This is part 2 of my series on WordPress. In Part 1 I discussed how WordPress has come to be the most widely used website content management system (CMS) in use. In this article I cover why you are best to avoid WordPress if you are a custom website developer.
When you are in the business of creating original websites, it’s unlikely you are going to want your website to follow boring trends. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you base your website on common themes such as the WordPress templates found at www.themeforest.net
If you look at the latest award winning websites you will find few come from standard templates. Good graphic designers want to create original work so it’s unlikely they will want to use templates that have been used in thousands of small websites.
If you look at the latest award winning websites you will find few come from standard templates
WordsPress comes with standard content types “pages” and “blogs”. When you get into more complex sites, you will find these content types are not sufficient. For instance, for a real estate website you might want a content type for houses which have many properties:
This content type can be created through a WordPress plugin such as Custom Content Type manager. However when content types are very rich and need to inherit data from each other even this plugin falls down. On the other hand, CMS systems like Modx or Umbraco have more flexible content definition structures out of the box. Given professional website developers are going to be developing custom content structures in probably every site they do, a CMS that makes this easy is desirable.
Then there is Plugin hell. The plugins that make WordPress so easy to work with need to be constantly updated. This needs to happen often to address security issues. Unfortunately, updating plugins can break your website so it's something best left to a specialist.
Plugins often end up creating messy, poorly designed code that takes time to entangle when you have to extend websites
Plugins also expose security risks for WordPress. As their source code is open sourced, hackers can look for vulnerabilities and exploit them across thousands of websites. SQL injection and XSS attacks are two of the more common WordPress plugin attacks.
If you are in the business of custom websites, it will often be the case that a plugin may do 90% of what you want to do but there will be 10% of missing functionality. Unfortunately modifying a plugin’s functionality 10% is often more than 10% of the work to install it. Modifying large complex plugin source code files without access to the original developer is often impossible so its better to start from scratch. Given a professional website will often be modified after launch its better to go with a CMS that allows quick plugin development that you can write and extend easily rather than deal with unknown risks of modifying someone’s else's code.
After all my complaints, I think WordPress still has a place as Part 1 pointed out, but it's unlikely to be the best choice for a non blog based, custom, complex business website.