Popular Isn't Always Safe: Wordpress Loopholes That Can Crush Your Business

by: Ashok Kesavan |

To call Wordpress ‘popular’ would be an understatement. According to Jason Mark of Smashing Magazine, Wordpress is the easiest CMS to start, run, maintain, and use. Although specifically built for bloggers, Wordpress soon grew wings so as to span an entire variety of websites – from typical blogs to small business websites; from magazines to large business websites. Straight from an infrographic visualized, here are some statistics on Wordpress Popularity:

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More than 22% of all websites are on Wordpress today. At least about 60 million websites run on Wordpress. In a nutshell, at least 16.7% of the Internet is powered by Wordpress alone.

That’d make you think that Wordpress is, without a doubt, the best platform you’d want to run your website on.

Right? Wrong

Wordpress is best suited for blogs and for online publications but not without a list of problems that Wordpress ships with.

Here are reasons why Wordpress might not always be the best choice for you, especially if you are a small business owner:

Hackers, Security Updates, and General Wordpress Vulnerability

Whether you are a small business owner who ended up with a website on Wordpress or whether you are a designer/developer who swears by the popular CMS, working with Wordpress entails installation version updates, security patches, plugin compatibility, secure passwords, and a host of other maintenance requirements.

Elizabeth Maness of Social Media Today, actually listed out tips for Wordpress security and mentions a list of security plugins you can use.

There’s a reason why there’s a growing list of such posts and articles on the web. Picking up from a Slashdot story on Wordpress vulnerability, according to Checkmark’s Research Lab, more than 20% of the 50 most popular, independently developed plugins are vulnerable to common web attacks. Further, 7 out of 10 e-commerce plugins are also vulnerable.

Imagine running your business – especially more perilous if it has anything to do with ecommerce  -- on Wordpress with a continuous to-do list with updates, security patches, fixing errors, and standing vulnerable to attacks.

Problems Galore

While we aren’t saying that Wordpress is bad, Megan Totka of SmallBizTrends.com writes that there are at least 6 million things that can go wrong with Wordpress.

Sufyan Bin Uzayr of WPMU actually takes the pain to list out Nine Most common problems associated with Wordpress, along with solutions to each of them. For some uses, Wordpress sucks completely, as Gary-Adam Shannon of Search Engine Watch notes while listing out alternatives to Wordpress.

Wordpress is a CMS, built for Blogging

Let’s admit it: blogging can be a business but your business isn’t a blog.

Your business website should certainly have a blog for your content marketing efforts. Yet, running your small business website isn’t the same as running a blog. Wordpress was built as a CMS for bloggers. Thanks to the versatility of Wordpress itself, it was extended using themes, coding, and a variety of plugins to work as a front for small business websites. That’s where the functionality ends and troubles begin.

It makes sense for small businesses owners to have an easy to install website which is a breeze to run. Wordpress certainly allows for that.

What Wordpress cannot do, however, is present a stable core for you to run your business on. Updating Wordpress versions, managing plugin incompatibility, dealing with hacks, and living with other Wordpress-related problems are all website owner’s responsibility (and a major time suck). If you have no technical skills or lack the time to deep dive into Wordpress problems, it calls for paying an hourly fee for temporary Wordpress experts.

Separate needs, separate systems

You might use Wordpress as the core platform your website to live on. Yet, you’ll need Google Analytics for metrics that mean business to you, an email marketing solution like MailChimp to help you manage your subscribers and email campaigns, standalone e-commerce plugins such as WooCommerce to allow for transactions on your website, and using a CRM such as Salesforce.com to keep track of business. You’d also need accounting software such as xero.com to manage cash flow and keep track of finances. The need for systems to run your business apparently never ends.

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