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WordPress Review: Best CMS & Self-Hosted Website Builder

In this review, we will take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of using WordPress as a CMS and self-hosted website builder, including its features, performance, scalability, and more. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced web developer, this review will help you understand whether WordPress is the right choice for your website.
Mohammed Wasim Akram
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Last Updated: December 23, 2022
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Welcome to our review of WordPress, the most popular content management system (CMS) and self-hosted website builder on the market.

In this post, we will dive into the features, pros, and cons of using WordPress to build and manage your website.

We will also touch on the history and evolution of WordPress, as well as its current market position and future outlook.

Whether you are a beginner looking for an easy-to-use platform to create your first website, or an experienced developer seeking a powerful and flexible solution for your clients, WordPress has something to offer.

In this review, we hope to provide you with a comprehensive overview of WordPress and help you decide if it is the right fit for your needs.

Introduction of WordPress

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that is used to create and manage websites. It was originally created as a blogging platform but has evolved to support a wide range of content types, including traditional websites, online stores, membership sites, forums, media galleries, and more.

As of October 2021, WordPress is used by 42.8% of the top 10 million websites, making it one of the most popular CMS solutions in use today.

WordPress was first released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg and English developer Mike Little, as a fork of the b2/cafelog software. It was released under the GPLv2 (or later) license, which allows users to freely modify and distribute the software.

WordPress is developed and maintained by the WordPress Foundation, a non-profit organization that owns the WordPress trademark and other related intellectual property. The Foundation is responsible for overseeing the development of WordPress and ensuring that it remains a free and open-source platform.

Since its launch, WordPress has grown significantly in popularity and has become one of the most widely used CMS platforms in the world.

It is used by individuals, small businesses, and large organizations alike to create and manage websites of all sizes and types. It is known for its ease of use, flexibility, and extensibility, which have made it a popular choice for website developers and content creators around the globe.

Main Features of WordPress

All of the features I listed are built-in and native to WordPress. These features are part of the core WordPress software and are available to all users out-of-the-box, without the need to install any additional plugins or extensions.

  • Post & Page Creation: WordPress allows users to create and manage posts and pages on their websites.
  • Media Management: WordPress has a media library where users can store and manage their images, videos, and other media.
  • User Management: WordPress allows users to create and manage different user accounts, including assigning different roles and permissions to each user.
  • Customization: WordPress has a customizable design system that allows users to choose from a variety of themes and customize the appearance of their website.
  • Responsive Design: WordPress themes are designed to be responsive, which means that they automatically adjust to fit different screen sizes and devices.
  • SEO: WordPress includes built-in features to optimize a website for search engines, such as customizable permalinks and the ability to add meta tags and descriptions.
  • Commenting System: WordPress has a built-in commenting system that allows users to leave comments on posts and pages.
  • Shortcodes: WordPress has a shortcode system that allows users to easily insert pre-defined blocks of code into their posts and pages.
  • Widget Support: WordPress allows users to add widgets to their website, which are small blocks of content that can be displayed in specific areas of a website, such as a sidebar or a footer.
  • Menu Management: WordPress allows users to create and manage website navigation menus.
  • Revisions: WordPress has a revision system that allows users to view and restore previous versions of their posts and pages.
  • Automatic Updates: WordPress includes the ability to automatically update the core software, themes, and plugins to ensure that the website is always up-to-date and secure.
  • Multisite Support: WordPress allows users to create and manage multiple websites from a single installation of the software.
  • User-Friendly Editor: WordPress has a user-friendly editor that makes it easy for users to create and edit their content.
  • Import & Export Tools: WordPress includes tools to import and export content from other websites or content management systems.
  • REST API: WordPress includes a REST API that allows developers to create custom integrations and build custom applications using WordPress data.
  • Embed Support: WordPress allows users to easily embed content from other websites, such as YouTube videos or Twitter posts, into their own content.
  • Password-Protected Content: WordPress allows users to create password-protected pages and posts, which can only be accessed by users with the correct password.
  • Custom Permalink Structures: WordPress allows users to create custom permalink structures, which control how URLs are displayed for posts and pages on a website.

However, it's important to note that WordPress is a highly customizable and extensible platform, and users can add additional functionality to their websites using plugins and themes.

There are thousands of plugins and themes available for WordPress, which can add a wide range of additional features and functionality to a website.

Some examples of additional features that can be added to WordPress using plugins include:

  • E-commerce functionality
  • Contact forms
  • Social media integration
  • SEO tools
  • Event management
  • Google Analytics integration
  • LMS (Learning Management System) functionality

And many more. These additional features are not part of the core WordPress software but can be easily added to a website using plugins or themes.

Best Features of WordPress

Explore the best features of the WordPress content management system and understand why they are the best features of this platform.

Post & Page Creation

On WordPress, posts and pages are the two main types of content that can be created and published on a website.

Posts are typically used for regular updates and news-style content and are displayed in reverse chronological order (with the most recent posts appearing first). Posts are typically organized by categories and tags, which allow users to easily group and find related content.

Pages, on the other hand, are used for static content that is not time-sensitive and is meant to remain on the site indefinitely.

Examples of pages include "About" pages, "Contact" pages, and "Privacy Policy" pages. Pages are not typically organized by categories and tags like posts are and are instead displayed in a hierarchy based on their parent-child relationship.

Users can easily create and manage both posts and pages on WordPress using the built-in editor, which allows them to add text, images, and other media to their content. They can also schedule posts to be published at a later date, or save drafts of their content for later editing.

In addition to creating and publishing content, WordPress also provides tools for managing and organizing it, such as the ability to schedule posts, set up custom permalinks, and manage revisions.

These features make it easy for users to create and maintain a professional-looking website with regularly updated content.

Media Management

The media library on WordPress is a central location where users can store and manage all the media files used on their websites, such as images, videos, audio files, and documents.

This makes it easy for users to find and reuse media files across different pages and posts on their website, without having to upload the same file multiple times.

In the media library, users can view and organize their media files by type, date, and other metadata, and can also search for specific files using keywords.

They can also edit the metadata of their media files, such as the title, caption, and description, which can be used to improve the search engine optimization (SEO) of their website.

Users can easily add media to their content using the built-in media uploader, which allows them to select files from their computer or other devices, and automatically inserts them into their content.

They can also insert media from other sources, such as YouTube videos or Instagram images, by simply adding the URL to their content.

In addition to storing and managing media, WordPress also provides tools for editing and optimizing media files, such as the ability to crop and resize images and to generate multiple sizes of the same image for different devices and screen sizes.

These features make it easy for users to create professional-quality media for their websites.

User Management

The user management feature on WordPress allows website administrators to create and manage different user accounts for their website, and to assign different roles and permissions to each user.

This can be useful for websites with multiple authors or contributors, or for websites that need to manage access to different areas of the site.

There are several different user roles available on WordPress, including administrator, editor, author, contributor, and subscriber.

Each role has its own set of permissions, which determine what actions users can perform on the website. For example, administrators have full control over the website and can create and manage content, change settings, and manage other users, while subscribers have limited access to features and permissions.

In addition to the built-in user roles, WordPress also allows users to create custom roles and customize the permissions of each role. This can be useful for websites that need to customize their access controls to fit their specific needs.

Overall, the user management feature on WordPress makes it easy for website administrators to manage access to their website, and to ensure that users have the right permissions to perform the tasks they need to do.

Customization

WordPress offers a wide range of customization options through its theme system, which allows users to change the look and feel of their website without altering the core code or content.

Themes are pre-designed templates that provide a set of stylistic choices for the website, including layout, color scheme, and font options.

Users can choose from a variety of free themes available in the WordPress theme directory, or purchase premium themes from marketplaces or individual developers.

In addition to themes, WordPress also has a plugin architecture that allows users to extend the functionality of their website with custom features and integrations.

Plugins are small pieces of software that can be easily installed and configured from within the WordPress dashboard, and they can add features such as contact forms, SEO tools, and e-commerce functionality to the website.

With its flexible customization options, WordPress is a powerful platform that can be tailored to meet the needs of almost any type of website.

Custom Permalink Structures

Custom permalink structures on WordPress allow users to customize how URLs are displayed for posts and pages on their website.

This feature allows users to create URLs that are more user-friendly and easier to remember, as well as to optimize URLs for search engine optimization (SEO).

For example, users can create custom permalink structures that include the title of the post or page, the date of publication, and/or a custom string of characters.

This feature can be accessed and configured from the WordPress dashboard under the "Permalinks" settings.

Custom permalink structures can help improve the user experience on a website, as well as for increasing the visibility of a website in search engine results.

REST API

The REST API is a feature of WordPress that allows developers to create custom integrations and build custom applications using WordPress data.

The REST API is built on top of the WordPress core, and it allows developers to create custom integrations and applications that can access and interact with WordPress data in several different ways.

The REST API is built using a set of standard HTTP methods, such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE, which allows developers to create custom integrations and applications that can access and interact with WordPress data using standard HTTP requests.

It also includes a set of endpoints that allow developers to retrieve, create, update, and delete WordPress data using these standard HTTP methods.

Some examples of how the REST API can be used include building custom WordPress-powered mobile apps, creating custom integrations with other software applications, or building custom WordPress plugins or themes that need to interact with external data sources.

Overall, the REST API is a powerful feature of WordPress that allows developers to build custom integrations and applications using WordPress data, and to extend the capabilities of WordPress in a wide range of different ways.

PROS of WordPress

Explore the good things about WordPress based on our personal experience and opinion after using it for multiple years for our businesses.

WordPress is a Free & Open-Source Content Management System

There are so many reasons to use WordPress to build your website but according to me, the first and most important reason you should use WordPress is it costs zero dollars as it's absolutely free to use for everyone.

Usually free means low in quality but in this case, I would proudly say that even the best-paid website-building platforms in this world cannot defeat WordPress in terms of quality and capability of creating custom-crafted high-converting modern websites.

And the best part about WordPress is that it's an open-source platform which means anyone can update, enhance or contribute to making it better; therefore, WordPress is a platform that is growing in its capability every single moment.

There are thousands of people across the world who are contributing to this platform every single day to improve and enhance it so that people like you and I can take advantage of it to build better websites for our businesses.

WordPress is Easy to Learn Because of the Abundant of Free Resources Availability

Whether you want to build your business website using WordPress or you want to develop your career around WordPress, there are countless free resources available across the internet to help you learn basic to advanced stuff related to WordPress.

If you love reading text-based content, then you can easily find so many great websites and blogs that teach WordPress-related stuff.

Just to name a few:

Or if you prefer video content moreover text-based content then there are so many great YouTube channels that create super helpful content around WordPress.

For example:

WordPress Repository Has A Huge Number of Themes for Every Industry

If you ask me about WordPress Themes then I can tell you that there are thousands of themes available dedicated to almost every industry to build your perfect business website.

Therefore, if you want to build your business website without investing a lot of money, then you don't need to hire an expensive agency or developer as you just need to find a better theme from the WordPress Themes Repository that fits your needs, and you are good to go.

Apart from the WordPress Repository, there are so many reputed individual companies like MOJO Marketplace, ThemeForest, and Elegant Themes that create modern themes for different industries; thus if you are ready to invest a few bucks then you will find better, high-quality themes for your website.

Here are a few themes I personally like:

Also, if you are a little advanced WordPress user then you can create your own theme without touching a single line of code just using advanced theme & page builders like Elementor, Oxygen, Beaver Builder, or WP Bakery.

WordPress Repository Has Thousands of Plugins to Add New Website Functionalities

When you build a website for your business then you will understand that there are various features you are going to need to fulfill a particular need of your business which might require you to hire an expensive developer normally.

But if your website is on WordPress, then you don't need to stress about hiring an expensive developer to create the custom feature for you to accomplish your business goals, instead, you just need to find the right plugin, and it will alone enough to add the feature you need.

And the best part is that you can find multiple thousands of great free plugins on the WordPress repository alone dedicated to adding features related to almost every single industry out there.

Also, if you couldn't find a plugin that fits your need, then you also can head over to the most trusted marketplaces like CodeCanyon or Mojo Marketplace to find the plugin you need just by investing a few bucks which would cost you a lot less money as compared to hiring a developer.

WordPress is Easy to Customize So You Can Create Almost Any Type of Website

Personally, I haven't tried so many CMS platforms out there so whatever I am going to claim might be possible with other CMS platforms as well, but I know WordPress very well, and I have been using it for more than 5 years now.

And we have created multiple various types of websites for so many SMBs out there, also I personally have tested so many different things on WordPress, therefore, I can confidently say that WordPress is really a very easy CMS in terms of operating and customizing things.

Apart from that, I would also like to say that you can create almost any type of website on WordPress such as a business website, blog website, e-commerce website, social media website, forum website, membership website, and much more.

So when I chose WordPress for the first time then I never thought that it would be my primary source of income and since then I have never had to look back to find other alternative solutions as I can create almost any kind of website using WordPress.

WordPress Has a Huge Community Online So You Will Always Get Help in Need

If you are a curious person like me and love to test new things then you can definitely relate to whatever I am going to say now.

Testing new things and finding answers to different questions is so satisfying but in this kind of situation we always get stuck and at that time we need help and guidance from someone who already knows about this stuff but most of the time it is hard to find someone ready to help us.

And when you are testing new things on WordPress and finding answers to your questions, then you get yourself into the same situation as I mentioned above but in the case of WordPress, it is not that hard to find someone who can help us find our answers.

There are so many great blogs and YouTube channels out there that talk about WordPress all the time, also you can find so many super-helpful Facebook groups where people share their problems and other people are always ready to help them without even asking for anything in return.

My favorite FB Groups:

WordPress is SEO Friendly & Loved by All The Search Engines

Today if you go and search for something on Google you will find hundreds and thousands of results from different websites for that particular query and let me inform you that almost 50% of those results belong to WordPress websites.

Do you want to know the reason why so?

So let me tell you that it is because WordPress is an SEO-friendly CMS and there are so many customizations you can easily accomplish in terms of SEO if you want to improve your website's visibility in the search engines.

And that is the reason today most marketers prefer to use WordPress for their marketing effort as well as so many brands also use WordPress over any other CMS platforms out there just because it is an SEO-friendly CMS.

WordPress is Easy to Manage So You Don't Need to Be A Tech Guy to Manage Your Website

If you're scared of technical things, and you think that you cannot manage and handle your website then I would tell you that WordPress is really very easy to manage even for a kid.

Once you get your website ready by someone who can help you build your website then you have nothing much to do on your website, just learn how to create new posts and how to update the plugins and themes that are just a matter of a few clicks which takes no time to learn.

I highly recommend you read this blog post where I have shared the checklist to maintain a WordPress website. Once you read this carefully you will understand that even you can maintain and manage your website very easily.

WordPress is a Safe & Secure Website Building Platform

WordPress is a highly secured CMS out there as compared to any other platform, and you might be thinking that how is this possible when a platform like Wix, Weebly, and Shopify manage their entire platform and WordPress is an open-source platform?

So let me inform you that just because WordPress is an open-source platform, so whenever something suspicious activity happens related to any plugin, theme, or WordPress core itself you always get to know that, and you can take necessary steps to keep your website safe from that problem.

But when something wrong happens to the platforms like Wix, Weebly, and Shopify, then, you won't even get to know about that problem in the first place as they will try to keep that secret to save their brand reputation.

And the second thing is that even if you get to know about the problem, still you cannot do anything much other than pray as you do have not so much control over things if you are using one of these platforms like Wix, Weebly, and Shopify.

WordPress Supports Different Media Types To Make Your Website Visually Beautiful

WordPress is a platform that is well known for its versatility which I have already explained in one of the above sections, but it gets more interesting when you get to know that WordPress supports so many different types of media files to make it more worthy.

On WordPress, you can add obvious text files, but it also supports various multimedia (image & video) files such as JPEG, PNG, SVG, WEBP, MPEG-4, MOV, WMV, AVI, and much more, apart from that it also supports PDF files as well.

If you think that is not enough then let me tell you that it also supports media embedding from a different website such as YouTube, Facebook, or any normal website if they allow embedding their content.

WordPress Gives You Full Control Over Your Website

The more you get to know about WordPress, the more you will be impressed as it really has limitless possibilities in terms of control if you know your stuff properly.

If you build your website on WordPress, then you have full control to make your website however you want without any restriction as WordPress is like water, it changes its shape according to the utensil you put it in.

Also, if you pay for your hosting without missing and secure your website properly then after that even if you don't look at your website for years I assure you that it will be as it is. No one can take it away from you as it is your property, and you have full control over it.

CONS of WordPress

These are a few drawbacks and common issues that users may encounter while using WordPress. It is important to keep in mind that while WordPress is a powerful and popular platform, it is not perfect and there may be some limitations or challenges that users need to consider.

Some of the potential drawbacks, disadvantages, or CONS of WordPress include:

Dependency on Third-Party Themes & Plugins

One of the main disadvantages of using WordPress is that it is dependent on third-party themes and plugins to extend its functionality and add new features.

While this can be a useful way to quickly and easily add new functionality to a WordPress website, it can also be risky.

There is always the possibility that a third-party theme or plugin could have security vulnerabilities, bugs, or other issues that could cause problems for your website.

Additionally, there is a risk that a third-party theme or plugin could be abandoned by its developer, leaving you with a product that no longer receives updates or support.

To mitigate these risks, it's important to carefully research and evaluate any third-party themes or plugins before using them on your website and to keep them up to date to ensure that they are secure and compatible with the latest version of WordPress.

High Cost of Management

Although WordPress is free, and costs zero money. But there are a few potential drawbacks to consider when it comes to the cost of managing a WordPress website.

First, there may be costs associated with purchasing themes and plugins. While there are many free options available, premium themes and plugins often offer more advanced features and functionality that may be worth the investment.

Hosting fees can also be a factor in the cost of managing a WordPress website. Depending on the size and complexity of your site, hosting costs can vary significantly. It's important to carefully evaluate your hosting needs and choose a hosting plan that meets your budget and performance requirements.

Finally, the cost of hiring a developer can also be a factor in the overall cost of managing a WordPress website.

If you don't have the technical skills to build and maintain your website on your own, you may need to hire a developer to help with tasks such as customizing your site, fixing any issues that arise, and implementing new features.

This can add an additional cost to your website management budget but may be worth it if you don't have the time or expertise to handle these tasks yourself.

WordPress Can Be Impacted by Security Vulnerabilities

One of the main drawbacks of using WordPress is that it can be impacted by security vulnerabilities. This means that there is a risk of your website being hacked or targeted by cyber-attackers if you don't know how to properly secure your website.

In order to minimize this risk, it is important for users to regularly update their WordPress installations and plugins, as well as to use strong passwords and security measures such as two-factor authentication and implement security plugins or measures such as a web application firewall.

It's also advisable to regularly back up your website to protect against data loss in the case of a security breach or other unforeseen event.

It is also a good idea to keep an eye on any security alerts or patches released by WordPress and to implement them as soon as possible.

While it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of security vulnerabilities, being proactive in addressing them can significantly reduce the likelihood of your website being hacked.

Performance & speed Issues

One potential disadvantage of using WordPress is that the performance and speed of your website may not be optimal, depending on the hosting environment and the resources used.

For example, if you have a large number of users or a high volume of traffic on your website, it may take longer for pages to load or for certain actions to be completed. This can be frustrating for users and may impact the overall user experience.

It is important to note that the performance of a WordPress website can be affected by various factors, including the hosting environment, the resources used, and the design and functionality of the website.

Some common causes of slow performance on WordPress include using a low-quality or overloaded hosting provider, using resource-intensive themes or plugins, and having a large number of unoptimized images or other media on the website.

To improve the performance of a WordPress website, users can consider optimizing their media, using caching plugins, and choosing a reliable hosting provider with sufficient resources.

It may also be helpful to consult with a developer or performance specialist to identify any specific issues that may be affecting the website's performance.

Limited Native Control of Functionalities & Customization

While WordPress does offer a wide range of customization options, there are certain limitations to what can be achieved with the platform.

Some users may find that they are unable to achieve the exact look and functionality they desire with the native features of WordPress, and may need to seek out additional plugins or custom code to achieve their desired results.

This can be due to the limitations of the platform, or simply because their desired functionality is not a native feature of WordPress.

In these cases, users may need to rely on third-party plugins or custom code to achieve their desired functionality, which can add additional complexity and cost to the development and maintenance of their website.

Limited Scalability for Very Large & Complex Websites

It is important to note that while WordPress is a very popular and versatile platform, it is not designed to handle extremely large websites with a high volume of traffic and data in the same way that other specialized platforms may be able to.

This is because WordPress, like any software, has limitations in terms of its resources and capabilities.

For example, if a website has a large number of pages, posts, and media files, it may require more resources to manage and display this content.

Additionally, if a website receives a high volume of traffic, it may need more resources to handle the increased demand. In these cases, a website built on WordPress may experience slower performance or difficulty in handling the load, leading to a less satisfying user experience.

In these situations, users may want to consider alternative solutions that are specifically designed to handle large websites with a high volume of traffic and data.

These solutions may include dedicated servers, specialized content management systems, or other customized solutions.

Native Gutenberg Editor is Not So Powerful

One of the main drawbacks of WordPress is its native Gutenberg editor, as is that it can be confusing or overwhelming for users who are familiar with the classic editor or other page builders.

The block-based approach to content creation is different from the traditional method of using shortcodes or HTML to create custom layouts, and this can be difficult for some users to learn.

Additionally, the native Gutenberg editor has limited functionalities or customization options compared to other page builders or third-party Gutenberg addons.

While there are many high-quality 3rd party add-ons available, they may not be free and can add additional costs to the management of a WordPress website.

Ultimately, the native Gutenberg editor may not be suitable for users who require more advanced design or layout options for their content.

As a result, people may prefer to use third-party plugins or page builders like WP Stackable or Elementor to achieve the specific look and functionality they desire for their website.

Conclusion

In this blog post, I have covered everything about WordPress CMS, starting from its introduction, features, PROS, and CONS which can help you understand if WordPress is suited for you or not.

I know that I might not have covered everything in this blog post so if you think something is really important that is missing from this post then please let me know in the comment box.

Also if you're interested in learning more about the uncommon frequently asked questions around WordPress then consider checking out our another dedicated article here.

Apart from that, if you find this blog post helpful and valuable then please don't forget to share it with your community, so they also can take benefit from it.

Now if you want to create your DIY website then you could check my earlier posted illustrative tutorial where I have explained how to install a WordPress on Bluehost hosting which is one of my preferred and most used web hosting companies.

Also, if you are looking for someone who can build a website for your business then you can head over to SyncWin Services where we provide modern website-building services for small and medium-sized businesses.

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