When you say “content management system,” there are two main players that spring to mind: WordPress and Drupal. Although WordPress powers a lot of the web, many people think of it as “insecure, slow, only for blogging,” etc. Yes, WordPress did start out as a blogging platform, but it’s graduated to a full-fledged CMS with tons of capability. In this post, we’ll debunk five common WordPress myths.
Perhaps the most common misconception with WordPress is that it is insecure. The truth is that no CMS is inherently secure, and they are all riddled with vulnerabilities. Most sites are attacked through plugins and themes that are outdated, and therefore, vulnerable. If you only install trusted plugins and themes and keep them up to date regularly, you should not run into security issues.
When considering WordPress security, you also have to take into account that over half of CMS-built websites use WordPress, and over 25% of all websites are built with it. Of course, hackers are going to target these sites and be successful some of the time based on sheer volume.
If you think keeping your plugins up to date might be a chore, check out Vulnerable Plugin Checker, made by our lead developer Storm Rockwell.
Another common WordPress myth is that sites built on it are slow. The speed of your websites mainly comes down to hosting, plugins, and themes. If your host is not up to par, it doesn’t matter what your site is built on – it’s going to be slow. With a cheap hosting service, you share servers with lots of other users, which will bog down your site.
Poorly coded plugins can also cause slow loading times. If you have a lot of plugins that load your site with extra files, those could affect your speed as well. The same can be said for themes, whether they are free or premium. Don’t skimp on speed, because it will affect your conversion rates.
Not scalable or for enterprise
Alongside the concerns with speed comes scalability. If your site grows quickly and generates a lot of traffic, you might worry that it won’t be able to handle it. But as long as your hosting service is ample, WordPress is scalable to any need.
Proper caching and optimized query performance are just a couple of steps you can take to ensure your site will be able to handle more traffic. If you don’t think WordPress is scalable, look at some of these websites that are powered by WordPress: CNN, TIME, New York Times, Forbes, eBay, Best Buy, and Sony.
There’s also a plethora of higher education institutions using WordPress as well.
WordPress did actually start as a blogging platform and is still utilized as such. With the emergence of custom post types, WordPress can now be used for websites and web apps of all varieties. It is also widely utilized for eCommerce integration with WooCommerce, and currently holds 26% of the market share. Practically any web need can be built through WordPress, and categorizing it as strictly a blogging platform is simply false. It’s great for blogging, but it’s also capable of much more ambitious projects. And now with Gutenberg officially out, you can style practically anything with the block-based editor.
Lack of support
Lack of support is another concern for people considering WordPress, especially if you don’t have a team of developers or IT support. However, WordPress has a plethora of resources that anyone can utilize. They have a codex as well as an active support forum that can answer a lot of questions. With a huge open source community, it’s very rare that you run into roadblocks. And if all else fails, Google is your friend.
Is WordPress for everyone? No. However, it’s a very capable and user-friendly CMS that can be molded to fit almost any need, including higher education websites. Many WordPress myths stem from its early days as a blogging platform, but it has evolved tremendously since then. As long as you follow best practices, your sites will be fast, secure, and easy to manage. Give it a shot and you’ll find that WordPress is an extremely powerful and easy tool to utilize.