Pros and Cons of Wordpress
May 8th, 2014 saw the WordPress fraternity witness the launch of the all new version 3.9.1 of the ultra popular blogging platform. With added focus on the needs of multisite networks and better facilities for widgets customizations and visual editor, the latest WordPress package is the hot topic of discussion for the community of developers, open source blogging platforms, and of course, the world of bloggers who’ve based their beloved websites on this free CMS. However, there continue to be billions of excitable Internet users who are always on the brink of breaking into the world of blogging, and are looking for the perfect blogging platform to leverage for their blogging success. Invariably, WordPress comes up as a primary contender in their search for the best blogging platform. Eventually, the appropriateness of WordPress as your blogging tool depends on your requirements from your blog. You’d do well to understand all flavors of WordPress before you go ahead with your blogging recipe. Here are the top pros and cons of WordPress, the understanding of which will help you decide confidently as to whether this poplar open source platform is right for you or not.
The pros of using WordPress
A heartthrob of millions, WordPress has a glorious past, a powerful present and a promising future. Here’s a quick look at what makes WordPress the phenomena that it is.
+ Credibility that is beyond questioning
If you are absolutely new to the world of blogging, you’d have a lot of confidence to draw from the fact that almost 25% of new websites today are based on WordPress. Publishers as small in size as adventurous bloggers who’ve put up a solo post to publishing giants like NY Times and CNN trust WordPress, and that’s enough reason for you to take a leap of faith. Having emerged in 2003, WordPress has more than decade of proven effectiveness to back its claims as a worthwhile blogging platform.
+ A publisher’s dream
It’s great to note that despite dozens of updates, WordPress continues to stick to its core ideals of being a publishing oriented and publisher friendly tool. You will have to surf far and wide to find another blogging platform that makes it so easy to connect with millions of users. The awesome developers who have empowered WordPress have made it the most publishing-ready platform, with web pages that are automatically optimized for search engines in terms of format. Sharing posts to social networks is the matter of a single click, and visitors can easily subscribe to sub feeds from a website via their most preferred feed readers including email clients. WordPress empowers web users to create web pages without even thinking about coding. That said, coding wizards continue to enjoy the advantage of their skills, using which they can customize the very look and feel of their WordPress websites. The visual editor of WordPress is as easy as using MS Word, and that’s as easy as it can get.
+ Flexibility that is hard to believe!
When we call WordPress a blogging platform, in no way does it stonewall or stereotype the platform as a limited publishing tool for enthusiastic bloggers. In fact, blogging is just one of the several fantastic things you can do with WordPress. Purely speaking in terms of what’s possible with WordPress, you have a menu that will make you drool. Right from creating a vibrant personal website that makes you accessible to world of viewers to portfolio websites with loads of multimedia content to flaunt your skills, from magazine styled blogs that help you target niche populations of web users to online community styled websites that can offer memberships – WordPress is the one stop shop for all your web publishing needs. Worried about having to hire a designer to give a face to your website? Glance over the fantastic world of free and premium WordPress templates and warm up to the design possibilities that await you. Missing a certain functionality like a FaceBook Like button alongside your post? Explore through the world of amazing WordPress plugins that help you do more in less time, and in a way give infinite functionality to WordPress.
+ Whopping community participation and support
The latest edition of WordPress, that version 3.9.1 has enjoyed close to 10 million downloads in less than a month after its launch. The library of themes and plugins boasts of more than 20,000 options for users, and that’s a small number when compared to the number of website empowered by WordPress globally – that’s more than 50 million! Every second, there are thousands of developers and users preparing documentation for frequently faced issues for WordPress users, translating WordPress to lesser known languages, participating in meetings that decide what stays in future WordPress versions and what moves out of them. You are bound to enjoy using a tool that enjoys such a strong base of followers and users on a global level. You will never feel stuck in terms of getting answers to your queries, and being able to use WordPress for precisely what you want to do, and in the way you want to do.
The cons of using WordPress
With so much to like in WordPress at the first look, it can be hard to digest the fact that there are some bland flavors to WordPress too, some of which could seriously question anybody’s choice of opting for WordPress as a blogging platform. Here are the gaps that WordPress users have observed. Whereas most have learned to love with over the years, there are several others who’ve deemed it smarter to jump to other more complete blogging and web publishing tools.
– Real modifications necessitate knowledge of PHP, CSS and HTML
Whereas you can safely assume that WordPress will allow you to create full-fledged web pages without any coding knowledge, you’d also need to realize beforehand that advanced modification intentions such as removing a data field will require corresponding knowledge of coding languages, CSS in the example cited. On similar lines, you will need to be hands on with CSS and HTML to be able to differentiate your website from the thousands of others who would have used the same WordPress theme as your website. This means that if you are looking for branding yourself or your business using a WordPress website, you will need to either work overtime on your HTML skills or hire somebody who knows how to weave designing magic using these languages.
– The ugly truth behind plugins
Most WordPress fans reckon the availability of thousands of plugins as the USP of this blogging tool, and their assumptions are not entirely unjustified. However, there are at least three issues regarding WordPress plugins that can somewhat dent the authenticity of their claims.
- The urge to install even rarely useful plugins can easily lead to an overdose of plugins for your WordPress website. Too many plugins slow the script and the impact is felt while you begin creating your web pages using WordPress editor.
- The fact that you end up requiring a fair number of plugins to make your WordPress the powerful tool it promises to be takes some fizz out of the deal for you. For instance, your SEO requirements will require you to use one or the other plugin, as will several other important requirements such as comments moderation.
- Having access to a plugin is just one part of the story. It is routinely observed that plugins tend to fall behind the pace of WordPress upgrades, and leave the users in sticky waters. Plugins that are always abreast with the upgrades are far and few!
– Security vulnerabilities
Taking a cue from the above, it is easily recognized that the availability as well as requirement of so many themes and plugins come with security issues. Important and poplar plugins cold easily be ones that come with security flaws that can make your website susceptible to hackers. Moreover, multi editor websites have always found WordPress lacking in terms of its appropriateness as a platform, as user and role management functionalities are pretty humble and hostage to the use of plugins.
– Other problems that WordPress users must brace for
Apart from the three distinct issues discussed above, there are other secondary problems that WordPress could pose for you:
- Being an open source platform, you can well assume that there will be evil souls out there doing more than what’s obvious. Plugin developers could easily plant malicious code in their plugins, such as a newsletter plugin collecting and sending information about your mailing list to the developer. This means that the website admin has to be aware and smart about the plugins and themes he/she uses.
- The WordPress website script has several code fragments that are not relevant for every website you make using this blogging tool. This makes some websites load slower than they should normally do.
- Millions of people use WordPress, and this makes it tough for you to carve out a distinctive space for yourself in the virtual world sing this blogging tool.
Again, it is worth stating here that a user needs to be well aware of how he/she plans to take the intended website or blog forward. For most beginners, WordPress has more ticks than wrongs in its favor and can easily prove to be a worthwhile blogging platform. Of course, it is best to be aware about what’s missing than being exposed to the risks of rude shocks at a stage when there’s no moving back.