WordPress Websites in 2019 and Beyond – Good or Bad for Your Business?

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The topic of WordPress as a website platform often comes up with new clients—What is it? What does it do? Is it of any benefit to my business? There tend to be varying opinions depending on the audience: the believers, the dismissive, and the unaware. I happen to be a strong believer in WordPress Let me tell you the top three reasons why I like WordPress websites.

 

Reason #1: Community

There are many WordPress stats available online, but perhaps the most impressive one is: WordPress is used by approximately 60% of all the websites that use known content management systems. This accounts for 33.9% of ALL public websites (24,808,989+ sites worldwide, with over 7 million in the U.S.). To put that in perspective, WordPress’ closest competitors in the open source Content Management System (CMS) space account for 2.9% (Joomla) and 1.9% (Drupal) of all websites. Needless to say, those are HUGE numbers. What that translates to is a very large community of developers and WordPress pro-level users, which means a site is powered by WordPress, a business can easily find help and tons of functionality resources (plugins) which saves time and money.

 

Reason #2: Customization

With so many WordPress sites out there, clients are often concerned about whether or not their business site will be unique. The answer depends on whether a client chooses to use a custom theme or a publicly sold theme. Because TA (and most digital agencies), has a development team, we have the ability to create custom themes that are unique to our clients’ functionality requirements and brand standards. TA never uses pre-made themes, as it takes more time to customize these themes to match our clients’ requirements. When our team codes our own website themes, the code structure itself is cleaner and easier to follow, maintain, document, and optimize over time.

 

Reason #3: Speed to market / Cost reduction

Because of it’s out of the box functionality and ease of customization, WordPress cuts CMS site development time/costs greatly—benefitting both the business owner and the development team/agency. Let’s not forget, the purpose of having a CMS is for administrators to easily manage (update/edit) content after the site has been built. This is important because, without the ability to manage your site content, you will have to pay a developer or agency for each and every change you make to the site over its lifetime. Even if you are setting up a contract with an agency to maintain your site after it is built, having a CMS in place allows for faster edits and changes as they come up, which means less burn on the time you are paying for.

 

So…who are the dismissive folks?

I find that a lot of young developers tend to find WordPress “uncool.” Partly because there are always new technology stacks popping up that are fun/challenging to work with and are touted as the “next big thing.” Don’t take this the wrong way, there are always cool new things popping up, and we love to try them and take advantage of the ones that work for our client’s needs. But with those new things comes risk—a greater chance of failure due to the unknown, steeper learning curves, higher costs, and more dependency on the specific developer or the development team that is building your site, since the development community will be far smaller. We prefer to make decisions and recommendations based on practicality and business requirements vs. what’s the cool new tech on the market.

 

What does using WordPress mean for your site visitors (the uncertain)?

From the normal site visitor’s point of view, they have no idea whether a site is powered by WordPress or any other CMS, really. Site visitors are more concerned with UX than tech stack. There are tools that can help to identify technologies used for building any website, but those tools are used mostly by developers (e.g chrome code inspector, BuiltWith). Because WordPress can be optimized for fast response times and smooth UIs and actions, the experience of being on a WordPress powered site is seamless. You’re on one right now.

 

Is WordPress the all-in-one solution for web development?

Absolutely not. WordPress is for businesses (or individuals) that need a content management system. For e-commerce, SaaS, broker portals, and simple landing pages, there are better solutions available. At TA, we deal with a wide range of clients, each with their own specific requirements. Our goal is to use the right tool for the job. There is no single framework or CMS that can solve for every development challenge.

 

Website Security

Being that WordPress is open source and powers so many sites on the internet, the question of security comes up very often. Is WordPress secure? Yes, it is. But it does take effort to maintain its level of security. Simple things like making passwords difficult to guess and limiting the number of people who have access to the site admin are an easy first step. But there are many additional steps to help with security, such as keeping the WP core up to date, using secure hosting services, keeping plugins up to date, using properly vetted plugins (the paid ones tend to have better security built-in), using SSL/TLS to encrypt data, and adding security plugins like wordfence are a few of the ways to keep a high level of security on your site. It sounds like a lot, but these are things typically handled by your dev team as “site maintenance.”

 

Is WordPress the right website CMS for your business?

If it’s the right fit for your business, it’s definitely worth exploring. Do some online research, there are plenty of great articles out there! When you’re ready, speak with a professional to get some deeper insights.

Interested in discussing a project or need help with an existing one? Contact Us.

 

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November 25, 2019by leighton haniff

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