February 12, 2020 –

Do you use WordPress?

Author: Emma Yemm
Emma Yemm
Senior Digital Account Manager
As a bespoke, digital agency we’re often asked whether we can take on existing or build new WordPress sites from scratch. Whilst WordPress certainly has its place, there are several reasons why we choose not to use it – here’s why…

To give an overview, WordPress is a free and open-source content management system which is most commonly associated with blogging. It’s PHP based which means it’s a framework for which several predefined plug-ins are available – essentially you don’t need to know about or be able to code to use it. Sounds great right? Well it depends on what you’re looking to achieve.

If you’re looking for a quick, low-cost way to create your own website then WordPress is for you and is the reason why ~32% of companies (in particular start-ups and small business) are currently using WordPress as their preferred platform.

By comparison, if you’re looking for an advanced, bespoke website or system integration, then we’d always advise going down the more bespoke route. This is because, in contrast to WordPress, bespoke sites (in particular those built using the Umbraco content management system (CMS)) require a developer to code not only in ASP.NET but also HTML, CSS, Javascript and so on.

This may sound more complicated, however if you’re outsourcing your website to an agency anyway, then this is by far the most adaptable and secure route to go down for the following reasons:

  • Adaptability: A bespoke, Umbraco site is built from scratch, which means the developer can pretty much build any functionality you would like.
  • Site longevity: using Umbraco means your site will be fully-customisable now and in the future, allowing you to constantly build-on and update it as your needs (and potentially audience) change.
  • Plugins: WordPress sites typically use a number of plug-ins – which can have problems down the line in terms of SEO, responsiveness and security. See our journal on plug-ins.
  • Security: with a bespoke, custom-built Umbraco site, the developers are aware of each and every line of code that sits behind your site and so can actively protect it against potential hacks and/or security breaches – something which, due to the number of unknown plug-ins and back links used, WordPress is known to struggle with.
  • Data security & GDPR: whilst steps can be taken to improve the GDPR compliance of a WordPress site the use of plug-ins does unfortunately increase the risk of data breaches. This is because plug-in makers tend to be individual developers or small companies that may not necessarily know or fully understand the legal implications of the personal data that their plug-ins collect and use.
  • Design consistencies: WordPress is not templated - whilst this provides greater flexibility to the CMS user (in particular those looking to have complete control over the look and feel of their website), it can unfortunately lead to design inconsistencies and thus detract from the premium look and feel that most businesses are trying to achieve.

So why don’t we take-on existing WordPress sites? Simply put, our developers don’t use it. We prefer to code websites from scratch (primarily using the Umbraco CMS), so it’s optimised for our customers as this allows us full control over the coding elements and in particular, the security and integrity of the site, and its data.

Any questions or interested in hearing more? Please do get in touch!