The other day, I accidentally stumbled across a blog post titled “5 Reasons Your Business Should NOT Use WordPress” at platypi.io. I’ve met the author once maybe twice and one of the principals of the company is my girlfriend’s son. A few days after reading the article, I was at my girlfriend’s house and so was her son. Instead of saying hi, I blurted out,
“I’m not a fraud by using a theme in WordPress. Doesn’t Matt know you have to use one?”
“Okay, what are you talking about.” “The blog post on your website where he calls anyone using a WordPress theme a fraud.”
I think he was a little taken aback and responded with,
“Here’s Matt’s number call him.”
I chose not to call him, but rather to write my own blog post countering his arguments. The italicized paragraphs are Matt’s points from his article.
“Slow Load Times”
“With an average load time of 8.9 seconds, WordPress sites are the slowest of all sites on the internet. This is easily the most concerning aspect of WordPress. With the majority of traffic on the internet coming from mobile devices, speed is imperative. 47% of consumers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less, and websites that load in 4 seconds vs. 2 seconds see a 50% decrease in conversions.”
The claim that the average load time is 8.9 seconds came from Yottaa’s blog post “Benchmarking Performance of 8 CMS Platforms: Who Is Slowest?” Not one of the sites I’ve designed over the years has ever had a load time of 8.9 seconds. The average is between two and three seconds, including this site. As a test, I ran this site through Pingdom. It loaded in 2.8 seconds and received a Performance Grade of B 87. I’m glad I checked it, as I had not in a while and saw some things that needed to be fixed. I then ran Yottaa through Pingdom. Before they criticize WordPress sites, perhaps they need to fix their own website. Yottaa loaded in 2.28 seconds but received a Performance Grade of E 58. At least it wasn’t an F.
“WordPress’ flexibility and low barrier to entry is a huge factor to its popularity, but it’s also the primary factor as to why it is incredibly vulnerable to hacking. Plugins and themes are created by third-parties and are difficult to verify authenticity. WordPress developers rely on themes, plugins or a combination of the two in order to develop sites quickly and cheaply. This is the leading cause for WordPress sites being hacked.”
Yes, back in 2010 when I first started designing WordPress sites they were wildly insecure. Several clients thought I was nuts for converting their websites to WordPress with all of the hacking that was going on. Back then the only option we had was to have an account with Sucuri. You’d submit a ticket, have them clean your files of the malware and hope it doesn’t happen again anytime soon. Then along came security plugins like Wordfence and All-In-One-Security. For me, these have made a tremendous difference. I run both as I feel each have their own benefits. Today, if you run either one or both of these plugins and you keep your WordPress software and plugins up to date, you minimize your chances of getting hacked into.
“Anyone can create a site”
“Typically, this would be considered a pro rather than a con, but what this means is that anyone that resembles a software developer can create a WordPress site. In fact, non-developers can create them. In minutes, you can have a site up and running at WordPress.com. When hiring a company to build your site, how do you know what you are getting? Are they actual developers that understand what is necessary to build a reliable, secure, fast website, or are they paying $50 for a theme and switching out your logo, photos, and graphics?”
True. Further, anyone can design a site using straight HTML after watching a few lessons on websites like Lynda.com. I’m not sure what the problem is with someone wanting to have an internet presence and chooses to use something from WordPress.com. I have a client who is 88 years old and loves to come up with new ideas for blogs. Currently, she has three of them running. It’s costing her nothing and she enjoys it. As far as someone paying $50 for a theme and then only switching out a logo, photos, and graphics, I don’t know of any theme that comes with content already written for every industry. Especially using the correct SEO.
“Unrealistic ability to update content”
“If you’ve purchased a website built with WordPress, you were probably sold on dreams of grandeur and a utopia where you can edit all the content of your website because it’s so easy. Fast forward to reality, and you’re stuck in a completely different situation. Every change you try to make to the site breaks the design, and you’re stuck paying an hourly fee to the company that promised you would be able to make simple changes yourself at no charge.”
Never in the seven years, I’ve been designing WordPress sites, have I had a client break their site when they made content changes. For me, the definition of “content” is text. How in the world by changing text does that break the design of a site? Besides, most if not all of my clients have monthly maintenance contracts that include thirty minutes of design changes each and every month. This brings them great relief, as I’ve heard more than once, “I’m going to the dark side I might break something.”
“One of the most egregious concerns with purchasing a site built in WordPress is fraud. The ability for novices to create sites on WordPress leads to design companies charging custom development prices for sites that they built with an inexpensive theme. If you’ve hired a company that promises they won’t use a theme, then you’re in luck. You can verify if they are telling you the truth or not by using the tool WhatWPThemeIsThat.com. Simply enter your web address, and it will point you to the theme being used.”
I have no idea where Matt came up with the word fraud if you are using a theme to develop a WordPress site. If he knew half of what to claims to know, he’d know that all WordPress sites are built on themes. Even if you build one from the ground up.
I’m not sure what platypi or Yottaa’s points are. Platypi have a coding school called Covalence and that website is a WordPress site. Interestingly, that website took 2.91 seconds to load and had a Performance Grade of C 74. And for a few more giggles, Yottaa’s site is also a WordPress site.
I am an awarding will logo designer who when not designing logos and websites, likes to write about how the industry has changed and what it looks to become in the future. I started designing websites around 1995. For the past 7 years, all sites have been developed in Wordpress. Originally, I would develop the site in HTML and then convert those files to Wordpress. Today all child themes are built on the frame work of Divi. Guest blogger at Elegant Market Place and Tropic Moon Media.