The Pros and Cons Of Using WordPress

wordpress

Hey, this is Leo, and thanks for dropping by. Today I want to talk about the pros and cons of using WordPress.

When it comes to any service or product, there will always be good and bad things about it. And it’s good to know about both.

Because by knowing both the good and the bad of any product or service, it allows you to make an informed decision as to whether or not that’s going to be the best product for your needs.

And it’s no different when it comes to WordPress.

For myself and many other people when it comes to weighing the pros and cons of WordPress the pros definitely out weight the cons. But of course, you need to use the tools that best work for you.

So, What Is WordPress?

Now before we get into the pros and cons of WordPress and all the other stuff we’re going to cover. Let’s start at the beginning.

In tech-speak, WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS). For the non-tech version. WordPress is the most popular way for people to build a website/blog.

In fact, according to W3Techs WordPress is used by 43% of all websites.

And I’m part of that 43%. This website and all my other websites have been built using WordPress. Now I did use the term “Open-Source“, but what does that mean.

Open-source means that anyone can modify the design because the code is open to everyone.

I also mentioned “content management system“.

CMS as it’s typically referred to is a system that allows people (you and me) to create, manage and modify content on a website without having to have any specialized technical knowledge, like coding.

Ok, now that we know what WordPress is let’s get to it.

Pros and Cons Of Using WordPress

Alright, let’s look at the pros of WordPress.

1) It’s Free

WordPress itself is 100% free. No fees, no licensing, nothing. Install it and start using it.

Now you will need to purchase a domain name, which will cost you less than $15.00 per year. And then of course hosting which you can get for less than $5.00 per month.

But like I said WordPress itself is free.

There are 2 ways of getting WordPress. You can go to WordPress.org and download it. Or if you’re like most people you can get WordPress through your hosting provider.

For example, this site is hosted through Hostgator. They have what’s called Softaculous which is an automatic software installer that you can access through your Hostgator back office (Cpanel).

Simply follow the steps and you’ll have WordPress installed in a matter of minutes.

Softaculous

2) WordPress Websites Are Mobile Friendly

So why is being mobile important? Having a mobile-friendly website is super important.

Google as one of the ranking factors is mobile responsiveness. In fact, on July 1st, 2019 Google shifted to mobile-first indexing.

So, if your website is not mobile-friendly it’s going to dramatically affect your website’s rankings in the SERPs. (search engine results page)

As we talked about WordPress itself is a content management system. It’s the front end of your website that allows you to design, manage content, and so on.

Now it’s true that WordPress has made many updates to its core code to make it more mobile-friendly.

But those updates were focused on specific functions within WordPress. Such as making the admin screen mobile-friendly so people can work on their website using their phone or tablet.

But these types of core code changes don’t make a WordPress website totally mobile-friendly.

What makes WordPress websites mobile-friendly are the themes that you use on your website. I’ll get more into themes next.

With a mobile-friendly website, it automatically scales your website and its content to the mobile device being used, such as a tablet or smartphone.

If you’re reading this post on your smartphone you can see everything very easily because my site is mobile-friendly.

Now you can check to see if your website is mobile-friendly by checking your site using your smartphone and see how it appears. You can also check your website by using Google’s mobile-friendly test site.

Simply enter your website’s URL and Google will tell you if your site is mobile-friendly or not.

If it is mobile-friendly you’re good to go. If it’s not you need to update your site to make it mobile-friendly.

My sites are all mobile-friendly but I did the test for this site so you can see what a positive result looks like.

mobile-friendly test

2) Tens Of Thousands Of Mobile-Friendly Themes

WordPress themes are framework designs that you use to build your website. It’s what people see.

Now when you install WordPress it already comes with some pre-installed free themes. And yes you can use these if you choose.

However, you have tens of thousands of different WordPress themes to choose from. You have both free themes and paid premium themes.

One of the most compelling reasons WordPress is used is the ability to have a professional-looking website through the variety of themes one can choose.

Now I mentioned free and paid themes. When it comes to a free theme there are some big disadvantages you need to be aware of.

When using a free theme, you’ll find more often than not there is no support for the theme. So, if you run into any issues you’re left to figure things out on your own.

Another big issue is the theme not being updated. WordPress does many updates and with that, to stay up to date, your theme needs to be updated. With a free theme that does not always happen.

And if your theme is not up to date, it can cause real issues with your site, to the point of disabling your website altogether.

If you’re building a business online you need to step up and pay for a premium WordPress theme. You don’t want to build your business on a free theme. It’s just too risky in my opinion.

Take this site, I use Generate Press as my theme. The reason being is it is a nice lightweight yet powerful theme that can be customized in any way one sees fit.

It comes with support from the designers and the community, is mobile responsive, and is always up to date. The cost for the premium version is only $59.00 per year and can be used on 500 websites.

Or you can pay for lifetime access which is only a one-time payment of $249.00

Here are some other resources for you to find WordPress themes:

You can also search for themes. So, for example, let’s say you plan on having a food blog.

You can type into Google search “Food WordPress Themes” and you’ll find all types of food-related WordPress themes.

Along with the resources I gave you for themes you can also do a search in Google such as “Best WordPress Themes”. And again, you’ll get all types of resources for themes.

Also, one other thing I want to mention. No matter what theme you choose you are not stuck with it. You can change your theme anytime you want.

Just know that after you change your theme you will probably have to do some housekeeping.

Now nothing bad is going to happen. Your pages and posts will be fine, the core website setting will not change, and basic website information and so on will be fine.

Things that can be affected are things that are tied directly to the theme you’re currently using. Things like theme-specific plugins or theme-specific shortcodes will be affected.

The bottom line, any functionality that’s uniquely tied to your theme and not the core WordPress software, you’re going to lose.

3) There’s A Plugin For That

wordpress plugins

With WordPress, you have over 59,384 (and growing) different plugins to choose from that you can use to add additional functions to your website.

If there is something you want to do on your website there is probably a plugin for it.

And it’s these plugins that make customizing your website a breeze. You don’t need to know any type of programming, coding, or tech knowledge.

Want to add a contact form, there are a ton of plugins to choose from. For example, I use the Gravity Form plugin for my contact form.

Now like WordPress themes you have free and paid plugins available to use. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all plugins are created equal.

And like themes when it comes to free plugins you need to be careful because not all free plugins are kept up to date and some can be abandoned altogether.

And plugins that are not kept up to date or abandoned will cause problems down the road for you and your website.

Personally, all the plugins I use a paid (premium) plugins. And there are a few reasons for that. Most importantly premium plugins are kept up to date. And because of that, I don’t have to worry about them negatively impacting my website.

Other reasons are with premium plugins you get more functionality and support.

It’s also important to remember not to have too many active plugins. And the reason is, that plugins do use resources, and having too many plugins will slow down your website.

And as we know site speed is a Google ranking factor, so you don’t want to slow your site down with a ton of active plugins.

And just like themes you can get on to Google and search for the plugin you need. You can also head to WordPress.org and click the Plugin link in the top menu and do a search for the plugin that you’re after.

4) No Page Limits

Some website builders put a limit on the number of pages you can have. Not WordPress.

There is no limit to the number of pages/posts you can have on your site. You can build out your site as big as you want/need.

5) SEO Friendly

seo

Now WordPress itself is not SEO friendly but it does give you the ability to fix that through the use of SEO plugins.

Plugins such as All In One SEO, Rank Math and Yoast just to name some of the more popular SEO plugins. All of these plugins will help with optimizing your content, meta tags, keywords, and more.

And all these plugins are free to use, and you also have the option of upgrading to a premium version. However, you’ll find that the free versions will take care of the SEO for your site.

Simply follow along with the setup of whichever SEO plugin you decide to use and you’re good to go.

Now after using other SEO plugins, I prefer the All In One SEO plugin. It’s very powerful, it’s very easy to set up and use. It’s no wonder it’s used by over 3 million websites.

all in one seo site score

6) Easy Of Use

Among all the other advantages WordPress offers, one of the best ones is the ease of use, especially for beginners.

Now as with anything new it can be a little overwhelming at first. But as you get more and more familiar with WordPress things naturally become easier.

Plus there are so many resources when it comes to learning and understanding how to use WordPress.

For starters, YouTube is a great resource to find just about everything to do with WordPress. And because things are in video format it’s easy to follow along.

Another fantastic resource for learning all about WordPress is a website called WPBeginner. They have over 600 plus easy-to-understand and follow WordPress tutorials.

And of course, you can always search on Google to find information and tutorials about WordPress.

7) Safe and Secure

Now the truth of the matter is that no system is 100% secure. And of course, WordPress is developed with security in mind. So, yes it is a secure and safe platform.

However, as a website owner, there is plenty you can do to add to your site’s security from malware, hackers, and other online dangers.

Speaking of hackers, there are not getting into WordPress through its most up-to-date core software.

Sites that get hacked are susceptible to malware because the site owner fails at the following things:

  • Not updating WordPress when prompted
  • Weak password
  • Using out-of-date software or plugins
  • Not using a security plugin

Let me touch on each one of these.

When you go into your website’s dashboard if there is an update to be made regarding WordPress you will see a prompt to do so. Don’t wait, it takes seconds to get the update, so do it right away.

This update gives you the most secure version of WordPress. You can also click the Update tab in the menu. It will show you the status of all your updates regarding WordPress, your theme, and your plugins.

wordpress update

For my site security, I use the WordFence plugin.

This plugin provides firewall protection, malware protection, secure login protection, as well as 2-factor authentication.

Also be sure to update your plugins when prompted to do so, don’t wait.

Securing your site is not hard to do. So make sure you do.

Weak Passwords

This has to be the biggest mistake website owners make and that’s using a weak password. And to add to things many people use the same weak password for other points of access online.

A strong password has to be made up of upper and lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers. And it has to be long.

For instance, do you know how long the password is for this website?

It’s 32 charters long.

Now you’re probably saying how can I remember a password that long? I don’t have to. I use a password manager. And the one I use is called LastPass. It’s the #1 password manager and vault on the planet.

For every access point, I have online my passwords are as long as the system will allow. Some let me create ones only 16 characters long, while others allow for up to 99.

Bottom line if you haven’t created strong passwords you’re just leaving the door open for bad things to happen to your website.

8) WordPress Is Not Going Anywhere

The reason WordPress is not going anywhere and is probably going to be around for a very long time is that it’s open-source.

You see, unlike a program that’s managed by just one person or one company that determines the outcome of that software.

Being open-source means even if WordPress disappeared the code is still available and could be launched with a new name in minutes and off we go.

You see WordPress does not have a top dog (CEO). WordPress is a non-profit organization and the name WordPress is protected by the WordPress foundation. And this foundation ensures WordPress lives on.

Not to mention the massive community of developers, users, and businesses all using WordPress. So, not to worry, WordPress is here for the long term for sure.

9) Community Support

When it comes to WordPress you are not alone. Not only is there a thriving WordPress community and support page where you can get the help you need.

wordpress support

There are also so many blogs, social groups, eBooks, online tutorials, forums, and more all dedicated to helping people with everything WordPress-related.

Heck, you can even contact me if you need a hand with WordPress.

10) 100% Control Of Your Website

With WordPress, you own and control all of your files and your data.

Unlike other platforms, you are not tethered to that company (hosting). You can pick up and move your website anytime to wherever you want

The Cons Of WordPress

Ok now on to the bad things about WordPress. Like everything and that includes WordPress there are drawbacks. Not many but there are things you need to be aware of.

1) Big Learning Curve

As a beginner starting with WordPress can be overwhelming and difficult to understand how to use. However, this can be said about anything new.

Regardless it can be frustrating to many because this is the program they are using to build and grow their online business.

2) Security

Being the most widely used CMS (content management system) it is a target for hackers. And because of this security can be challenging for many people.

As a WordPress user, you’re going to need to rely on plugins from outside sources to secure your website. And that in itself brings other risks.

You must understand each time you add a plugin to your site you are providing an opportunity for some malicious code to slip through to your website

So you MUST do your due diligence regarding security plugins. Only use plugins from trusted sources such as WordFence and Sucuri just to name a few.

3) Cost

Yes WordPress itself is free. However to add to the customization and other enhancements to your website you need a theme and plugins.

And yes there are many free themes and plugins. But to get the most from these themes and plugins you will need to pay for the premium versions.

And the more of these you use the higher the cost.

Also when it comes to free versions of themes and plugins it brings us back to security issues.

When using free themes and free plugins opens an even wider door to the vulnerability of your site. Themes and plugins that are not updated make your site very vulnerable to hackers.

4) Site Speed

You’re going to need a theme for your website. However many themes are full of unnecessary generic code. And because of that, it can slow down the loading time of your website.

And I’ve mentioned this a few times. The loading speed of your website is critical as it’s one of the top-ranking factors for Google.

According to Google, a website should load in under 3 seconds, and even faster for an e-commerce site – under 2 seconds.

Studies show that if a website takes longer than 3 seconds to load people will abandon the site. Every second of loading time can have a HUGE impact on your site performance.

bounce rate
Source: Pingdom

Alternatives To WordPress

Of course, WordPress is not the only option you have for building your website and your business.

You have other popular options such as Wix, Shopify, and Joomla. Each platform does make it easy to get your website business up and running.

But you need to keep in mind each of these platforms comes with limitations and there is a cost to using each one.

Wix

wix

The Pros:

  • You don’t need to install any software
  • You don’t need to manage updates
  • Easy to use drag and drop interface for building your website
  • Wix is your host, no need to worry about security or backups

The Cons:

  • Wix is not free – $7.50 to $44.00 per month and e-commerce plans cost even more per month
  • Limited functionality compared to WordPress
  • Fewer design choices
  • Wix limits your storage space and bandwidth on all plans
  • You can’t change templates once your website is live
  • Not open source

Shopify

shopify

Shopify is one of the more popular resources if you’re wanting to have an e-commerce store.

The Pros:

  • Quicky set up and launch a store
  • Shopify takes care of all server maintenance and upgrades
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Mobile ready
  • Customizable – over 160 paid and free themes
  • Over 1,500 apps to choose from
  • Dozens of payment gateways

The Cons

  • Not built for blogging
  • Limited in terms of design customization
  • Expensive – $29.99 to $299.00 per month
  • They charge a transaction fee for each sale that you make
  • Shopify does not include email hosting in its plans
  • No marketing automation tools as part of their plans
  • Not open source

Joomla

joomla

The Pros

  • Like WordPress, Joomla is a content management system
  • Easy setup
  • Good for SEO
  • Good for eCommerce
  • Premium extensions
  • 143 plus templates
  • User and group management and permissions

The Cons

  • More complex than WordPress
  • Drupal is for professionals
  • Many of the free Joomla extensions are not kept up to date
  • The vast majority of website templates are for premium members
  • Premium extensions prices start at $99.00 up to $399.00 per month
  • No deep customization
  • Not open source

Wrapping It Up

So, you’re wanting to build a long-term online business. So, it makes perfect sense that you want your business to use a platform that can grow with your business, be stable and give you the flexibility to do what you want with your business.

Well, then it’s a no-brainer. WordPress is a clear choice. It’s free and there are no limitations to where you can go with using WordPress.

Something you also need to take into consideration is by using platforms such as Wix, Shopify, and Joomla you’re not using an open-source platform. You are using a platform that is controlled by a third party. So you are bound by their rules and limitations.

And that’s the key “limitations“. With WordPress, you have no limitations and you are in complete control of your business from start to finish.

With WordPress, you have access to one of the best and most popular content management systems, where you don’t need to be tech-savvy to create an amazing website.

So who is WordPress right for?

WordPress is perfect for anyone that wants to:

  • Have a personal blog
  • Build a business blog
  • Run an e-commerce store
  • Create a membership website
  • Sell online courses
  • In reality, build almost any kind of website imaginable!

I’ve tried other platforms and what made me move to WordPress and I’ve said this already was the limitations I found working inside other platforms.

I’m a WordPress guy and always will be. But that said, you have to decide what platform is going to work best for your business. And sure that may not be WordPress.

Ok, that’s it. I hope you found this article helpful. If you did feel free to share it with your audience.

Also if you are just starting online as an entrepreneur and not sure what monetization model to use to build your income. You may want to look at using affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is how I’ve been able to make a full-time income since 2005.

Now affiliate marketing may be right for you or maybe not I don’t know.

But if you’re in the beginning stages of your online career, no harm in seeing how affiliate marketing can benefit your business.

And one of the resources I highly recommend for any beginner just getting started in affiliate marketing for the latest step-by-step training, tools, resources, and support is Wealthy Affiliate.

Again thanks for dropping by. And if you have any comments or questions please leave them below and I’ll get back to you right away.

I believe in you
Leo

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