• Updated on 5/19/2024 11:23:51 AM

Why We Don't Choose WordPress for Website Building


In the field of website construction, WordPress is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and widely used content management systems (CMS). With its rich features, vast plugin resources, and active community support, WordPress has helped countless individuals and businesses quickly build various websites. However, just as no tool is perfect, WordPress also has its shortcomings in certain situations and can even become a burden for some web projects. This article will explore why WordPress is not the best choice for building websites in every scenario and discuss better alternatives for specific situations.

WordPress Has Strong Versatility but High Complexity

Originally just a simple blogging platform, WordPress has continuously expanded its features over the years to become an all-in-one website solution. It introduced a plugin system to support various functional extensions, from e-commerce to online courses, membership systems to forum communities. You can build any website you want on WordPress.

However, this versatility comes with significant complexity. To cover more scenarios, WordPress had to accumulate a large amount of functional code at its core, making the entire system bloated. According to official data, the latest WordPress 6.2 version alone contains over 4.8 million lines of PHP code, with a size of 67MB.

For simple blogs, product showcases, or marketing websites, using such a large CMS system is undoubtedly overkill and imposes unnecessary burdens on the server. Renowned WordPress developer Chris Lema once bluntly stated that WordPress has become too large and bloated and should be split into multiple more streamlined products.

In addition to its large size, WordPress’s complexity is also reflected in its modular plugin architecture. While plugins enrich functionality, they also bring new troubles. Developers often need to deal with conflicts between multiple plugins, performance issues, and inevitable security risks.

Therefore, for websites with simple needs, using lightweight solutions such as static site generators (Jekyll/Hugo) is not only fast and efficient but also avoids unnecessary overhead.

WordPress's SEO Advantages Are Not Significant

Many WordPress enthusiasts claim that using WordPress helps improve a website's search engine optimization (SEO). However, this is not entirely true. WordPress itself does not have any SEO "magic." The so-called "SEO advantages" of WordPress are mostly standard practices that can be achieved through good HTML markup without using WordPress.

A website's excellent performance in SEO is more due to the efforts of the site builder and maintainer rather than the platform's inherent characteristics. An inexperienced person using WordPress will not create a well-optimized SEO site.

A website's SEO performance mainly depends on several key factors: semantic markup, mobile-first design, content quality, and loading speed. Any good CMS tool provides support for implementing these SEO best practices.

In fact, WordPress can even be a burden in some SEO aspects. Due to its complex system architecture and multi-layer rendering process, WordPress faces greater challenges in ensuring fast loading and optimizing critical rendering paths. Especially for content-distributed websites, adopting simpler and more efficient static site generators is more appropriate.

Additionally, the SEO capabilities provided by WordPress are limited. Almost all websites need to install third-party SEO plugins (like Yoast SEO, RankMath) to get more professional SEO support. Many other modern CMS systems have comprehensive SEO tools integrated natively.

Therefore, simply using WordPress does not directly equate to SEO optimization. Instead, adhering to standard SEO best practices and maintaining a good user experience are the keys to improving search engine rankings. Choosing a CMS platform that fits your needs helps achieve this.

WordPress Lacks Flexibility in Creation and Design

WordPress provides good support for content creation and publishing, but in terms of advanced design and custom development, its flexibility is constrained by some architectural limitations.

For web design, although WordPress supports custom templates and themes, its single technology stack based on PHP and complex template hierarchy make front-end design more challenging. Front-end developers need to deeply understand WordPress’s complex architecture and mix HTML/CSS code in PHP templates, preventing them from fully leveraging modern front-end technologies like React/Vue.

In contrast, using a modern JAMstack architecture with a Headless CMS (like Strapi, Ghost) completely separates the data and presentation layers. Front-end developers can freely choose any technology stack, better realizing design creativity and user interaction effects.

Moreover, WordPress’s customizability mainly relies on the plugin ecosystem. While there are thousands of plugins available, developers might face limitations when encountering special requirements. It can be challenging to find suitable plugin support for specific custom development needs, and modifying WordPress core code can easily introduce new security and compatibility risks.

Conversely, some modern CMSs like Craft CMS or Dignite CMS provide developers with stronger APIs and custom functionality, supporting seamless integration with various third-party systems and services, greatly facilitating the implementation of innovative features.

WordPress Poses Significant Security Risks

Security has always been a significant shortcoming of WordPress. As the most popular CMS, it is unsurprising that WordPress is a primary target for hackers. Its vast plugin ecosystem, while convenient, also exposes many security vulnerabilities.

According to research by Sucuri, the risk of WordPress sites being attacked in 2022 increased by 94% compared to 2021. Most hacked sites were compromised due to outdated, vulnerable plugins and themes. Many developers do not prioritize timely updates and patch management for plugins, leaving sites exposed to long-term dangers.

WordPress’s official code review process is not thorough, often failing to identify and fix potential malicious code in popular plugins promptly. Poorly written custom code also introduces new vulnerabilities. According to a Patchstack report, the number of vulnerabilities in WordPress core and plugins in 2021 reached 837.

Besides the troublesome issue of plugins, WordPress’s system complexity also makes it difficult to ensure 100% security. According to the cybersecurity company Wordfence, WordPress suffered over 6,500 targeted attacks in 2021, including SQL injections, cross-site scripting attacks, and more.

For websites with high-security requirements, such as government agencies, financial institutions, and major enterprises, using WordPress may pose certain risks. They might need to seek more secure and reliable CMS solutions.

Some enterprise-focused Headless CMSs like Contentful, Agility CMS, and Dignite CMS adopt microservices architecture and cloud-native technology, providing stronger isolation protection for data and applications at the system level. Their plugin ecosystems are also more streamlined, reducing many security risks at the source.

Additionally, static sites do not require databases or server-side rendering, minimizing the attack surface. Using static site generation tools (Gatsby/Next.js) combined with a Headless CMS to build websites can ensure a good experience while minimizing security risks.

Exploring More WordPress Alternatives

In summary, while WordPress is a leader in website construction, it is not the best choice for all scenarios. Depending on the specific needs of different projects, there are more alternative solutions:

  • Static Site Generators: Suitable for simple blogs, documentation sites, marketing homepages, etc. Tools like Jekyll, Hugo, and Gatsby can quickly build static websites, are easy to deploy, require no database, and have high security.
  • Headless CMS: Completely separates the data layer and interaction layer, suitable for building modern web/mobile applications. Developers can freely choose the front-end technology stack and achieve better performance and security. Popular choices include Strapi, Ghost, Dignite CMS, and Contentful.
  • Traditional CMS: Systems like Joomla and Drupal have accumulated extensive practical experience in specific industries and application fields. They are more specialized and mature but offer relatively less generality and extensibility.
  • E-commerce CMS: Platforms like Magento and Shopify are tailored for online stores and e-commerce systems, with more robust order management, payment, inventory, and other e-commerce-specific functions.
  • Low-Code Platforms: Platforms like Webflow and Appian use a visual editing interface to build modern websites and web applications without complex coding, though they have somewhat limited customization capabilities.

When choosing a CMS platform, other factors such as scalability, performance, community support, and business plans should also be considered. Different projects have different needs, and we need to weigh all aspects comprehensively to make the best choice.

In general, WordPress should not be seen as the only solution for website construction. Instead, we should use the most suitable professional tools, avoiding being limited by the popularity of a single tool. Only by closely aligning with actual needs can we create truly outstanding digital experiences.