In 2015 I stopped building websites with WordPress.
Standing in 2019, I still see how everyday people are duped into the world of super messy WordPress websites particularly because of their ignorance, lack of knowledge and an immense addiction to having a website designed for peanuts. The regret comes later and comes with heavy prices.
Back in 2015, I wrote this about WordPress. Things are pretty much the same if not worse.
WordPress was/is an open-source blogging platform. It was/is good. It was meant for users who would like to blog without having technical knowledge of PHP, HTML, CSS or databases. But then a bunch of rascals started to fuck it up. By creating worthless bloated themes, plugins and whatnot WordPress now exists within a cesspool of dog muck. Now you as a business owner are not supposed to know this. Because 90% of web designers like to spin a crap out of WordPress and glorify it whenever they get a chance. The question is why so? WordPress does not pay them to do that.
Now, this beating a donkey to be a horse has become a monkey business. You are not at fault. With thousands of themes and customizable options, it could feel like WordPress is a smart choice for your website or eCommerce. But unfortunately, it is not. Read on.
In recent times, there is a term floating around - Dynamic Website. This is "THE" keyword for the monkey business. It makes me laugh personally when I hear it or someone asks for it. The term implies the fact that you, as the owner of the website can change the content on the website as per your will or requirement. This is a great selling point for the "not-so-knowledgable web designers". WordPress being a CMS delivers everything via a dashboard which initially seems like a box of candies to 3 years old. A eureka moment for you.
But ask yourself this question, how good are you at using Microsoft Word? Can you put four lines of text overlaid on two images, place them side by side and print them? Seems a little tricky. Well, the WordPress dashboard is a whole lot trickier than that. Unless you are using it for purely blogging purposes. The more you will use it, the less excited you will be over time. WordPress was not developed for building business websites. WordPress was developed for blogging.
Would you use an 18-wheeler with fancy stickers and fancy audio to commute to your office every day? Yeah right, nobody does that. So why would you use WordPress which has approximately hundreds and hundreds of files and a database to build your 25-page business website? In 2003, WordPress was originally an offshoot of another project, b2/catalogue. It used a database to manage blog content. Today, WordPress powers approximately 75 million blogs. They are mostly non-business websites. They are not meant to convert visitors into customers and patrons. Even if they are meant, they are okay. If you want to blog, WordPress is the best out there. But if you want to have a business website or an eCommerce, please look beyond WordPress. You really do not want to house those huge numbers of extra files on top of your website files.
WordPress assists you in creating and managing how your website looks and behaves. On the server side, it uses Php to process all browser requests. Depending on the WordPress theme and plugins used the load time of your website will be affected significantly. During heavy usage, it can beat the shit out of your cheap shared web hosting and make the website completely breathless. Result? Your visitor sighs and leaves your website for another one. Although a good hosting environment might be able to make up for the delay since you have used the cheapest option to design your website you are probably using cheap fucked web hosting too. So the combination of WordPress and cheap web hosting might just frustrate the hell out of your users. That to our mind is not good news in any way!
As per a Strangeloop study, just a single second of delay in loading your page can cost you a 7% loss in lead conversions, 11% lesser page views and 16% decreased customer satisfaction. To top it, Google generally pushes the slow-loading website down the search results. Down, down and down. Sounds exciting? No? Okay, read on.
For more read: Reasons to avoid cheap web hosts for WordPress
So much customization to be excited for. It is like wearing fancy trousers with zippers on three sides. To pee, you use the front one. To shit, you open the rear one. To scratch your ass you open the side ones. Well, that is what your web designer is excited about. And he/she got excited about you too. But there is a catch. Your rear zipper might give away while you are in the middle of a business meeting. And that is not good news! WordPress has tons of customization available in the form of themes, plugins and bull crap. The more customizations, the more failure points. To top that off, if your WordPress installation is using 10 plugins they are probably written by 10 different people from 10 different countries in 10 different ways. A typical WordPress installation with all sorts of themes and plugins is like a global culture meeting. For a serious business website, we find that really really scary.
For more read: Why WordPress code is a mess
WordPress is officially FREE. Yes, it is open-source software and it is free. Themes are free, plugins are free. However, there are paid themes and plugins too. But still, your web designer might charge anything they want. It can be $100, $200, or $500, heck I have seen crappy WordPress websites and WordPress eCommerce websites being sold for $2000. That is because you are ignorant. Because you do not know what is free and what is not. Know that web designers do not have to do much shit constructing the website. So getting a fat profit margin with a WordPress website is easy. It does not take any skill and very less knowledge to build a WordPress website. Because at the end of the day, it is an artificially fragranced shitpile. You do not know it. The aroma is on the top. Shovel deep and it's all yuck!
Thereafter the game starts.
You are bound to get ready for a world of hurt once your website in WordPress is up. WordPress websites are more likely to break down every three to four months. There are exceptions here though, but considering the lame-ass budget, you will have, you will surely get crap shovelled down the throat. If not, you must consider yourself lucky. With the constant change in online technology, WordPress need to be regularly updated and fixed. It is a brain-dead job. And your web designer will charge you for this. Then again. Then again. Ultimately you will get the feeling, hey let me look for a different web designer who knows things better. And you will change the milkman. But you will be still milked and milked and milked. Till your wallet drains out.
So what started as a merry website design episode on a cool budget will turn out to be a horror movie. At this point, you won't have any more budget for the website and a pile of fragranced dog crap on your lap (a cheap D-grade-looking WordPress website designed by an idiot hosted on a cheap server).
For more read: WordPress maintenance costs
WordPress is a playground of hack bots and newbie hackers who hack websites for fun. You do not know that though.
You will get probably get 100s of other links if you Google for "WordPress security issues". Your web designer may or may not know these. But it does not make any difference. With WordPress the profit margin for web designers is fat and they do not need to be knowledgeable, skilled or anything. So be ready to bend over for penetration. From your web designer and from the hackers. It would be completely unnecessary to list the security issues here as those are common knowledge just like "The earth revolves around the sun" or "The sun rises in the east". So if you are curious, just Google it.
For more read: Hackers target WordPress
We are back to point #2 again. You won't use an 18-wheeler truck for your office commutes. So why would you use WordPress for your 25 pages or even 50 pages website? Every minor functionality on WordPress needs a plugin. Plugins are an external set of files developed by various people. There is no standard for coding practices and a next-door high school kid can develop a WordPress plugin. It can break the website. It can wreak havoc. But neither you nor the "half-ass" web designer knows about it or is just ignorant about it. The look of the website comes via a theme, and since the same theme is being used by 1000s of other websites, your website is just another brick in the wall. With the WordPress core files, theme files, and plugin files, your website will be something like the picture below.
Since WordPress requires multiple resources to run, on a shared web hosting environment it runs slower than desired. With 5 to 10 visitors a day, it will not hurt however as your web traffic increases, you will enter the "horror movie" phase. So if you fall for the "Dynamic Website" trap, well God save you.
For more read: Why WordPress is slow and bloated
You might hear WordPress web designers claiming that it is the only platform which works well with SEO. Although this might have held true a decade ago, Google’s newest algorithms prioritize top-notch web design, useful information and good-quality blog posts. Today, SEO is all about clear and crisp quality content and informative blogging and having a fast-loading, mobile responsive, technically sound website. Nothing else works and no web designer will explain anything else to you! There are also several SEO plugins, which actually you do not need if your web designer is knowledgeable enough and not lazy.
For more read: Why Google loves WordPress is a myth
Owing to the ever-increasing competition to garner viewership and consequently conversion, analytics is the only way to understand where your business website stands. Starting from understanding the kind of users who visit your website and how they came across it to click progression, time per page, keyword search, bounce rate and conversion rate, there are numerous metrics for you to look into in order to ensure that your digital presence remains at the top of the game. Unfortunately, WordPress has no analysis software for you to look into and is no friend to your business analytics! Even if you think about installing a plugin such as Jetpack, it does not have detailed data like Google Analytics or other platforms made for business analytics. Collecting and analyzing data is imperative for your business growth and ignoring it because of inadequate functionality could be hazardous. Once again you will need a WordPress plugin for this.
Does Hexadesigns build WordPress websites?
The short and long answer is NO. We use WordPress only for blogs. Blogs are just websites or blogs that are part of a website. In fact, the blog that you are reading here is powered by WordPress. As I mentioned before, WordPress is a good tool to blog. But that's about it.
Can Hexadesigns fix my doomed WordPress website?
No, we will not be able to. We will rather clean our office toilet.
I have already spent a lot behind the shitty WordPress website but I am not satisfied. Would Hexadesigns consider this fact while quoting for a fresh website?
LOL. No. Don't even mention it.
I hope the above article will be an eye-opener for you and that you will be able to handle things in a different way while shopping for a website. Please do not contact us with anything regarding WordPress unless you are looking to blog.
Hexadesigns is a web design company located in Kolkata, India. We take advantage of the latest trend and technologies to design and develop web applications, SaaS and websites.
Managing Partner, Hexadesigns