Why I Don't Recommend Wordpress for Your First Website

I've been working with lots of clients who have a Wordpress website. And guess what one of the main things they need from me is? Website updates. They need me to make changes to the site - nothing major, just posting blogs, updating text, adding images... the basics.

Your Business Wins When You Can Update Your Website

Now I know that many of my clients don't know html code but there are those who will muddle through for hours on their Wordpress site because they want the control to make changes to their website. And rightly so. Your business is your livelihood and your website is an extension of what you do. I believe that you should be able to make updates to your site easily - whether you have the time for it is another story - but at least one staff member should be able to login and make changes immediately when needed.

I've seen clients wait weeks for responses to their simple questions about their site, or for minor updates to be done. Your business is not benefiting when your website does not have the most current, and accurate, information.

That's why I use web builders with my clients. Whether it's Weebly, Squarespace, or Shopify, these platforms are build with ease of use in mind. They are built for people who don't know code and these sites have done a bloody good job of that.


Enter Drag and Drop


Weebly and Squarespace are WYSIWYG (pronounced "wiz-ee-wig") editors. This stands for "what you see is what you get" and it means that the changes you make are shown exactly as they will appear to a visitor to your site.

Then if you don't like what you see, you can just drag and drop elements to other places on the page. And you can see the results instantly.

With Wordpress, you use an editor that requires you to preview the page to see how it will be translated from the code. Then, you get the joy of going back and forth to try to make the minute adjustments required because the spacing went all funky on you.


But What About My SEO? And What is That Anyway?


Web building platforms have gotten a bad rap over time. A common misconception is that when you use a web builder, you won't appear in Google search results and that they have terrible SEO capabilities. This is an old wives tale (although it obviously wasn't around in the 'old wives' days). I've built many sites on both Weebly and Squarespace and the platform has not affected the sites' appearance in search results. (Plus, with tens of millions of users, they are working hard to ensure this myth is dispelled.)

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it refers to how the content and code of your website contribute to your search ranking. If you aren't seeing good search results, some SEO work can sometimes help. Of course, good, clear content that includes your intended keywords and is regularly updated can help too.

With Wordpress, because your developers have access to the source code, there is more flexibility in how they can set it up for the possibility of slightly higher rankings. However, don't assume that this is a given as it might not be included on every website they do. And because Google's search result criteria is constantly evolving, this may also mean more updates to keep in line.

Web builders give you access to add additional SEO details to each page and there are standard practices that are useful regardless of which platform your site is on (such as filling in the details of an image's alt tag). For the average site, the limits of a web builder's SEO will not be pushed.


Extras and Speed


One plus of Wordpress is that there are numerous plug-ins that can be installed on the site to add to the functionality. Both Weebly and Squarespace have plug-ins too. Yes the Wordpress audience is massive so there are more options but, again, the basics are definitely covered.

I find that once Weebly or Squarespace have loaded, you can generally make your changes fairly quickly but I find the Wordpress sites I've worked on tend to lag more - especially once you consider all the previews you need to do on the page! Now I know that likely has more to do with the host than the platform but make sure you can test a Wordpress site from the host you're looking at to get a sense of the speed.


Not Sure What Will Work for Your Business?


I'm happy to have a chat about your business' website and to discuss which platform might be best for you. My conclusion is that if your knowledge of web programming is slim to none, you'll most likely enjoy working with the web builder more than you would on Wordpress. If you're a techie at heart, you might like the challenge of learning more code and how to make things work well on Wordpress. But for those who just want easy access to make quick updates, choose Weebly or Squarespace.