In our digital-happy world, news travels at breakneck speed. “Thought leaders” and “experts” are around every corner, with advice sprinkled with untruths, half-truths, exaggerations and over-promises.
We hear something and we believe it. Someone posts or tweets or puts it up on Facebook. Then a keynoter at a conference throws it in and, bam, it’s an accepted fact.
I’m sorry to say, my friends, but WordPress is no different. Here are 5 myths I hear over and over again.
1. Your choices are between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
This is major confusion for the beginner. We are led to believe that our blog will be on one these two sites. So we research and after visiting WordPress.org, we wonder: where do I put my blog?
It’s time to clear the air. It’s WordPress.com vs. a self-hosted WordPress site. This means you will either create a free blog on the platform WordPress.com or you will purchase hosting somewhere, for example, HostGator, and install the WordPress software there (the software that resides on WordPress.org.)
We have talked about this here before, and you can learn more about the pros and cons of each option here.
2. WordPress is only for blogs
Sure, that’s where it started. And yes, the way WordPress is designed, it’s the best blogging platform out there. But you can also create a stand-alone website with WordPress. Can you use the features like categories and tags without having a blog? Yes, of course.
The beauty of a blog is fresh content for both your readers and the search engines. But if you don’t have time to keep up a blog, well, WordPress can help you create that dynamic website.
3. The more plugins you have, the slower your site
This can be true, especially if you have dozens of plugins. But I’m a true believer in quality vs. quantity. It’s not so much the number of plugins, but the plugin itself.
On my own site, I have what most people would consider too many plugins. But I have tested, deleted, installed new ones and found the one’s that do the job without sacrificing speed.
There are a lot of great plugins, and a lot of crappy ones. And if you really want to know if any plugin is compromising your load speed, check out this plugin to measure it (yes, a plugin that actually test other plugins— and by GoDaddy, if you can believe it).
4. WordPress is a CMS, so you have total control
One of the shiny buttons that attract so many people to WordPress is the CMS (Content Management System). This means you can easily add or change content, including pages, posts and media.
But wait, can’t you also change the font, the headers, the colors? Maybe.
The problem here is that, depending on your theme, there may be limitations. And in that case, the only solution would be to understand CSS or PHP. And exactly what you need to do to manage this content, well, that’s another ball of wax. Which leads me into…
5. WordPress is so easy my 90-year-old grandmother can build and manage a blog
Not so fast. As with any software, there is a learning curve. Yes, it’s fairly easy to get a very simple blog up but still, you need certain skills.
It’s no different than a writer saying, “Publish a book! Anyone can do it!”. When it comes to learning WordPress, there are just so many variables.
- What does your blog need to do?
- What do you want it to look like?
- Are you comfortable with technology?
- Did it take you a few days to even understand how to create new folders on your desktop computer?
Basically, it’s different strokes for different folks.
So, there you have it.
What has been your experience with WordPress?
Were you a victim of any of these myths?