Welcome to the Treehouse Community

Want to collaborate on code errors? Have bugs you need feedback on? Looking for an extra set of eyes on your latest project? Get support with fellow developers, designers, and programmers of all backgrounds and skill levels here with the Treehouse Community! While you're at it, check out some resources Treehouse students have shared here.

Looking to learn something new?

Treehouse offers a seven day free trial for new students. Get access to thousands of hours of content and join thousands of Treehouse students and alumni in the community today.

Start your free trial


Nicholas Olsen
Nicholas Olsen
Front End Web Development Techdegree Student 19,342 Points

When is Wordpress really appropriate?

I'm helping at work with the website that they have up, and I'm finding it to be quite a chore. The website is stuck on an ooold version of Wordpress, it has quite a few plugins some of which aren't being updated by the original developer anymore. The guy that was "the web guy" before me has been too busy to keep it updated and frankly he doesn't have the knowledge that he needs.

I'm getting ready to do some freelancing and I've been considering the services I'd like to provide. One thing I'm dreading a bit is running into these badly maintained Wordpress installations - which has got me thinking when is it really appropriate to use wordpress for a clients website?

It seems like a bad idea to set up a wordpress website and leave it to get stale and fragile. It also seems like a bad idea to let the client keep it updated themselves if they don't have knowledge of wordpress or git, the ability to test the website on a staging server before putting it live, etc

It seems like another alternative is to advise that they have somebody (me) check up on things once a month or so for a fee.

What has been your experience with this? What is the best solution?

1 Answer

I try to avoid Wordpress whenever possible, unless of course the business or person is wanting a blog. It just makes the website a lot faster and less complex if it does needs an update or something needs modified. Not to mention most shared hosting isn't really fast enough or has enough memory for multiple plugins.

Most of the time you don't have to worry about a new version of Wordpress breaking the website, however in your case it might actually break since it's so old. It's my personal opinion that Wordpress itself is getting a little dated. Especially with things like Node.js and Ghost. It seems that people use Wordpress to create a website, but really if you don't need a blog it's somewhat unnecessary, and that was in the beginning, the whole point of Wordpress.

I'd say start over and try to keep their content and links. You could do Wordpress again but that'd be up to you I suppose. Whichever you feel is easier. Sometimes a Wordpress theme can be faster to setup than a static website, although if you were to buy a theme, Wordpress themes are the more expensive. Another thing to consider is security. Wordpress is a popular CMS and therefore can be opened up to vulnerabilities and attacks through plugins, themes, PHP vulnerabilities, etc. If the website is critical you really have to stay on top of that.

I'd start over with a static website if they are not doing any blogging or eCommerce. However, Wordpress is sort of an easy way for the client to create content on their own. If that's something they are wanting, then you might explain in the long run Wordpress will be a little higher cost to maintain. Charging a fee every 3 months to maintain a Wordpress website should be sufficient.

Something to also consider is SEO. It's said that static websites sometimes rank better than Wordpress. However, you might want to try something like Squarespace for this project. Depending on the client's needs (and of course their budget), it's most times all they need, and updates would be handled by Squarespace. You'd be able to move quickly onto the next project which might be more worthy of your attention and hard work. I've also listed some other alternatives below.

Database-free Site Generators