tl;dr: Wordpress has matured into a full-fledged content management system. It can accomplish anything a website builder or other framework can do, if not better. Users don’t have to learn how to code to use Wordpress because they don’t need to maintain and update their code. When Wordpress is used to its greatest potential, the customer is spared the need of learning any code. The Wordpress platform has allowed me to create a variety of non-traditional online apps such as QR generators, mortgage applications, listing websites, and internal timesheet reporting.
Following a recent discussion with one of my clients who contracts me to maintain their websites, I’ve made the decision to try to clear up some common misconceptions about Wordpress development, Wordpress developers, and Wordpress sites in general.
I was nervous about creating my first Wordpress website. I was aware that it was mostly used as a blogging platform, but I couldn’t grasp how or why it would be transformed into a useful website. I was initially confused by how the platform’s only focus was on posts and articles and questioned why anyone would pick it over Drupal (my previous specialty). Making Wordpress work as a standard website seemed to go against the grain and need twice as much effort. This, however, was untrue; it was merely one of the myths that this piece hopes to dispel.
1. Wordpress is simply a blogging platform
Even if this is accurate in the most basic sense, Wordpress is so much more. When you first set up Wordpress, you’re presented with a normal blog-style layout. This is a common misperception, and it stems from a number of factors.
Wordpress has matured into a full-fledged content management system that can accomplish anything a website builder or other framework can do, if not better. Wordpress has several tools and alternatives for blogging. Plugins like Yoast help you explore and produce better content, while the Gutenberg editor makes writing more focused and pleasurable.
2. I have to learn how to code in order to use Wordpress
This is a common misconception. Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly customers are hesitant to switch to WordPress because they feel they’ll have to learn how to code. Let me preface this by saying that I used to be a junior developer myself. I wrote a lot of awful code, and although I’m not proud of it, learning from my mistakes is an important part of the software development process.
Sites built by incompetent developers need the customer to maintain and update the code. Maybe it’s updating a href or image tag, transferring icon codes from another site, or working out a hex code, all of which I’ve done before.
However, when Wordpress is utilised to its greatest potential, the customer is spared the need of learning any code. You may utilize a custom theme page builder or even something like Divi to abstract dropdowns, pre-defined color schemes, links, and photos (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 other hand, I’ve encountered several customers that prefer not to utilize a page builder. When it comes to the issue of page builders, you may refer to my previous piece on how a custom Wordpress theme might help. Not just as a web developer, but also as a website editor or administrator, I prefer not to utilize page builders. My heart is softening towards Divi, but the rest of them aren’t quite up to snuff, at least in my opinion.
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
A few days before this article, 500 million Facebook users’ personal information was stolen and is presently being posted online. First, any system may be hacked. Wordpress may be both extremely unsecure and overly secure depending on the developer, designer, administrator, or even a relative or high school student or kid that developed the site!!
Some ways that a Wordpress site can be insecure
- The core of Wordpress is outdated.
- Some of the themes and plugins are out-of-date
- Theme files that have not been utilized are still in the system.
- There is malware in one or more plugins or themes.
- The permissions on the file system are wrong.
- Admin, database, or FTP credentials have been accessed by hackers.
Some ways that a Wordpress site can be more secure
- IP, VPN, or.htpass limitations on login
- WordPress core, plugins, and themes that are up-to-date
- We need fewer plugins (apart from Wordfence).
- SALT keys that have been updated
- Non-shared server hosting
- Keep regular copies of your data on an external drive.
5. I can’t build my type of site using Wordpress
Maybe I’m biased, but I don’t buy it. I’ve never seen a website that couldn’t be built using Wordpress. Laravel was my framework of choice for a while, but it was out of need and not out of choice. The Wordpress platform has allowed me to create a variety of non-traditional online apps such as QR generators, mortgage applications, listing websites, and internal timesheet reporting. All kinds of fascinating and linked websites may be constructed with extensive taxonomy and classification.
Even though I’m not a big fan of plugins, there are some great ones out there, especially the pro versions, that replace full-fledged systems like event booking calendars, eCommerce shops, page builders, SEO, complex forms, image editing, membership portals, real estate listings, and so on.
What other misconceptions about Wordpress have you come across?
I’m sure there are a lot more myths about Wordpress. Do you have any of your own? Send me a message and let’s figure out if they’re true, because it’s likely that they’re not and that they’re just mistakes or bad programming from the past.
Frequently asked questions about Wordpress
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.
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).
– 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
– 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
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.