When WordPress Isn't a Good Fit

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    Websites are made of different content

    WordPress is a wildly popular content management system that launched its first version in 2003 as a pure blogging platform. Over the years, with the help of plugins, the system morphed into a full featured web content management system currently powering over 24 million websites. That's a staggering number and for good reason. WordPress has a ton of features, including over 54,000 plugins and its large, active developer community.

    Here's the thing. WordPress, at its core, is not a great, feature-rich system. It is very bare bones and couldn't manage most typical websites. It needs plugins to do that. And it needs plugins that help or fix other plugins that depend on more plugins. It can get a bit messy. One bad plugin or core system update can have a dramatic avalanche effect causing the entire site to go awry. 

    WordPress and the full featured websites they power often go together like a square peg and a round hole. If you keep shoving a square peg into a round hole one of them will eventually give. But you'll still have an abused square peg and a tortured round hole. Poor things.

    Right Idea, Wrong Fit

    So many agencies and developers push customers into WordPress because it's popular, they're familiar with it, and they feel like you can find a plugin for just about everything you need. 

    We all know popularity isn't a great indicator of ability. 

    We all know familiarity breeds complacency. 

    We all know, or do now, that plugins are both the savior and destroyer of progress.

    WordPress is a great way to start out but rarely a truly viable long-term solution. At some point in your early website marketing journey, you'll be ready to graduate from WordPress.

    WordPress Alternatives

    There are many WordPress alternatives that are actually built from the ground up to provide robust content management, personalization, and automation features. Systems like Marketpath CMS, Sitefinity, and Expression Engine don't depend on cowboy plugins to do the heavy lifting. They've already done that in their core product.

    So, when your developer or agency says they're putting your site into WordPress suggest an alternative. Here's a list of content management systems you can research. Many of these require a bachelors degree to learn and get started. But systems like Marketpath CMS, who provides no-cost or low-cost assistance to new agencies and developers, are quick to learn because they use common languages and syntax like CSS, JavaScript, and HTML.

    Wordpress has its strengths but there are better, more cost-effective solutions out there.

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    About the Author

    Matt Zentz

    Matt Zentz launched Marketpath from a small Broad Ripple bungalow in February 2001 with a focus on custom web application development. He built the first, basic version of a hosted CMS called Webtools and shortly afterward expanded his team and created the first version of Marketpath CMS.

    Matt has worked for a national consulting firm, taught computer programming to high school juniors and seniors , and led the information technology arm of the auxiliary business units at Indiana University.

    Matt graduated from Indiana University in 1999 with a B.S. in Computer Science and has built custom web applications since 1995. Matt is husband to an amazing & supportive wife, has three beautiful children, supreme master to Archimedes (Archie) the dog, and mostly tolerant victim of 2 flying rats (cockateils).

    He coaches various kid sports, enjoys furniture and home renovation projects, and plays guitar and piano. Matt is also active with his church as a parishioner, technical advisor and board member on the festival committee.

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