The Pros and Cons of WordPress Websites

Updated April 19, 2022

Since its beginning in 2003, WordPress has become the biggest content management system (CMS) on the market. It has grown from its early days as a blogger platform and today is used for directories, forums, galleries, business websites, online shops and more.

WordPress is the most popular platform we use to build sites for a couple reasons. It’s the platform of choice for clients that want a content management system as it is considerably more affordable than building a custom CMS website without this open-source software. As well, WordPress offers extensive functionality options with all the various plugins available.

If you’re considering WordPress for your website, we will highlight the PROs and CONs to help you sort out the details. Let’s start with all the things WordPress has going for it.

PRO #1 – WP Websites are User Friendly

Because WordPress started as a blogging platform, it’s easy for administrators to navigate, edit pages and upload content. Keeping files and content organized is a snap so users don’t need to have a lot of experience in managing websites to be able to operate the site.

The Pros and Cons of WordPress Websites

PRO #2 – WP Websites are Relatively Inexpensive

As an open-source software, WordPress is free to install and has cost-effective hosting plans if you are planning on building the site yourself or in-house. There are countless themes to choose from, giving a professional look with a low-cost price tag or you can have a custom WordPress website built so you can really stand out from the crowd. Many technically inclined people in the WordPress community share their expertise through forums etc. online which can mean free support for you. Because the software is open source, programmers share code online saving your budget through less development time.

However, we do offer a word of caution in this regard. Although we are sharing this as a “pro” the costs can add up when using plugins. The more you use, the more complex the site becomes. And when using many plugins to customize your site, you may require the services of a professional to ensure they are working together in the way you intend them to. Be sure to consider all of the factors when it comes to price.

PRO #3 – WP Websites are SEO-Friendly

We all know the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but how easy is it to implement on your site? WordPress actually makes it straightforward. WP software has many SEO plugins to ensure your site is optimized, we highly recommend using Yoast SEO as it’s currently the best optimization plugin. Yoast allows you to easily setup your website’s meta tags, page titles, meta descriptions and sitemaps. It also provides a visual of how your meta descriptions or how your blog will look in search results.

However, to truly win with SEO, we recommend working with an expert that will help you target keywords and can compose strong meta descriptions and write engaging SEO-friendly content and blogs for your site. Our ZOO keepers have the understanding and experience to fully optimize your site so potential and current clients can find you.

CON #1 – Software and Plugins Updates are Required

Although previously mentioned for cost efficiency, multiple plugins can have a downside. In addition to the cost adding up, the more you add to your website the more you need to ensure they are all working in unison. Also there are frequent theme and plugin updates and if they are not done on a regular basis, it can have a negative affect on your website.

If your website will be a DIY adventure, you may run into trouble when updating the core WordPress software. This could impact the functionality of your website if the site wasn’t designed with best practices in mind. Always gauge the quality of a plugin and install with caution.

When designing your website, there are several ways you can use WordPress. Depending on the skill level of your in-house staff, you may choose to go completely on your own and use a template but remember our caution about plugins and updates. Or, you can hire an experienced and creative team to design and build a custom WordPress website for your business and they would find the best plugins to ensure you have a solid, user and SEO friendly website that will appeal to your target audience.

CON #2 – WP Websites are More Vulnerable

Another potential drawback of WordPress websites is the fact they can be subject to security breaches. It makes sense that because it is the most popular platform on the internet, it is a target for hackers and spammers.

The way to avoid these hacking incidents is to ensure the WordPress core software and plugins are updated. Most software updates are released to improve security to try and stay ahead of hackers, so it’s crucial to keep your website up to date. Our clients can choose to implement their own updates or trust our ZOO team to do them. You can do these updates yourself and 95% of the time the site will not be adversely affected. However, in some cases an update to a plugin or WordPress core will cause a conflict between plugins and the core, affecting the functionality or site design. This is because WordPress and plugin developers generally do not launch updates at the same time. When doing the WordPress core software update, it is recommended that a backup of the site files are taken just in case there are massive conflicts, and you need to revert back to the previous version of the site. At ZOO Media Group, we generally do updates once a month rather than the minute they are released and have not had issues with this approach. The one warning about doing the updates yourself is that if there is an issue, your developer or one of our ZOO WordPress experts may not be able to jump on the fix right away due to project scheduling.

If you’d like our team to take care of updates, we can do it monthly or even every couple of months (sometimes there are not a lot of updates released). In most cases, there are no issues, but if there are issues, we are on the site and can address it right away. We also take a backup of the site to ensure there will be no down time in the event there are issues resulting from the software updates. We generally leave it up to our clients concerning how they would like to manage their website rather than setting a regular schedule for updates. It is highly recommended that WordPress website software is kept up to date. In addition to potential damage to search ranking, hacking incidents are more time consuming and expensive to clean up, so spending the time to keep the site updated throughout the year will be more cost effective. Some web agencies charge ongoing monthly fees for website maintenance. We choose not to because some months there will be very little work to do, and we only want to charge our clients for actual time spent working on the site. As well, some of our clients choose to do the updates themselves and only contact us if issues arise from the updates.

CON #3 – WP Templates have Slow Page Speed

If you are using a WordPress template, these are often oversaturated with databases, code and plugins which will slow your site speed. A slow loading website will hurt the user experience which cause you to lose business because your audience will get impatient and leave the website. If a person leaves your site quickly this will give you a high bounce rate and will end up hurting your search engine rankings.

So, is WordPress right for your business? If you still have questions, reach out to us today. As always, we are here to help.