When WordPress is good it’s very, very good. But every now and again it isn’t the ideal solution to fulfil a business’s digital marketing dreams.
How do you know when to leverage one of the planet’s most widely-used, best-loved and best-supported CMS platforms, a system that already powers more than 25% of the internet, and when should you walk away and find an alternative solution to WordPress website design?
The simple answer is to ask us. WordPress development sits at the heart of our web design offering. We know the platform inside out and upside down. We love it. But we’re also fully aware of the rare times it just isn’t suitable for a client’s needs. You can rely on us to provide expert insight into when to create a WordPress website and when not to.
10 sensible reasons to say ‘yes’ to WordPress web design
1. When you want to push your web presence to the next level
One of the best things about WordPress is its remarkable flexibility. If you kicked off with a basic site it’s easy to upgrade your web presence to include ecommerce, a blog, forum, community, gallery, shopping carts, you name it. In a nutshell, if you want your website to do something, you can do it with WordPress.
2. When you want to embrace a community of developers and a technology that powers over 25% of the internet
With literally thousands of dedicated WordPress developers working voluntarily 24/7/365 to keep the platform in top condition, contemporary, secure and flexible, it’s pretty hard to beat.
3. When you want to be able to update the website yourself
The back end of the WordPress CMS is so simple a child could drive it. It’s much easier to use than most CMS, logical and intuitive. If you’ve ever been hopelessly lost in the maze of an ecommerce CMS, unable to find what you need or even find your way out of the dratted thing, WordPress will feel like a breath of fresh air. And it’s so simple you can DIY instead of paying a web designer to make every tiny change.
4. When you want a website that is flexible and can evolve as your business does
If you’re unlucky enough to have a website sitting on a proprietary CMS or designed from scratch, adding extra functionality can be a complicated, time consuming and expensive matter. Not so with WordPress websites. Thousands of clever plugins help you add functionality as and when you need it in just a couple of clicks. Thousands of free themes mean you can change the look of your site in seconds. It takes no time at all to add and remove widgets, and even editing themes is relatively straightforward compared to most.
5. When you’re tired of being told big brand web experiences need big budgets
WordPress is about as far from the Emperor’s New Clothes as it gets. The CMS is free. Technical and security updates are free. Obviously a WordPress designer will charge to put the whole thing together and bring it in line with your brand, but there’s really no need to spend a small fortune on web design these days. If you want us to design or develop a unique theme for you, fair enough. But if someone tries to tell you your business needs a site designing from scratch, on its own custom-built CMS, walk away.
6. When you don’t want to be locked into one agency
The worst thing about a proprietary CMS is you’re often stuck with the web design agency who designed it. You might even find it’s impossible to move agencies or take control of your own website, since they own the technology it runs on and – worst case scenario – they’ve done such a weird job of it that other designers can’t make head nor tail of it. With WP you own your site and can take it with you wherever you go. You can agency-hop to your heart’s content if that’s what you want to do (although we don’t recommend it!).
7. When you want a website developed quickly, on budget, without compromising quality
You get what you pay for, right? Not with WordPress. It ticks all the boxes: excellent value, flexible, easy to use, beautiful to look at, fully functional. With WP good value means great performance, good looks and excellent functionality, and cheap is never nasty.
8. When you want to focus on strategy and results, not the technology
In an ideal world you’ll should be able to forget the tech that supports the tools, gadgets or whatever you’re using. You don’t want to be aware of the telly, just the picture. The same goes with websites. You need a platform that sits invisibly in the background doing its thing without a fuss, while you concentrate on building and growing your business.
9. When you you’re tired of custom built solutions that limit you to yesterday’s strategies
Another big issue with proprietary CMS is they tend to limit you to the tech available at the time they were designed. New digital tech moves like wildfire. The way search engines do their thing changes week on week, sometimes subtly and sometimes dramatically. The last thing you need in this fast-morphing landscape is a CMS that holds you back, that you can’t update or change without endless, expensive hassle. WP websites are, for example, built to be automatically mobile-friendly, whereas trying to make a five year old custom-built CMS take mobile accessibility into account? Ouch. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
10. When you want great SEO that you can understand and implement yourself
You can’t afford to ignore on-site SEO these days. It’s the single most effective way to ‘tell’ search engines what your website is about and help them deliver excellent search results to users. Luckily WP makes on-site SEO easy, and it’s even straightforward enough to DIY. Just upload a good SEO plugin and you’re off.
When NOT to use WordPress?
We use WP almost all of the time, but there are occasions when it’s best to step away and use an alternative. Next week we’ll take a look at the rare times when WordPress isn’t the best solution.