WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS) for websites. Something like 70% of all new websites are built with WordPress, so, chances are, it is the system that powers your business’ website.
We love WordPress and have been building websites with it for years – including our own. And we love that the world has embraced it and thousands of developers are actively working with it, building themes and plugins to extend it further. But it is not without its issues and potential pitfalls, the most serious of which is that it can become insecure and prone to hack attempts due to an over reliance on third party themes and plugins.
The WordPress theme market is a multi million dollar industry. Theme developers all over the world are designing clever and beautiful themes and templates that offer a relatively inexpensive way to build a website. A popular marketplace for the WordPress themes is Theme Forest. Here you’ll find an amazing array of different options – seemingly a theme for every type of business.
We’ve got absolutely nothing against these themes, in fact we have our own theme called Casablanca for sale on Theme Forest. Many of the themes available are nothing short of brilliant, packing in loads of tools and cool features, but therein lies the problem. Many themes are so feature rich and flexible that they come with a huge amount of code you simply don’t need, we call this WordPress bloat. Add to this the numerous plugins that you can stir into the WordPress mix and you can very quickly end up with a coding behemoth.
What we mean by bloat is a whole heap of complex functionality that exists on your website that isn’t being used. It is slowing down your site making it harder to edit and keep up to date and generally getting in the way. We believe that your site should be as lean and mean as possible. It should only contain relevant code and all extraneous items should be removed.
The problem of bloat is not only that your site is weighed down with all the extra code but also that it can become less secure. The more complex and numerous that WordPress themes and plugins are, the more susceptible they are to hacking and the more time consuming they are to keep up to date.
Ok, so how do you avoid this? Well the simple answer is to build a site without an off the shelf theme and with little or no plugins. If you have a site that is specifically built for you and your business, with exactly the right amount of tools and functionality then you will have a site that runs faster, is much more secure and far easier to keep up to date.
That sounds expensive, no? Well it doesn’t need to be. We have created a system of working with WordPress that allows us to build exactly what we want for our clients without third party themes and plugins and without the big-end-of-town costs – you can find out more here. Basically our bespoke websites cost no more than generic, theme based sites built by our competitors.
Our way of working with WordPress brings another advantage too: we customise the WordPress back end to make updating the sites a dream for our clients. We create specific post types and fields and take care of the formatting and layout so that you just need to add text and images and you know it will look beautiful.
So, with WordPress you have two options: grab yourselves a theme and wrangle your website into shape accepting that you’ll have a bloat issue and plenty of regular security updates. Or have a site built specifically for your needs that will be clean, lean and a breeze to update and edit. The choice is yours.