My Two Cents About WordPress ( et. al. )

January 11, 2022

Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of open source and the importance of all of the world's citizens having a voice on today's media.

WordPress has played an important role in the Democratization of the web.

When WordPress forked from B2/cafelog in 2003 there were only a few systems available for non-developers to build a website. WordPress has continued to gain popularity ever since. Despite the plethora of available options in 2021, WordPress has become the preferred Content Management System of our time (CMS ).

WP accounts for about 39.5% of the entire Web and 62% of CMS-built websites.
WordPress is used by 42.8% of... websites as of October 2021.

And why not? It is free. It is relatively easy to use for creating websites.

Great for providing a voice for Democracy. But how is it for a business?

The graph below only goes to 60%:

graph of wordpress, wix, weebly. and squarespace Core Web Vitals Performance
Google long ago confirmed that page speed is a ranking factor in their algorithm. So if your site's slow, you're not only providing a bad experience for those who do find you — you're lessening the chance they'll find you in the first place.
from an article by John Moore Williams

When I first used WordPress in 2015, it was new to me. As such, it was exhilarating to learn about the new possibilities. From a designer's point of view, however, I soon learned of things I could not change in my design.

WordPress's code is bulky. It is both a plus and a minus that the backend of WP is built on PHP (a server side code). I will not go into that controversial subject here, but WP sites are still slow, mostly do to WordPress plug-ins.

There are many very good Web Developers, but also some not so good Web Developers, working on Word Press, WP themes and WP plug-ins. Choices of themes and Plugins can make a big difference in Core Web Vitals Scores.

A PHP class, some attempts at building themes from UnderscoreS, and Seven years later, my opinion of WP hasn't improved. The scores I have been able to get from WP vary:

Speed Test Score: 92, WordPress webpage
Speed Test Score: 88, WordPress webpage
Speed Test Score: 83, WordPress webpage
Speed Test Score: 86, WordPress webpage
Speed Test Score: 66, WordPress webpage

( You will notice that two tools were used above.
The first image is from Google's Measure Page Quality tool.
The second is the same webpage tested with Pingdom. You may notice the similiarity of overall score.
Website performance can be greatly improved by serving from a Content Delivery Network, CDN. )

Despite my opinions, I am willing to build you a WordPress website.

However, I recommend Webflow, as I have obtained better results:

Speed Test Score: 93. SBH Web Design Webflow site
Speed Test Score: 98, Webflow webpage

Or, a hand coded html site for even better results:

Speed Test Score:100. Christy's Massage html/css site
Speed Test Score: 99. SBH Web Design html/css site

P.S.: As long as I am making comparisons, I cannot recommend Adobe Muse either:

Speed Test Score: 68, Adobe Muse  webpage


Yes there are a plethora of DIY website builders, but you are a business. As a business person, aren't you more concerned about your business than you are about learning to do web design and development? I would not Do my auto mechanics myself. I take my car to a professional because my car is important to me.
Is your business imortant to you?