My 5 biggest frustrations with WordPress

Frustrated with WP

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I have a love/hate relationship with WordPress. I love it because it’s so powerful, flexible and has democratized the web like nothing else before it.

I love it so much, I built my entire business around it.

I also hate WordPress because it can be complicated, time consuming and has so many moving parts. It also needs work to turn it into a secure, efficient platform to host a website.

That’s why my business is built around helping people learn it and get the best out of it!

I know I’m not alone with these mixed feelings about WordPress.

From discussions I have with others in the industry, the platform divides as much as it enables.

And that’s fine.

Because for every frustration WordPress provides, there’s an equal or superior solution.

The frustrations of WordPress

WordPress is an amazing platform. It is capable of so much, is completely free and open source, has an amazing community of developers, contributors and users.

But boy does it have its challenges!

It’s the same with any complex piece of engineering. The more people it tries to please, the more solutions it tries to deliver and the more flexible it tries to be, the more complicated it becomes.

The modular nature helps a lot, but there’s still a lot of frustration with WordPress.

Here are a few of my personal frustrations:

1. Lots of dependencies

To create a WordPress website, you need a domain name, web host, a WordPress installation, a theme, plugins and content.

Finding an available domain name can take forever. It becomes confusing to understand the exact plan that anyone should opt for.

Many web hosts will either install WordPress automatically or use an installer like Softaculous, but it still takes time.

I did my bit by creating the Astra WordPress theme and making it as easy as possible to set up, but it’s still another moving part.

Then there’s plugins. There are over 50,000 of them, each with their own developer, quality and price.

2. The learning curve

There’s a learning curve to everything, from figuring out your new phone to how to turn on the air conditioning.

While everything about WordPress is easy once you know how, there’s so much to learn.

How databases work, how plugins work, how to set up a theme, how to create a page, the difference between pages and posts, taxonomy, hierarchy, the list goes on.

3. Security challenges

Let me preface this by saying that the core WordPress platform is pretty secure. But as soon as you begin adding plugins and extra users, vulnerabilities begin to appear.

WordPress is as popular with the darker side of humanity as it is with the rest of us. Hackers and scammers spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to attack it.

Defense in depth is always the right approach, but that’s yet another learning curve, yet another set of systems to learn and to manage and more plugins to install.

4. WordPress updates

WordPress is frequently updated to improve the user experience, fix bugs, address vulnerabilities and add new features.

The team works tirelessly to make WordPress better for everyone.

But those updates bring their own headaches.

Even though WordPress can update itself and introduced automatic updates for plugins, there are still so many moving parts to manage.

If you update WordPress, you have to update plugins so the code remains compatible. But if you do it automatically, you risk downtime in case a plugin doesn’t work or crashes your site.

So you must do it manually. Every few weeks. Then test the updates to make sure they all work before they impact customers.

5. Performance

WordPress has a reputation for slowing websites down. It’s a complex beast that needs to consult a database, build a page and send it to the user.

While the results can be amazing, it all takes time.

There’s a good reason why there are so many WordPress performance plugins!

I built Astra to be as lightweight and load as fast as possible. But the theme is only part of the equation.

As good as Astra is, it cannot overcome the inevitable complexities that slow down page load times.

Why WordPress is so popular

As I said in the very beginning, I love WordPress even though it frustrates me.

It’s an exceptional platform, it’s free, it’s flexible, it’s modular and it’s improving all the time.

It doesn’t power 43% of the web for nothing!

So why do I love it so much?

1. Strong community

I’m fortunate enough to play a minor role in how WordPress grows and develops but I’m one tiny piece of a huge community.

There’s the core community of developers and contributors. There’s the vital community of testers and further contributors.

Then there’s arguably the most important community of all.

The users, fans and the millions of people around the world that use WordPress.

There are few other products anywhere that have such a loyal following that actively contributes to its future.

That community provides direction, guidance, assistance and everything a positive group of people can provide.

It’s more than enough to restore my faith in humanity!

2. Extensive customization options

Customization is a core feature of WordPress. Whether you know code or not, you can do literally anything with it.

Even though plugins add their own frustrations, the number of page builders, header and footer plugins, block plugins and features built into WordPress make it a pleasure to use.

Even though WordPress powers millions of websites and over 2.4 million people have tried Astra, it is still possible to create something truly unique.

3. Open to everyone

WordPress is free and open source. Anyone anywhere can use it. If you have a computer and an internet connection, you can use WordPress.

There’s no pay to enter, no subscription, no entry requirements and no skills prerequisites.

While the learning curve has its frustrations, it isn’t insurmountable.

As I said earlier, there’s nothing overly complicated you need to learn. There’s just lots of it to learn.

I love the open nature of WordPress and it’s one of the things that attracted me to it.

Everyone can build a website if they want to. Shop savvy and it doesn’t have to cost that much either!

4. SEO benefits

SEO, Search Engine Optimization is the art of being found. With over a billion websites out there, SEO is what helps you find your tribe.

WordPress is structured to help with search. It also has dozens of high quality SEO plugins that can be set up and left to do their work.

Even someone like me who doesn’t know all that much about SEO can set up a plugin and begin appearing in search!

5. Flexibility

Want to build a blog? WordPress can do it. Want to build a business website? WordPress can do it. Want to build an online store? WordPress can do that too.

Whatever type of website you want to build, however you want it to look or behave, WordPress can do it.

That flexibility is a major selling point of the platform and one of the reasons it’s so popular.

There are plugins to add a forum, eCommerce plugins, sliders, video showcases and literally anything you can think of.

You can pick and choose any compatible plugin to build any type of website you like.

Check these out to see what I mean.

Time Magazine

Time Magazine

Time Magazine uses a blog theme. It’s a clean design with minimal distractions to let the content shine. It’s accessible and engaging and reflects Time’s brand

The White House

The White House

The White House also uses WordPress. The design is minimal but still manages to convey authority while remaining welcoming and informative.

Sony Music

Sony Music

The Sony Music website uses a custom WordPress theme and plugins and delivers quite the impact. It’s an excellent example of a corporation using WordPress to great effect.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch

TechCrunch is a well-known tech blog that also uses WordPress. The design is simple and minimal and has a completely different look and feel to Sony Music.

The answer to WordPress frustrations

Are you looking for an equal or superior solution to your own WordPress frustrations?

Want to build a WordPress website without the hassle of installing a theme, setting up plugins, building pages and filling them with content?

I have the solution.

It’s called ZipWP.

My development team, Adam Preiser and I developed ZipWP specifically to address our main frustrations with WordPress. Namely the time it takes to set everything up, add content, source decent images and publish a fully operational website.

ZipWP

ZipWP uses AI, the Astra theme and some clever programming to create a full, first draft website in 60 seconds or less.

That’s a full website, complete with relevant pages, a functioning contact form, AI generated content and royalty-free images.

In less than a minute.

All you need to do is provide a short description of your business and ZipWP will do the rest.

Once complete, you’ll be able to take a tour, customize your site, add your unique content and images and export it to your web host.

If that wasn’t enough of a superior solution, how about this?

ZipWP is completely free to use. No credit card required.

Your website will remain live on our server for 24 hours to give you enough time to explore and export it.

If you build websites for a living, a more powerful version of ZipWP is in the works.

Working with WordPress

I may have a love/hate relationship with WordPress but I wouldn’t want to work with anything else.

There are too many upsides to the platform and too many things you can do with it. Plus, WordPress has the same values as I do.

It’s inclusive, open, available to everyone, has no barriers to entry and can be anything you want it to be.

That’s my kind of platform!

If you love WordPress but would prefer more productivity and fewer frustrations, check out ZipWP. It could be the solution you’ve been looking for!

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6 comments
  1. Andrés González Profile Pic
    Andrés González

    A very cool post! I share the same love / hate feeling but I must say that thanks to Brainstorm’s high quality products I fall more in love with the power of wordpress every day.

    Thanks guys for continuing to make awesome things for wordpress

  2. leszek Profile Pic

    Nice -I agree , WP has many pluses and it overcomes minuses!
    When something goes wrong -the dance starts, but it concerns
    everything.
    Thx for your contribution.

  3. Massimo Profile Pic

    The most serious lack of WordPress is the absence of an integrated tool to manage fields, such as that of Drupal Core. In Wp there are various plugins but getting them to work is very challenging.

  4. Jula Profile Pic

    Hi,
    I already signed upIn for ZIPWP about month ago? Did not hear from anybody. Years ago I could design website and didn’t have to worry for any updates. Website will probably run today if I don’t get crazy ideas to go with the flow. Unfortunately now I hardly moving. I will never get to finishing point since it’s pointless.

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