We’ve been developing websites using WordPress a lot over the last five years. A number of common questions come up when we discuss using WordPress for a client. I’m hoping this post will answer most of these.
Isn’t WordPress just for small websites?
Not at all. In fact, 30% of all websites use WordPress for content management, including 15% of the top 100 websites in the world use it (TED, NBC, CNN, TechCrunch, Sony Music, BBC America, …).
Running larger websites on WordPress is no problem at all – there are lots of huge websites with substantially amounts of traffic and content running very successfully on WordPress.
What about security?
WordPress actually has a great security records. The WordPress company (Automattic) employ a full time security team and, as it’s an open source product, these are supported by the WordPress community of thousands. WordPress updates itself automatically whenever a new version is available, so security issues get fixed almost immediately.
The danger comes when amateur developers build their WordPress websites using lots of poor quality plugins or not keeping plugins up to date.
Plugins do require some manual interaction to update them, though it’s usually quick and easy. If they’re not updated to fix a known security issue then this leaves the website vulnerable.
What about themes?
We create WordPress themes following the security guidelines closely. We design bespoke WordPress themes that are designed specifically for the needs of each client, perfectly complementing their branding and supports their organizational aims.
Importantly, we never use ‘off-the-shelf’ WordPress theme and advise our clients against using them for a number or reasons:
- Purchased themes tend to be difficult for website owners to manage and maintain. These themes often come with “page builder” plugins that enable inexperienced web designers to quickly build websites: no consideration is given to making a website easy for the end user (you) to manage after the website is launched.
- Purchased themes rarely provide a good user experience for anything other than simple ‘brochure’ websites. Particularly, these themes very rarely consider the needs of Australian organisations to comply with our clients Disability Inclusion Action Plans or the WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines.
- Purchased themes can be prone to security vulnerabilities as their developers abandon them, which may be as little as a year or two.
- They also often rely heavily third-party plugins that can be difficult to update and form an additional hidden cost and security burden.
- Finally, purchased themes rarely do justice to an organisations brand.
So why use WordPress?
I’d say the main benefits of WordPress are
- Compared to other CMS platforms, it’s by far the easiest to use
- It’s secure and reliable
- Flexibility: the platform allows us to build almost anything
- And the low cost compared to other CMS platforms.
There’s also the fact that if you want to change your web hosting or get a different agency to work on your website you’ll have no problem at all finding someone to help you.
And finally, we love WordPress because it’s open source software. This fits nicely with our client-base which is mostly public sector and not-for-profit organisations.
Want to find out more? Why not give us a call or pop in and chat?