Why Using WordPress to Create a Website STINKS! (Part 2)

Why Using WordPress to Create a Website STINKS! (Part 2)

One article wasn’t big enough to capture all the pains and problems associated with using WordPress to build your website. It’s not uncommon for us to get a call from someone who started out building their site on WordPress and then got so frustrated they gave up. We hear about all of the issues.

WordPress Users’ Biggest Complaints:

  1. Why is my WordPress site so slow?
  2. Why is my WordPress site broken all the time?
  3. Why is my WordPress site so expensive?
  4. Why does my WordPress site show up in the 184th position on Google?

Let's address these one at a time.

Why Is My WordPress Site So Slow? 

WordPress requires a lot of server horsepower in order to work well. That capacity is not what you get when you purchase a basic-level hosting package. Paying more for an upgraded storage, memory, and database system leads to problem #3 – My site is expensive.

Slow speeds can affect even the most basic of sites due to outdated themes and plug-ins. Going back to the open-source topic from our last article, Why Using WordPress to Create a Website STINKS! (Part 1), if someone built out a theme with beautiful colors, fonts that pop, and a layout to make an angel cry, but they never update the underlying code to keep up with the times, that same angel will weep in despair because it’s taking her page so long to load. Slow sites get penalized by Google. They want your site to load like a perfectly executed elementary school fire drill, quickly and in an orderly fashion.

Why Is My WordPress Site Broken All the Time?

Actual quotes from actual people*:

“I was just sitting down to a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner with my beloved when I got a call from my boss. I had to ‘fix the website RIGHT NOW!’” <staring into the distance as if remembering a particularly bad day at war>

“I couldn’t enjoy my weekends anymore, the constant fear that our site would break kept looming over me.” <nervous eye twitch evident>

“I would lie awake, staring at the ceiling, just waiting for my phone to ding. There was always the threat of a notification that our site was down.” <starts sobbing>

WordPress allows for unlimited customization and tweaks. Sounds like a feature, right? Much of the time, however, it turns into a bug.

Adding changes to the core code, plug-ins that don’t get updated, and messing with the overall way your site works leads to a lot of breakage. The fixes for these breakages generally don’t come conveniently or easily. With the custom code inherent in plug-ins being as diverse as snowflakes, each plug-in breaks in its own special way and leaves you to problem-solve late into the night of the 14th of February.

*Quotes have been dramatized to make this article more enjoyable for the reader.

Why Is My WordPress Site So Expensive?!

WordPress is free, right? Well, technically. Buuuutt…

Plug-ins–good plug-ins–usually cost money. Hosting and registering your domain still costs money. Fixes and updates cost time and/or money.  

Here’s how the story goes:

Once upon a time, a noble knight had a great idea for a website. He valiantly dug into WordPress with no prior knowledge of website design or SEO (search engine optimization)  and got a decent-looking site up for minimal cost using a cheap hosting service and a URL that no one cared about. He sat upon his noble steed waiting for his site to get noticed by anyone, but the site sat lonely and neglected.  

As time marched on, the knight’s site’s traffic was a fright. He sought help from an old and wizened wizard. The wizard had a Computer Science degree from a reputable university and years of SEO experience.  

Upon examination, the wizard said he could help fix the website, but it would cost the knight dearly–his right arm and right leg. The knight knew not what else to do, so reluctantly he surrendered his dominant arm and leg to the wizard. The wizard was able to move the site up the search ranking and soon the knight was getting calls for his services. Unfortunately, the wizard’s fee had been too much. The price the knight had paid had rendered him useless as he was now only capable of falling off his horse on the right side.

The moral of the story? Don't pay so much for your web design services that you can't put your resources toward the actual function of your business, like winning jousts and wooing fair maidens.

Why Does My WordPress Site Show Up in 184th Position on Google?

This is partially a reflection of problem #1.  Google hates slow sites.  They have two detailed and lengthy documents, the “Web Design Guidelines” and the “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide.”  Both go into great detail on how a site should work to give the user the best experience.  Things like loading pictures at the top of the page faster than pictures at the bottom of the page matter.  More often than not, a WordPress theme or template is not optimized to do what Google likes best; thus, you get bounced down the search results to a spot so bad you might as well not have a site at all.

As one example, if you're a landscaper like A Superior Cut based in Salt Lake City, you want a site that is image heavy to show off your exceptional work. But a site like theirs would crawl in WordPress because WordPress is not designed to do this to Google's standard.

Web Content Writing

Thin content adds to the problem. If you build a WordPress site, you have to write the words for your WordPress site.  Most of us weren’t born with A+ writing skills; we mostly slopped through sophomore English by taking advantage of the extra credit assignments. Most experts on the topic suggest a good start is around 600 words per page.

So What Are My Website Options?

Due to WordPress’ problems listed above, we highly suggest you use an agency or website guru to do the work for you.  I’ve got a blog post here that goes through a checklist of questions you can use to find a good company to work with.  

You could also save yourself a lot of time and call Surge Web Design at (208) 391-3413 or email info@surgewebdesign.com.  We specialize in affordable, high value web design and ongoing SEO for small businesses.