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DIY May Not Be The Best Choice For Your Website

DIY May Not Be The Best Choice For Your Website

14 May 2021

Wordpress, and other content management systems like it, can be a powerful tool for inexperienced web designers that want to build a semi-professional website. The seemingly endless catalog of themes and plugins promises a wide array of easy-to-implement functions, and many of the third-party tutorials available online showcase impressive end results that look almost like their professionally developed counterparts. While it certainly wouldn’t be fair to call those promises smoke and mirrors, there are more than a few commonly omitted or glossed-over difficulties involved in using platforms like Wordpress.

There are Very Few “Autopilot” or Builder-Assist Features

Content management systems like Wordpress often tout ease-of-use as a primary selling point, but that notion is predicated solely on the tools themselves requiring little or no coding knowledge to operate. Building and maintaining functional, high volume websites on these platforms can ultimately cost more time and money than contracting with a professional developer.

For example, consider that huge library of plugins that Wordpress has to offer. Most of them are written by third-party developers who don’t really care how nicely their code plays with others, so each plugin that you add has an exponentially greater chance of breaking your website entirely. Without the know-how to identify and correct those conflicts, your only option is trial and error—you’re not likely to reach the plugin’s developer for support, and Wordpress won’t be able to offer much assistance with products they didn’t create.

Those issues compound with the frequent updates that Wordpress and its ilk push out to their platforms. Sometimes they’re small updates focused on fixing one or two niche issues, and sometimes they’re sweeping updates that make major changes to the content management suite; regardless of the scope, at least some of those updates will break parts of your website. If you’re relying on multiple plugins to make your site look and function as intended, you might find that every update leads to downtime while you try to figure out what’s broken and how you can fix it. Don’t count on getting much in the way of assistance or user support here, either, because there are simply too many variables for the company’s representatives to troubleshoot.

Platforms Like These Have Inherent Security Risks

While there are no specific security risks built into Wordpress’s utilities or the code that drives them, the fact that roughly 40% of extant websites now share the same basic code means they’re also largely vulnerable to the same attacks and exploits. This is the same reason that the Honda Civic, one of the most commonly owned cars in the US, is also one of the most frequently stolen—thieves have had ample practice bypassing the car’s onboard security. The same is true of Wordpress websites. Malicious actors get all the time and practice they need to find quick, dependable ways to steal information from you or your customers. Why jump into a pool of potential targets?

If you process or store any confidential or sensitive information on your website, we think you should avoid Wordpress. There are simply too many known exploits that offset the low price of admission. It essentially amounts to taking whatever you save on development costs and letting the winds of fate decide whether you’ll spend two or three times that amount in the wake of a breach. It’s safer (and usually cheaper) to enlist the help of a professional from the outset, tempting as content management platforms can be.

They Aren’t Designed for High Traffic Volume

If your organization’s website sees a significant amount of traffic, Wordpress most certainly is not for you. Unlike purpose-built, professionally hosted websites, these platforms usually don’t have content delivery networks (CDN) in place. The end result is that the sites themselves are often poorly hosted and have no mechanisms in place to reduce the load on servers during peak traffic. Imagine a 10,000-square-foot retail space filled to capacity, checkout aisles firing on all cylinders, and an admission line that wraps around the building—and there’s a single 36x80 door acting as both entrance and exit. That’s roughly what hosting a high-volume website on Wordpress is like.

Consult with Professionals

The price tag and advertised ease-of-use can make Wordpress a very tempting proposition for organizations with no established online presence. But those rosy promises are tempered by the reality of the situation; you might be able to put together a handsome website easily enough, but keeping it running the way you and your customers expect is going to be a time sink. Add the slew of known vulnerabilities and exploits associated with the underlying code and you have what, in the right hands, amounts to a perfect recipe for disaster.

At IDMI.Net, our team understands the ins-and-outs of web design and the needs of organizations of all sizes. Whatever you need your website to do, we can make it function safely, consistently, and as you imagine. If you’ve experienced the frustrations of DIY web design and are ready to move beyond them, we’ll be happy to show you a less frustrating path to the future.

Custom web design and marketing solutions from our business to yours

Get a free quote.

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