9 Common Misconceptions about WordPress

It is estimated that the content management system WordPress is now used in over 20% of all websites online. Unfortunately, just like with movie stars, this kind of popularity can give rise to many misconceptions and half-truths. WordPress is no different. There are many common beliefs among users and nonusers alike about WordPress that simply are not true.

Myth #1: WordPress is Expensive

The first misconception that somehow still exists is that WordPress is expensive. This could not be further from the truth. WordPress is open source and completely free. A user can simply download WordPress and install it right now, without having to pay a dime for it. On top of that, there are many free WordPress plugins to choose from.

Myth #2: WordPress is Bait-and-Switch Software

Connected to the first misconception is the idea that WordPress is a type of scam. That the reason the platform is free, is because, in order to actually make your site effective and attractive, you have to spend lots of money on plugins and widgets. This is also false. While there are plugins that can only be obtained by paying for them, many of them are free to download and install and require nothing in return from the user. These are not cheap and useless plugins; these are high-quality plugins that other users worked hard on that can be used to implement countless improvements on the sites they are installed on.

Myth #3: WordPress is Restricted

Another misconception, most likely due to its low cost, is that WordPress is a very limited, low-quality management system that cannot be customized to a user’s individual brand. This is also false. WordPress can actually be customized in any way the user can imagine, and it can be done so fairly easily. With the numerous plugins and widgets that have been created by the WordPress community over the years, any custom addition a user would like to make to their site is just a matter of downloading and installing the right plugin.

Myth #4: WordPress Is Unsophisticated

There is also the idea floating around that WordPress is meant only for very specific types of businesses and can’t be used for more sophisticated tasks like membership and logging in. In truth, WordPress is used by almost every type of business imaginable. There are countless professional WordPress themes with login and membership capabilities to choose from, and if a user doesn’t like any of the built-in functionality, they can just build their own site and download a plugin of their choice which automatically takes care of membership tasks for the user.

Myth #5: WordPress Is Unsuitable For E-Commerce

Then, there is the misconception that WordPress simply does not have e-commerce capabilities. Not only does WordPress have several different e-commerce plugins to choose from, but many of them are totally free and very user-friendly. Ecommerce WD is an example of one of the most popular of the dozens of different e-commerce plugins a user may choose for their site. Simply upload images of your products, write some text, and start selling. It is as easy as that.

Myth #6: WordPress Is Just for Blogging

Next, we have the idea that WordPress is only for bloggers. This probably comes from the fact that WordPress was originally set up for bloggers, and is such an easy to use platform for so many different areas, that a lot of bloggers still choose to use WordPress today. However, this by no means should imply that WordPress only serves as a platform for blogging. After being released as open source in 2003, WordPress has come a very long way. Many of the top companies in the world in all types of different fields rely on WordPress for a simple and inexpensive means of exposing their businesses to the world.

Myth #7: WordPress Doesn’t Scale Well

WordPress is also thought by many to be the choice of smaller companies, and that large corporations would never use WordPress as their website platform. The belief is that WordPress is a great platform to start out on, but once you become larger, you will need to swap to something more powerful. This is also unequivocally false. WordPress is capable of doing anything a user might need it to for their company; just ask Yahoo, Ford, and Samsung, all giant companies that use WordPress as their Content Management System.

Myth #8: WordPress is Insecure

Another common misconception about WordPress is that it has security issues. The logic is that since WordPress is open source, it allows hackers easy access to find security breaches and come up with creative ways of breaking into people’s WordPress sites. This does make sense on the surface, but in actuality the opposite is true. Due to its open source nature, users are able to constantly make sure WordPress is safe and that its security is up to date. Security updates are released regularly, and users can download plugins that automatically install them once they become available.

Myth #9: WordPress Makes Cookie Cutter Sites

A final misconception about WordPress is that every WordPress site looks the same. This is likely due to the fact that many people that use WordPress leave the default theme on, and it has now become very recognizable as a WordPress theme. When people see this often enough, they assume that all WordPress themes are like this, and don’t realize that many of the more attractive and sophisticated sites that they come across are also WordPress themes. In fact, just doing a simple Google search on WordPress themes will pull up countless different themes for all kinds of different types of sites and blogs.

WordPress has been around for a long time and has established itself as one of the most popular content management systems around. Still, these misconceptions about WordPress remain, and will likely continue to remain long into the future. The fact is that WordPress is so versatile, and is used for such a wide array of different types of sites, that it is impossible for people not to come away with lots of different conclusions about it. From a multi-billion dollar corporation with an extensive back-end database of hundreds of millions of users, to a car wash and detailing service around the corner, all the way to a 6 year old in his room blogging about the comic books he just read, WordPress can mean something completely different to everyone, and that can make the truth a little fuzzy.

Web developer Richard Sutherland has been working with WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and other content management systems for over a decade. Graduating from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Richard has held a number of prominent website development roles at major companies such as Samsung, ASDA and Prudential.

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