Smoke And Mirrors: Analyzing Top 5 Fibs About WordPress

There are lots of wildly distorted ideas about what WordPress can or cannot do.

Ask any professional WordPress developer; it really rubs us the wrong way when the most feature-packed, user-and-SEO-friendly, highly customizable and widely used content management system is brushed aside as “just a blogging tool”. Sometimes, I think I get it (“It’s free, so it can’t be for professional purpose”) but that’s just how web development rolls, people.

Smoke & Mirrors: The Top 5 Fibs About WP

In this post, here are clients’ top 10 misconceptions about WordPress, and how you as a WordPress developer, can debunk them (without losing your calm):

1. “It’s just for blogging (and nothing more)…”

“That was over 12 years ago. Things have changed dramatically.”

Don’t get me wrong. WordPress began as a blogging platform. It’s still used for blogs. But the largest vertical for WordPress websites happens to be business, not blogs.

WordPress verticals

WordPress is like clay, in that it can be molded into anything you want it to be, as long as the developer knows what they’re doing. We even have an inside-joke when clients ask “Will WordPress be able to do…” and we answer “Yes”.

eCommerce – Check Bata. Complex dynamic websites – Check out Gisele Bundchen being a badass in the spectacular WillBeatsNoise.com for Under Armour Women. Politics – Look up the official EU Policy Blog. Business websites with highly automated marketing systems integrated – Check, and thumbs up for good measure because Bloomberg is using it. And these are not one-time examples. There are millions more for each vertical.

Don’t take my word for it. Check out the WordPress.org Showcase for yourself and see the thousands of uses this platform can be put to and how well it measures up.

2. “It’s not secure…”

WordPress security

“In today’s age, nothing is. And if it makes you feel better: The attack is not likely to be personal (unless you’re a really big name).”

WordPress gets an especially bad rep (after the Mailchimp debacle, that’s quite understandable) in terms of security. But you need to know that it’s because the platform is such a huge, tempting target. Over 12 million websites are powered by the platform. Attackers are not targeting you personally. They are targeting the entirety of those websites hoping to strike pay dirt.

WordPress gives you powerful (and often free) tools to maintain and secure your website; the same can’t be said for other platforms (go ahead, tell me I’m wrong). With security specialists like Sucuri and WordFence behind the platform, a website can be made near unbreachable. If you manage to keep security hardened and airtight, you are reducing the chances of getting hacked exponentially.

3. “There’s no support…”WordPress support

“You’ve been looking for it in the wrong places.”

WordPress.org doesn’t have a ‘technical support staff’, simply because it’s open-source. There’s no number to call or an email address to spam with your worries. But for every issue, error, bug, and query, there’s an answer available.

There is the Plugins and Hacks forum at WordPress.org where developers from all over the world can usually be found solving problems like Iron Man himself. The Codex is almost as revered as the Bible for WordPress developers: it’s that helpful (both practically and theologically). Hundreds of thousands of search results for any WordPress-related query should also give you an idea that you’re not without resources. And that’s just for the free flavor of the platform.

WordPress.com provides support. Developers and often entire teams provide support for countless premium (and even free) themes and plugins. There’s enough documentation to draw a line to the moon and back.

So I digress. There’s more than enough support. You just need to look for it.

4. “WordPress won’t be able to manage a large network…”

“Not since WordPress 3.0, and we’re on 4.5.2 now.”

WordPress Multisite is a dream to work with. Combine that with the exhaustive user roles and capabilities, and you can practically control everything from a single Super-admin dashboard.

And should the going get a little tough or messy, there are plugins like ManageWP, which helps you maintain and keep track of all websites in your network.

5. “WordPress is slow, and that’s bad for SEO…”

“Matt Cutts of Google disagrees.”

Let’s talk speed first.

It’s true that unlike Drupal, WordPress doesn’t have ‘built-in caching features’. However, a WordPress website that’s been properly maintained, hosted, and developed can ace all performance tests without a hitch. That goes for all websites: not just the ones on WordPress.

Then there is the plugins selection, and boy is that seemingly infinite. On WordPress, you’ll be spoilt for choices for any manner of caching, image optimization, database cleaning, plugins, a whole lot of which are all available for free. Then there are the WordPress development companies and developers who can create blazing fast websites with (and often without) frameworks like Gantry or Genesis.

“WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) Search Engine Optimization (SEO).” – Matt Cutts, Google.

Endnote

What truly makes WordPress worthy isn’t responsiveness, user-friendliness, and ease of management. It’s the fact that it’s free. It’s the core philosophy of democratizing the web: the fact that the platform is proactive about enabling freedom of livelihood as well as of expression.

Note by Jan:

This is a guest post by my friend Lucy Barret. Lucy is a writer by hobby and loves to contribute at top blogs. She is currently working for an HTML to WordPress Company, HireWPGeeks Ltd. She is there as an expert developer and handles a team of experienced developers. You can follow her company, HireWPGeeks on Google+.

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Smoke And Mirrors: Analyzing Top 5 Fibs About WordPress