If you’re for any reason interested in website development – whether you’re a developer yourself, doing research for your own website, or just looking into the subject – you’ve probably heard of Content Management Systems (CMS). Furthermore, if you’ve looked more into them, there’s no way you could’ve missed WordPress.
WordPress is currently the leading Content Management System in popularity. Although at first intended for blogging purposes, it is now used for anything from simple representative one-pagers, large business websites, e-commerce stores and even bigger projects.
Of course, popularity comes with a price. You don’t have to dig deep to find a bunch of “anything but WordPress” types of opinions speaking up against the usage of this CMS either in their personal projects or professionally.
Despite that, it remains my Content Management System of choice – I’ll delve deeper into the reasoning behind that in this post.
Why the hate for WordPress?
There are various reasons for the apparent dislike of this CMS. Here are some of the main ones:
For your blogging needs
WordPress was built as blogging software. You can easily see it with just one look at the admin interface, where among other things, you’ll find the blogging functionality built-in, right at the top, and not disable-able. A lot of its functionality is based on the concept of “pages”, “posts”, and “taxonomies”. They are often utilized to extend the CMS for all the other purposes it needs to serve.
That raises some questions – should a blogging software really be used for more than its original purpose? Is it capable of pulling the weight? Maybe it’d make more sense to use a tool intended for what you need from the start?
Coming hand-in-hand with the previous point. You likely won’t ever need everything WordPress comes equipped with – especially if you’re not running a blog. When looking at all the files that come with the system, you’re likely going to realise… Well, a website could be created with a lot less, take up less space and have a quicker loading time.
When a CMS is so popular and open-source, it is safe to assume it’ll become a target for various cyber attacks. While there are ways to protect your website and minimize the chances of that happening, you’ll need to do some research first and the risk itself can be a deterrent.
While we might like to believe this shouldn’t be the case, anything or anyone will be prone to receive more criticism the more popular they are. It’s not just that people “hate on popular things” and more of the fact that the more people know of something, the more likely is someone to have a negative opinion – and influence others.
WordPress does have its flaws, as do other Content Management Systems, but since it’s so popular and takes up so much of the internet, it’s only natural you’ll see negative opinions.
Why I use WordPress?
Although WordPress isn’t perfect, it remains my tool of choice when it comes to web development. It’s not due to a lack of alternatives, either. Here are the main reasons I prefer working with this CMS over others.
Even though it started as blogging software, now WordPress can be used for just about anything – and it isn’t doing a poor job at any of it. With it being open-source, and plugin/theme creation being so available for anyone, the possibilities are pretty much endless. Adding a very specific functionality to your business website is only a matter of a little bit of custom code. Want to create a unique online project? Not a problem!
This CMS allows you to access and modify its code, override its functions and create new ones. Sometimes looking at a website, you wouldn’t be able to believe it was created on a WordPress instead of having a fully custom-written back-end.
This is an easy one. WordPress is completely free – you only have to pay for your hosting and domain. While some of the themes and plugins are paid, there’s also an abundance available for free. Meaning, that it is absolutely possible to create your website with no additional costs.
Although “free” is often associated with poor quality, that is not the case with this CMS – it is overall well built and supported, with a large community to back it up.
Ease of use
WordPress has a relatively easy-to-use administrator dashboard, which, while not be a make-it-or-break-it feature for professionals, can make life a lot easier for beginner users wanting to administer their own website. As most of my clients don’t have an extensive experience in the field, it is important for me that they’d be able to get comfortable with understanding how their website works and making at least smaller changes themselves, if they wish to do so.
It also helps that the dashboard is translated and available in many languages – so even people who don’t speak English aren’t at such a large disadvantage.
While I mentioned popularity as one of the negative factors affecting the system’s reputation, the truth is that the positive side is much more prevalent.
A large community naturally means more people dedicated to learning and using a tool. As such, the resources online are pretty much endless. If you’re stuck on something – it’s likely you’re not the first one. It’s also likely you can find answers relatively easily.
It also means that there are plenty of creators constantly creating and updating themes and plugins, introducing new features and much more.
If you are looking to work with a website developer, not only is it going to be easy to find one working with WordPress, and if at any point you need someone to take over creation or maintenance, that won’t be much of a problem.
WordPress isn’t perfect – nothing is. However, weighing the pros and cons and my – and my typical clients’ – needs, it is the most suitable solution for me.
It’s worth mentioning that while quite versatile, it does not necessarily suit all and every project. Overall, it is up to YOU to decide on what is important and pick the best solution for yourself.