Wordpress is great but has disadvantages worth considering

Posted by Matt Hayden on Monday, March 28, 2016
These days if you want to market something you'll need a website, preferably with blog included. If you hire a web designer to build it for you there's a good chance that he or she will recommend Wordpress as a platform. Maybe you will have already decided that's what you want anyway ...

That's not surprising. It's widely regarded as an excellent CMS (content management system). There's so much you can do with it and web designers love it. 

While it has a lot of benefits, webmasters do find it frustrating for certain reasons also. You'll find quite a few articles like this one that point out shortcomings related to aspects such as website security and configuration

Aside from these reservations that some experts have, there's another really big one in my opinion: You have to be reasonably tech-savvy to use it. Sure, if you're not already a bit of a geek you can overcome this. But to do so you'll have to devote a fair bit of time to learning how the platform works. And if you are new to the web this can be very frustrating indeed. 

Now, the DIY route may seem at first blush to be a very unusual choice for people. But it's actually surprisingly common. I know this because several people have actually called me to ask if I can teach them how to build their sites using Wordpress. I have told them I couldn't, sadly. I have never used that platform -- even for basic blogging -- mainly because of the "geekiness" required.

So there are quite a few people out there "diving in the deep end", so to speak. But the more common occurrence seems to be people who have paid a web designer to build their site (usually at significant cost) and they are frustrated too! This is because the whole process of site building is "out of heir hands". So whenever they want some little thing changed or added they have to pay the guy who made it for them. And if he's busy -- which is often the case -- they have to wait as well! After a while they often get so sick of this that they decide to take the reins themselves. But then they're like the group mentioned above -- they have to learn how to do this. 

Because of these two common scenarios I would say avoid Wordpress, at least when starting out. (This wouldn't apply to a big business with a team of people marketing it, of course. Such obstacles would be negligible. But if you're a small or home business they could really slow you down, cost you quite a bit and cause you significant stress in the long run.)

So, for newbies who want to get a website up and running quickly, easily and on a budget I would recommend using a DIY website builder such as Weebly or Yola. You have to learn how to use them, too. But they are usually a doddle. It's true that they're not nearly as customizable as Wordpress. So you might not get your site looking exactly how you'd like. But you can get them pretty close. (This is a DIY website using Yola, BTW. And I'm so non-geeky it's not funny.) 

In any case you can always transfer over to Wordpress down the track if you wish. But in many cases you probably won't want to anyway. 

The beauty of DIY is that you can get your site and blog up there online ASAP. This is important because the search engines need time to get to know your content and rank it. And of course you'll want to start with a home base to send all your social media and offline traffic to.

Then there's the cost -- or lack of it. With sites like Yola and Weebly you can start for free and upgrade if you wish. But if you want a Wordpress site hosted on your own domain you'll be coughing up from the get go. You'll also have to find quality, reliable hosting for the platform, which can be a challenge. 

As the weeks go by you'll find that editing and perhaps promoting your own site yourself will be so much better for your state of mind. Doing these things yourself gives you a real sense of control that is calming. But when it's out of your hands you can easily go batty with exasperation!

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