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A guide to WordPress websites

3 Jan 20

A guide to WordPress websites

If you’ve ever commissioned a website for your business, it's highly likely that you've come across WordPress. And with estimates of one third of websites being built using the platform, it’s a popular choice. But is it the best option for your business? We take a look at the pros and cons and investigate the alternatives.

WordPress has seen significant changes since its launch as a blogging platform in 2003. It’s now matured into a fully-fledged content management system for websites, with a whole world of themes and plugins to choose from, all adding different looks and features to your website to improve functionality.

Whether your website knowledge is limited or extensive, WordPress allows for a range of user types and options. From the DIY user taking the self-build option, to high profile sites for the English National Opera.

Is WordPress right for your website?

The first big plus is that it’s free, and this includes many of the themes and plugins. Although you’ll have to pay for some extras, such as professional quality themes and crucial plugins that are needed to make the website administration function.

WordPress has an extensive range of themes and plugins to choose from. Some themes not only change the look of your site, but can act as a DIY website builder, integrating all kinds of widgets and gizmos. But, for those first-time website builders, the range of choice, not even mentioning the handful of must-have add-ons, can be overwhelming.

Our advice is to do your research to ensure a plugin has been robustly built and maintained before installing.

A WordPress installation is easy to keep updated, which is essential to keep the system secure. As the system is open source and so widely used, it can be vulnerable to malicious activity from hackers and malware if not kept up-to-date. It’s also important to ensure that plugins come from reliable developers.

Unfortunately, WordPress is the most hacked, as well as, the most widely used CMS on the planet! Using web hosting that provides a good level of security can also protect a WordPress installation, so once again it’s important to research what a host has to offer.

Wordpress alternatives min

Alternatives to WordPress

There are lots of alternatives to WordPress, many of which are also open source and free. Although, they might not be as widely supported as WordPress, and they all have their own advantages and disadvantages.

When looking for WordPress alternatives for Uproar Creative we had a number of criteria in mind. We were looking for a system without security vulnerabilities, with as few plugins as possible, to minimise security risks. It was also important to find a system that was easy to use and had a good track record of active development. We were not necessarily looking for a free platform, as many enterprise level systems are paid for.

After trialling a system called Craft we knew we had found what we were looking for. It solved all of our needs and offered a lot more.

In brief

WordPress can be a great choice for a CMS if steps are taken to ensure the website installation is fully secure, plugins have been thoroughly researched and tested, the choice of theme has not been overused (if an off-the-shelf theme has been installed), and it is regularly updated. Although, for a truly flexible, enterprise level system, without potential security issues, we would recommend using Craft CMS.

Get in touch with us to discuss which CMS is right for your website.