Released in 2003, WordPress was originally developed as an open source alternative for bloggers that offers feature rich and simplified abilities to write articles and manage visitor accounts and comments. Far surpassing the developer’s expectations, WordPress has grown into one of the leading platforms of choice for nearly a quarter of all content management system-based websites out there.
With its massive array of plugins, the WordPress platform has expanded from being bloggers paradise into a formidable beast offering solutions for not only e-commerce-based website stores but also into every dimension of business out there. From automotive repair shops to medical clinics and even zoo’s, WordPress can be customized in such detail and configured with an arsenal of features tailor matched to each profession. The end result is a stunning website that ranks incredibly high for ease of use and visual aesthetics and being open source, it offers itself to the general public at the best price possible.
With all its massive potential and grandeur, WordPress, like with anything technical, has its drawbacks in the form of update requirements and its resource footprint, both of which if not carefully kept in check can lead to unwanted consequences. With that being said, this should not be a reason for anyone to avoid this platform, however it means you certainly should familiarize yourself with how to properly maintain, secure and utilize the website.
If you were to roll back time to the 1990’s / early 2000s and inspect how websites were design, you would have found mostly static websites that served up pretty basic pages to website visitors and required little if any additional maintenance once complete. During this time, you would also find limited bandwidth, horribly big computer monitors with 32-bit color and poor resolutions…..yes kids, as scary as it sounds, there was life before cool hi resolution mobile phones and high-speed internet. Heck when I was a kid, if you dropped your mobile phone on your foot, your foot broke, not the phone! You didn’t need Apple care protection plans, you needed a good health care plan! And you had to have a backpack because it sure wouldn’t fit in your pocket!
As the Jurassic period of technology slowly faded away into what we have today, we started seeing an explosion in how people were able to access the internet and thus websites. With this came new browsers, internet accessible devices along with screen resolutions/sizes…. and the colors these days could make a hippy from the 60’s jealous.
All the advancements in technology today has allowed website developers and software programmers to build and interact with a website in many inventive and new ways. Because of this, it has greatly expanded the complexity from that basic, static web page into a dynamic work of art you see in platforms such as WordPress.
With all the above said, if you are ready and willing to provide your website visitor with a stunning and professional website that offers feature rich abilities, we must also accept that as with anything software driven, it requires updating from time to time in order to apply patches, security fixes and even enhancements.
Updating WordPress is as simple as a click of a button in most cases and with many hosting providers these days it can be performed for you under their hosting plan agreement. This is great for the core files that make up WordPress however will not cover theme updates or plugin updates both of which should be applied regularly to maintain a healthy and secure website.
Like with WordPress, updating plugins and themes is a relatively simple “click of a button” process however, like with computer software, in rare instances an update can have a negative impact due to incompatibilities with other plugins, bad coding or a failed install. Choosing quality plugins and themes, avoid the use of too many plugins and updating based on version release and time of release all greatly reduce the risks of problems during updates.
Depending on the updates required, it’s also never a bad idea to have a current backup of your website and database for use in the extremely rare case of catastrophic failure. After reading this far you may be saying to yourself that WordPress might not be the right choice for you however keep in mind any modern website these days will have its own bag of update requirements and potential for failure. Also keep in mind, regardless of platform, these failures are rare and normally failures can easily be corrected with a rollback of the update.
The other unavoidable area of WordPress and most modern web platforms is its resource footprint. With added complexity comes additional processing and data being sent to and from the hosting server. For most any business and website, this will not be an issue however if your website has massive page hits per day or the website itself is pretty big with 50+ pages or if it utilizes resources intensive features, then resource load will be something you want to streamline.
Luckily there are many adjustments both from your hosting Cpanel and from your WordPress admin area that can be made to help WordPress and your hosting server compress, sort and handle your website data in ways that removes the burden on server resources. This however normally means hiring a company such as us to make these changes, ensuring optimal final results.
Again, this is not a limitation or negative placed solely on WordPress but rather on most any website platform that utilizes advanced features, large audiences or larger websites. Although an unavoidable condition to the new world of websites, it is well worth the time or money to streamline in order to reduce your page load times and boost your overall SEO quality.
In the end, no mater your choice on website platform or design, like with your physical business, it will succeed or fail based on the quality and effort you put in. Establishing and maintaining a professional website is critical to any business wanting to capture a share of their market in today’s digital world. WordPress and other platforms can help you achieve this however they should not be treated as a turn the key and forget it concept.
The time, money or effort may seem to be a bit much but the final results and lead generating potential greatly outweigh upfront costs. If you are thinking of starting a new website and like the WordPress platform and seek additional information, feel free to contact us any time for a free consultation and even design mock-up. We would be happy to further explain WordPress, its potential and how best to utilize it to bring more clients and sales into your pocket.