We are asked often if clients should move their website to the WordPress platform. This is a really good question that requires some explanation because the answer depends on your business website needs and budget.
WordPress is a content management system that makes it very easy for you to update your own website, at least as far as adding pages, updating pages, making simple changes like that. You can login to your website from any web browser in the world, so unlike many other web development platforms, you do not need to install any software on your computer to access your website’s editor.
Here is a graphic illustration of the WordPress interface when you add content to your website. In fact, I just took a screenshot of myself writing this very post.
A few things to note about the interface if you will be editing your own website. As you can see, it is a lot like using Microsoft Word. You can easily use bold, italics, underline, larger fonts, and you can see what it looks like as you type it.
This is what is known as a “what you see is what you get editor”. You can easily add pictures with the “add media” button, and you can make links to other pages or websites with the little hyperlink button.
So, one consideration when deciding to move to a WordPress website is whether or not the website will ever change. If you are putting up a website, and realistically never going to add or change anything for years, then it is a bad idea to move to WordPress. Staying with a straight HTML website is a better idea for websites that will not change much.
Why and when is an HTML style website better than WordPress?
HTML is better when you are not going to change very often. Why? Wordpress does not load as fast as static HTML websites and is therefore not recommended unless you are going to be wanting the content management component, the easy ability to update and add content to your website.
WordPress is a much better option for websites where you plan to add content, keep them up to date, and have a more modern looking design, although with HTML designs you can give a modern look as well.
WordPress also has another concern that you definitely need to know about. When you do a WordPress website, a major issue is security. Wordpress is similar to the Microsoft operating systems in that they come out with new versions of the WordPress core, as well as themes and plugins.
If you do not keep these files up to date with the latest security updates, your website becomes vulnerable and could possibly be compromised. As specialists in website security, we see websites all the time that get hacked and website owners never even know about it.
WordPress must be kept up to date each month, so that generally means you will be paying more for a WordPress website than an HTML website. If not, then someone isn’t looking after the security of your website and it is left with security holes that could cause you embarrassment later on.
So when choosing whether or not to use WordPress, make sure you consider that it needs to be kept up to date, and not only WordPress, but any themes or plugins you are using. Every WordPress site has a theme, and most have numerous plugins installed as well.
No matter how vigilant you are about security, WordPress always has holes that need to be patched and security is always a concern. With a static HTML website you will not have this concern.
Since we have implemented a security plugin which monitors behavior of all web traffic to our site and our clients’ sites, we are protected not only from known threats, but also unknown threats.
In other words, we have a “mis”behavior based security plugin that detects anything different from a normal user looking at a webpage and blocks the activity. For example, it is just not normal for someone to scan our entire website’s plugin directory, known as a directory traversal, looking for what plugins we are using.
So, our security software blocks this and other similar threats so that known and unknown security exploits are stopped in their tracks, and security becomes a lot less of an issue for our WordPress websites.
We still keep them up to date once a month and offer that service for our web design and web hosting clients. It is very important to understand the ramifications of moving to WordPress and not keeping up with security.
There is a conflict of interest in recommending small businesses switch to WordPress from their current platform. All web design agencies know this but do not always discuss it.
For us, it is a simple matter of helping you, the small business owner, to understand the benefits of WordPress along with the associated responsibility to keep up with security updates. Wordpress is the best platform on the web now to develop on, and is really the best content management system to keep your website up to date with new content, but if you don’t plan to update it very often, it simply isn’t worth the effort to move to WordPress.
WordPress Web Design Pricing
When you are looking for a WordPress web designer in Cincinnati, we would love to have the chance to earn your business or at least give you a quote for services. Most of the time you will fall right in line with our pricing on the web design page of our website.
Occasionally companies will have larger needs than our standard web design service, which we are happy to quote and go over in detail so you can easily understand it without any pressure or geek speak. Our WordPress design is second to none and we are happy to say our own website is done via the WordPress platform.
An example of our recent work in WordPress was a large national music chain which wanted to sell all of their guitars and other equipment, along with over 100,000 different sheet music products. The interesting part about this project was all of their real-time inventory was housed on an IBM AS/400 system.
So our solution was for them to FTP the data to the web server, and we wrote software to import it into the WordPress database making it available for purchase on an e-commerce solution inside of WordPress. We also needed to run what is known as cron jobs to make sure to update the inventory each day so the website only displayed the quantity that was available at each retail location.
Projects such as this require quite a bit of extra programming and therefore don’t fit into our standard price model, but we can always customize a price for any type of custom WordPress design or programming work.
The one thing we won’t ever do is recommend WordPress for a simple small business website you never plan on updating unless you want to have that option down the road.
Hopefully you have a good understanding of the benefits of WordPress web design and the considerations you must make before moving your static HTML website, or other website to this robust platform.