Squashing the misconceptions about WordPress

I have highly recommended WordPress for various different projects, and often times I am provided with a reason as to why they think WordPress may not be suitable for them.  Those who work with WordPress regularly, know that WordPress can be used to a multitude of projects and in most cases, is the best solution.

These misconceptions are so common, in fact, that Andrew Nacin recently asked for feedback on the most common misconceptions people have.

When reading the replies, it seemed that many others who work with WordPress on a daily basis are all giving the same responses like, “It doesn’t scale”, “WordPress is just for blogs”, and “WordPress isn’t for developers”.  Of course, these are simply not the case.

“WordPress doesn’t scale well”

One of the most common things WordPress development studios face is clients thinking that WordPress is not scalable enough to operate on enterprise platforms.  To think so, is just insane.

WordPress.com is one of the most used blogging sites on the planet and on during October 2014, sites hosted on WordPress.com or externally hosted using JetPack received over 17 billion pageviews and is steadily increasing without any decrease in sight.  While externally hosted sites may skew these statistics a bit, but it still represents the sheer power of how WordPress can be scaled.

Now, you may be thinking, “Ok, but how many individual sites are on WordPress.com?”  Based on how WordPress operates, they are actually all within a single multisite installation of WordPress.  This means that a single WordPress installation is currently operating this massive number of sites.  If that’s not scalability, I would love to see what is.

Of course, this isn’t just limited to WordPress.com who are are better supported than any other WordPress site in existence.  This also spans to Microsoft, CNN, and The New York Times.  If those media giants can successfully scale a WordPress site to fit their massive amount of daily activity, anyone can.

“WordPress is just meant for blogs”

It’s no secret that WordPress was initially created for blogging, but it has evolved into so much more.  WordPress has become the standard for any content management system at this point.  Powering over 23% of sites on the internet, WordPress is certainly used for much more than blogs.

With the launch of AppPresser, WordPress is slowly being adopted as a mobile application framework.  As mobile phones are taking over market share by leaps and bounds, a mobile application framework makes perfect sense and will continue to push WordPress as one of the best ways to deliver your content to end users.

In terms of websites, even sites that are very light on written content are making the change to WordPress due to it’s versatility.  WordPress is made to be built upon and sites are fully equipped to evolve as their needs grow, so logically, WordPress is made for whatever you want to build on top of it.

“WordPress isn’t for real developers”

This is a big one that I hear often from self-exclaimed elitists.  WordPress is but a tool that is meant to be built upon and any other developers stating this are simply misinformed. Just as we fight for WordPress, you can’t blame other developers for fighting for their favorite tools.  We support what we like and many times feel that other tools are inadequate simply because we don’t use them, but belittling a developer’s tool simply because you don’t prefer it is just bad form.

You have to ask yourself, what is a real developer?  For me, it’s someone who simply makes something awesome.  Plenty of WordPress developers push the boundaries and innovate new ideas every day.  Most open source developers want to build things that make the biggest impact on the world and with as large as WordPress is, they are certainly making that impact.

“WordPress is insecure”

This mostly stems from the thought that because it is open source and anyone can view the source, it is insecure.  In the contrary, you have many, many, additional people who are constantly testing WordPress for security vulnerabilities from it being open source.

Do WordPress sites get hacked?  Most definitely.  Is it because of some sort of laziness or lack of adequate security?  Certainly not.

WordPress is a target because of how large it is.  If you had a content management system that is used by 1,000 people, you would see far less hacks not because it is necessarily secure, but because it’s simply not a target.  WordPress simply targeted because it has a very large market share.

So, how do we solve these misconceptions?

Resolving all of these misconceptions about WordPress are primarily the responsibility of the community as a whole to inform the public.  If we can set these things right every time we see them happening, we can begin to push these rumours into the abyss.

I personally feel like the closeness of WordPress.com and WordPress.org are certainly confusing folks.  When a beginner is looking into WordPress at first, they simply see WordPress.com for the most part.  I think if we could better differentiate the two, we would see a significant improvement in fully understanding WordPress for the general public.

As for the developers that think WordPress developers are some kind of wannabes, that may never change.  All we can do here is simply show off our work and the improvements we have made, and hope for the best.  There are always going to be haters out there, but lowering those numbers is only going to be done by writing better code, and proving to any opposition that we are here to stay.

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