3 Downsides to using WordPress

WordPress is the number one choice for a content management system, with over 70 million sites already created. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular. WordPress is free to download, it’s free to install and then use indefinitely. And by using one of the thousands of available free themes, it’s possible to quickly create a reasonable looking website in a couple of hours. Once created, a WordPress site is easy to edit by simply dragging and dropping content. For the average person, WordPress makes website design accessible, in a simple to use & user-friendly package, but are there any downsides to using WordPress? 

1. Open Source Software

WordPress is open source; its files and source code are available for download all over the world, by anyone. Open source makes WordPress what it is today, allowing anyone to modify core files or create plugins. This type of flexibility allows great freedom for creation but, in the wrong hands, the reverse is also true. Hackers frequently target WordPress installs, as it’s easier for them to find vulnerabilities when they know the source code & setup. In fairness, WordPress reacts quickly to vulnerabilities to its core source code, with regular security updates published almost weekly. And, the relatively new “auto update” feature means updated core files are automatically installed as soon as they’re available. The trouble is, to make WordPress interesting, functional or even slightly beautiful, it requires the use of a theme, which will normally require several plugins. And it’s these theme and plugin files that contain the biggest vulnerabilities. As the companies who create these plugins vary in size, and the majority don’t have the expertise WordPress has for protecting its plugins from hackers. The net result is that your site becomes potentially vulnerable from attack through a side door.

Read More about WordPress

2. Website Response Time / Load Time

Having a fast site response time has always been important and is gradually becoming more important.– Website Response Times. WordPress response times tend to be much slower than that of a comparable HTML coded website. Basic WordPress setups can have a reasonable average response time from 1 second to a couple of seconds, with more complex sites taking a painfully slow 6 or 7 seconds to load. Response time increases when additional plugins are added to an install. Many plugins require numerous JavaScript, jquerty or external website calls, all slowing down total response times.

Unlike a well-coded HTML site, these plugin calls are located in the header of every single page and consequently increase the load time for the whole site. Load time is one of the most important yet overlooked factors of any website; it affects Google rankings, user experience, mobile readiness and much more.

Read More about Response Times in Matt Cutt’s Blog

3. Plugin Compatibility Issues

Some WordPress installs can have lots of plugins. WordPress plugins are great when they work: you can create contact forms, add trust seals and add email marketing subscription boxes, for example, in seconds. However, problems occur when a plugin conflicts with another, resulting in the famous WordPress white screen. Frustratingly, the only way of resolving these issues is to remove one of the conflicting plugins and search for an alternative. Compatibility problems also occur when upgrading to new versions of a plugin, so it pays to make sure you keep a backup of old versions so you can return to working configurations quickly.