There are pros and cons for both sides of website development, using an “out of the box” PHP platform such as WordPress or hiring a website developer to create your custom website has elements to examine before making your decision.
WordPress Design Features:
WordPress is free, but offers advanced customized features for a small extra fee. You have full-access to create your custom website with user-friendly building tools for webpages and blogging site pages. WordPress has an open-source blogging tool with a CMS (content management system), based on PHP with MySQL. If the opinion of the masses can sway your decision, there are 60 million websites using WordPress, including 18.9 percent of the Top-ten million best websites online today. As of February 3, 2014, WordPress version 3.8 (released December 12, 2013) has been downloaded over 16 million times.
WordPress is evaluated as an efficient and versatile platform, website templates use a template processor and features thousands of themes using PHP, CSS and HTML coding. Advanced features can be added or edited during or after the build. The versatility of WordPress allows customization and tailoring to the specific needs of your website using 26,000 thousand plug-ins available.
With the development of WordPress versions 3.0, 3.8 and WordPress MU – “Multi-user”, website owners can host their own blogging communities. New website features include a dashboard feature and eight new data tables for each blog. The administrator can control and moderate all blogs from a single dashboard.
WordPress’ last release in 2013, version 3.8, has an improved administrative interface. The main dashboard has been simplified and it has a better responsive design for mobile devices.
Vulnerabilities that have been addresses recently in WordPress 3.0 involved security issues. These issues were detected in systems that had not been upgraded. In June, 2013, 50 of the most downloaded WordPress plug-ins were subjected to common SQL injection and XSS Web attacks. Also, seven out of the ten Top e-commerce plug-ins were vulnerable to Web Attacks.
There are current remedies to prevent identified vulnerabilities to Web Attacks such as editing the site’s .htaccess file to prevent SQL injection, this also blocks sensitive files from being accessed.
Web Design Comparative:
From the side of affordablity, WordPress wins, the basic cost is Free and even with additional customization, the cost is much less than a standard fee for a professional web-designer set up. As the most used website and blogging site platforms on the Web today, WordPress is a proven platform for reliability and trustworthy service.
From the side of custom web design and individuality of presentation, professional web designers offer custom-looks that can surpassed the somewhat “cookie-cutter” looks of WordPress. No other website will have the custom looks a professional web designer can build according to your needs and specifications. Their custom layouts, size of designing elements, presentations using custom fonts, colors, highlights and shades, plus custom designed graphics will stand out to impress your customers.
Challenges of Using a Professional Website Developer:
The things about using a web designer is you really don’t know who is writing your code. They may be exaggerating their experience level and you wouldn’t know until problems develop. Even at the end of the build, you may not have what you asked for. Sometimes they know all the right words to say, but when it comes to the finished product, it will be lacking in comprehensive functionality.
For some people, taking a chance on a web designer is worth the price to get a more unique web design. In that case try to get referrals from people who have used this developer for their sites. Even with this recommendation, there is still a risk as you still have no way to confirm who wrote the coding for each application on your site.
Ultimately, WordPress services millions of website owners and takes responsibility to provide quick fixes if a problem develops. This serves as insurance that if your website has a problem you will experience the least amount of downtime possible with a large company backing their product.