WordPress in 2019 📅
CleverEgg Team 🥚 • October 7, 2019
WordPress, a necessary evil?
You'll see a lot of articles thrown around nowadays about how "WordPress is insecure", or "PHP is dead".
- What is WordPress?
- Is it really as bad as everyone says?
- What are the alternatives?
- Does WordPress have much left in the tank?
- How we use WordPress
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an online CMS (Content Management System) written in PHP. It's known for it's ease-of-use and "no code required" installations.
Over the last decade it's received much publicity over sites running WordPress getting hacked, insecure plugins being breached, and other such articles. However, these articles fail to mention the positives that WordPress can bring;
- Easy, non-developer friendly, user interface
- Plethora of plugins on the marketplace
- Easy to extend and develop custom plugins / themes
- Insanely cheap to host
- "e-commerce ready" with the likes of WooCommerce only a click away
Is it really that bad?
Let's establish what I understand to be the common headaches people have with WordPress and address them in isolation.
- Coded badly
Absolutely not. Categorically, and unequivocally - no.
WordPress is in use by million of sites everyday, and they all share the same WordPress core installation.
If it was insecure, nobody would be using it, and companies would be getting hacked left right and centre.
Now there is ways to make it insecure - which is where the root of this misinformation stems from.
Like all software, it's built and shipped. Whatever the "end user" does to this, is not within the control of WordPress themselves. This is very much apparent when it comes to Plugins, Themes, and other customisations people run.
If you give a piano to a monkey, it will sound terrible, and probably break. Give that to a trained pianist, or someone who has a basic understanding of music - the results will differ massively.
With WordPress, you need to ensure that you're taking the best steps to keep your data and site code secure. At CleverEgg we're experts at this and use Industry Standard solutions to keep you up to date with all the latest security methods.
The fault of this can be shared out a little bit, as it's not entirely at fault of plugins and themes. Due to the "ease" of picking up PHP and programming a custom WordPress Theme / Plugin, you get a lot of "cowboy developers" out there who will do a job for cheap. Yes, it'll work, but at what price? These are the kind of jobs you see on Fiverr, PPH, and the like.
PHP used to be slow. Very slow when compared to other languages. However since the 7.x update, this has vastly improved, sometimes by up to 70%. You should make sure that your solution is running on the latest version of PHP, and uses all the best tools possible to keep your site sleek and fast.
One of the big culprits to page speed is The Rise of the Page-Builder.
Over the last few months, a lot of new page builders have come to market and disrupted the WordPress ecosystem. A few of them, really are very good, but once you deploy your changes - you find it's actually very slow.
Depending on how these are "wired-up", you might actually be making your site slower. The main culprit here (from our experience) is WPBakery.
There are some great page builders out there, and we'll happily help you choose the right one for you - just get in touch.
It's Coded Badly
One for the devs here. Yes, we know it's terrible. "The Loop" is a nightmare to navigate. The code is all procedural (for the time being...) and it's very fragile.
However - do you care? Really. Do you? How often have you been in a WordPress project and had a legitimate reason to go into the underlying source code and edit something?
If you're screaming right now "All the time!" - you're not using WordPress right, or WordPress isn't the solution to your problem.
99% of the time, you'll be extending, or adding functionality to a WordPress installation. Not the underlying code itself.
Yes, we'd love to use a clean code base, it'd be faster, and way easier for people to learn - but that's not going to happen anytime soon.
If you'd like to see if your code is "bad code" - we offer Code Reviews and Mentorship for Developers
There's a few alternatives out there, however they all have their pro's and cons as well;
Medium / Ghost
These are great alternatives for your Blog. Simple to use, and have some great functionality out of the box. They're also pre-hosted for you, so no costs!
There's only really one here, and that's because they're so darn good at it. If you're selling anything nowadays, chances are - Shopify can sort it out.
Us. We do custom sites, and you'd be surprised how affordable it can be. We offering a free quote service.
What's left for WordPress?
WordPress isn't going anywhere. It's a Marketer's dream with YoastSEO, "The SEO Framework", "Advanced Custom Fields", etc etc.
End users love it for it's flexibility and ease-of-use.
How we use WordPress
We've got a few clients on WordPress. They each get dedicated hosting, with automated secure updates to their solution. This gives them peace of mind to know that things are taken care of.
If you'd like to get started with WordPress get in touch today and we'll be happy to help