Frequently Asked Questions about Choosing WordPress as a CMS

Since we field a lot of questions about WordPress, we thought we would start accumulating common questions and responses in a resource-type blog post. Check back from time to time for updates to this WordPress FAQ. Please note that there are 2 effective ways of implementing a WordPress website: using the hosted WordPress.com platform, or running a separate WordPress installation on a different host. WordPress.com is less flexible, but easier to maintain and is recommended for lightweight, simple websites. Our information below is more geared towards self-hosted WordPress installs that have more flexibility to do what businesses need.

Is WordPress scalable?

There are two ways most owners want a website to scale: the number of visitors the website can handle at any given time and the ability to expand in functionality. In terms of scale of visitors, WordPress is easily the most popular CMS of the top websites on the internet so it does scale to high traffic loads. Of the top million websites that use a CMS, WordPress powers 63.2%. No other CMS comes close. Along with a good website hosting company, WordPress can scale to very high levels of traffic.

WordPress is also in the lead on the scale of functionality front, with just under 20,000 plugins as of this post date. Those plugins offer components such as social media capabilities, eCommerce carts, forums and slick commenting systems; they allow integration with analytics, connect newsletters to websites, and much more. The rich ecosystem of programmers building onto WordPress keeps development standard instead of forcing the re-invention of the wheel when faced with new, but common challenges.

Is WordPress secure?

Just like Windows, Mac and other modern piece of software, WordPress is secure as long as you follow reasonable security practices and keep it up to date. If you’re interested in more information, read our blog post on WordPress security.

How does WordPress compare to other popular open source CMS’s?

The 3 most popular open source CMS platforms are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. To illustrate their current online prevalence…Of those same top million websites referenced above that are using a CMS (where WP is at 63.2%), Joomla is at 11.1%, Drupal at 8.8%, and it goes down rapidly from there. We used to develop websites in Joomla and before that in Mambo, but we found WordPress to be cleaner on the code side and easier to train our end customers on use. In general, Drupal comes with some community building functionality that would make it a better choice for a massively user-based platform. WordPress is generally more intuitive and easier to train customers on use. That said, all 3 are good Content Management Systems.

Other questions?

There are many articles online that review WordPress on different fronts. When reviewing them, do make sure you pay attention to the date the article was written. Content Management Systems have been progressing fairly rapidly, and an article from 3 years ago just doesn’t accurately portray how they stack up now.

Do you have questions about using WordPress as a CMS? We’d be happy to add them to our post.