WordPress is a content management system or CMS based on PHP and MySQL. Similar to other CMS such as Joomla and Drupal, WordPress is a free and open-source web-based platform for managing the creation and modification of digital contents for use in websites and webpages, as well as other major backend functions involved in website development including design, workflow, HTML and CSS coding, and user access controls, among others.
There are about 60 million websites that use WordPress, and around 30 percent of the top 10 million websites in the world are dependent on this CMS. The popularity of this platform stems from its core benefits or advantages that center on convenience. However, it also has its fair share of problems and limitations or disadvantages.
Why Should You Use WordPress: Strengths, Benefits, and Advantages of WordPress
1. Requires Minimal Expertise in Coding
One of the advantages of WordPress is its intuitive and easy-to-use user interface. Web development through this platform does not require advanced skills and knowledge in HTML and CSS, as well as in server-side scripting languages such as PHP. Furthermore, most web hosting services providers support the “five-minute installation” feature of WordPress through their one-click installs. There is also an abundance of resource materials available online to provide step-by-step tutorials or answer different inquiries related to the different facets of WordPress development.
2. Extensive Library of Plugins and Themes
A remarkable selling point or strength of WordPress when compared to other CMS such as Joomla and Drupal is an extensive library of plugins and themes. Note that Joomla and Drupal also have sizeable libraries, but WordPress has more to offer. Plugins and themes extend the features of a CMS and the functionality of a website, thus promoting modularity and extensibility.
3. Online Community of Enthusiasts and Developers
Support is another advantage of WordPress. There is an abundance of free and paid resource materials dedicated to the ins and outs of WordPress development. Websites such as WPBeginner caters to entry-level users. Even most developers of free and paid plugins and themes provide knowledge-base supports through customer service, manuals or handbooks, documentation, and codex, among others.
4. Flexible CMS for Different Types of Websites
Although WordPress has been mostly associated with blogging and online publishing, it has also been used to develop other types of websites to include static websites and webpages, e-commerce sites or online storefronts, online forums, and media galleries, among others.
5. Localization and Multi-Language Support
The fact that WordPress is available in more than 53 languages is another advantages. Furthermore, while this CMS does not directly support the creation of a multilingual website out of the box, there are plugins available to create a multi-language website easily. Note that most highly-rated themes and plugins are available in different languages.
6. Support for Search Engine Optimization
WordPress has basic features for search engine optimization to include integrated link management, permalink structure, assignment of multiple categories and tags to posts, and trackbacks and pingbacks. Dedicated third-party plugins extend the search engine optimization features of WordPress that include search engine indexing, sitemap generation, robots exclusion standards, keyword planning and counting, metadata management, link redirections, and mobile responsiveness.
Why You Should Avoid WordPress: Problems, Limitations, and Disadvantages of WordPress
1. Cluttered Plugins and Themes Ecosystem
There are reputable individuals and organizations dedicated to developing high-quality plugins and themes for WordPress. However, the free and open-source nature of this CMS means that low-quality and bloated plugins and themes are also prevalent in its ecosystem due to the absence of strict standards compliance monitoring. Users would need to pay attention to reviews and ratings. In some instances, users need to undergo a trial-and-error process to assess the reliability of a particular plugin or theme.
2. Potential Issues With Compatibility
Official support from WordPress and developers of plugins and themes remains relatively dependable as evident from consistent updates. Of course, there are cases in which outdated plugins or themes would not work with an updated WordPress version. Some developers would fail to align their updates with WordPress updates while others would entirely abandon their plugins or themes. Incompatibilities can disable some features of the CMS or affect the overall performance and functionality of the website.
3. Susceptibility to Slow-Loading Websites
Another limitation or disadvantage of WordPress is its susceptibility to producing websites that run slow. Using too many plugins and an intricate theme can slow down the performance of a website because they consume too much system resource and overload the web hosting server. The same is true for using low-quality and poorly coded plugins and themes. When compared to static HTML websites, WordPress is inherently slower because it is built in PHP language. It takes more time to execute PHP files than static HTML files.
4. Built For Outdated Web Architectures
Possibly, the more pressing problem of WordPress is that it is made with a notion that a website will run on a single server with a single filesystem. However, more developers are leaning toward micro-service and multi-node or multi-filesystem web architectures due to their flexibility and scalability. WordPress still depends heavily on FTP for updates. Remember that this CMS is also written in PHP. Other developers believe that there are other better-performing languages than PHP such as Python.
5. Concerns Over Security and Vulnerability Risks
WordPress can be very secure. Developers regularly update the platform to resolve security issues and improve its overall performance. But security and vulnerability are dependent on users or developers of websites. There have been numerous cases of security breaches involving WordPress websites. Unscrupulous plugins can also come with different types of malware. Nonetheless, for users who fail to consider and implement proper security and risk management measures, WordPress can make their websites and web properties vulnerable.
6. Might Not Be Suited For High-Performing Websites
Even though this CMS offers a great deal of flexibility for developing different types of websites, the fact remains that it remains a blogging tool. The user interface of WordPress still behaves like a blogging tool. Concerns over compatibilities, downtime susceptibility, maintenance frequencies, and security also make WordPress not ideal for developing high-performing websites such as expansive online storefronts, web applications and other websites with a high degree of user interactivity.