My team and I recently came back from Pubcon Las Vegas, a conference that I attend and speak at each year. One of the keynote speakers was Joost de Valk, creator of the immensely popular Yoast SEO plugin (one that we use on nearly all our clients). In his speech he made a claim that, at first, I found a little outlandish, but the more I sat with it, the more it made sense.
“If you aren’t using WordPress, you are wasting your time.”
Bold words, right? Our team builds websites exclusively in WordPress, so it isn’t much of a jump for us to make. But the idea that everyone should build in WordPress was a really bold claim. Some of our clients have hundreds or thousands of pages on their sites. Some have complex e-commerce or reservation systems. But think about it: WordPress is easy to learn, immensely flexible, and a great developer can do literally anything in WordPress. It just makes sense.
For those who don’t regularly build websites, WordPress is an open-source content management system based on PHP and MySQL. For the average customer, you get your domain and hosting, then install WordPress as an application on your hosting server. From there, you can pick a theme (or build your own) and plug in your content. Website pages are pages, blog posts are posts, and you have nearly limitless flexibility from that point in the form of plugins and CSS.
I’ve seen multi-million dollar companies use WordPress. I’ve seen mom-and-pop small businesses use WordPress. It is a great equalizer in website development. Our company has stood by the idea that great design does not necessarily need to be expensive.
I’m sure there are naysayers who disagree.
- “But I’ve heard WordPress isn’t secure.” Well, the argument against that is that nothing is secure unless you secure it. If you use strong passwords, security backups, and strong security plugins, there is no reason why your site wouldn’t be secure.
- Another argument: “all WordPress sites look the same.” True, all bad WordPress sites do look the same. They rely on the same (free) template and include minimal customization. A well-customized, properly optimized WordPress site can be incredibly impressive and outside-the-box. Fundamentally, a WordPress site is very flexible and can look however you would like it to look.
- “But my proprietary system works just like WordPress.” If you are using a proprietary system, the only reason you are doing it is to keep the client captive. You don’t want them to leave you, so you lock them into a site that’s held for ransom on a proprietary system that isn’t transferable.
After spending quite a bit of time thinking about it, I really have to say I strongly agree with Joost de Valk in his bold assertion, and I’m glad that my team and I stand by our work in building WordPress sites.