4 Reasons Why Your Website Should be on WordPress

1.  SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

For search engine optimization purposes WordPress is second to none.  The “All in One SEO pack” simplifies your efforts on making sure your site is optimized.

2.  Mobile Capable

You don’t have to worry about your site looking good on a smartphone with the WordPress Mobile Pack. (This will be much more important when mobile browser usage increases in Saskatchewan)

3.  User Friendly

The back-end of WordPress sites are so blatantly simple to update, change, add things, and pretty much do anything you’d ever want to do on a website.  Being that Google likes recently updated content, within three clicks on WordPress you can post a brand new blog.

4.  Cost

Even to customize an entire site on WordPress it shouldn’t cost more than $3,000-$5,000 and that is at the high end.  Yes, you’ll never have a completely customized site for that but for the $5,000 to $10,000 you save you could invest in some great content and be miles ahead of your competition.

Please, disagree with me and tell me why a custom site is better…

2 replies
  1. Kyle
    Kyle says:

    While getting things cheap and/or free are awesome, as well as supporting the open source initiative, WordPress isn’t necessarily for everyone.

    However it is for Jeph Maystruck. Jeph isn’t a developer, he needs something that is cheap, easy to use, and has to work as in intended. WordPress does all of that, and does it well.

    But there are scenarios where this CMS is not applicable, especially in large high traffic websites.

    First off, WordPress has ALOT of stuff.. which may seem awesome at first but high traffic websites cannot afford this. Each page request is a hit to the webserver and database backend – wordpress then has to do hundreds of instructions like: grab this from here, do this with it, display it here and so on… over and over again. This can be “fixed” by using a caching plugin to mitigate the the database transactions, but it still isn’t efficient as developing something for a strict intended purpose.

    Large websites are also susceptible to hackers. Since WordPress is opensource, the code is freely available to look at. When a security hole is discovered it is quickly patched in the wordpress repository. While this is good for you in the long run, the short term can be deadly. Hackers can see these change and immediately abuse them.

    It takes several days for the WordPress team to release a stable update. Once a flaw has been detected it is patched internally, tested internally, released for external testing, approved for release candidate and then finally is distributed to the public. A high traffic website using WordPress on a broken version won’t last long.

    It is very important that WordPress users upgrade as fast as possible, just because your website isn’t high traffic doesn’t mean you are safe. When google indexes your site, all it takes is a simple search for websites using “WordPress v3.4.2”. I have had a wordpress blog since 2004, and I have been hacked twice because I missed an update.

    WordPress is awesome, I love it.. but it isn’t perfect and it isn’t for everyone.

    A great analogy is that of the mac vs pc. OSX is designed for a set of hardware and therefore is more lightweight and arguably more efficient, while Windows has to support every piece of hardware known to man. WordPress is Windows here.

  2. Wade Sakundiak
    Wade Sakundiak says:

    This is an interesting take Jeph and I appreciate that your insights and experiences may flavour this post a little differently than my own. First, let me take your list item by item:

    Search Engine Optimization – Firstly, it’s important to point out that the All In One SEO Pack is not a stock feature of WordPress and the problems it solves are available in plug-ins or modules for every major CMS or easily addressed, implemented and most likely baked in “for free” by any developer worth a lick. What the All In One SEO Pack doesn’t address are the issues of content that are generally more relevant to users of search. Take for example a cable/phone company website. A developer or designer or content strategist might look at past referral and search statistics and develop a plan that ensures that support staff is developing worthwhile and well structured content that solves the needs of the user from initial search to consumption. If the content doesn’t exist, all of the meta tagging in the world isn’t going to help your users.

    Mobile Capable – Again, it’s important to stress that the WordPress Mobile Pack is another add-on to WordPress and isn’t delivered in a stock installation. There are several schools of thought currently on designing for the mobile web. Personally, I fall on the “it depends” side of the fence. While I think it’s important that sites are developed with mobile in mind, it seems as though most developers/designers are focusing on WebKit based browsers which handily deliver most content as your desktop browser would though on a smaller scale. Personally, I have yet to visit a site on my iPhone and been so turned off from the experience that I click away. The interaction of double tapping to zoom into the content I wish to read has become second nature on sites that aren’t “mobile optimized” and I don’t give it a second thought. That said, the issue is far to great to dive into here though I would suggest reading Peter-Paul Koch on the landscape in A List Apart Issue 320 and the near totality of Luke Wroblewski’s current writing.

    User Friendly – You’ll get no argument from me here. WordPress is delightfully easy to use from an end-user perspective. I’ll qualify that by saying “easy to use” is only my opinion as I’ve neither conducted nor read a usability study with users who may be less experienced than myself. Also, I’m making assumptions on the kind of content that WordPress is being used for. While I find it easy to use, I do have firsthand experience with site owners who have had difficulty with WYSIWYG editors implemented with both stock and custom functionality. I realize not all content is entered through a WYSIWYG editor in WordPress but it does play into a larger point I wish to make later.

    Cost – I take issue here with a couple of points. First of all, and I think I can speak for a lot of developers here, it may be a little unfair to make blanket statements about costs. All projects are different, all clients are different and requirements are generally “subject to change”. I’m certain that web development practitioners aren’t alone in experiencing scope creep on projects. I’m sure that in your practice, you don’t make recommendations without fully understanding a client’s situation in terms of business costs & place in the market. It may be unwise to provide quotes here. I’d hate people to think that $100 worth of work is worth $3000.

    Secondly, “to customize an entire site” is entirely open-ended. Is this custom functionality, strictly visual enhancement, adding commercially available add-ons? There is a current trend from some developers that involves buying a commercial theme, swapping out images and logos and offering it to a client at an inflated price which I wrote about on my own site. While this practice isn’t exclusive to WordPress, it certainly seems most prevalent within that community. That is not to paint all WordPress developers with this brush, it’s only a response to the market that has evolved around the software. I mention this only because to some developers, this represents “customization”, a service that you’ve valued at $3000-$5000. I’m sure you can see how this becomes problematic.

    These points aside, the main reason that I think this post could do with a title revision of “4 Reasons Why, After Some Consultation and a Thorough Look at your Business and Content Requirements, Your Website Might Be A Good Fit For WordPress” is for exactly those reasons. As I stated before, all sites are different, all business goals are different and it’s a disservice to clients to make assumptions based on preference. Believe me when I say that I understand how easy this is. I prefer one CMS over all others but I’d be a fool to believe it meets every client’s goals. Just as I’m sure you wouldn’t recommend a new client “just do what Coke’s doing ’cause that seems to be working”, a reputable web developer would never make a recommendation to client without fully understanding their needs. A good developer will tailor a solution to a client’s requirements. This should extend from how content is entered into the system to how users interact with the system. If it makes sense for content to enter the database through a WYSIWYG, then so be it, if not, take a different approach. Whatever makes it easiest for the client to update and maintain their site. A good developer will ensure that every person who hits your page can access your content easily, even those users who lack sight or require assistive devices to navigate your site.

    The majority of my thoughts on the subject are summed up by Mike Monteiro in Tips On Buying Design though spending an afternoon reading the all of the posts from Mule may provide some valuable insight into what it is exactly that Web Designers, Developers, Content Strategists, Project Managers, SEO, Usability and Accessibility experts are selling before you try to sell it for us.

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