Myths Debunked On Why Large Companies Use Custom Designed WordPress Sites

Why WordPress and Why It Is The Premier Content Management System For Websites

By Jaclyn Sorese

WordPress is well known for use in small to medium sized businesses. However, there are many myths and misconceptions about using WordPress Content Management Systems (CMS) for high traffic websites or large organizational enterprise companies.

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In This Article We Will Cover:

  1. Examples of established and successful brands that use WordPress.
  2. Myths that WordPress is not safe or secure for major corporations websites.
  3. Myths that WordPress is slow or cannot handle too many database queries or high traffic.
  4. Myths that WordPress is not scalable for big user websites.
  5. Why building custom WordPress themes is a better option than, particularly in terms of functionality, if you are looking for a unique non-cookie cutter stock themed website.
  6. The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) benefits to using HTML5 responsive WordPress sites.
  7. Is the WordPress CMS Platform and right fit for your business or company?

1) Why Do Well Established Brands Choose Custom WordPress Websites?

Even Matt Cutts from Google, a guru in the web optimization industry, has a personal blog built in WordPress.  Matt mentions that roughly only 4% of websites are mobile friendly.  On the other hand though, Matt mentions that Google can now crawl mobile sites in addition to desktop or laptop sites.  He talks about the famous search engine news website called  Search Engine Landwhich is also constructed via WordPress and created by Danny Sullivan.  Here are just a few extremely reputable sites that use WordPress:

Search Engine Land

Search Engine Land has millions of visitors each month and currently over 20,000 pages indexed by Google.  Search Engine Land has a completely custom built website in WordPress platform along with custom plugins and widgets made by their team of developers.

WordPress has allowed Google to crawl basically all responsive websites on nearly every device, be it laptop, desktop, tablet or mobile device.  Search Engine Land’s services and website, with their optimized themes, can be viewed from anywhere.  The below screenshot illustrates this concept very well:

  Search-Engine-Land-wordpress-site-Screenshot

Vab Media had the opportunity to speak with one of the developers from Third Door Media which is the organization that developed and maintains Search Engine Land.  We had a lengthy discussion with an executive’s experience with WordPress for her company. This was really exciting and Michelle Robbins, Vice President of Technology, had many insights to share with us.

“I don’t believe in ‘one size fits all’ solutions.”  Each business needs to consider its feature needs, overall site goals and ability to support a platform on an ongoing basis. For enterprise level sites and businesses, if considering an open source platform – especially one like WordPress that is known not only for it’s ease of use and large community of plugin developers but also for its ongoing security flaws – the factors that go into the decision will be different than for your average personal/mommy-blogger site.

First and foremost to consider are available resources – having access to internal resources to maintain the platform security, as well as having the resources available to immediately address any breaches/hacks. The open nature of WordPress – the ease of adding unvetted plugins by non-technical users, combined with the ease of exploiting plugin and platform weaknesses – make it a vector for attacks. And as with any platform, a site is only as secure as the weakest password of a given user. We’ve experienced this firsthand at our own sites, but we also have the resources in place to prevent, detect and immediately address any problems.”

TechCrunch

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TechCrunch has had a CMS WordPress based platform for several years and is extremely satisfied with its performance.  TechCrunch has millions of visitors each month and is a trusted technology news website.  What does TechCrunch have to say about WordPress?  Let’s hear from Dave Feldman of TechCrunch:

”One of my favorite things about WordPress is its extensibility. We’re on the same platform today as yesterday, but have built new tools for writers and editors. Featured and pinned articles get expiration dates, so editors don’t have to go back and manually un-feature things. Selecting a post layout is as simple as clicking a button. Automated resizing of images means faster load times and fewer distorted photos. And choosing which articles go on the homepage is a single-click affair.”

 GE Reports

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General Electric (GE) is a dynamic established company so if they are using WordPress, you cannot go wrong.  GE Reports is GE’s primary press and news release website and built on WordPress.  The platforms used are the Google FeedProxy, jQuery, jQuery Validate, SWFObject, Typekit and Feedburner.

American Express Open Forum

American-Express-wordpress-site-Screenshot

American Express is one of the most renowned financial companies in this world. They have also selected WordPress to run their Open Forum Community portal.  American Express has an extremely reliable open forum website containing business information geared towards helping card members with business and marketing tips.

2) Myth – WordPress Is Not Secure Or Safe For Large Businesses

No one is ever going to be 100% safe on the Internet.  All different types of websites can get attacked or hacked. Just take a look at the following companies that have been victims to these issues:

  • CitiGroup (2011)

  • Google (2009, 2011, 2012)

  • Lockheed Martin (2011)  (US’s largest weapons manufacturer)

  • Sony PlayStation (2011)

  • Zappos.com (2012)

As a result of these of these Internet hacks and invasions, most of these huge companies have whole divisions and dedicated teams focusing exclusively on preventing information stored on the Internet from being stolen.  Most of these sites were not WordPress-based when the attacks happened so myths that WordPress is not safe is an ambiguous statement and not true. The WordPress platform can be an easy target of attacks from hackers (to inject links, malware, etc) but this is only if you do not stay updated and take steps to prevent calamities from happening.

The biggest culprit of Internet hacking on WordPress is more than likely WordPress plugins.  So, how does one navigate and avoid the plugin issue?  It’s certainly not the easiest thing in the world but it can be done, especially if you call Vab Media to assist you in the debunking of the plugin process or to help you choose the safest and most trusted plugins.  As Yoast SEO plugin creator, Joost de Valk, dictates: “The biggest hacking threat is not WordPress itself, it’s all the plugins. Plugins run with administrator rights on your site. Only use plugins by people that you trust.”  If your developer is not looking out for this, don’t use the plugin. This mecca of knowledge also mentions three sources to look at, in the event a professional is unable to view your computer or mobile device:

  • When was the plugin last updated? The later the better.  Pay careful attention to WordPress users ratings
  • What is the plugins average rating?  A bad rating is not good.
  • What does the plugin’s changelog indicate?  Are those new versions reliable?

Another security issue that is helpful is to regularly change your password to every administrator and content contributor every few weeks.

If you want to learn even more about all the possible WordPress security myths , we have included an informative article from Pro Blogger that covers a list of 10 security myths.

Again Vab Media would like to reiterate that there are many myths surrounding WordPress, but all of those myths are just myths. One of the major myths is that it is not secure, but there are many security measures that can be taken by developers and yourself, and even hosting companies, that will make it nearly impossible for your website to get hacked. At Vab Media, we take all these considerations into account when building a website for you. We love using WordPress because it allows us to add components that already exist and are highly rated to make your website as functional and as up to date as the hottest website around.

3) Myth- WordPress Can Be Slow If Too Many Users Visit The Site Or If There Is A Large Quantity Of Database Queries:

Hosting your site on private server can solve a lot of security and site speed issues. For bigger companies this is a must.  Paying $8 per month on GoDaddy (or the similar) for your hosting service won’t work for Fortune 500 companies, or any company for that matter.  If your website needs speed, unlimited bandwidth, storage and security so go with private hosting to eliminate these problems.  Last December  WordPress.com VIP, Automattic’s service (Techcrunch host’s their site with VIP) built for larger enterprise companies launched  WordPress.com Enterprise which is a more affordable version of the VIP.  So for huge companies that get tons of visits you don’t have to worry, you can scale your traffic on their cloud hosting, which delivers 100’s of millions of pageviews per day.

4) Myth- WordPress Is Not Scalable Enough For Large Organizations Or Big User Websites:

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Google Trends is a free search resource tool you can use to check to see what is currently trending or getting a lot of searches.  For a visual of the impact and increasing popularity and influence of WordPress, just reference the chart above to see this theory in action. Out of the three most popular CMS platforms, Drupal, Joomla, WordPress. Google trends shows that,  globally, WordPress gets more searches than other CMS systems.   As an open-source CMS, WordPress has impressive statistics:

  • Over 371 million users
  • Over 4.1 billion pages each month

WordPress is 100% scalable for a majority of  businesses. WordPress caters to smaller business websites as well as larger or massive websites.   As a business example, Vab Media likes to reference our own website.  Take a look at the Vab Media website, our portfolio and the websites we service.  Our clients, such as Van Heusen, are using WordPress to promote their products.

5) Why Building Custom WordPress Themes Is Better For Functionality And Making Your Site Unique to Avoid A Cookie Cutter Basic Theme:

An impressive website which will garner viewers cannot have a stock theme.   Sometimes themes aren’t coded correctly with the best standards for WordPress and when WordPress comes out with an update, you may experience conflicts if the theme isn’t updated as well.  This will also render aesthetic problems with your website.

A customized WordPress site allows Vab Media’s clients to get certain features.  A basic theme in WordPress does not give you this luxury.  As a business, your template frame is more desirable  if there is custom coding.  As a business, you also are looking for a personalized theme.  Those exclusive personalized elements are only available with a customized WordPress theme.  You are not limited. Vab Media can customize your website to perfection while keeping your business goals in mind.  We also want your website to be customer friendly.  A custom design will make it easy for your clients to ask questions and help them understand the benefits of your products.

6) SEO Benefits To Using HTML5 Responsive WordPress Sites

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Vab Media has created a growing number of responsive design websites for our clients especially with the emergence of  mobile and tablet devices.  For example,  as mobile integration has become crucial to many industries’ business goals and objectives, we have ensured that our clients have websites that provide this essential need.   More and more people are using smartphones to search for things they want to buy.  Whether people are using their phones for research, price checking, store or product review or actual purchases Vab Media has you covered.  All of this research points to your website not being compliant with mobile guidelines.  Therefore, you are hurting your business and possibly getting your search rankings downgraded from Google or Bing.

Is your website mobile optimized friendly? Recently responsive design has become the norm, and this is not limited to WordPress. Vab Media loves the way we can develop any website and have it be HTML5 and be responsive.

Recently, the 2012 theme built by WordPress is responsive, which means it resizes according to the browser, even the menu toggles to a smaller size. Responsive web design is the new trend in web design and the Internet, with more people using mobile devices to browse the web for services, restaurants or products on the web.

7) Is The WordPress CMS Platform The Right Fit For Business Or Personal Use?

No matter what CMS platform you choose to develop a website, the designer or developer cannot take shortcuts when it comes to front-end and back-end coding while setting up a solid information architecture and usability interface.

For most businesses WordPress can be a perfectly adequate platform to use, provided you have competent designers and administrators monitoring it on a monthly basis.  Of course. there are many companies with goals that do not align with what WordPress can provide.  If you are a major e-commerce company, like Ebay or Amazon, than using an e-commerce CMS like Magento or a custom platform might be much more suited. If you huge social media news site like Mashable with unlimited resources and staff than a more complex platform like Ruby on Rails might be a better fit to run on the back-end of your website.  Ask yourself a few questions about your business:

  • What do you want to achieve with your website?
  • Are you planning on selling any products online?
  • Do you want to showcase your services?
  • What is your showcase and target market?
  • How many users do you expect or want to visit to your site?

Our Development Capabilities

Vab Media can create and build custom websites for any type of industry or business.  Vab Media’s “built from scratch” approach will be catered to what your company is looking to optimize. We can custom code your new and innovative website in a partial or completely HTML, PHP, HTML5 or CSS3 mode.  We can also have your website built on a CMS, such as Drupal, Magento or WordPress, to arrange for easier management of content, leads and visitor engagement.

 

  • Jaclyn Sorese
    Jaclyn Sorese Technical Writer and Financial Bookkeeper

    Jaclyn is our technical writer and financial bookkeeper. She developed our business plan, prepared our taxes, as well as our profit/loss and cashflow statements. Jaclyn assists in determining client budgets while monitoring any variance to plan fluctuations. With years of experience effectively developing and implementing Chart of Accounts (COAs), Legal Entities (LEs) and General Ledgers (GLs), this makes her an update point of contact particularly considering her vast familiarity with data analysis products such as Salesforce, Oracle, SAP and Google Analytics. Jaclyn is responsible for planning, developing and delivering sales and presentation proposals and materials- including client Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and Requests for Information (RFIs), mostly pertaining to finalizing documents and contracts. She is a cum laude Duke University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science combined with heavy concentrations in Mathematics and Physics She comes from a very strong financial and marketing background having worked for several Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric, American Express, John Hancock and Honeywell– spanning various different industries. She has been working with Vab Media since September of 2011. Contact her at 203-912-0386.

Recent Posts
  • Erik Meadows

    Great blog! I never knew that plugins could be such a safety issue. I have used WordPress sites exclusively and love how easy they are to customize and look the way I want them to look! Thanks for such great information, as usual!

  • Preaching to the choir.

  • Andrew Broadbent

    Thanks lot Erik and Adriel for reading our latest blog and visiting our website.

  • Pingback: Social Media – My View on – Blogging | Jo Ann Fitzgerald's Professional Blog()

  • techgarage

    Thanks for the article! =)

  • Andrew Broadbent

    Thank Jaclyn for writing this.

  • hi. is wordpress work well when you have more than 500000 post ?

  • hi. is wordpress work well when you have more than 500000 post ? please mail me your answer . thanks

  • Jaime Wells

    Can you provide examples of public companies using WP as their main website? I’m trying to figure out if there are any regulatory obstacles to using WP. I am in the mining industry, I love WP, but I’ve not seen a single mining company and only one O&G company use it.

  • Great piece for company / firm owners

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