Altabel Group's Blog

WordPress: Pros, Cons and What is coming?

Posted on: May 4, 2013

Building a website wasn’t so easy earlier as it is now. Fortunately the time has passed when you had to hand-code HTML and PHP scripts in order to get an easy and fully functional website. Now content management systems (CMSs) do most or all of the heavy lifting for site creators. There are a number of CMSs for serious site creators, but the most common for websites today are considered to be three open-source tools: Joomla, Drupal and WordPress.

WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a CMS based on PHP and MySQL. It got its start as a blogging platform in May 2003 and gradually evolved, first into a blogging system that let users add Web pages outside of the blog and then into a full-featured, popular CMS. Of the three most popular open-source CMSs – WordPress, Joomla and Drupal – WordPress is both the most popular and the fastest growing by far, according to Web technology tracker W3Techs.

Earlier anyone could hardly think of using WordPress as the blogging platform. But now the situation has changed completely. Every second site owner using a CMS chooses WordPress. But to be objective let’s see what the facts are that speak in favor of this star-CMS. And what are there against it?

WordPress Pros

* Open-source
It means you get access to its source code and can study, modify and improve it according to your needs. However, it doesn’t mean you can do anything at all with the code. WordPress is issued under GPL license, which restricts certain actions (like limiting access to the code for others etc).

* Installation doesn’t cost anything
However, you may need to pay for customization, app development, premium themes etc, but the basic installation is at no cost.

* Easy set-up
That’s not even advertised anymore. It is simple and it is also quick. WordPress is known for 5- minute’s installation time.

* “Friendliness” with users
What can be a better way to gain popularity among users that become friends with them? WordPress is well suited for all types of users, even those who had never suspected a site can possibly have a backend. If you are able to google WordPress site and register your account, if you know how to use a text processor, you’re sure to get well with your new WordPress blog or website.

* No problems with customization
With the number of free themes and plug-ins for adding functionality to your site bigger than in any other CMS, a user gets the rich choice of website appearance and features that don’t come by default. And their integration is usually as easy as installing WordPress itself.

* Community support
WordPress has the enormously big community of users – from new born WordPressers to seasoned pros. They do great job helping each other via community support forums and discussion boards. Apart from that, WordPress provides exhaustive documentation on every possible issue, to ease the life of its followers.

* Multisite feature
WordPress allows its users not to be limited with just one website or start every new site with the new WordPress installation. With Multisite feature that’s available with all versions starting from WordPress 3.0 you can manage your several sites within one admin interface. However, to use this feature successfully, you need to study the WordPress codex well and have certain administration skills.

WordPress Cons

– Insecure
The security of WordPress leaves much to be desired, as with majority of open-source software. The thing is, when anyone gets access to the code, it’s easy to find flaws in it and use them to get into a site. But it doesn’t mean you’ve got to buy the most expensive software, you just need to use the techniques to enhance the protection of your site integrity.

– Advanced theming/features
If you know no HTML and coding and are satisfied with the looks of your blog by just switching to a new theme – you’ll be fine. If you desire to start off by changing everything to your taste – you may be in need for professional help. As to adding more functionality to your site via various plug-ins, in most cases, the common ones work out great, but if you experiment too much with them, you may get stuck when one plug-in is not compatible with the other, some need upgrade and some require tweaking the code to work correctly.

– Maintenance Costs
Although considered one of the most affordable CMSs, WordPress still may require money to be running successfully. For example, you pay for hosting, if it’s not self-hosted, exclusive themes or plug-in development in case nothing free suits you.

WordPress: what to expect?

During 2012, WordPress didn’t undergo any major changes. There wasn’t much new in WordPress 3.4 except easier theme customization. WordPress 3.5 had a mildly different new theme, some media improvements and not much else. In contrast, WordPress 3.6, which is set for a release sometime in April-May 2013 feels like a big step forward. There’s a bold new theme and several useful new features.

• Twenty Thirteen:
Twenty Thirteen will be the new default WordPress Theme with increasing support for post formats. Unlike previous default WordPress theme this theme is going to have lots of bold colors and will be fully responsive.

• Navigation Menus:
Lots of beginners complain that WordPress Menu system is quite hard to understand. In WordPress 3.6 this navigation menu options have been simplified and it will become easier to create and manage Menus in WordPress.

• WordPress Post Formats:
In WordPress 3.6 there will be a new User interface for Post Formats and theme authors will also have access to template the individual functions to change the structured data.

• WordPress Auto Save:
There will be some great enhancements related to Auto Save function. Posts are now auto saved locally so if the browser crashes, the server goes down or internet connection fails you will not lose the post and you will be able to resume editing right where you left it.

• WordPress Post Revisions:
Upcoming WordPress version will be a better handler for your post revisions. The changes will be highlighted with different colors so you can modify the usual things easily.

• Post Lock:
WordPress 3.6 will have a better editorial feature built in called Post lock. It will allow the authors or website administrators to lock a post to kick other person out of the editing and gambling between posts.

No site or platform is perfect, but WordPress has so much to offer and is very easy to use. In my opinion, the advantages outweigh disadvantages and with new version of it things are only getting better. Do you agree? Are there any other pluses and minuses of WordPress that are essential in your opinion and that I didn’t mention in the article? I’m eager to see your comments🙂

Yuliya Tolkach

Yuliya Tolkach
Skype ID: yuliya_tolkach
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

2 Responses to "WordPress: Pros, Cons and What is coming?"

I don’t agree that open source code is insecure, because studying the code is not the fastest way to find bugs, and because any developer can try to fix issues. But I have more cons about WordPress:
* It’s really hard to use the control panel from an old system, possibly with an old browser. Too slow.
* Options that are not often changed are hard to find.
* The source code is… terrible. And thus, writing a plugin for WordPress is painful.
* Documentation is not well-organized, so seeking a specific information (to write a plugin) is really hard.
I hope that they will do a major code cleaning, some day.

Maintenance fees for running wordpress is a con? Ok, if you are actually paying someone to maintain your site then yeah it might be a con but paying for hosting?? Not really a con! Anyone running a half decent site will be paying for that anyway. AND if you are paying someone to maintain your site then why bother using wordpress? The whole point of it is to make it easy to update the site yourself.
In relation to insecure code, I think in most cases it’s down to outdated plugins and scripts running in themes, I’ve had my fair share of hacks in the past and 9 times out of 10 it was down to an outdated script within the theme. One thing I will say about the wordpress community is that they are really quick to squash any bugs that have slipped through the net and release the updates as they go so If you don’t keep an update routine or schedule and your site goes down then I guess it’s your own fault.

On a sidenote, if you are interested in keeping regular backups of your wordpress installation without having to do it manually I highly recommend the myrepono plugin. You might have to do a little bit of tweaking to get it working right but when you do it’s perfect. Files, databases, and by extension – posts and pages are all backed up. Here’s a link

I agree, tweaking your site or theme to get it right can be a bit of a nightmare even if you know a little CSS or HTML but if you stick at it and use the right tools to help you find the right lines of code then it can be pretty straight forward thanks to the common CSS input box you usually find in most modern themes. Doing this also maintains the integrity of the original code as you’re not editing it directly. If you don’t know html or CSS then YES this is going to be difficult but as you pointed out, plugins will usually get the job done. Yes there can be conflicts but I’m beginning to see less and less of these than I did when I started using WP 5 years ago.
As for my own list of pros and Cons. I guess things like SEO code and related plugins are a pro for me. I’m also addicted to anything that lets you embed a tonne of information with a single shortcode or change a layout with shortcodes.
Ecommerce solutions are also pretty robust within wordpress so getting a shop online quickly is an easy feat. Sure beats messing around with magento!
1.SEO Code
2. Plugins (if there’s a conflict get another plugin that does the same job)
3. Shortcodes
4. Easy Ecommerce Integration (WooCommerce to be exact)
5. AMAZING themes (when you’re willing to pay for them)

1.No Automated back up utility as standar
2. Developer community work hard but suck if you have a specific quesiton
3. lack of front end editing tools for non admins as standard. I like to hide the backend from everyone buy myself.
4. It’s popularity means that somewhere in the world someone else is using that ready made theme you bought even if you did tweak it.
5. No simplified version of the dashboard for people who are only starting out with wordpress. I think it would be nice to ease users into the whole experience rather than intimidate them by the massive sidebar menu.

Apart from that I’m still in love with the platform. For me It is by far the powerful USER FRIENDLY CMS on the planet.

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