We covered this subject a few years ago in our original post “Problems with WordPress websites” and we have updated this post to reflect any changes that have taken place recently.

If you are looking to get a new website developed for your business and have been told that WordPress is the best solution, before you make up your mind, type “problems with WordPress websites” into a Google search bar and take a look at some of the posts on the page.

Most of these posts have been written by WordPress developers advising ways of solving some of the issues that are inherent in WordPress. We take a look at some of the main problems below and itemise the pros and cons of WordPress compared to a bespoke website build. This will provide you with all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.

WordPress provides a good platform for building websites but like any other open source software it is not perfect and does have its problems:
  • Because it is a well-known platform security can be compromised, hackers and robots can easily find WordPress websites to attack
  • WordPress regularly release security updates to fix security holes
  • These security updates can break a website so the agency will have to continuously monitor your site and fix any issues that appear, billing you for the work
  • The website hosting server will need constant surveillance to monitor security updates
  • Plug-ins written by multiple third-party developers can break or conflict with other plug-ins installed
  • The quality of these plug-ins varies and there is limited support if you need to change them
  • Installing a large number of plug-ins can slow your site down and speed is now one of the most important factors for users and SEO
  • Some WordPress developers have limited coding/programming skills because, in theory, these skills are not needed
  • Lack of originality; your website will look like many other WordPress websites
  • License fees for themes and some plug-ins can add to the cost.

WordPress started out as a blogging platform. It was not meant for developing multiple page websites with extra functionality.  This is why you need a plug-in for every additional feature.

This does not mean that WordPress websites are sub-standard. Providing your web agency has the skills and knowledge to maintain your website and keep it secure and has the experience to choose the best quality plug-ins that do not conflict with each other, a WordPress website can provide a cost-effective build option. However, you need to consider ongoing costs for maintenance.

Bespoke website design or WordPress?


Your decision will depend on factors such as budget, what you want your website to achieve and how unique some of the features are.

Advantages of using a WordPress theme:
  • You get an off the shelf design that is mobile ready which can save time and money
  • Content is easily inserted into the website to match the design theme
  • Design themes can be sourced from a variety of providers; some are free but others are governed by a license fee
  • A wide variety of plug-ins are available to provide additional functionality, some are free, others you have to pay for
  • Open source platform that is well known.

Ideal if you want a website using a design theme and a standard set of plug-ins and you don’t need unique development in the future.

If your developer has coding/programming skills they can customise your WordPress site. However, if you want customisation, it can sometimes be more cost-effective to opt for a bespoke website design.

Advantages of bespoke website design:
  • Unique design for your business
  • Features that are developed specifically for your business
  • Content Management System that is intuitive and easy to use
  • No need for security updates as the system is less likely to be attacked by hackers or robots
  • Secure and fast with no unnecessary Plug-ins slowing the site down
  • More control over the design and layout of your pages
  • Additional bespoke development can be added in the future, if required
  • No license fees.

Ultimately, like most things, you get what you pay for and it all boils down to the skill and experience of the agency you select.

Why Crystal Thought

At Crystal Thought, we build both WordPress and bespoke websites and have the coding/programming skills to develop a website that will meet your individual requirements. Whichever platform you choose we will help you to decide what will work best for your business.
Type the above phrase into a Google search bar and take a look at some of the posts on the page.
Most of these posts have been written by WordPress developers advising ways of getting around some of the issues that are inherent in WordPress, such as:
  • Security
  • Poor quality plugins
  • Software updates causing problems
  • Server needing constant surveillance
  • SEO limitations
  • Content management difficulties
There are advantages of using a WordPress theme. You get an off the shelf design that is “mobile ready” which can save time and money.

You may have to compromise on quality and your content will have to fit into the design theme that has been selected, but if you are on a tight budget, then this solution may suit you. Design themes can be sourced from a variety of providers; some are free but most have to be purchased.

Design theme costs
Most themes are governed by a licence fee and, depending on the provider there will be a one off payment or monthly cost for the use of the theme. One source of themes is Envatomarket’s Themeforest. They offer two licence options (taken from their website):
  1. Regular licence (typically $59) - Use, by you or one client, in a single end product which end users are not charged for
  2. Extended licence (typically $2,950) - Use, by you or one client, in a single end product which end users can be charged for
If the end product, including the theme, is going to be free to the end user then a Regular License is what you need. An Extended License is required if the end user must pay to use the end product.

These themes take a considerable amount of time to develop and design, so agencies using these themes will have to pay to use them and will pass those costs on to their fee paying clients.

You may want to check with your developers how this cost is being passed on and that the theme they are using to build your website has been licensed for you.

Custom design and build or WordPress theme?
There are some initial questions you need to ask to help you decide which route to take:
  1. Do you want a design and custom built functionality that is unique to your business? Do you want your developers to understand your business and its requirements and design a website that is built around your content? Then you will want a custom design and build
  2. Are you happy to select a design theme that you can insert your content into? Do you mind if your website looks similar to a lot of other websites? Then a design theme may save some time and cost, depending on how much the licence fee is
At Crystal Thought, our preference is to build custom websites after meeting you to find out about your business, target audience and competitors. This way, you get a unique site that will meet the challenges of your business that also has the ability to grow as your business develops.

However, we understand there are times when a design theme will work well for a business and with this in mind we have developed a selection of design themes customers can choose from. The advantage of developing our own themes are as follows:
  • Wordpress-problemsBetter security
  • Intuitive content management system
  • More stable and better build quality
  • Better control of the hosting and server maintenance
  • Mobile optimised
  • Improved SEO
  • No license fees
Call us to discuss your preferred option.

Mark Langston


Receive advice, tips and news straight to your inbox by signing up to our email newsletter.

Sign Up and receive our FREE "Guide to web design and online marketing" that will help improve and promote your website and increase conversion rates.

We never share your details with third parties and you can unsubscribe at any time.