WordPress.org is growing in the enterprise, used across every major industry nowadays. Unfortunately, major businesses still bypass WordPress because of its reputation as a small business or independent blogging platform. In recent years, dedicated WordPress managed hosting platforms have evolved. We migrated to Flywheel for Martech Zone and have been ecstatic with the results.
There are pros and cons of utilizing WordPress in the Enterprise. I’d liken the WordPress experience to racing. You have a car (WordPress), driver (your staff), your engine (themes and plugins), and your racetrack (your infrastructure). If any one of these elements is lacking, you lose the race. We have watched many large companies fail with a WordPress migration and blame WordPress; however, we’ve never seen the actual issue be WordPress.
The Pros of WordPress for Enterprise
- Training – If you need any assistance, WordPress.org has a ton of resources, Youtube has a ton of videos, there are training programs throughout the web, and Google results in millions of articles. Not to mention our own WordPress articles, of course.
- Ease of Use – While it may not be simple at first for customization, for producing content WordPress is a snap. Their editor is incredibly robust (although it bothers me that h1, h2, and h3 headings and subheadings still haven’t made it into the code).
- Access to Resources – Searching for other CMS development resources can be a real challenge, but with WordPress they’re everywhere. Warning: That can also be a problem… there are a lot of developers and agencies that develop very poor solutions out there for WordPress.
- Integrations – If you’re trying to add forms or integrate virtually anything, you’ll typically find the productized integration in WordPress first. Do a search of the authorized plugin directory or a site like Code Canyon, there’s not much you won’t find!
- Customization – WordPress’ themes, plugins, widgets, and custom post types offer an infinite amount of flexibility. WordPress works hard to have a series of APIs that encompass every aspect of the platform.
The Cons of WordPress for Enterprise
- Optimization – WordPress is good out of the box when it comes to search engine optimization, but it’s not great. They’ve recently added sitemaps to their Jetpack plugin, but it’s just not as robust as Yoast’s SEO plugins.
- Performance – WordPress lacks database optimization and page caching, but you can easily make this up by utilizing a Managed WordPress Host. I would require any solution to have automated backups, page caching, database tools, error logs and virtualization to ensure your success.
- Internationalization (I18N) – WordPress documents how to internationalize your themes and plugins, but lacks the ability to integrate localized content to the system. We’ve implemented WPML for this and had success.
- Security – When you’re powering 25% of the web, you’re a huge target for hacking. Again, some of the managed hosting offers automated plugin and theme updates when security issues arise. I’d highly recommend building child themes so that you can continue to update your supported parent theme to avoid putting your site at risk with a theme that can’t be updated.
- Code Base – Themes are often developed for a great design, but lack sophisticated development for speed, optimization, and customization. It can be downright aggrevating how poorly both plugins and themes are developed. We often find ourselves rewriting functionality in themes (another reason to use child themes).
- Backups – WordPress offers a paid solution, VaultPress for offsite backups but I’m surprised at how many companies don’t realize that it’s not a feature out of the box and needs to be provided by your host or an additional service.
WordPress is making strides with medium and large-sized businesses, here are some stats from Pantheon.