Among web development companies, WordPress is a pretty popular content management system (CMS). After all, it’s open source, with a huge developer community, and it works on even the most inexpensive Linux hosting platforms.
There’s a lot to like about WordPress, but especially for a business website, it can also have a lot of drawbacks. That’s why we developed our own CMS. We still develop sites in WordPress when clients request it. However, if you’re going to go that route, it’s important you know the downsides.
Because of its robust developer community, there are a ton of third-party plugins which can extend the functionality of a WordPress website. However, it’s important to pick well-supported plugins. The WordPress Plugins site shows how many downloads each one has, along with a star-rating from users. That information should give you a feel for which plugins are going to have continued support.
As with plugins, some WordPress sites have important functionality baked into the theme, such as the home page image carousel. Some themes are responsive or mobile accessible, but some aren’t. Some themes, especially frameworks with child themes which are popular options on commercial theme sites, require updates to both the framework and the theme. Child themes make your look and feel inextricably tied to a prefab theme, potentially with its own upgrade path. As a result, there’s always the chance that when the parent theme upgrades, you’ll need more development work.
And while we’re on the subject of themes, you may be surprised to find out that “free wordpress theme” isn’t as free as it seems. In some cases, “free” WordPress themes include hidden, spammy links. That’s how the developers make money — selling those links for the SEO value. Removing the links can break the theme. In addition to spamtastic links, there could also be even more troubling things hiding in the source code of that “free” WordPress theme, like trojan horses or other malicious programming.
With a reputable developer handling the project, it’s possible to avoid these pitfalls. Or if your site requires some advanced functionality, you may need to look at a different CMS, like the one we built specifically to support business websites. Either way, going into your project with an awareness of the potential risks and drawbacks is the best way to make a smart decision.