6 WordPress Myths Busted
Monday, 23rd May, 2022
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) on the market. As of March 2019, WordPress powers a third of the top 10 million sites on the internet. They can’t all be wrong, surely.
WordPress is popular for these reasons:
- It’s open-source (or ‘free’)
- There’s a huge community of users behind it
- It’s easy to get started with WordPress
- You can customise a WordPress website’s look, feel and functionality
- You can update content with little or no coding knowledge
Despite this, WordPress myths crop up time and time again. Let’s have a look at some of them.
WordPress is Free
This one ia our favourite, a common misconception when it comes to WordPress. The minimum requirements are hosting and a domain name which aren’t free.
Also, you might have to pay extra for premium plugins or themes, or if you’re hiring a professional web designer. Once the site has been launched, it will need ongoing website maintenance.
WordPress is slow
Website performance is tricky because there are so many different variables such as on-page optimisation, server speed, and general hosting. We use GTMetrix to analyse page speed, and as you can see from the below screenshot – our website performs well!
WordPress is insecure
Given the popularity of WordPress in comparison to other website platforms, it’s not surprising that it’s a bigger target for hackers. But that doesn’t make it insecure.
Use security best practices when installing WordPress and make sure you have an active SSL Certificate enabling a secure website. These help to protect against common vulnerabilities, but many of these would apply irrespective of the CMS being used.
The most common way that WordPress sites are hacked is through a vulnerable or out-of-date plugin or theme files. Keeping on top of these, making sure the website is hosted with a reputable company, and use a good CDN (Content Delivery Network).
Plugins slow down a WordPress site
Plugins can cause site bloat if there are too many of them a site to slow down. Plugins are frequently used as an excuse by cheap hosts, passing the buck on slow performance.
Plugins are bits of code that extend the functionality of WordPress. They range from tiny snippets to extensive systems that turn WordPress into a shop or learning management system. Some plugins cause WordPress sites to load quickly. For instance, caching plugins and image optimisation plugins could shave megabytes off a page’s size. As a general rule, website owners should only install necessary plugins from reputable sources. There’s no point in installing 25 plugins if the site could run in the same way using five.
Website owners can update everything themselves
For anything other than blog/news updates or small text changes, you should use a designer or developer.
We believe that site owners should have full administrative access to the backend. This gives them complete control over their site and who manages the updates, but I’d encourage site owners to get an expert to handle regular maintenance and larger content updates.
Why? Maintenance updates can go wrong and automatic updates can fail. You could attempt to update your website but if you make a mistake, your site will be down until a developer looks at it.
As for content or layout updates, a well-designed and coded site will be created in a way that allows consistent use of whitespace and vertical rhythm. This is true even when a site uses a page builder such as Divi or Elementor. As a site owner, creating new page layouts or inserting elements risks design inconsistencies which can result in an amateur look-and-feel.
WordPress websites all look the same
The popularity of multi-purpose themes, such as Divi, is partly responsible for this myth. It’s possible to spot many Divi-based websites without checking the underlying code.
The same can be said of other popular themes, particularly if a company simply imports the theme and doesn’t touch the design. That said, to say that all WordPress websites look the same is a myth.
WordPress sites can be designed and built in different ways, but the key to creating a distinct site is investing in a discovery and design phase, rather than allowing a theme to dictate the look-and-feel.