Debunking The Case Against WordPress as Enterprise-Grade CMS
It’s Not Built for Enterprise
WordPress, in addition to having great third-party support, has an official enterprise grade server to support performance, security, and scalability, WP VIP. Enterprises can work with them directly as a platform, and bring in experienced web design agencies to build the site on their server.
In the last few years, it’s been well-publicized by leading security firms that despite the robust security options available, sites built on WordPress represent 90% of hacked or infected websites. That’s an alarming figure, but it’s important to remember the context—WordPress powers 40% of all websites, the majority of which belong to very small businesses or personal blogs.
In those DIY sites, many are left poorly maintained and without professional development help, naturally falling prey to exploits of a sort that midsize and enterprise businesses wouldn’t just by following simple best practices and updating your version of WordPress, your theme, and plugins regularly. And that’s before factoring in the security present in enterprise-level hosting solutions that large companies store their WordPress sites on, such as WP Engine and Kinsta. WordPress is not an inherently insecure platform.
Small Company Focus
WordPress was launched in 2003, and revolutionized blogging for personal projects and small businesses—it’s built into the name as a publishing platform. And since it’s open-source, and if you don’t want a custom domain you can even host for free, it’s very friendly to the smaller publisher. Plus, it’s ready-to-go themes and one-click plugins make it a natural fit for people with no time or skills for coding.
However, 2003 is nearly two decades ago, and WordPress didn’t grow into the market leading website builder and CMS by staying small. It has added numerous features, including powerful APIs and headless architecture in recent years that make it a strong platform for enterprise needs. Plus, it keeps rolling out updates every few months, which is part of why so many noteworthy Fortune 500s have built sites on it.
Compatibility Issues Across Versions
WordPress is open-source, which means any small team or solo developer can throw their theme or plugin on the marketplace, and in a few years just stop updating it, leaving you vulnerable to exploits.
It can be a big issue for an amateur, but most enterprise users will have a dedicated manager of the website who keeps things up to date, and developers to make sure things are working properly all the time, at the very least. Limiting the number and quality of plugins around core functionality, plus keeping them up to date will solve these issues 9 times out of 10.
Slow Load Times
When built on the cheap, themes, plugins and integrations can lead to slow loads, bad user experience, and ultimately lower organic search rankings. If your enterprise brand site is supposed to draw and convert lots of traffic, this shortcoming can’t be overlooked.
Again, this only holds true for cheaply-made websites with no coding experience. Enterprise developers can test integrations and keep bloat down, while simply opting for enterprise grade-hosting will result in at least 40% faster load times in almost all scenarios. When you apply enterprise resources and best practices to a WordPress site, the problems the platform is rumored to have go away.
Lack of Complex Functionality
WordPress is known for simple CMS functionality like posting blogs, and building a variety of marketing or brochure-like pages that can convey information and that’s about it. There are plugins for some more powerful features like scheduling, calculators, and member-locked areas, but that’s about it compared to much more customizable CMS like Drupal.
Of course, that’s barely true to begin with, even for small businesses who can access the largest plugin marketplace of any CMS to begin expanding functionality with a quick install. Things like SEO metadata management, interactive forms, ecommerce backends, and more can be built without much experience thanks to 1000s of plugins. And if you have developers, which any enterprise would, the options are far wider. You can take advantage of the WordPress REST API to build fully custom front ends, tied into your existing platforms.
Can’t Build True Apps
In an age where everything’s an app, why invest resources into a website building CMS when you need something that produces an application that can be downloaded by customers, or used internally on company devices? WordPress just isn’t built for that.