54,794 Painful Reasons to AVOID WordPress

Are you considering using WordPress or are you already using it for your site?
By the end of this article you'll know:
  • Why you should never use WordPress if you want your company to be taken seriously
  • Steps to avoid getting ripped off when using a web design/digital marketing company
  • How to run an audit on your site for free
  • What the audit metrics mean
  • Basics on how to update WordPress plugins
  • How to scan your WordPress site for vulnerabilities
  • Where to search for plugins that may be vulnerable

You're going to be getting some powerful bona fide info that's going to help you make this decision (if you haven't already).

The well-known content management system powers over 34% of all websites on the internet (hold on let me do some quick math/research), ok so there are 644 million total sites on the internet, and 34% of 644 million is?

A grand total of 218,960,000 million websites are currently running WordPress. So, if WordPress is so popular, how could that many people be wrong? And be using WordPress if it's so bad?

Well, they're not necessarily 'wrong,' maybe they don't have valuable information on their site because it's just a blog about cat facts. But for the majority of sites, I'd be willing to bet they're using WordPress in a way that it's not designed to be used. How? By running full-blown corporate sites with it, that's how.

About those 54,794 painful reasons, we'll get to those in a bit. Keep reading, and we'll bring it together so you fully understand what's going on here.

You know what should blow your proverbial mind? The fact that 'professional grade' design companies will use WordPress to create corporate websites, and then they slap a $40,000 charge for their 'service.'

I wanna make this clear to you, and tell you how you can avoid this kind of cataclysmic epic failure if you're using or looking for a digital marketing or web design company.

When hiring a company to do your website here are some steps that will keep you from paying $40,000 for a template that they've paid $75 for, then uploaded to your site in fifteen minutes.

Steps to avoid getting ripped off when using a web design/digital marketing company:

1. Ask them what their workflow is like, and take note of it

- Some questions within this to ask. -

How do they build their framework for your site?

Do they use HTML/CSS?

Is their code clean?

Can you transfer the site from wherever they have it to another host?

Will another developer be able to go in and edit it?

2. Now get a priced quote

- Some questions within this to ask. -

Does the price include editing images?

Does this include any initial SEO?

Do they do any animations?

How much do they charge for animations?

Do they host the site?

How much does it cost?

Are you required to do anything for maintenance?

Do they do maintenance?

Do they keep backups of your site if something happens?

What kind of security do they use?

3. After you get a price, simply ask them if they will be using WordPress for your site.

If they say yes, you can feel confident that you've avoided over-paying for something that could've most likely gotten your nephew to do for a hundred bucks. If a WordPress is what you need, then talk to your relatives. Because someone in your family is techy enough to be able to do it. If not, I'll do it for free. Just contact me with the subject 'WP free.' I obviously can't offer a template to you for free. So you'd have to pay for that, but I'll set it up for you at a minimal cost.

After you read this article you'll know how WordPress is a huge security risk, and you can pay attention to how they answered the questions regarding security, and maintenance to determine whether or not they're just telling you what they think you want to hear.

I'm not saying that all web design or digital marketing companies are nefarious, but you definitely need to make sure that they have integrity, and judging by how they answer those questions you should be able to decipher if they're being truthful or not.

If you have any questions about this or need any guidance, feel free to send me an email, and I'll help you out for free. Just write in the subject 'Quick Help.'

Could you build a full blown enterprise website using WP? Please see answer below.

"Could you use an electric weed whacker to cut the grass of a football field? Sure you can! But if you're serious about cutting grass you should probably use a lawn mower instead."

Just like using an electric weed whacker to cut grass, you can also build an entire website for a corporation with WordPress. But by the time you've finished the job you've spent an enormous amount of money on extension cords to extend the length of the football field, your muscles are sore from spending fourteen hours making the same repetitive motion over and over. And you've comitted 400x the amount of time it would've taken to do it correctly. But in the beginning, and when you first get the site none of this is apparent, and they're certainly not going to tell you these things upfront, because they're obviously not selling points.

I'm not telling just tell you this because I want to scare the piss out of you (even though it probably should), but WordPress is one of THE most insecure platforms you could build your site with. There is a reason that 90% of the sites that got hacked in 2018 were using WP (that's legit info).

I saw a message on a forum recently that perfectly described what WordPress should be used for:

"WordPress is a blogging platform meant to be used for a 15 year old who wants to have a blog, not a corporate website."
Confused? I'm going to go through this with you. We'll do this as a team!

WordPress at its core is great, but you and I both know that you don't want WordPress straight out of the box, or maybe you do.

Just for you, I've gone ahead and installed WordPress on one of my domains. So that you can see what it looks like in its naked free of templates and all kinds of fancy makeup. Here is WordPress following a fresh installation.

So, you're going to have to do some modifications, but we're not going to be getting too in-depth into doing that. But the point is if you want to make it look different you're going to have to make some edits. The good news? Well, your stats, following a fresh installation, after running an audit on it aren't bad at all.

If you would like to audit your own site, you need to navigate to the developer section of your browser.

You can do this by hitting CTRL + SHIFT + I, which will pull up Chrome's developer tools.

Then click the 'audit' tab near the upper right side. If you don't see the 'audit' button below I show you how to open it if it's not show after hitting CTRL + SHIFT + I.

*If you don't see it, click on the 'double >> arrow' and it'll provide you with a dropdown where you'll see the 'audit' button.

So let's breakdown these four metrics (this is going to be a fundemental breakdown). This audit is a very basic audit. So you can't see the score and know 100% that you're good to go for that specific area (performance, accessibility, best practices, and SEO). But it'll give you a basic idea of anything on your site that you need to fix.

Performance:

This measures how fast your site is, and it can impact your overall SEO score. But a high score here doesn't guarantee you'll have good SEO, and a low score doesn't guarantee you'll have bad SEO. So, it's not going to have a real dramatic impact on your SEO unless your score is VERY low (I've seen scores of 3)...If your site takes a long time to load, this score will reflect that. Our site has a loading screen, because of all of our fancy animations. You just don't want a super low score, and then to add a loading screen when there isn't something impressive on your site. An average looking site, without anything special (animations, 3d effects, and such), should load very fast.

Accessibility:

Accessibility looks at your pages ability to be navigated efficiently. For example, if you have a black background with a dark blue text. It's going to be difficult for people to read the text. When it comes to the color of font and background, it measures the percentage that it contrasts between the two.

Best Practices:

This is referring more to the back-end. How code is implemented and so on. With WordPress, there is little you can do about this area should it start to go low except start looking at and investigating/deleting plugins.

SEO:

This obviously has to do with SEO. But just because you got a high SEO score doesn't necessarily mean you're good to go. A high SEO score, as you can see above from the WordPress I literally just installed has a very high SEO score. All that means is that the crucial areas have been filled in. It doesn't mean that the fields are filled with the relevant keywords and meta descriptions that are going to make you rank high in the search results page (SERP - remember this term. Because it's everywhere in the SEO world.)

Alright, since we got all of that jazz out of the way. Let's go ahead and fancy this page up a bit.

So let's add a theme...

Boom! A sweet new theme.

Now that looks better. Albeit it kinda looks like a YellowPages website, but what do you expect for free? Anyways, let's take a look at the stats.

That's a significant difference from what our stats were before we added the theme. And that happened from adding just one theme...

Now let's add a plugin. Hmm. You would be wise to add an SEO plugin. So let's add one of those. So, I've added one of the more popular SEO plugins, and we're not looking too bad! The stats are still decent.

You got to keep in mind though that every plugin will impact your site differently, and even though the performance went up when we added this particular plugin it would be foolish to believe the more plugins we add the better it's going to perform. Plugins is extra code that has to be performed, which means more work for the browser to do before the user sees anything. If you happen to add a plugin that you really need, and it drastically degrades one of these four metrics you're going to have to figure something else out if you really want that Google love!

How do I know plugins impact your sites performance?

Using the site 'Wayback Machine', which is a free site that keeps an archive of all (or most) sites on the internet (pretty neat to check out), I was able to pull up a site I started back in 2012. Before I got out of the military, I got my personal training certification, and was looking for a way to promote my personal training services. I spent a lot of time on this site and figuring out how to manage it.

I went into this endeavor at full speed. Got merchandise created, cards, and spent an ungodly amount of money on hosting, among other site related things. But it never took off the way I anticipated it. The number one reason for that, which I found out after endless hours of research and getting help from others, was that all the plugins I added made my site take a long time to load that nobody actually saw it.

Because anyone who happened to find it (that I didn't solicit) clicked out of before anything even loaded. I had plugins that couldn't be removed because the site actually needed them in order not to look ridiculous. So at a point, I just had to accept it's speed. Because, as I mentioned before, you don't have a lot of control over the back-end. You add the plugins, and they do whatever it is they do.

Needless to say, this went absolutely nowhere. Never got listed in Google no matter what I tried or what I did. Because even though the site offered valuable information, it offered nothing but a horrible experience for anyone who visited because it was so slow. So Google just didn't add me into their search results. The only people who went to my site was me, and my Girlfriend.

You have to look at it from the business perspective of Google. If they're providing users with links, they want to give them quality sites with quality content. If your site has quality content but takes two minutes to load you're not going to be getting positive responses from visitors (they'll quickly be clicking out), and Google will realize this and just stop showing you in results when someone does a search.

Even though this example is from 2012, the concept still remains the same. You've got WordPress and you've got plugins, and when you add them it's extra work that has to be computed.

Don't make this horrid, and time costly mistake. Because time is invaluable, and you'll never be able to replace it.

You may feel the frusteration if you've unknowingly added plugin after plugin, or you may be sitting there wiping your brow saying to yourself "thank goodness I researched this first." When it comes to my own WordPress experience, I eventually grew frustrated and let it expire to focus on other things. Because the troubleshooting was taking a massive amount of time without ever really getting anywhere, or improving anything.

Let's talk more speicifcally about plugins, and this entire updating thing. I just wanted to share my own experience with you.

One of the things you'll be wise to take into consideration when thinking about using WordPress is if you're the type of person that won't mind updating your plugins. Because it's PARAMOUNT that you keep all of them up to date so that your site doesn't get compromised by someone (like competitors!). So, I'll go ahead and save you some research, let's pull up some info on how often it's suggested you update the most popular SEO plugin.

This particular plugin is Yoast SEO, and in case you want to grab it, you can get it here.

Please let me know if you're seeing something different, because from what I'm seeing they're saying (look it up on the actual page. Maybe it's changed since this post? Source: here) that you (at a minimum) should update this plugin at least multiple times a week? Do you think that's as insane as I do? If updating a plugin numerous times a week isn't enough for you to think that's ridiculous they do actually suggest you update it every day. If you have six plugins, you're going to be spending a lot of time sitting there updating plugins. Because each plugin has their own updating schedule.

So plugin 'x' might require you to update it on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Then plugin 'y' might need an update Tuesday's and Thursdays.

You can see how this can quickly spin out of control, and I'm not sure how you feel about this, but it sure seems like a massive waste of time.

Some people haven't updated their plugins in years, let alone days, and you can clearly see why. If you're anything like me, this is a complete deal killer. Because that alone is a brutal maintenance routine, and it's time you could've spent creating content, which is a wiser way to spend your time.

If you're saying to yourself "big deal, I'll just update them every day." You say that until you actually have to do it, and nothing else is getting accomplished except plugin updating. Because in the internet world there is a lot of waiting for things to happen.

For example, if you just registered your domain name (you just bought got www.yourdomainname.com), then there is a 'probationary' period of six months (90% of the time) that Google makes you wait before you are even eligible to show up in search results. Most people put up some decent content, and go about their life until Google indexes them, but are you going to be the person that spends that six months updating all of your plugins multiple times a week for six months while you're just waiting to be able to show up in search results? The people that wouldbe willing to do this would be the ones who need a second job. Because that's what it seems like to me.

But, if you decide to go this route here are the instructions so you can update those plugins.

The Hamster Wheel of Pain - Updating WordPress Plugins

Are you wondering "WTF is 'The Hamster Wheel of pain?!" Well, with WordPress officially having (as of this post) 54,794 plugins you've got 54,794 opportunities to experience it!

Fear not my premium template purchasing friend! Once you start using WordPress PROPERLY you'll know first hand all the joys the hamster wheel of pain has in store for you.

So why the 'Hamster Wheel of Pain'?

The hamster wheel of pain term comes from the fact that you're going to have to manually and constantly make sure that every single plugin you add onto your site is up to date. To put it simply.

It's an absolute nightmare, and scary as hell.

I'm not going to go over the entire process of updating every plugin or how to do it, but we'll go over the basic concept. So, in short.

WordPress Plugin Update Steps:

1: Deactivate whatever plugins are interacting with the plugin you want to update because it will cause issues updating the plugin that needs to be updated (sheesh, plugins on top of plugins for plugins. THAT right there should is a setup for disaster. Anyways, you'll have to figure which plugins are dependent on one another) and then....you've got to

2: Delete the plugin to be updated (WTF?! "This is a GREAT idea!" Said nobody, ever, when updating their plugins, and I'll explain why in a second.)

3: Then you can try to upload it. It might work, it might not.

Hopefully the dude that coded it did it correctly, and you don't end up with a busted site for two or three days, and end up costing you money, until it gets fixed.

Try to avoid as much maintenance as possible by only installing plugins that you need.

So just because you got a bank of over 50,000 plugins that doesn't mean you should go installing them all. They're not gonna go anywhere, and as long as you can avoid them you'll be escaping self induced required maintenance. If you got no other choice, pick ones that are from:

Wordpress.org - https://wordpress.org/plugins/

Wordpress.com - https://en.support.wordpress.com/plugins/

Using any other source to get WordPress plugins could be introducing malicious code onto your site that could have disastrous effects.

So try to avoid this feeling:

"Ooh! Check this plugin out, let me grab this one. Wow, look at this one, it adds a calendar schedular! Let me add that.

You might be tempted, and think the more plugins you add, the more amazing superpowers you're going to be giving your site, but it doesn't work that way. Because the next thing you know, just like what happened to me, you've got tons of plugins on your website, and it takes ten minutes to load, and you're then sent to no search land by Google.

People who use WordPress tend to try to warp it into something via this bank of 54,794 plugins. Most likely you're really looking for something completely different than WordPress (unless you're starting a blog and you're fifteen). That's why there are over 6,000 searches every month for 'WordPress vs. Wix' because everyone wants the best of both worlds. They want the professional/clean look, security, non-template feel of Wix while having the flexibility to actually be serious about their SEO and manage content, which WordPress is good at.

WordPress provides a massive amount of plugins to pretty much do anything that you'd want your website to do.

This is absolutely true.

The battle between these two is definitely warranted. Because WordPress DOES add a lot more flexibility and power through its plugins, but Wix is so much cleaner, and more straightforward to use and a lot more user-friendly to those that didn't exactly just come from school with their graphic design degree, but getting serious about SEO is an absolute nightmare with Wix.

Which should you choose? Should you sacrifice SEO to use Wix? I'm sacrificing 'power' and flexibility of creating my site with WordPress. And both of these thought processes are accurate. Because you will lose a massive amount of control over your SEO by going with Wix, but you'd gain flexibility and some SEO control if you use WordPress. Sometimes ya just can't have it all. I actually have the solution that provides you with the best of both worlds (seriously). But first, let's get to those 54,794 painful reasons.

At least you're doing some research and trying to figure out which is best for your specific needs. Because that's the smart thing to do and most people don't even do that.WordPress has 54,794 plugins listed on their site as of this post. Plugins exist because the primary function of WordPress is missing what these plugins provide.

And you might think "I'm gonna have my site built on WordPress and it's going to be amazing!"And as long as you don't go adding plugins willy nilly for every single thing you want to accomplish you'd probably be ok. So you decide to go with WordPress, keeping that in mind, and you got a good idea of everything you're going to need (plugin wise).

I'd like to welcome you to:

The Hamster Wheel of Pain - Updating WordPress Plugins

Are you wondering 'wtf is that?'

Fear not my premium template purchasing friend! Once you start using WordPress PROPERLY, you'll know first hand all of the joys that the hamster wheel of pain has in store for you. But if you're smart enough to keep reading I think just being educated on the subject might be enough of an experience for most, and you won't have to live it firsthand.

So why the 'Hamster Wheel of Pain'?

The hamster wheel of pain term comes from the fact that you're going to have to manually and constantly make sure that every single plugin you add onto your site is up to date. To put it simply.

It's an absolute nightmare, and scary as hell.

We're not gonna go over the entire process of updating every plugin or how to do it, but we'll go over the basic concept. So, in short. Here are the steps:

1: Deactivate whatever plugins are interacting with the plugin you want to update because it will cause issues updating the plugin that needs to be updated (sheesh, plugins on top of plugins for plugins. THAT right there should is a setup for disaster. Anyways, you'll have to figure which plugins are dependent on one another) and then....you've got to

2: Delete the plugin to be updated (WTF?! "This is a GREAT idea!" Said nobody, ever, when updating their plugins, and I'll explain why in a second.)

3: Then you can try to upload it. It might work, it might not.

Ok, so that obviously seems like a huge pain in the (I'll let you finish the rest of this sentence with your preferred word).

So now you go for installing the plugin, in place of the old one, you know, the one you've deleted? Is it going to work? Are your settings going to still be there?

The truth is...

Who knows...?

As long as the plugin was coded correctly, which you can never really 100% guarantee that something isn't wrong with the new verrsion that's supposed to be installed in place of the old one you deleted. If there's issues and it fails then you're up (place your word choice here) creek.

And now you have lost the ability of the old plugin and you've got nothing to replace it with.

So now you're stuck with a busted site, and meanwhile your company is dependent on leads coming in from a site that looks like the web designer just smashed his/her hands on the keyboard and called it a day.

I know you, you've got an idea don't you? You're thinking:

"I just won't update my plugins or I'll spend a week once a year updating all of my plugins in one shot!"

I'll admit, this does sound like a solid idea to the non techies. Because I wouldn't spend four hours a week updating my plugins either just to keep my site functioning. It's not like you're spending that energy making anything better or adding any value to whatever it is you provide.

It's like changing the oil in your car every single day. Once you change the oil all you've done is keep the thing running. It's not like you're going to be getting any additional performance out of it.

So I can't really blame you. Because it's not that important to have the newly upgraded wiz-bang thing that the plugin is going to be doing after you update it when your site seems to be working perfectly fine. You don't really want to mess around with the chance of it being down for whatever new fancy effect this plugin is going to be adding after it's been updated.

And THAT's where major issues begin to occur.

There's one thing in life I think you and me can both agree on, and that's that people rarely do something (especially in business) out of the kindness of their heart and for free. Developers don't update a plugin multiple times a a week because they really love updating plugins. This is especialy true if your plugin is free. How many things have you done for free that required a lot of work multiple times a week that consist of hours of your time?

Updates for WP plugins are mainly to keep the sites that use them secure. So if you don't update your plugins, you're actively exploiting your own site, and it's only a matter of time before something bad happens.

So can you guess what happens if fail to update these plugins? Correct, your site has massive potential to be hacked. Even if you don't care about your site that much you are putting anyone who visits it at a huge risk. With your site being so exploitable, malware can easily infect it and then infect every single person who goes there.

After that, it's all downhill. Google will pretty much send you to no-search-land and any SEO work you've done and traction you've gained to appear in the search results is, just like a magic trick *POOOF*. Gone.

Why? Because Google values where they send users, and as soon as your site has something nefarious on it you can count on Google sending your precious site to the bottom of the barrel (if you're even still in the barrel) where you and everything you've built will evaporate into a puff of smoke.

But wait! If you want to check your site for vulnerabilities

You can check your website for vulnerabilities with WPSEC here. It's actually a penetration testing tool that you can use to find your own vulnerabilities. It will show you if you have anything out of date. You might have to pay to see all the details (additional vulnerabilities and such).

Do not run this on anyone else's site except your own. I am in no way shape or form responsible for how you use it or any trouble you may find yourself in.

You can also head over to exploit-db with a list of all of your plugins, and search for them. Exploit-db is a site that has lists of current exploits not only for WordPress but many other things. There are currently 1,137 exploits for WordPress and all kinds of plugins on there. So, if you find your plugin listed somewhere there you want to start the process to fix that as soon as possible.

Hopefully that helped! Till next time!

~ Nick

If you're interested in having a 100% custom built site that gives you ALL THE POWER of both WordPress and Wix without the massive headache, and potential financial loss. Let us build a site for you.

What you'll get:

  • You'll be in full control of your content from any computer that has internet access all without ever having to touch a single line of code with our epicly powerful CMS.
  • Code that automatically updates (unlike all those plugins) so your site is secure.
  • Speaking of security, you'll have enterprise-level security so that you know your company and your customers trust is in safe hand.
  • You'll never worry about losing your site. Because we save backups of your site regularly and can restore it to a previous state whenever you wish.
  • SEO that is as friendly as getting your site created by a designer with pure HTML/CSS.

Contact us now for a quote

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