Over the past few months I’ve seen clients and prospective clients who have paid for sites they don’t update because they don’t have the skills to use them.
A website is supposed to help them and their businesses, not get in the way.
As I do from time-to-time, I found myself thinking ‘why aren’t they using WordPress’?
Why static doesn’t cut it any more
Having a static website built for you in HTML by a web developer or your own skills used to be the entry level choice for websites.
They’re a liability now that we have to create lots of great content to rank on Google. It’s a lot of hassle just to post a new page, as you have to grapple with the HTML code and FTP clients and servers. And, at the same time, you have to keep a close look on how you are structuring the site.
Let’s reject the idea of a static website because it’s clumsy and slow to add any new content.
But don’t use a hammer to crack a nut
As WordPress has got more powerful and more popular, it has gradually become a real Swiss Army Knife of the Web. It can be made to do almost anything you want as your site and business grow.
Some huge sites such as Techcrunch and The New Yorker run on WordPress (WP Beginner lists 40 major brands that use WordPress), so it’s unlikely you’ll outgrow it.
Yet I see clients who have sites built in heavyweight CMSs (content management systems) such as Joomla or Drupal, who haven’t updated their sites in ages because they get lost in their complexities.
If your web developer or agency suggests a CMS that you’re not familiar with, ask to try creating some pages and posts. And then ask yourself if you and your colleagues will be happy to create content and post it without an expert standing at your shoulder.
Alongside these beasts, WordPress is simple. And these days, so many people have WordPress skills that you may find your coworkers already know how to use your site.
Beware the custom CMS
This is a difficult one. Many web developers and agencies have their own custom CMS. And often they’re a cinch to use and can be made to fit your current needs like a glove.
The problem is that you’re then tied to the CMS and the supplier. Ask yourself if you’re happy with that. And clarify what happens if your requirements change.
Blog, company website or e-commerce site?
Chances are, someone has written a WordPress plug-in or a theme to do what you want. Sheer numbers of sites and users increase the probability.
And, if there isn’t something ready made, there are plenty of developers and designers who can make you what you want.
The huge downside
Because WordPress powers 22% of the top 10 million sites on the Web (August 2013 figures), it’s a prime target for hackers.
I believe there’s nothing inherently insecure about WordPress, but you must keep it up to date, along with having the latest versions of your plugins.
There are also numerous strategies and plugins that can help keep hackers out, although that may be a post for the future.
Your website and your business
I’m sure if you’re a techy, you may have some valid arguments with my recommendation of WordPress, but whatever the technical downsides, I have to look at a site from an SEO and Content Marketer’s point of view.
These days, someone has to create content and get it published on the site. Shouldn’t we make it as simple as we can, while providing the tools that people need to make the site successful?
What are your thoughts?
Thanks to Tom Garnett for his printing image, Tom Garnett for his hammer and Kathleen Conklin for her safe cracker.