Yambo's Blog

Is Wordpress really the solution? Short Answer, No

Posted by Yambo on 23 July 2017

A couple of questions we occasionally get asked are: 'Do we use Wordpress?" or "Why don't we use Wordpress?'. Wordpress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems around and powers a considerable amount of sites on the web today, however...

Over 9 years ago we began searching for a common open-source PHP framework which would allow us more flexibility in extending our sites, with our main focus points on determining which web framework was right for us being: Efficiency, Security, Cost, Support, Limitations, and Scalability.

We quickly realised what makes Wordpress so accessible to non-developers and drag-and-drop designers is exactly what goes against the majority of our main focus points.

We found the overall framework, especially plugins and widgets, very slow and needlessly bulky, over-inflated with lots of unnecessary code. It's trying to accommodate every eventuality by offering as many different options as possible for a standard Wordpress user, but without offerering the right option or the exact solution.

The speed of a website and overall user-experience is of high importance, especially to Search Engines. We were looking for a framework we could build quickly for, a solid light-weight plugin system, built with the customers' individual needs in mind, without over-engineering a solution with unwanted extras - or any additional costs. 

A design idea, plugin, module, in our opinion, should be built on a strong base allowing for further development; to explore different avenues - basically (and as corny as it may sound) wherever your imagination takes you - no limitations and without compromise.

The appeal of Wordpress for the majority is these easy-to-install plugins/themes which can be customised (albeit with limitations) within the CMS itself, usually these plugins/themes are built and maintained by other Wordpress developers, and may not be the same web company or developer which built your site originally. These plugins/themes will require constant updates - which may at some stage not even be supported by the developer anymore.  This then puts the whole system at risk of malware and targeted attacks, as the system is only as strong as its weakest component – potentially putting the whole framework at risk. This may be why hacks and malware/targeted attacks are more common on Wordpress installations than other systems - hackers will always target the vulnerable with these exploits. 

A lot of what makes Wordpress not right for us is exactly what makes it more appealing to its target audience. If the core audience want easy to use drag-and-drop functionality, then the majority of Wordpress developers will focus their attention there, making extra money for premium updates and support along the way. Wordpress as an out-the-box ready CMS and framework does work alright, it just may put extra strain on server resources and lead to additional costs in keeping it running more competently. 

We've found various plugins and configuration options for Wordpress can actually limit the ease-of-use for the user and inevitably slow down the whole framework and site experience - especially on shared web hosting. Purchasing a more powerful server to handle these demands better, and/or offsetting assets using Content Delivery Networks, may combat this to certain extent - but this in itself is not solving the core problem, merely masking it – putting a really fast car engine in a car with square wheels and badly designed aerodynamics makes little sense to us - it'll be a slow and uncomfortable drive, it'll cost a fortune to run, it isn't good for the environment, and you can only go so far before you hit a plateau (or a cat).

NB: No cats were harmed in making this blogpost.