5 Misconceptions About Wordpress (developers, development, and websites in general)

After a recent conversation with one of my website maintenance clients, I’ve decided to attempt to set some things straight in regards to the misconceptions around Wordpress development, Wordpress developers, and Wordpress sites in general.

I’ll be honest, I was weary about my first Wordpress development. I knew it was mostly considered a blogging platform and couldn’t understand how it could and why it would be developed into a functional website. At first glance, all I saw were posts and plugins and wondered why anyone would choose this platform over something like Drupal (my previous specialty). It seemed as if trying to make Wordpress into a regular website you would be going against the grain and doing double the work. However this wasn’t the case, it was just one of the misconceptions that this post will cover.

Misconceptions About Wordpress Development Page Header Min

1. Wordpress is simply a blogging platform

While at its core, this is a true statement, Wordpress is so much more than just a blogging platform. I believe that this misconception comes from a few facts, one being that Wordpress started as blogging platform and another being that, when first installed, the base themes show the content in a typical blog format.

Over the years, Wordpress has evolved into something much more than just a blogging platform, it’s a full-fledged content management system that can do anything website builder or other framework can do just as good if not 10x better in terms of future-proof and expandable functionality. Wordpress does have an enormous amount of tools and options for blogging, plugins like Yoast which help you scope and write your content better and the always-improving Gutenberg editor make writing more focused and enjoyable.

2. I have to learn how to code in order to use Wordpress

I hear this one a lot. Clients whose websites are on Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly are scared to leave their platform because they believe that they’ll have to learn how to code in order to use Wordpress. Now, before I start talking shit – I was once a junior developer too, I’ve written a lot of bad code and even though I’m not proud of it, improvement is an essential part of the process.

Bad developers – yea I said it – create sites that leave the client having to update and edit code. Maybe it’s figuring out how to update an href or img tag, maybe it’s copying icon codes from an external site, maybe a hex code, and maybe these are all things I’ve definitely done in the past!

But Wordpress used to its fullest doesn’t need to involve any coding on the client’s part, quite the opposite. Select dropdowns, pre-defined color scheme choices, links, images, everything can be abstracted into either a custom theme page-builder or by even using something along the lines of Divi (which I personally have a lifetime unlimited license to use).

3. I have to use a clunky page builder in order to use Wordpress

On the opposite side of the token, I’ve come along a lot of clients who would rather not use a page builder. To this I point to my post about how custom Wordpress theme development solves the problem of page builders. Personally I’d rather not use a page builder, not only as a web developer but as a website editor or administrator as well. I’ve recently began to grow a soft spot in my heart for Divi, but all of the others imho aren’t up to par.

You do not need to use a clunky page builder. You do not need to use any page builder if you do not want to.

4. Wordpress can be hacked and it is not secure

First off, any system can be hacked; a few days before this post 500 million Facebook user’s personal data was stolen and is currently being released on the web. In my experience, Wordpress can be both overly insecure and overly secure – it just depends on the developer or designer or admin or relative or high school student or child that built the site!

Some ways that a Wordpress site can be insecure

  • Wordpress core is out of date
  • The plugins and themes are out of date
  • Unused themes still exist in the file system
  • One or more plugins/themes have malware
  • The file system permissions are incorrect
  • Admin, database, or FTP passwords have been compromised

Some ways that a Wordpress site can be more secure

  • Login restrictions based on IP, VPN or .htpass
  • Up-to-date Wordpress core, plugins, and themes
  • Less plugins (besides Wordfence)!
  • Updated SALT keys
  • Hosting on a non-shared server
  • Regular external backups

5. I can’t build my type of site using Wordpress

Maybe I’m partial, but I beg to differ. There has yet to be a website thrown in my direction that couldn’t be done using Wordpress. There have been a few that I decided to use another PHP-based framework for, namely Laravel, but it was by choice and for practice. I have made QR generators, mortgage applications, listing websites, in-house timesheet reporting, and other non-traditional web applications using Wordpress. Using advanced taxonomy and categorization, all sorts of cool and interconnected websites can be created.

While I am not a big fan of plugins, there are some amazing (mostly in regards to pro versions) ones on the market that take place of full-fledged systems like calendar event booking, eCommerce shops, good ol’ page builders, search engine optimization, complex forms, image modification, membership portals, real estate listings, and the list goes on and on.

What other misconceptions about Wordpress have you come across?

I’m sure that there are many more, do you have your own misconceptions about Wordpress? Send me a message and let’s figure out if they’re valid, because chances are they are not and have just been engrained by past mistakes or bad developers.

Frequently asked questions about Wordpress

Is Wordpress just a blogging platform?

Wordpress does have an enormous amount of tools and options for blogging, plugins like Yoast which help you scope and write your content better and the always-improving Gutenberg editor make writing more focused and enjoyable. But over time Wordpress has evolved into something much more than just a blogging platform, it’s a full-fledged content management system that can do anything website builder or other framework can do just as good if not 10x better in terms of future-proof and expandable functionality.

Do I have to learn how to code in order to use Wordpress?

Some clients whose websites are on Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly are scared to leave their platform because they believe that they’ll have to learn how to code in order to use Wordpress.

Wordpress, used to its fullest extent, doesn’t need to involve any coding on the client’s part – quite the opposite. Select dropdowns, pre-defined color scheme choices, links, images, everything can be abstracted into either a custom theme page-builder (ACF or meta) or by even using something along the lines of Divi (which I have recently started to grow a soft spot in my heart for).

What are some ways that a Wordpress site can be insecure?

– Wordpress core is out of date
– The plugins and themes are out of date
– Unused themes still exist in the file system
– One or more plugins/themes have malware
– The file system permissions are incorrect
– Admin, database, or FTP passwords have been compromised

What are some ways that a Wordpress site can be more secure?

– Login restrictions based on IP, VPN or .htpass
– Up-to-date Wordpress core, plugins, and themes
– Less plugins (besides Wordfence)!
– Updated SALT keys
– Hosting on a non-shared server
– Regular external backups

What types of sites can I build using Wordpress?

Besides regular brochure sites, with the right plugins (or developer) you can create non-traditional websites like QR generators, mortgage applications, listing websites, in-house timesheet reporting – pretty much anything you can set your mind and skills to.. for real.

Hey!

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