ForInsite - WordPress - Not the right path for the serious online businesses - Ottawa
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WordPress - Not the right path for the serious online businesses
August 04/2015

I received a lead from a contact of mine last week. When I called the lead they mentioned to me that they were not looking for a new website or any type of application, however they were looking for someone to fix their hacked website that someone took down… “Twice”.  The people that built it had no idea how to fix it or how to stop it from continuing to happen.

I asked, if by chance they were running WordPress and sure enough they were which was not to my surprise at all because we see it often. Security is not the only reason that I will not put my clients even close to the WordPress platform to run their website and online strategy.  

We sometimes get asked about the risks involved with WordPress and why we won't use it for our clients.  
Let’s take a closer look!

1) Poor application Integration   - Plug-ins work but they don’t collaborate with each other. In other words, there are hundreds if not thousands of application plugins that don’t talk together or seamlessly share information together. This is because they are built by a large community of disjointed developers that have no relationship to one another. They don't even know each other.  This is considered a disjointed strategy that often makes process inefficient. If your online marketing and sales tools don't talk together, you are really limited with regards to strategy. We demo this all the time to prospects and they immediately understand once they see it.

2) Insecure and vulnerable to hacking – The code source of the core or any application that can plugin to the core is open for anyone to download, study how it is put together and more importantly, learn how to break it.  It is well documented the number of security breaches that have occurred on WordPress. This is a big problem as some websites are mission critical for companies. This outages not only cost big money to fix but also involve major opportunity loss while down. I get hear arguments from WordPress developers all the time that it is secure and safe... I CALL BS!  I have had several companies call me to ask how much is the cost to port over to us as their WordPress site gets pumbled by hackers. There is a ton of supporting evidence that WordPress is the most hacked website platform on the web today.  Don’t take my word for it, open up google and type in these search phrases and see the countless results for yourself ..
  • WordPress gets hacked all the time
  • my WordPress site has been hacked
  • Hackers love WordPress
  • hacked WordPress
 There is even programs that people are building to clean hacked WordPress sites. What does that tell you!  

3) Inconsistent Quality - Again, thousands of different developers are producing application plugins for WordPress and adding them to the library. These developers all have different levels of development skill, different levels of security knowledge which could leave holes in your entire online presence with a weak plugin, different amount of experience etc.  It can be sometimes hard to know what you are getting when downloading an application plug. The wrong one could cost you big!

4) Update Nightmare – The core of WordPress is often updated causing previous website plugin applications to stop working and throw programming errors. It also sometimes works the other way around as well where a plugin gets an update and stops working in the version of the WordPress core you have installed. This is a common and frequent issue that happens often and unfortunately cannot be solved. There are always updates happening the WordPress community.

5) Rigid formatting – Most often WordPress and its plugins are very template driven meaning you must follow predetermined layouts and formats.  This is inflexible when clients want things done in a very specific way. It is setup in themes which is a fancy way of saying template. For us as digital marketing strategist and senior level developers, it is a way of saying limitations and ineffective. 

6) Low barrier of entry - Because WordPress is an easy download and install which several people consider free, you often get very unqualified “so called web developers” that have very little knowledge of actually developing applications, security and advanced database interface structures from scratch. WordPress is the common choice of standalone graphic designers, independent freelancers, self-proclaimed webmasters, one man online marketers and more traditional marketing and branding companies that don't have senior web teams.  It is true that WordPress holds almost 20% of the world’s websites, however, take a closer look at how many of those websites are ma and pa websites, start-ups with no money and “sorry to be blunt” really bad websites. You will find the majority of WordPress sites are made up of these profiles. Not all of course, but the majority of them and the ones that are not,  paid big bucks. Never the less, they still run into some of the problems outlined in this blog post.

7) Warranty – There is none... There is no liable identity behind WordPress. It is a community based project where no-one has liability or responsibility when things don’t work. You are left to the mercy of forums and discussion boards or hopefully someone you know that has the ability to fix it.  

8) Liability - Who is responsible for the cost when an application plugin stops working or something breaks? Who is responsible for the cost when an update breaks your system?  I asked this question to several small firm owners that offer WordPress installations and their response is that the client is responsible for those costs if something goes wrong. They state we didn’t develop WordPress, all we do is install it so it is not our responsibility down the road if something goes wrong. WOW.... Ok!

9) Speed of bug fixes – Community development software is often slower to respond when compared to a corporate identity that must react much faster to identified errors or bugs as they are responsible. 

10) Often doesn't blend well with Microsoft - When is the last time you walked in to an company and everyone was using Linux workstations? Oh I know, NEVER! I think I have seen only 2 or 3 times an office running totally on Mac, however 99 out of a 100 companies are driven day to day by Microsoft.  Operating systems (Windows), productivity (MS Office), Databases (MSSQL or Access) are all common examples of Microsoft and it is what most people are familiar and comfortable with. WordPress is driven by a community of programmers that tend to learn towards the anti Microsoft mentality therefore don't go to great length for Microsoft Integration.  

11) The documentation is often incomplete and inconsistent . - Because WordPress is driven by a huge community of disjointed Web Developers, it is undergoing constant change but the help and usability documentation often doesn't change with it. This leads to very frustrating times when something is wrong along with many hours of Googling to try to get answers. 

I'm not trying to bash WordPress to death here as there is a place for it for sure. I'm simply saying why I refuse to use it for my clients.  As you can see, as a professional development and online strategy team, there are too many aspects that are not in our control which in the end can affect the relationship we have with our clients. We used to be a WordPress implementer as well.. BUT HAD WAY TO MANY ISSUES.

Helga Moreno also has a good blog posts that talks about a few things that i have not covered... you can find her post at 


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