WordPress isn’t the right choice for every client’s website. The internet might say it’s the best content management system (CMS) and the easiest website builder, but is it? And for whom?
It’s so ubiquitous that some web developers and designers won’t use anything else.
We take a different stance.
WordPress may power 39.5% of all websites, but that doesn’t mean it has to power yours.
We aren’t WordPress haters. We want to be clear about that.
We build gorgeous websites in WordPress all the time. We love WordPress. And many of our clients love it too. What we are saying is that some clients will be better served by something a little bit different.
Here are two WordPress sites we built that our clients love – and have for years.
Examples of sites that don’t need WordPress
If you need a professional, highly-visible, cost-effective site that you’re not going to update very often then WordPress isn’t always the way to go. Not every company benefits from a blog (what WordPress is known best for), and some have a stable array of products and services, meaning they might not need to update their website very often.
A good example might be a local restaurant or cafe that only changes the menu once a year or so. Or a service-based B2B business that’s been providing the same services for years.
If you’re in this situation, committing to the ongoing costs associated with WordPress hosting as well as theme and plugins updates might not make sense.
What else should you consider?
Sometimes WordPress sites break
It’s only temporary of course, but if you’ve chosen WordPress automatic updates (an option at some hosting companies), there is a risk. Sometimes the updates don’t play nicely with the theme and other plugins you have on your site. Automatic updates, even if they go well, won’t solve all of your maintenance issues. Generally, plugin updates aren’t automatic, and an out-of-date plugin or vulnerable plugin could be the source of the breakage.
There’s also the fact that being one of the most widely used content management systems in the world makes it one of the most vulnerable to hackers. If you’re not staying on top of updates and you’re not paying someone else to stay on top of it, then WordPress could be a bad choice for you.
Once your site is hacked, you’ll either have to fix it yourself, or you’ll have to pay someone else to do it.
Going with other options can mean a smaller hosting fee and smoother, automatic updates that never break the site. That means never having to pay a developer for maintenance once your site is live.
WordPress is likely not the least expensive option
Why spend more to be able to say your website is built on WordPress when the alternatives are just as gorgeous, functional, and our development time is a lot faster?
Maybe a future move to WordPress is more practical, due to all the powerful features and options that a growing business might take advantage of down the line. But right now you don’t need complete customization or integrations with financial software. You just need a site. Something compelling, modern, and gorgeous, to tell people who you are, what you do, and how to get in touch with you.
WordPress can be hard to learn to use
If you’ve been using WordPress for a while, it may surprise you to know that many clients find it intimidating and confusing. Many of our clients, those who describe themselves as anything but tech savvy, struggle with using WordPress vs. What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editors like Weebly (affiliate link).
These WYSIWYG editors let you drag and drop photos, logos, and pictures around, or create content in a text editor that functions just like a Word document. You can then drag those little text boxes around too, and put them wherever they want them. For many clients, this is far more intuitive and far less of a hassle than trying to get the placement just right in various WordPress editors.
We also see clients who assign the job of periodic website updates to an in-house employee after they’ve hired us for the initial design. They want to know that it will be easy for an employee to pick up, especially if they have a lot of staff turnover. The last thing they want to do is invest in training new hires on WordPress.
WordPress is great for SEO – but do you need SEO?
Many businesses have established marketing channels and their goal is to have a professional-looking website for their leads to visit while doing their due diligence. They focus on reviews, showing off their projects, team, and accomplishments over SEO.
Or they’re e-commerce sites businesses and they want a store, like Valley Bookstore, and they want it to look and feel like their brand. They also know they’re not going to squeeze out Amazon.com for top search placements by focusing on SEO.
Instead, they focus on being book experts, since they are a local book store that’s been around since 1949. They host local events and know the books they sell. Their updates consist of adding new products, assigning their staff picks. It works for them in a way WordPress wouldn’t.
WordPress designs aren’t the only compelling ones out there
Worried that a site built on something other than WordPress won’t look professional?
We build lots of sites in Weebly. No two look the same, and both look powerful and professional. Check two wildly different sites we built in Weebly:
Ultimately, of course, we’ll help you pick a system that meets your needs and answer whether WordPress is really right for your website. It’s all part of what we’re determining when we do your initial discovery call. Ultimately, when you work with us, you have options—and that’s a good thing!