The Downside of Using WordPress
WordPress is one of the more common and popular blogging platforms used today, Programmers, marketers and bloggers in general, love its simplicity to use, myriad of powerful plugins, and open source programming. However as many people are discovering, there are some downsides to using wordpress, and it’s not the right platform for every job or client.
Security, or more correctly the lack of security, is probably wordpresses biggest downside. Because it’s so widely used and open source it’s a natural target for hackers. There are plugins that help you lockdown wordpress a wordpress firewall plugin and ways keep an audit trail to help keep track of changes and even ways to limit access to your admin panel by IP, but at the end of the day, from a security standpoint wordpress is a block of swiss cheese. So you should always make sure you have backups and keep your wordpress and plugins up to date.
Over the past year wordpress has dramatically increased the frequency and complexity of their new releases. In 2008 wordpress moved from wordpress 2.3 to 2.7, with more than one update requiring major changes to database schema. For organizations who are interested in doing business and not being a system admin for the ever changing world of wordpress, all of time maintaing a wordpress CMS, can make it look fairly unatractive. Normal maintenance combined with the required due dillegence for security can and will probably eat up a few man hours every month. If you are responsible for more than one blog the time commitment grows geometrically, often to the point of absurdity. Once you’ve commited to the wordpress platform it’s like getting a tattoo, getting rid of it is going to cost a bit of money, and be very painful. Ignore the maintenance aspect of wordpress and the weak security will come back to haunt you. It won’t be a matter of if your blog gets hacked, it will be just a matter of when.
Lack of Enterprise Features
Earlier this year Wired Magazine published an article saying blogging was dead. While this was probably a well executed piece of linkbait (which worked), one thing the article was right about, personal, and single author blogs are dying out, and being replaced by bigger multi-author blogs. These new blogs bear more resemblance to magazines and newspapers than than to blogs in the classical sense. WordPress has been slow to incorporate and enhance some of the key features enterprise publishers look for and need in a CMS. For example you can schedule posts for future publications with wordpress, but the most recent version removed this information from the dashboard. The post administration screen now shows “post publishes in 9 days” instead of the actual time and date of publication, which is a pretty serious oversight. Other features include a lack of native advertising management, instead relying on plugins, and the absence of built in template editor. IMHO features like this keep wordpress from being given serious consideration by mainstream publishers.
While I’ve painted a pretty grim picture, there is a lot to like about wordpress. You can’t beat the price, and if you invest the time, it can be an amazingly powerful piece of software. But choosing wordpress for your site, or your clients sites, is something you should give serious consideration too. Locking someone into a piece of software that requires a significant time investment for upkeep, isn’t for everyone, especially if there isn’t someone who is technologically savvy with time to devote to the upkeep. Think of wordpress as finicky european sports car, it may spend a lot of time in the shop, but when it’s out on the road, cornering like it’s on rails, it’s hard not enjoy it. If you do decide to move to wordpress Google recently released some tools to make the migration easier.
About the Author
With over 10 years experience in internet marketing and website development, Michael Gray has helped many companies with their SEO, ecommerce and website marketing needs. Michael has been a long time speaker at industry events such as PubCon, Search Engine Strategies and SMX. You can read his blog at www.wolf-howl.com, or his articles in many industry publications. In addition to internal search engine optimization, Michael also helps companies with their product campaigns with ViralConversations.com20 Comments