Insights // Talking Shop

WordPress' Dirty Little Secret

Last updated May 02, 2016

As the web’s most popular content management system, WordPress’ reputation precedes it. Out of the box, WordPress is a simple, easy-to-use piece of software that was originally intended for blogging.

It even has a famous 5-minute install which makes it easy for even someone with very little technical skills to get going with it. And many web hosts even offer a “one-click” install from their control panel—you don’t even have to know what a MySQL database is!

And therein lies the problem…

Simple can be a problem?

When you get past that simplicity, most websites are not just simple diary-style blogs. They need tweaks and changes and custom post types and special fields to help organize website content and make the site work in their favor.

With thousands of free plugins, it also gives beginning website developers and end users an unfounded confidence in their website creation abilities. For example:

  • Need a web store? Install WooCommerce!
  • How about a contact form? Ninja Forms has got you covered.
  • Need some SEO kung-fu voodoo? Yoast has got your back when it comes to Google.

You can probably see where this is going. Just by installing and activating these plugins will not transform your WordPress website installation into a multi-million dollar e-commerce and content marketing machine that tops the search results.

If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it!

Planning Ahead

As easy as web publishing has gotten, it has also gotten infinitely more complex at the same time. Do any of these issues sound familiar?

  • We bought a “responsive” plugin or theme but some things aren’t showing up or look really funny on mobile
  • Our website got really popular and our host said we were using too much bandwidth or resources—even though we have an “unlimited” plan (read the fine print!)
  • It’s taking 10 seconds to load our website!
  • We haven’t updated WordPress in years because the last time we did, we broke the website
  • The plugin we used to use doesn’t work anymore after we upgraded… or the flip side, we can’t update our site because it relies on an old plugin that’s no longer maintained but now we’re getting hacked…
  • … etc

We’ve even seen designers put in plugins that disable updates on their client sites for fear an update breaking part of the site. That’s both reckless and irresponsible. Having a WordPress website that can’t be updated is like driving a car with the oil pressure sensor disabled—at some point, the car (WordPress) is going to need its oil changed (code updated).

There’s no substitute for experience

So, if you’re looking to “level-up” your website, you can spend hundreds of hours battling these issues. Or just make a phone call or send an e-mail to an experienced website developer like Ritter Knight Creative who’s already solved them. You’ll not only get a website that’s fast and reliable, but if you host with us, we even keep it up-to-date and humming fast.

Oftentimes, our clients don’t have any preference for how our sites are built, only that they work, are fast, and secure. For many sites, we may even recommend a completely different CMS altogether (our new favorite is Craft CMS).