The one question that clients ask us time and again, and again…and again is, ‘Should I Choose WordPress for my Website’. I have encountered other forms of this question, like ‘Is WordPress Overrated?’ or ‘Is WordPress Worth all the hype?’, so on and so forth, on various social forums too.
While I understand when I am faced with such questions from clients (considering they are concerned about their business outcomes), I have never quite understood when people try to either magnify or write off a certain CMS based on comparisons between various content management systems. I would say it is similar to asking a question like, ‘What is better? Apples or Oranges?’. Each is a fruit and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Now you would decide which one to choose based on what you need right?
Similarly, while deciding on WordPress as a CMS for your website the focus should primarily be on your requirements and what WordPress has to offer in order to fulfill those requirements.
5 Questions to Help You Sort the WordPress Dilemma
In my opinion while WordPress is not the best solution for every requirement it is definitely not overrated. And my next five points are about to prove just that!
How does using WordPress affect Development Costs?
WordPress is a free Content Management System. It can’t get cheaper than Free. And there is a lot more. Along with system, there are several extensions freely or readily available to add the functionality you need. This is surely a time saver for developers, and in-turn a cost saver for you.
Another great thing about WordPress is that it is Open Source. This means that the code is transparent. We have access to all of it. Which is great for developers like us. We can use it to work with the system, and modify the features as per your needs.
WordPress => Speeds up Development => Reduces Development Cost
What about Enhancements and Maintenance?
The great thing about WordPress, is the plug and play architecture. WordPress is like a game of Lego. You put together the parts you want, or remove the parts you do not need. Which makes the system really easy to maintain.
You see, WordPress as such is a base. Your website is developed on top of it. For the overall look of your website, you have to add a theme, (to style your site, and to add some basic features). You can add functionality as plugins, for easy maintainability. Also, if WordPress best practices are followed, you can easily extend or update an existing functionality, without having to change the core data. Which means, even if the core is updated, you don’t have to worry about your changes being lost.
If you are of the opinion that all the above data was loads of technical gibberish for you let’s just skip it.
What you should read from the above is: Plug and play architecture means lower maintenance and enhancement costs for you!
Is WordPress Simple to Use?
When you install WordPress, you will not find any documentation along with the installation. No detailed technical guides, no PDFs, no How-to-dos (well you probably wouldn’t need these anyway). The documentation if you need any, is accessible on WordPress.org.
The major reason why WordPress is so popular is because it is simple to setup and simple to use. WordPress setup is a matter of few-easy-do-it-yourself steps. Once you set it up, you can start posting content immediately.
What about Search Engine Optimization?
With WordPress, you don’t need to invest a lot of time optimizing your pages for search engines. There are several plugins you can use to help make your job simpler. You have the opportunity of adding SEO friendly tags, to the content being posted. The URL structure is well organized as well, and hence useful for search engine optimization.
Am I assured of a Secure Platform?
One concern that surrounds WordPress very often is the security of a website built upon WordPress. This has now become a thing of the past though. WordPress has taken sizable measures to counter security threats. Security in WordPress is controlled using SSL capabilities and role management. Additionally, you as a user should also take various security measures. If you skip these then don’t blame WordPress for it.
A Few Stats….An Objective Approach
I know that you are craving for some absolute facts in spite of the fact that the explanation above makes sense to you. So to satisfy the cravings here’s a lowdown on the three popular content management systems.
|140 million downloads
|15 million downloads
|30 million downloads
|2,600+ Free Themes
|1,200+ Free Themes
|1,000+ Free Themes
|32,000+ Free Plugins
|15,000+ Free Plugins
|8,000+ Free Extensions
|5 mins Installation time
|10 mins Installation time
|10 mins Installation time
When should you not Choose WordPress?
Like I said earlier, we as WordPress practitioners would not recommend WordPress for every development request that we receive. Whether you should choose WordPress for your website is a very subjective question and can only be answered after a thorough analysis of your requirements. Here are a few examples when we have recommended clients against WordPress.
Site with Minimal Functionality
Client Requirement: The client needed a real estate website which would primarily deal with maintaining a pipeline of sales pitches that have been made to potential clients and proposals that have been realized.
Such a website would essentially not need many features that WordPress has to offer and would not use WordPress to its full potential. Additionally, the application will remain dependent on WordPress for any future evolution that it might go through. Hence, implementing the requirement using core PHP makes more sense here.
Vast eCommerce Website
Client Requirement: The client required an eCommerce site which would would deal with around 5000+ products as it evolved.
While an eCommerce website can be developed using WordPress it is always recommended to use it only when the eCommerce site is aimed at being small to medium in size. Ideally, a website which would be dealing with a vast product database should be built upon a platform like Magento which has essentially been built to be an eCommerce system rather than WordPress which has evolved to become a CMS from being a blogging platform.
Large-Scale LMS System
Another use case that comes to my mind is development of a Learning Management System. If the requirements for such a system are extremely elaborate, then in my opinion using a system like Moodle which has been essentially developed to be a Learning Management System would be better. My reasoning is that a system which has been built solely around the concept of e-Learning, would be continually working on improving just that. And is the obvious choice. But WordPress cannot be completely ignored. WordPress can provide an LMS like Moodle, a blogging and e-Commerce platform. For example, WooCommerce, a popular e-Commerce plugin on WordPress can be used as an e-Commerce portal for Moodle.
To summarize, using WordPress not only simplifies the work for us developers, but it is also helpful for clients, because it lowers development costs, lowers enhancement and maintenance costs, is simple to use, with many support and discussion forums available, is secure and search engine optimized. So, if it fits the bill look no further.