It wasn’t that long ago that making a choice about what and how to create a website was difficult and reliable options were expensive. It was also during that time the open-source movement was still gaining steam. Several open-source content management system (CMS) options have risen over the years as today’s clear market leaders: WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
Eagle Eye routinely recommends the use of WordPress and related CMS products over commercial, paid options for a variety of reasons.
Picking the right open-source CMS has also gotten easier in the last few years. Each platform’s developer community has put a lot of effort into making sure their CMS isn’t feature deficient in relation to other products. But one more trend has clearly impacted the field: WordPress alone now powers nearly 40 percent of the Internet. The fundamental impact of that type of market share can’t be ignored. This results in more features and more robust options, which, in turn, means a better website with a lower cost.
While there are a lot of impressive benefits to using WordPress, we certainly understand concerns some new clients share with us. If they’ve had a bad experience with a WordPress site, they might be thinking twice about repeating the same decision. But we don’t make the recommendation to use WordPress blindly. We listen to current pain points, digest new website goals, and dig through all the technical requirements. We are always striving to do the best for our clients, with a strategic partnership that makes recommendations as if it was our own business.
Like any other piece of software, WordPress can introduce vulnerabilities if not installed securely, used properly, and updated regularly. While one bad experience of a site being hacked can be hard to shake, it’s important to know that WordPress isn’t inherently less secure than other CMS products. Issues mainly occur because sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.
The most important hacking prevention takes place before the first webpage is created on the new WordPress site. It’s not uncommon for a website to be set up by experienced IT teams. They bring technical expertise, but often lack specific with CMS tools. The basic WordPress install is actually very quick, but all of the IT best practices for security take some additional effort. These “hardening” tasks make sure the web and database server is locked down to prevent unauthorized access.
Like most software, WordPress provides updates when new features are available. While major updates should be tested before installing on a live site, WordPress offers minor, security-related updates that should be installed as soon as possible. These security updates are specifically designed to not affect functionality, so the risk of these updates affecting site uptime is extremely low. For several years now, WordPress has also provided an option to enable automatic installation for security updates to reduce the effort of manually maintaining these updates.
WordPress supports themes: code that gives your site a particular look and feel, settings to adjust some predetermined options, and usually, a few additional features. Since WordPress is so popular, there are plenty of pre-built themes available online to purchase for free or to purchase for less than $100.
We rarely receive requests to merely “freshen” a site. “Improving website metrics” is the single most common goal our clients seek with a rebuild. Increasing traffic, conversions, or leads requires a robust strategy that is specific to a business and its customers. This upfront planning not only makes the rest of the process more efficient, but it also results in a diverse starting point for the design of the site.
It’s true that there are a lot of slow websites out there. The flexibility of a CMS can also backfire on a poorly implemented site. Adding a lot of bells and whistles via the CMS without consideration for performance can slow a site rather quickly. Unfortunately, speed is no longer just a frustration for visitors. A slow site now has direct costs: reducing SEO performance and subsequent organic traffic, increasing bounce rate, and a negative impact on your search rankings.
A fast-loading website or bug-free browsing experience starts with development quality, regardless of what CMS or programming language is used. Eagle Eye has an established habit of prioritizing development best practices, which allows us to build quality websites without the cost often associated with a custom build.
Do you have time for a cup of coffee? We’d love to sit and chat about your vision for your website. Contact us, we can help!