What’s up with WordPress?

WordPress, the world's number one CMS, has grown from a blogging tool to a versatile tool for creating websites. So what's made WordPress number one and what do you need to consider when choosing it as your CMS?

WordPress has grown out of a solution for creating blogs, it has proved very popular as it is easy to install and adapt.

WordPress has been historically used  to create these types of website:

  • Blogs / Photo-blogs
  • News sites
  • Brochure sites

However, a community has grown over the years, adding to its features, creating numerous themes and plugins to create every type of functionality available,  making it a versatile tool for creating all kinds of different types of websites.

What are the benefits of using WordPress:

  • The software is free to use
  • The WP Admin dashboard is clean and simple, making text and image editing quick and easy - clients can usually handle WP's admin interface without much help
  • Once signed in, you easily navigate around the site, selecting content to edit at the click of a button, making simple site editing straightforward
  • Thousands of plugins are available, making the addition of new features easier
  • Easy to update the core software.

What are the downsides of using WordPress

WordPress is not a ‘true’ CMS. As soon as you need to build something more complex, WP can become a headache of hacks, workarounds and conflicting plugins.

  • There are so many plugins available that it can be tricky to find one that is properly built, documented and supported
  • Plugins are available that are developed and supported – but cost money, rapidly moving WordPress away from being a ‘free’ solution
  • WordPress’ popularity makes it a target for hackers and spammers. Whenever a loophole is discovered, you can quickly find people exploiting it
  • The security issues mean that regular attention needs to be given to keeping the plugins and code up-to-date
  • By default, WordPress allows for the commenting on posts and this feature needs to be turned off and locked down on any site that doesn’t use the feature, otherwise the site will be open to spam and unwanted contributions.

When to choose WordPress

WordPress is a great solution for sites that use simple functionality, with one or two sections that are freely added to i.e. news / projects / case studies / galleries. However, it's worth bearing in mind that the more complexity you add, the more reliant you are on the plugins which adapt the core functionality of the CMS. The more reliance on plugins you have, the more updates you will need to regularly run and this should be considered in the ongoing maintenance of your website.

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