When you should NOT use WordPress for your Website?

Even if WordPress is the most popular content management system from the Internet and has lots of advantages, it also has some disadvantages that can make you think twice if you want to use it for your website or not.

Each CMS has some improvements, updates and upgrades released in time that solves older bugs and comes with multiple new and various features, but some bugs remain unsolved for a really long period or are never fixed.

There are several WordPress bugs and disadvantages that you need to consider when you want to make a website with this platform: translation, security, bad programming, support, bad default configuration, source code, customization, updates and resources.

Translation

One of the biggest problems of WordPress is volunteers, there are a lot of them, and most of them don’t have the proper skills for certain areas of expertise such as translation. Anyone can be volunteer, you only need a WordPress account and you can start translating from English into different languages without any restrictions.

I have seen users who made poor quality translation from English to foreign languages, turning the easy to use dashboard into non-sense admin area.

In some of the WordPress versions, especially the newest one, translations are incomplete. By updating the system, you might end up having your website in both English and the other language you used before.

So if you need to build a website for a client who does not understand English, you rather do the translation and help the community out with your work, or you choose another method to make the website.

Security Problems

Security is a major problem of WordPress websites. Especially brute force attack is one of the main concerns. We talk about BFA, when someone tries to access the dashboard of your WordPress site or your FTP account by trying out different user names with different password combinations. If you choose a strong password and changed the default admin user name, you can reduce the chance to get hacked, but there is no guarantee that you will always win.

Another big security hole is represented by the third-party themes and plugins which are made by both professional development companies as well by individuals or even hackers. These files are verified, but sometimes the developers can hide fishy code that will not catch the attention of the verifier.

These security problems cannot be resolved just with updates. They need to pay more attention on the themes and plugins that are being updated and verify the users who are doing it. Employing highly skilled programmers and WordPress expert to review the code could be another solution, but as I told there will always be a hole somewhere.

Bad Programming

While the core WordPress is developed by Automatic Inc, a professional web development company, who pay really close attention to details, most third-party plugins and themes are created by unskilled persons.

Not optimized code can not only slow down your site or cause errors, but can also be the back-door for a hacker to break into your site.

Lack of Support

Although the community is very active, and you will find answers to most of your questions, there are cases when you have to figure out things by yourself. The official WordPress support is represented by volunteer, plugin and theme developers, WP assistants or people from all around the world.

When buying a commercial theme or plugin, you will get a level of support from the company who sold it to you, but you might still have unanswered questions at the end of the day. You can also purchase WordPress support from different companies or buy guides to learn this system, but these are not cheap.

Default Configuration

The default configuration of WordPress needs some adjustment by the user. Basically when you install WordPress to your site, you will have to make some adjustments.

For instance, you will have to activate SEF URLs for better SEO, so search engines such as Google can find your pages and content more easily. The visual editor might also cause problems for newbie users, because by default some important features are hidden, which the user have to figure out.

Source Code

Although WordPress is updated frequently there are still parts in the core where old PHP techniques are used for global variables, functions, and classes. The naming of some functions is confusing and becomes frustrating sometimes.

WordPress produces bloated code with its WYSIWYG visual editor and you can easily see this when you write an article in the editor and then toggle to HTML editor where you can see the source code.

Some free themes and plugins have hidden codes and links to suspicious websites. When removing these codes, the theme and the whole website will stop working. In some cases the dashboard can also be affected, disabling you the option to change the theme or modify your site as you.

Customization

Customization of a WordPress theme or plugin needs a good knowledge of PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. You also need to understand the WordPress framework itself to be able to modify the files and functions to archive the results you want.

SQL queries are also hard to customize because you need knowledge of MySQL and PHP or you need to hire a web programmer to make your website in WordPress so it is better to make one from scratch without using any CMS.

Updates

Although the core is usually updated once a month, some plugins can have daily updates. Updating your plugins or theme every day can be frustrating. You don’t have to do it, but it is recommended.

However if you have already modified the theme or the plugins you are using, watch out, because the update will overwrite all your modified files. Will not create a backup or a copy of the files you have edited, so you will lose your modifications. In this situation you will need to live with the constant update notification.

Server Resources

Because the core WordPress and third-party extensions includes a high number of PHP functions and SQL queries, websites built with this CSM will require greater server resources.

There are problems regarding CPU usage and nobody seems to know the solution or even to identify the source of the problem. If you buy managed WordPress hosting, some plugins that are heavy resource consumer are banned. So you will not be able to install the necessary plugins to your site, because your hosting provider will not allow that.

Conclusion

Now, that I enumerated so many disadvantages of WordPress, you might think that it is a bad CMS. The fact is, that it is the best CMS around, and it is powering over 75 million websites world-wide. I always recommend WordPress for website building, even if it has some problems, because it is very simple to use and is free.

However there are still some cases when you should not use WordPress for your project: if you want to create a simple website, which does not need to be updated. In this case you can create the site in plain HTML and CSS. You should not use WordPress for sensitive projects that need high security. You should avoid using WordPress if you can’t afford a reliable web host.

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Bifty Alex June 6, 2016 Reply

There is no doubt in that WordPress is one of the best platforms to create the wesite, no matter whether it is an eCommerce website or any other, WP is the best.There are thousands of plugins available in the WP which further makes the task easy. A person with a basic understanding of programming can easily work on WordPress. I liked the article, it nicely explained some reasons why you need wordPress to avoid the mentioned problems. Thank you for the article and keep doing a good job.

Esther Roche – Web Coach July 19, 2016 Reply

I do not agree with most of the reasons. Just to give an example, WordPress itself is secure. I have never had any of the sites I built with WordPress hacked, and believe me, I have built quite a few. It is a whole different matter if you log in to WordPress once every six months, never download updates, and so forth. If that is the case, then a wordpress site is more likely to get hacked.
Of course, that everyone can express their opinion, is your right and should be respected.

    avatar WHM Staff July 19, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for your comment!
    Well you are very lucky that none of your WordPress website were hacked. Your comment just came in at the right time, because at this moment I’m fixing a VPS server, which was compromised. The hacker has been sending out thousands of spam emails through these websites. Some of the websites got blacklisted because of this. Now I have to fix the hack as well have to go through the process of removing the IP and domains from blacklisting sites.
    From the logs it is clear that a WordPress site was breached. I have to admit that this website was not using the latest WordPress version. Most likely this was the reason why it got hacked, so it is my fault for sure.
    The biggest problem is that the whole server was infected with malicious files. All WordPress sites that are hosted on same server are affected. Full server restore is not an option, partial restore might help but not very much.

    The website which was hacked, was actually a site built for a client. This is a small website, with low traffic, it is a company presentation website, which needs some changes time-to-time but obviously not every week. When the client asks for some changes in content, the website is also updated. If the client ask for changes once every six month, WordPress is updated once every six month. It is obvious that you don’t go through all the websites that you created and update each once a plugin or core WordPress has a new update available. It is impossible.

    I’m not saying that WordPress is bad or that people should not use it; in fact I recommend WordPress a lot. But there are cases when WordPress is not a good option. Probably for a small website which does not require frequent content updates, it would be better to use a simple HTML template. But when you need to do some changes to it, it takes much more time than with WordPress.
    I use WordPress for all my websites and often use it for clients, just because is so convenient.

Collins Eban July 20, 2016 Reply

very nice article really and detailed!! i do use WordPress too, currently working on a community using heir buddypress plugin. at some point i thought “must it be WordPress?” but i have to because i cant afford to pay an outstanding web developer now to help make my dreams come true.

WordPress is definitely great for business / corporate websites, and I actually noticed that many businesses are already using WordPress (regardless whether they have a blog attached to it).

I don’t like wordpress, joomla, or other CMS programs. Why? No coding control. What I can’t see frustrates me. I’ve worked with these programs in the past and they always seem to have the same problem – texts and images – that don’t display properly. I’m working with bootstrap right now, which has its hangups but I can edit the code when I need to. But WordPress, you are dependent on the program to display what you what. I can’t edit it if I need to tweak it. So I use Notepad++ and Dreamweaver. I can pull in a Bootstrap code like carousal. Throw some images in and let it run. If I’m bothered by something that’s not working right, I can edit the code myself in html or css. I don’t have wade through tons of plugins to find something that will work or compromise on an image that isn’t displaying right in a panel. That’s why I don’t like wordpress. It might be good for a novice but not for advance coder.

    YouStupidCoder April 4, 2017 Reply

    You sounded like a novice coder and a novice wordpress user as well if that’s your reason. You’re talking sounded like you just can’t properly use even the most basic wordpress functions properly since all of those can be done easily with the proper knowledge about basic php and wordpress itself.

I spent over a year learning WP, and the more I learned the more frustrated I became.

If one knows nothing about the way their website functions, is not bothered by literal bombardment of SPAM, and ignores the only site support for security (the wording of updates plainly states that if you don’t update, WordPress in not responsible for any security breach) then yes, I suppose it would seem “easy.”

The fact that plugins are required yet even premium versions are never fully compliant with the base code is at best annoying and at worst pure scam. The expert lists of “necessary” plugins have a minimum of 20 separate programs to manage in addition to the website. These things are not working together. Plugin fixes that accompany near daily updates easily require a full day to de-glitch. In almost two years, I never had a single update that did not break my site, require me to change plug-ins, or reconfigure all my site settings. Yes, this was WP.org.

I contacted WP support numerous times and they said I should try a different web host. No suggestion as to which one was most compatible. Just try them all until one fixes the broken site. Thanks, support. Maybe next time I see my doctor I will suggest he just prescribes me every medicine available so I can try them all, you know, to get a feel for which ones are best.

Finally, all of my time was spent on maintenance and I had no time to write content. I am a writer and I created the site to promote my brand as an author. I do not know PHP. I do not code. I simply read instructions, attempted to follow the stated best practices of WP, mistakenly kept everything up to date and frankly, I think that the really great looking websites look good because they do NOT do this.

A beautiful WP site is created and then updates are ignored, I suspect even site hacks are concealed. Because it is impossible to keep your website the same using the WP platform. The building blocks used to customize those flashy features break or become noncompliant and replaced with new versions at least three or four times annually. I am being very generous with my estimation.

If you don’t code and you are critical of this article, I’m not sure you even know what a computer is, much less how to build a WP site that would not be broken if I tried to log on today. Don’t throw salt if you have no point of reference. I can’t code, but at least I used the platform.

That said, I would rather use Typepad than WordPress. I would rather Xerox hand lettered zines and slip them in wire mesh tabloid newspaper boxes downtown. I would rather communicate using the indigenous art of smoke signals.

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