Before we get started, this does not mean WordPress is dead, or even dead in our opinions. WordPress certainly has its advantages, but those advantages were not enough to lock us in. Here’s why.
WordPress has built its reputation on SEO and for good reason. With the add-ons and plugins available to it, you can really do a lot. Throw in its automatic ping for each post and you might think you're set. But is that really all there is to SEO? Of course not.
There are many things that go into optimizing a site for search engines. Yes meta-data is important, as is submitting your site to the major search engines. But there's so much more involved these days. From submitting your site to Google Places, making sure you maintain your Google Webmaster Tools accounts, writing relevant keyword dense articles, marking up your site according to proper HTML5 syntax, to using proper schema data, to creating a great user experience, tieing in all your relevant social media accounts, or even making your site properly responsive – there is no single Content Management System that has a monopoly on SEO power.
The bottom line is you need a strong team that is knowledgable in all of the afforementioned areas to grow your company. We're proud to say that with a strong team and renewed focus on placing our clients at the top of the search rankings that our websites will become routine in the future.
Above all else this was the final straw in our blog experience with WordPress, even though this is one of its main selling points. Like anyone else, we try to stay up-to-date. Just one look at my shopping bags from the 4th of July holiday, and you’ll see just how badly I try to keep up with the styles.
So in the spirit of keeping up with what’s new, we used WordPress’s easy one-click update. We did not expect this to happen:
That’s our old blog’s home page, where did all the entries go? This is what happens when you have too much faith in your platform and trust that their easy one-step process will work. Things break. The WordPress platform is built around that trust.
Meanwhile, the rest of this site has gone through three versions of ExpressionEngine with no issues.
WordPress is made to give the normal web user and entry level developer as many tools at their disposal as they would need when setting up a normal site or blog. There is nothing wrong with that.
So what do I mean better scalability? Take this very blog for example. When we built the rest of the site, we did not incorporate Twitter’s card meta data. Being at the forefront of things, we’d like to incorporate that into our site.
After a quick search, we find that with WordPress we're lead to believe we’d have to install a new plugin. Really? Why should our clients need to know how to do this? What if they have the same experience as we did with WordPress’s “easy” one-click update?
We feel our sites should be easier to update and more reliable.
If there’s one thing our clients ask for when we hand off a site to them, it’s that they can update the site without breaking it. If you’ve been reading up to now, you’ll notice that is the theme of this post. If you’ve been a client, you’ve noticed that is a passion of mine.
Each time we do this we offer our clients a full training session. Then we show them the first page to update and they know immediately that this session won’t take long. With ExpressionEngine (or Craft when we use it) you will have only what you need to update right in front of you. Nothing more, nothing less.
You won’t be able to accidentally break things, nor accidentally turn your site off. Rather you will make an easy update, click submit and be on your way.
Lots and lots of spam. Any WordPress admin knows this. In fact, we performed a nice experiment. We did the unthinkable and hid our blog from Google.
Something strange happened. Our spam stopped. Almost immediately and with full totality. For the last two weeks we wanted to test apples to apples and left this blog to be indexed by Google, while letting the original WordPress blog back into the Google Index.
This was our result:
After Google picked the WordPress blog back up, we received 167 comments in two weeks. All spam. On our new blog system? Zero spam.
WordPress is not the worst thing you could be using. It’s far from that. It has a lot of redeeming qualities actually. But the fact is that it is not the end-all-be-all blogging or content management system, nor is it even the end-all-be-all for SEO. There are many great systems out there running in many different languages, but we have decided that in order to give our clients the best, most reliable and most secure experiences, WordPress was not the answer.
We know you have something to say about this, so please, join our conversation in the comments below.