Anything that is popular is bound to have some naysayers. Anything that is liked by many, has to be hated by at least a few as a proof of its likeability. Conversely, anything that has so many myths surrounding it, must be intrinsically, by and large serving its purpose.
WordPress is popular, hated by a few and it intrinsically, by and large serves its purpose and a little more. And thus it has many myths involving its existence and functions.
Let’s sieve through the most common WordPress Myths, debunking them one at a time.
1. WordPress is for blogging only.
This is a belief held by bigger to medium sized organizations that are looking at building their website. One of the most straightforward argument against this myth is that the internet is full of intense and complex websites that use WordPress.
From news agencies such as MSNBC, BBC America and TIME Magazine to celebrities like Beyonce and Rolling Stones, WordPress meets their needs. More over universities, which have some of the most complex website requirements run their sites off WordPress.
This myth stays on because WordPress was started as a self-publishing (read blogging) tool and it has been marketed as such. Very recently, have they started calling themselves a website developing tool too. In fact, WordPress’ content manangement is so flexible that it can very efficiently and effectively be extended to any site has dynamic content.
The truth is, your website is limited only by person developing your site.
Anything that you need is out there solved by some plug-in, there is always a work around. You just have to know how to look at the right places.
That being said, do not undermine the power of blogging. Whatever, the type of your site, a blog that relates to your niche, goes a long way in keeping your customers interested and coming back to your site.
2. WordPress is not professional.
This comes from the “if it’s for free, it must not be good,” way of looking at things. Once again, if a site is low quality (along any of the parameters you judge a website by), it has more to do with the developer than WordPress.
Honestly, ask yourself this question – when you visit a site, how many times have you wondered what the site must use for back-end? Who cares what your site is using to show its content?
What might look unprofessional though is using a free URLs and E-mail addresses matter. So, pay for your domain name and leave the rest to WordPress.
3. My site will look the same as any other.
This used to be a problem when WordPress started out. And it is true, that many themes look like each other. But, with over 2,500 themes and many themes having various options for home page, we have come a long way away from looking like every other site. On the contrary, it is the question of finding a theme that gives you as much control as you can handle. In fact, you can find many themes that are specifically engineered to suit your niche business, be it e-commerce, retail or B-to-B.
In addition you can buy yourself a theme to make your site even more “different”. A corollary myth to this myth is that premium themes are expensive. In absolute terms, you might feel like you are spending a lot. But compare $35-$65 a year that a premium site might cost to $1000-$1500 you would need to get a site made from scratch. And there goes that myth – *puff*.
4. WordPress is hard to understand.
And then you have the other end of the spectrum, the smaller businesses/users where WordPress comes across as too complex. Here’s what is hard – Yoga, swimming, making sketches, dancing, managing finances, advertising – when you don’t know how to do it! Name one thing that you do well today that wasn’t difficult to begin with, including learning how to walk.
This one does warrant a post of its own but rest assured that you don’t have to have a masters in Computer Sciences to use WordPress. The beauty is, you just have to know WordPress. Once you know how to work the cogs, it is very intuitive.
However, even if your needs are intense and complex, you can get the site designed by someone who understands WordPress better than you do and maintain/update it yourself. It is, in most cases a breeze.
That besides there is so much information out there. You learn as you grow.
The question to answer is you want a website, what are you going to do? Anything else is going to be either more complex than WordPress or too simple with less variety/flexibility.
5. WordPress Sites get hacked.
Your site is as safe as you are careful. Your site is as prone to attacks as you are complacent. We either think we are too small to be attacked or we have done all it takes to keep our site 100% safe.
Walking on the street is unsafe, how can something that is being intentionally attacked by thousands of people be safe? And if you work the number game, I am sure we have many more WordPress sites that have not been hacked than non-WordPress sites that have been hacked.
The open source nature of WordPress opens it up to risks but it also means the security bugs are fixed quickly too. Meanwhile,
- make sure you have a good username and password.
- before downloading plug-ins, make sure they have –
- come from a trusted source
- – enough number of downloads
- been reviewed and rated well
- regular updates
- been updated regularly.
- for plug-ins that you have, even if inactive, make sure you have the latest version.
- make sure you have the latest version of themes (even inactive ones).
- have an updated version of WordPress itself.
6. Speed related myths.
Before you make any judgement about speed, you have to realise that anything you do on your site is going to slow it down.
WordPress slows the site down.
What you pay for is what you get. If you want better speed, you have to get your site hosted on a private server. Some plug-ins do slow your site down. But, well-written plug-ins will minimise the demand on memory and processing.
Inactive plug-ins/themes slow your site down.
They don’t. But keep them updated, nevertheless as a security measure.
Too many revisions slow your site down.
Nope, they don’t. They surely take more space. But the back-end is smart enough to not let revisions cause a slow down.
Keeping trash or not emptying trash slows your site down.
Nada. Again, it takes up more space, but trash doesn’t cause a slow down.
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None of this is to say, that WordPress doesn’t have any room for improvement. The point here is that you can’t be looking around for a perfect solution. WordPress does offer a wide range of solutions for you to pick from with a whole spectrum of additional functionalities. It offers good bang for the buck, even with premium themes and paid plug-ins, making it a moot point for free themes and plug-ins.