Busting WordPress Myths

Busting WordPress Myths, report by Ricky Blacker, Senior Sales Engineer and WordPress Evangelist at WP Engine

Since its launch in 2003, WordPress has evolved from a simple blogging platform to become the world’s most popular open-source content management system (CMS), now powering over 43% of the web. With over 82 million sites worldwide, businesses of all sizes rely on WordPress to power their digital properties, from startups and SMBs to The Walt Disney Company and The White House. The platform is a constant source of buzz in the tech community and generates millions of dollars in revenue every year worldwide, with an estimated economy of over US$635 billion.

Bo Zhong at Pexels

Despite its important and central role in the technology industry, there are still misconceptions around WordPress, and many are unaware of the potential of this platform. It’s time to bust some common myths and set the record straight.

Myth #1: WordPress is a toy for bloggers

While WordPress was originally a blogging platform, it has now evolved into a business-friendly tool. WordPress is not only popular for its cost-effective nature, but it also offers great flexibility in front-end design, with powerful open-source backend features, allowing users to modify the code to suit their exact needs.

Far beyond the status of the first blogging tools, WordPress sites now have full scalability to be able to grow to support huge organizations that attract immense web traffic. To meet the demands of a reliable and robust website, there are specific tools for large-scale system integration on enterprise websites, supporting businesses as they grow.

Business run by women

Myth #2: WordPress is not designed for e-commerce

It’s no secret that today’s digital market is booming. E-commerce has been boosted by the pandemic, with digital interactions with customers going from 41% to 65% in just one year. Whether for small business or enterprise use cases, WordPress is a great choice for an online store. Not only is it free and built on well understood and tested technology, WordPress is fully customizable and extendable with thousands of themes and plugins. The most popular e-commerce plugin; ‘WooCommerce‘ is currently feeding 41% of all e-commerce stores on the web and offers a user-friendly solution for those without deep technical knowledge. As e-commerce continues to grow, hosting solutions such as WP engine can be the perfect partner, eliminating the issues that can arise with scaling traffic with their specific WooCommerce offering.

Users are however not tied to WooCommerce; BigCommerce, Volusion, Magento, and Shopify can all be integrated into a WordPress site and used to provide seamless e-commerce solutions.

online shopping
The trend of online shopping on the rise

Myth #3: You are more likely to be hacked using WordPress

The possibility of being hacked is a concern for all businesses, large and small. Like any other CMS, WordPress can be vulnerable to attack, but it’s certainly no less secure than its competitors.

Fortunately, WordPress is not a new platform, and a decade of evolution has resulted in the development of sophisticated and highly advanced security plugins, complemented by a library of informative security tutorials. With nearly 80% security threats caused by outdated software and passwords, these tutorials are invaluable for users. As an open source technology, WordPress is constantly updated to support emerging security vulnerabilities and trends. Staying on top of security updates can take time and for those looking to outsource support, hosting solutions such as WP Engine can help manage all updates to themes, plugins and backups – working behind the scenes to ensure your site stays protected.

Myth #4: You can’t trust WordPress plugins

For the most part, plugins are useful tools for your site, but since anyone can create and list a plugin online, there is an underlying element of risk. To ensure a plugin is safe, download only from a reputable source, including the WordPress plugin directory and reputable plugin developer websites. Do your research, check reviews, and test the plugin before you go live. It is important to ensure that the plugin has been updated recently, is actively supported by the developer and has a high number of downloads. While no plugin is 100% safe, going through this checklist will help you establish the best options for your site.

Plugins can vary widely; some are small, simple, and beginner-friendly, while others require sophisticated activation and expert knowledge. The WordPress plugin directory now contains over 56,000 plugins, so it’s no surprise that some users don’t know where to start!

Myth #5: WordPress comes without support

There’s an assumption that because nobody ‘owns’ WordPress and it’s free, there’s no help available – but that couldn’t be more wrong. WordPress has an incredibly active community of developers, designers, content producers, marketers, and support reps who provide support forums for learning, sharing, and troubleshooting. WordPress is also widely discussed on independent blogs and content sites from companies associated with the platform, which regularly post free educational resources on how to successfully build and maintain a WordPress site.

WordPress has undergone many changes and developments on its journey to becoming the world’s favorite CMS and it will continue to evolve to stay ahead and meet user needs in the future. There will likely be new myths to bust in the years to come, but there’s no doubt today that WordPress is the major player enabling businesses big and small to reach their full potential online. For additional support and to get the most out of this platform, hosting solutions, such as WP Engine, can help take your site to the next level.

Esther L. Gunn