You are thinking of developing a new website and you keep hearing of WordPress. As of now more than 25% of websites on the internet run on WordPress, so it would be hard to believe that all these people are wrong. However, it is not for everyone. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) which allows users to easily setup and edit their website via a user friendly interface.
When we first started developing websites for our customers, we did all kinds of sites from static HTML Websites, custom CMS systems to custom coded websites. Over the last few years we have been developing more and more WordPress websites because of it’s many benefits:
- Widely Supported: It is easier to find people and information on how to manage your WordPress website.
- SEO Friendly: It is built in a way that it is ready for you to optimize your website for search engines.
- Plug-ins: There are many plugins (free and paid) that allow you to add more features to your site without having to develop it from scratch.
- Mobile Friendly: It is relatively easy to develop a mobile friendly website using WordPress compared to doing a site from scratch.
- Plenty of Themes: If you don’t want to design a site from scratch then there are thousands of available themes (paid and free) available that can be adjusted for your website.
- Blog Ready: WordPress started out as a blogging tool, so most WordPress websites have a built-in blog section which is easy to use.
- Ease of Use: The interface to edit your pages and posts is very simple for all types of users.
Ok, so this sounds all good, why wouldn’t you want to use WordPress for your website? As WordPress has grown more popular and widely used, it is now getting more updates and needs a good hosting provider. This means that you need to keep your WordPress site updated (both the CMS and the plugins) and sometimes this causes the site to break, or cause some plugins to stop working. We are now recommending that you have a trusted partner that can keep your WordPress site updated by testing the updates in a test environment first, and then publish if all is well. As for hosting, WordPress is a little more demanding than it used to be, so if you don’t get a hosting service that is optimized for WordPress your site may be able to run slower than it should. What are your options if you don’t go with WordPress? You can use one of the popular self managed website builders like Wix.com or Weebly.com which are paid services which make sure your site is working but you are limited to their offered templates and site editing tools. We are not crazy about these tools, but they work for some small business that are working on a very small budget. Or you can go with a Managed WordPress Hosting service that will take care of the site for you and you just maintain the content. You can see some providers here: http://www.wpbeginner.com/managed-wordpress-hosting/. At the other end of the spectrum, if you have very complex needs for your website that require a lot of functionality that are not available with WordPress plugins, then you should consult with a Web Developer or agency to see what are your options to build your website.
These are some of our recommendations if you are building your site in WordPress:
- Make sure you keep the WordPress version and plugins updated. Before you do this, back the site up and make sure it works. Preferably do this on a test environment.
- Make sure you have security plugins installed, many sites get hacked from brute force or because it is not updated. These plugins can help you.
- Use a content caching plugin, this will help with site speed.
- Make sure you have a good web hosting provider. Once your site is done, run speed tests on it and see if loads quickly. Issues can be due to content/images and other factors or due to poor hosting that is not optimized for WordPress.
- Install SEO Plugins to assist you with your search engine optimization.
- Have a trusted partner/vendor that can help you keep your site updated and running.
- Make sure you have backups for your site in case you ever need to roll back or recover your site.
This article has a nice breakdown of some good plugins for a WordPress website. http://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/24-must-have-wordpress-plugins-for-business-websites/ or if that is too overwhelming, we just released a blog post on on 5 essential plugins to get started with.
We love doing WordPress Websites, and we think that it is the way to go, but we have seen that it is not always the best for everyone. It is important for people to understand the implications of having a WordPress website. It is not just setting up a new site, add the content and leave it on the server. There are maintenance tasks that should be executed.
If would like more information, feel free to contact us to learn more.