WordPress: When not to use it for your website

WordPress is a very powerful CMS for building your site on, it’s actually the most common content management system used online to this day. For this reason it’s often a lot of people’s go-to application when they’re looking to launch a website. There’s lots of justification for this, it’s popular for a reason, but there’s a little more to it that not everyone understands or takes into account.

Suitability for task

If you’re looking to launch a simple website consisting of a few pages, using a fully featured CMS like wordpress can be huge overkill. If all your website consists of is a bit of intro text and some contact details this could be accomplished using static html files rather than a full content management system. Flat simple pages would load infinitely faster and require zero maintenance.

Plugins for wordpress allow it to meet the needs of lots of users, however you need to remember that by relying extensively on plugins from the outset means that you’re attempting to make the software do something it’s not originally designed to do. It’s a workaround for all intents and purposes. You can use plugins to turn wordpress into a full e-commerce platform, if that’s a wise decision or not is another question. As wordpress gets updated (and it DOES need to be updated), so do all the plugins you rely on. The more plugins your site uses the greater the risk of compatibility issues.

Security

This is the big one. As wordpress is so popular, it’s one of the main targets for hackers who will seek to compromise your site. Any site using wordpress is many many times more likely to be attacked than a less popular platform. This is because the same techniques and exploits that apply to one wordpress site of a given version number will apply to all other wordpress sites of that version. As such it makes attacking wordpress sites much more worthwhile.

Any wordpress site will be attacked from time to time. Successful attacks are normally due to the site not being kept up to date with security updates. These need to be applied as soon as they’re released to keep the site safe.

Customisation

Firstly, it’s possible to customise every single aspect of wordpress and present a website in basically any style or format you desire. However, the effort required to position a logo in a certain place, or create a new sidebar is often far greater than if the site was a bespoke creation. It can be easy to take on a basic theme and put your logo on it, but if you have any specific design intentions then the customisation work can often take many more hours than you might imagine as you’re working within the constraints of the wordpress CMS.

A system you used with the intention of saving time / money can actually cost you both of these in the long run unless you’re clear about your goals from the outset.

WordPress is a fantastic tool when used correctly. A competent agency (such as Dark Cherry Creative..) will keep their wordpress sites up to date, secure and be able to customise them for your requirements. Be wary about casually launching a homebrew wordpress site that won’t be monitored to kept up to date as it doesn’t take long for problems to arise for the uninitiated!

Looking to have a site built on the wordpress platform? Get in touch, we’re the experts!

Get your small business found locally: My Business (formally Places)

Part one of this series discussed how to use structured data on your pages so that Google can pick up essential details about your business, and best work out what it’s actually about. Google is pretty smart about categorising pages these days, but the same old rule holds true that the more cues and clues you can give it, the better.

Google My Business is a commonly overlooked feature that allows you to control how your business information appears on result pages. This is separate from actual search results, it’s the section on the right hand side of the main listings that show you visitors your company information. This is most commonly displayed when somebody searches for your business using a “branded” keyword, or basically searches for your company by its name.

These days very few people think to type out a website address, browsers and search engines are great at autocompleting phrases and company names. When is the last time you started typing “www.” and got all the way to “.co.uk” without your phone, browsers or tablet guessing what you’re looking for first? People will often type your company name directly into the address or search bar, and this is when they’ll be greeted by the Google My Business listing. Assuming that is that you’ve gone to the trouble to create it

Google My Business can be a powerful tool, you can edit your listing to include a brief intro to your business, perhaps show the sector it operates in, link to your website, a whole bunch of things! You can go further though, you can allow customers to publically post reviews of your business here which (assuming they’re positive!) will help inspire confidence is your business.

Depending on what sort of business you operate, you can use this listing to show pictures of your premises, inside and out. If you operate a showroom or something of a visual nature this can be a powerful tool.

The most obvious things you want here however are all the ways customers can get in touch, a website address is an obvious one, but you ideally also want your telephone number, address (with map) and your business hours.

We can create all this for you when we launch your site as one of our promotional packages, or we can put it together as a standalone service if you need it. Regardless of whether you do it yourself or drop us an email, make sure you don’t neglect it! You can set up your listing by going to https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/business/