The Pros and Cons of WordPress

Did you know that WordPress is our CMS of choice for creating our clients’ websites here at Black Nova Designs? We know it inside out and talk about it all day long with our customers, but we know that when you’re working out what sort of website you want, you might not know very much about it! So, we thought that a blog which takes a closer look at the pros and cons of using WordPress for your website would be helpful.

Let’s kick off with the techy bit! You might know that WordPress is a website creation platform, but if you want to delve a little deeper, there’s a bit more to it. You might even have no idea what a CMS was when you read the very first line of this blog! So, as they used to say in the L’Oréal adverts – here’s the science! Well, when it comes to WordPress, here’s the information technology!

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) written in PHP and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database. The important parts of that are that it’s open source, which means people like our brilliant team of developers can modify code and make websites which are totally unique. Other than that, provided your website does what you need it to, we imagine you’re not too fussed about the technology. So here are the things which do matter – the pros and cons of WordPress for you, the business owner who wants a new website!

The pros of a WordPress website

It’s super easy to manage

When we’ve finished your website and it’s time to hand over the reins, you’ll find it amazingly easy to use! The dashboard is simple to navigate, and we will give you training to make sure you know how to add new pages, change content and post new blogs. If you need any help in the future, you’ll find our brilliant UK-based team on the end of the phone, and we can work together to create an affordable package for any design updates.

High performing, super-fast hosting

We said we’d keep this very simple and in the simplest terms hosting is what keeps your website online and able to be viewed by visitors. So, every single website needs hosting to be viewed! Our hosting packages cost £84.00 a year and WordPress is a world renowned website platform for performing incredibly fast, so you’ll be saving on your hosting costs too.

With the right developer, anything is possible

That open-source thing that we mentioned earlier really is important because it means the code which makes up a WordPress website is in the public domain and can be edited by developers. For you, that means if you employ an expert WordPress developer (us!) then virtually anything is possible.  Ask us for some examples of the amazing things we’ve done for our customers.

The plugins are really flexible

There are amazing things called plugins in WordPress which enable you to extend the functionality of your website or add new features. That means if you suddenly decide to start selling items through your website, there are plugins you can add to help you take and manage payments. If you want to launch a membership business model, then there will be a plugin for that too.

It’s fantastic for SEO

Just having a website built (very sadly) doesn’t mean customers will suddenly come flocking to your business. There’s a little bit of work to do to make sure you climb as high as possible on Google’s results pages and that work is called search engine optimisation (SEO). Luckily, there’s a great plugin for that too! The Yoast SEO plugin is our favourite as it means a client can manage their own meta tags and keywords without the need of an SEO expert – although an expert can help if time isn’t on your side.

The cons of a WordPress Website

Just like every software or online platform, there are some downsides to the WordPress platform. We design and host in WordPress but that doesn’t mean we think it is perfect

 We always ensure we give our customers honest feedback and clear information so that they can make the right decision for them and have realistic expectations of the platform. So, here are the cons of using a WordPress CMS:

You need to keep on top of security

Because WordPress is one of the most widely used platforms out there it’s also one of the most widely hacked. That might sound like they don’t care about security but that simply isn’t the case – it’s just that because there are so many WordPress websites out there, they are going to be targeted a lot. At the other end of the spectrum, software that has never been heard of would be hijacked or hacked the least often!

To keep your WordPress website secure you simply need to have a secure password & ideally use 2 factor authentication, stay on top of plugin updates (we recommend checking them at least once a week) and make sure you remove any plugins which you no longer need or use.

Be aware of the limitations of plugins

We spoke about how using plugins for your website can help you grow your business or pivot to a new business model if needed. But it is important to note that they are not always a viable option. Plugins are so widely available that you might accidentally use two plugins which conflict with each other. Or they might be badly/maliciously coded and not do what you want them to! In fact, if you end up with too many plugins it can slow down your website and impact its functionality. So be mindful before you install a new plugin.

If you don’t understand your WordPress dashboard, training is simple and easy!

The admin area (dashboard) of your WordPress website can seem a little overwhelming to begin with. Like any new systems, software, or app, we need to familiarize ourselves with them before using daily. Training is important for your website and can take as little as an hour to complete, you’ll be away in no time.

We offer one-to-one training for all WordPress websites, not just the ones we design, so if you would like to get up to speed or decide WordPress is for you, why not book in?

In conclusion…

As you can see from these three weaknesses, WordPress isn’t without its flaws. We think it’s the best platform for people looking to grow a business online, which is why we’ve chosen it!

If you do look at other options, it’s worth noting that WordPress alternatives aren’t without their faults either. Where they may be subject to fewer hacking attacks or be easier to use, they may not have the amazing customisation and flexibility of a WordPress website.

Another big thing to remember, because WordPress is self-hosted, you can move it to any hosting environment. This means that if you find another hosting provider, you are not fixed or stuck with your current provider forever. Whereas many website builders including Wix or Squarespace will not allow your website to move host unless you create a brand-new website separate from them. You are tied to using their services only.

We hope this blog has showcased what WordPress does well and what it doesn’t do so well! There’s no perfect platform which works for everyone, you just decide which disadvantages you can live with the most.  Depending on who you ask, between 26% and 35% of the websites you visit will be powered by WordPress, so it’s certainly a popular choice. It’s the CMS we’ve chosen and we’re very happy to chat to you to see if it will work for you.