6 disadvantages of Wordpress websites for small businesses
Wordpress is statistically the most popular web hosting platform. Originally built for the primary purpose of blogging, it has since been used for developing more complex websites for big companies across the world.
Quite a few small business owners that I talk to have a Wordpress site, but the majority of them are looking to get a new site built because they find Wordpress a real pain to manage. And as a small business owner who is juggling A LOT and whose primary focus is on just trying to make enough money to pay the bills, you don’t have time to be messing around with something that’s complicated. You want a user-friendly website that’s easy to manage, update and change when you need to, right?
However, these people seem to always err on the side of caution when thinking about moving away from Wordpress because they’ve been told that it’s the best platform to use. They think they should have a Wordpress site because everyone does (not true), especially because it’s free.
But whilst it is free to maintain long-term and is a great platform for hosting websites for large businesses who require complex and specific features (it has almost limitless possibilities for customisation), for small businesses it’s probably not the best option. Why’s that? Here are 6 reasons:
They’re expensive to develop. Whilst websites are free to maintain once up and running (aside from annual hosting subscriptions), the initial setup cost will be unaffordable for most business owners. They are expensive to build and get going because they require highly skilled web developers to build the entire thing mostly from the back-end of the site writing pages and pages of code. If you’re a small business, you probably can’t afford such a huge outgoing expense, particularly if you are just setting up. The likelihood is that you just need a simple, modern website to give yourself a presence online (read on for how to get one!)
Development usually takes several months. Development of Wordpress sites is slow. Most custom built Wordpress sites take several months to build, at least! Websites are the face of your business online and so are the most important thing to have when setting up. It’s how you’ll be found on search engines, it’s where you’ll direct new clients and customers, it’s where you’ll be providing contact details and information about your services. You need an online presence as quickly as possible, and unless your developer is Speedy Gonzales of the website world who doesn’t sleep for two weeks, you won’t get it quickly.
It’s not secure. Wordpress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) which essentially means that it is managed by millions of people all over the world - anyone and everyone can create themes and plugins (the building blocks of your site). This automatically means there is a high risk of hacking, viruses and bugs because you just don’t know who’s made them and what their intentions are. In my eyes, this is a huge downfall. Is it really worth the risk?
If something goes wrong, there’s no quick fix. For the same reasons as its poor security, if one of your plugins stops working or a theme update has an issue that causes your site to break, you’re pretty stuck, for goodness knows how long! You’d have to contact the theme or plugin developer to raise the issue and who knows if they’re able to get back to you, or even if they’re still available. They may have made the theme/plugin 7 years ago and now they work on a farm. Which wouldn’t be ideal!
YOU have to manually backup and update your site. All Wordpress sites work off of themes and plugins. If they’re updated regularly (this would be a good thing - you’d know that the developer hasn’t pursued a farming career!), YOU have to manually update them. This means that you’d have to remember to login regularly to check for updates, and it’s recommended that you backup your site before any update you do incase the update breaks the site. As a small business owner, there are probably more important things on your to do list, and it’s not really something you want to have to worry about.
Any design changes will require extra cost. Although it’s fairly easy to update text and images where needed, if you want to update any aspect of your website’s design, it has to be done in the back-end so will require paying a developer again to make the changes you want. You can’t just go in yourself and change the colour of your text headings to red, and you won’t find anyone who will do it for free.
“So what’s the alternative then?” I hear you ask!
As a website designer for small businesses, and a small business owner myself, these 6 reasons are pretty big reasons not to use Wordpress unless you have a big budget, all the time in the world to wait and really fancy features that you want implemented.
This is why many web designers and developers who work with small businesses LOVE using Squarespace to build websites for their clients. It’s secure, it’s super easy to use and update, it’s automatically updated and improved (and only by Squarespace themselves, not Dodgy Derek sat in a basement trying to hack into your site) and it’s SO affordable, which is the most important thing when you’re on a small budget!
There are so many advantages to hiring a website designer to build you a Squarespace website, and I’ll be posting about these in more detail very soon - so check back shortly to learn more.
If you’re pretty intrigued and can’t wait for the blog post, get in touch with me here and I’d be happy to talk you through the reasons why Squarespace websites are a dream for small businesses and how I can build one for you quickly and affordably.