5 WordPress myths busted

Author: Matt Watson

Our Human Made engineers were feeling particularly brave today, and so typed into their favourite search engine the most frightening phrase they could possibly think of; “Why shouldn’t I use WordPress”. If you dare to keep scrolling, you will see what they found.

The web can be a spooky place, but the Human Made WordPress Myth Busters are here to give you some reassurance. All together now; who ya’ gonna call?

1: WordPress is Insecure and Easy to Hack

Ah, the most pervasive WordPress misconception of all… WordPress is the most popular Content Management System in the world, powering 43.2% of all websites (W3Tech – Usage statistics and market share of WordPress). It is also an Open Source platform.

Because WordPress is Open Source, it has a very large community of contributors continually discovering and patching vulnerabilities. 

There were around 800 unique contributors on the version 6.1 release alone. All of these contributions, along with a regular release cycle help to make WordPress a very secure and robust platform.

However, security issues can occur if software is not updated regularly, and unfortunately 44.5% of WordPress websites (according to WordPress Statistics) are not running on the latest version. This is despite Auto Updates being enabled in WordPress 3.7 (released in 2013).

To keep your WordPress install healthy, Human Made recommends using a dedicated WordPress managed hosting service to proactively monitor your entire website technology stack.

2: WordPress is Bad for SEO

According to Built With (CMS Usage Distribution in the Top 1 Million Sites), WordPress powers 28% of the top 1 000 000 highest ranking websites, so it must be doing something right when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation.

It is no secret that one of the key ingredients to good SEO is well researched, good quality content. Making it as easy as possible for you to publish your content is not only a key goal of WordPress, but it is embedded in the platform’s mission.

There are also many other factors that can help to boost your website rankings. These may include the placement of keywords, well structured data, and a high Core Web Vitals score.

Dedicated WordPress SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO can help implement structure data via JSON-LD and can help you to analyse your content for factors such as keywords and image placement.

Some of the myths we found in our search suggested that only a competing CMS or a Bespoke solution would allow you full control of your website markup to achieve high search rankings. 

WordPress is a very versatile platform, with an advanced templating system that provides developers with full control over the markup of every page on your site. The markup can be tweaked to provide you with a unique theme that has more microformats than you can shake a stick at.

It should be noted that certain Core Web Vitals such as Time to First Byte (TTFB) can only be achieved via a high quality web host, regardless of your CMS of choice.

3: WordPress is Not User Friendly

WordPress often ranks highly in lists of recommended Content Management Systems. It recently ranked number 1 in AppSumo’s 10 Best CMS Platforms in 2023, where the author had this to say about the user experience:

“The new and easy-to-use block editor is intuitive enough for beginners to find their way around. Drag-and-drop options make it easy to construct a website from scratch” – Holly Stanley – AppSumo – 10 Best CMS Platforms in 2023.

There is no surprise that WordPress ranks so highly when the key mission of the WordPress project is to Democratise Publishing focusing on ease of use. In their mission statement they have this to say.

“The basic WordPress software is simple and predictable so you can easily get started. It also offers powerful features for growth and success.” – WordPress.org – Our Mission 

4: WordPress is Not for Professionals

“WordPress is just for Blogs” is a myth I hear all too often. That may have been true when WordPress first emerged in 2003, but two decades later WordPress is now powering the websites and web applications of some of the most popular brands you can think of.

The list is extensive, however here is a small selection of some of the popular brands that Human Made have been lucky enough to work with directly:

Here at Human Made we specialise in Enterprise WordPress development. Why not take a look at our 2023 Outlook: Enterprise WordPress report.

5: WordPress is Bloated and Slow

We got serious about busting this WordPress myth with some concrete evidence.

We ran a sample of some popular brands powered by WordPress through Google PageSpeed. Their first content paint returned a score between 0.8 and 2.5 seconds.

DomainTime To First Byte  (seconds)First Content Paint (seconds)
https://www.newtonim.com/11.9
https://www.snopes.com/ 0.40.8
https://www.capgemini.com/gb-en/0.51.6
https://techcrunch.com/12.5
https://thesun.co.uk/  0.41.1

The truth is that WordPress is as fast as any other CMS or bespoke solution. The key is how your website instance has been put together and the technology stack it resides on.

I’m not going to lie, there do exist some beastly WordPress installations that have been cobbled together with every plugin you can imagine. These can only be described as ‘bloated’.

At Human Made we finely craft each and every WordPress build that we work on. Using years of cumulative experience, we only add to WordPress what is deemed necessary for your site to perform exactly how you require it. We will perform vigorous internal testing on each component and work with you, our partners, to Quality Assure each code release.

Another cause of a slow WordPress instance can be hosting. Some web hosts use low powered servers and do not provide services essential to achieving a fast website such as a caching layer and a Content Distribution Network (CDN).

Human Made partners with high quality, dedicated WordPress hosting providers, who will ensure that your website and web applications are well oiled, providing you with services such as enterprise search, access to quality CDNs and world class Caching services.

What’s the wildest WordPress myth you’ve come across? Tell us on Twitter!