Myths and misconceptions are not new to WordPress. Its upsurge in popularity has led to negative discussion regarding its functionality. Not only are most of these myths false, some are just plain silly. Here are 9 common WordPress myths, explained and debunked.
1. WordPress is just for blogs
WordPress was created in 2004 as a blogging platform. Over the years, it has evolved to be a powerful Content Management System (CMS), and now powers over 25% of the sites created on the net. This is due to its use of customizable and extendable technologies like PHP and MYSQL, which makes it easier for developers to work with.
Its wide popularity implies that WordPress is not just limited to blogging sites. There are a number of plugins which can transform WordPress into anything you want. For example, the WooCommerce plugin can turn your site into an ecommerce store. Furthermore, there are many WordPress themes available for different kinds of sites, such as ecommerce store themes, membership/SAAS themes, social media themes etc.
Unlike other platforms like Magento or Moodle which support only a single use, WordPress can support a wide variety of sites. This shows that WordPress is not just for blogs.
2. Your website is likely to be hacked if it’s using WordPress
The only negative to WordPress is that it has many sites running on it, so it’s statistically more likely to be a platform that gets hacked. But bear in mind that WordPress has one of the best security features for CMSs. As long as you regularly update your WordPress installation, there is little chance of vulnerability.
There are also a number of countermeasures you should take in order to avoid being hacked. First, you should always ensure that the super user of your WordPress install is not set as “admin”. If you have it as admin, it signals hackers to flock to your site. You may also want to use a plugin that automatically blocks an IP address once the login attempts are exhausted, such as Limit Login Attempts.
You should keep in mind that hackers don’t generally follow specific platforms. They only take advantage of security vulnerabilities.
3. WordPress is just a template
Many people assume WordPress is simply a template, and WordPress professionals are simply designers. First of all, WordPress is a Content Management System, whereas a template is just a preconfigured layout of a site with no functionality. Templates can be recreated into WordPress themes so to give them functionalities, like blogging or ecommerce.
Secondly, WordPress professionals are not designers. Their work encompasses a lot of programming, and knowledge of database structures. A designer creates HTML layouts for sites, but WordPress professionals are tasked with integrating that template into WordPress in order for it to become dynamic.
4. One WordPress site requires one database
This is one of the most profound myths about WordPress, considering that even some expert-level WordPress professionals believe it. WordPress is a very robust platform. You can install as many sites as possible in only one database. However, you should be careful not to exceed the database limit for your WordPress platform.
Another great feature in WordPress is that you are able to share tables between two different databases. This makes it possible for experienced programmers to maintain different sites from one central location.
Next time you want to create a different site, but with a similar theme you’ve used before, remember that WordPress has an out-of-the-box solution for this.
5. WordPress is not responsive
Some people worry that WordPress sites are not responsive. The platform has some of the best technologies, that are regularly updated to current standards. This makes WordPress very much responsive, as is any other web development technology currently available.
If your website is not responsive at all, then chances are you are using an out-dated theme. There are many places where you can get responsive themes, such as WordPress.org or marketplaces like Themeforest.
You can also get your own custom responsive theme from thousands of freelancers who are WordPress experts.
6. Too many plugins slow down a WordPress site
The speed of your WordPress site depends on the quality of plugins you are using. You can have as many as thirty plugins without affecting your overall site speed - but adding just one faulty plugin can affect your site’s load time.
You assumed that all plugins are either good or bad. Plugins, free or premium, depend on how they are made and whether they are regularly updated by their developers. Most of the time, your site’s low speed can be a result of two or three plugins that are not functioning well. It's always best to find out which plugins are slowing down your site, and delete them.
7. WordPress SEO plugins are enough for ranking your site on the first page of search engines
Many people assume you just have to download SEO plugins, and your site will be automatically ranked on Google's first page results. There is nothing further from the truth. The SEO plugins available are only there to make SEO work easier for SEO specialists. Ranking highly on Google requires a lot of patience, as well as attention to critical factors that affect SEO. Only specialists can keep track of all these factors.
If you’re still not convinced, here’s a good example. Even if your site has SEO plugins and is better ranked on Google, a simple mistake like downloading a plugin that slows your site will affect your ranking. This is because Google’s algorithms look at page loading speed when ranking a site. SEO plugins won’t relay this problem to you, but an experienced SEO specialist will find out more easily.
8. WordPress isn’t scalable
This is a very common misconception. It is actually the most frequently asked question by people who are new to the platform. WordPress is one of the most scalable CMSs available. The fact that many multinationals like Bloomberg and MTV News use the platform is reason to trust its scalability.
Most complaints about WordPress sites going down due to traffic spikes are usually attributed to the hosting provider, and not the platform itself.
9. WordPress doesn’t have support
Many people assume that since WordPress is free, there is generally no support if you encounter a problem. This is a huge misconception. WordPress has a large community of developers, bloggers, designers and support representatives who are always ready to help. It also has a very extensive support forum where you can ask questions, or simply search for answers to problems that have already been answered.
With tons of resources and hundreds of people in the WordPress community, you’ll be surprised at how fast your issue will be solved.
WordPress still remains one of the most popular CMSs of our time. With these myths laid to rest, feel free to run your next project on WordPress. You won’t regret it!
Do you have any more myths to debunk? Share with your fellow freelancers in the comments section below!