users can create pages, add new posts, edit existing posts, add plugins and themes, and much more.
Within the WordPress.com platform, there are thousands of high-quality templates already made for different types of sites. You can customize one and use it for your website without having to write a line of code.
If you decide to use self-hosted WordPress, you won’t have any difficulty hosting it because most hosting companies provide a one-click installation feature for WordPress. Many of them also provide regular backups depending on the plan you choose.
Pro 2: WordPress sites are affordable
Building a website on WordPress tends to be cheaper than building one from scratch. For example, if you want to set up a WordPress site, you can do one of the following:
Install the free software from WordPress.org, modify the code to your liking, and pay a small fee to a site like Hostinger to host it for you.
Sign up at WordPress.com, pay a fee, and use their pre-built tools and templates to create your WordPress site, which they will host and manage for you.
Pro 3: WordPress has a strong ecosystem
WordPress is one of the most used website builders on the internet. In fact, according to Kinsta, around 43% of websites on the internet are powered by WordPress. This is almost half of all websites!
Due to this widespread use, WordPress has a very active user community and a huge ecosystem of third-party themes, plugins, and tools. Plus, there’s no shortage of WordPress developers out there.
This is also great news if you are learning how to use WordPress. You will find an infinite number of tutorials and guides on Google and YouTube that show the step-by-step process to perform different tasks in WordPress.
Pro 4: WordPress is flexible
WordPress is very robust and flexible. You can use it for anything from simple brochure sites, blogs, and landing pages to complex ecommerce sites and online stores.
You can start with a few pages and add more as your website continues to grow. There is no limit to the amount of content you post on your WordPress site, as long as the underlying host is able to handle it and you maintain your site on a regular basis.
Disadvantages of WordPress
With 1: WordPress is prone to hacking
In the “WordPress has a strong ecosystem” section below BenefitsI mentioned how the popularity of WordPress has led to a vibrant ecosystem of tools, plugins, and themes, which is a huge plus in using it.
However, this widespread use also makes WordPress a huge playground for hackers. In fact, 83% of all CMS-based hacked websites are powered by WordPress.
Hackers love to exploit WordPress vulnerabilities. They will look for themes or plugins that have been previously hacked and find that websites are still using them. They will then target these websites using the same hacking techniques as in previous cases.
Once they find a vulnerability in any of the websites, they can then search for data or even add malicious content to the site, leading to disastrous consequences for you.
You can find a lot of information about securing your WordPress site here on Envato Tuts +.
With 2: WordPress can be difficult to maintain
WordPress is notoriously known for its incompatibility issues and critical errors. A single corrupt plugin, or theme, can bring down the entire website.
Even worse, hackers can exploit loopholes in your website, leading them to steal sensitive information or add malicious content to it.
To ensure your website stays up, responsive, and secure, you need to frequently update your WordPress plugins, themes, and even PHP.
You must regularly perform backups and perform other essential maintenance activities to keep the site safe and functional.
However, all of this can actually detract from the time it takes to create content. Therefore, if you don’t have the time to keep up with maintenance routines, WordPress may not be the best option for you.
With 3: WordPress doesn’t work well
WordPress is 19 years old software and, let’s face it, a lot has changed in the last 19 years.
Since the advent of WordPress, we have witnessed and continue to witness the arrival of the latest and most cutting-edge technologies and technology stacks that enable faster, better-performing websites to be built.
It’s no secret that faster websites perform better than their slower counterparts. Google has even made it clear that they consider loading speed to be an important metric for a site’s ranking.
On average, most WordPress websites today are slower than websites built with modern technology stacks and frameworks. For example, a website built using a modern CMS tool like Squarespace is likely to outperform the average WordPress site.
However, this is not to say that all WordPress sites are slow. After all, there are plenty of plugins you can install to optimize your site’s speed and performance. But here’s the thing: you need to install additional plugins; this will eventually lead to the maintainability problem I explained in the last section.
Therefore, if your business is so dependent on website speed and performance, you might want to consider the latest technology stacks that are better optimized for performance.
Con 4: There is little innovation in WordPress
WordPress is not only lagging behind in terms of speed and performance, but also in terms of innovation. Compared to other CMS platforms, WordPress hasn’t changed much over the past five to eight years.
The WordPress user interface is still more or less the same. The workflow is always the same. There is a lot of bad product design and too many tutorials. Additionally, WordPress continues to suffer from compatibility and security issues. Many large companies will think twice before using WordPress for their site in 2022.
Another problem with WordPress is that it is too generic; one particular use case is missing. Whereas most of its competitors are tailored for specific uses. For example, Shopify is tailored for building ecommerce sites.
Despite its flaws, WordPress remains the most popular and used CMS today, with a market share of over 60% in the CMS industry.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen other CMS tools gain more traction. These include Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace. Unlike WordPress, most of these platforms are tailored to a specific use case (e.g. Spotify is used for ecommerce sites).
Other blogging platforms such as Ghost and Medium are also becoming increasingly popular. In any case, there is no doubt that WordPress will continue to reign in the near future.