The Disadvantages of WordPress

Today’s internet world is larger than ever, and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping. Nowadays someone with limited experience in web-design, can seemingly have a great website up in just a few hours. This can be done with WordPress. WordPress accounts for over 61 million websites in the world, and they host about half of those themselves. Obviously WordPress is doing something right. With WordPress you get a CMS, which is just a short way of saying content management system. This allows you to easily input any content you want, and makes blogging extremely easy, even for people who are new to the internet. You can get a WordPress theme for a very cheap price compared to hiring a web designer, and you can even get many themes for free. If this sounds a little bit to good to be true, then stay tuned.

If you are going to go with a WordPress for your website be prepared to take into account the disadvantages. The first disadvantage you may encounter is that many other sites may hold the same theme. While themes are customizable to an extent, sharing themes with another site is alarming to potential customers, and can also hinder your particular brand. It’s also a lot easier than you may think to spot a WordPress. By simply checking the page source you can pick up clues that show “/wp-themes,” or various other links to some sort of WordPress reference. Since there are so many websites out on the internet today, it is important to have some creativity and a new feel to differentiate yourself. You may think your website is unique, and the content may be, but chances are the layout and overall theme of your website can very similar to a number of other websites.

This is not to say that you cannot be successful using a WordPress. If you have great content, and promote it well, you can be sure to see a good amount of traffic. Depending on your niche, you can also find yourself ranking at the top of search engines, which is more important than ever for your website. If you don’t come up near the top, it doesn’t matter how unique your website is, because no one will ever see it. WordPress will always be properly indexed by Google, and with some great SEO Services, SEO can be easier than a manually coded site.

A manually coded site done properly has some benefits of its own too. First, WordPress sites are subject to spam comments more than any other site on the web. This is because they are easily crawled by “spiders” on the internet, and hackers know what they are looking for when they come across a WordPress site. While WordPress has good security and support, WordPress sites are much more likely to be targeted because people are used to hacking into them. If you have your own layout, and security measures in place, then you can be sure no one has hacked into it.

Wordpress disadvantages don’t stop at security. When you hire someone to build you a website, you have things like graphics, background gradients, and even logo design, that are all done for you. Although a WordPress can be up and running quick, you may not know how to bring the site together to make it look professional. The overall feel and presentation of a website is very important. You may have to hire someone to do the graphics for your wordpress anyway, and at this point you might as well have some customization within your website.

Customizing your website on a WordPress has its limitations. Each theme is different, so what may work on one, could be completely different for another. I had a wordpress theme named Works 01, which was a business themed website. It looked great in the demo, but when it came to customization, half of the widgets didn’t work and the simple background change wouldn’t work.  The support I got took over 2 weeks to figure out what the issue was. Now this is just an isolated case, but it is definitely something that can happen. Not to mention that was a theme that I had actually paid for.

Wordpress themes have a lot of benefits. The best feature that they have to offer is a CMS. It makes uploading content very simple, and organizing is a breeze. Not everyone needs this feature, and for your blog you can even have a custom theme built to match the feel of your website. With a WordPress you must be prepared to understand that others may share the same theme, and without extensive customization, your sites can look almost identical. WordPress is also subject to an immense amount of spam, and are more prone to hacker attacks. While the demos of these themes may look great, don’t forget that custom graphics or logos, do not come with the theme. WordPress does have some really good advantages. If you are looking to build a unique brand, then you may be better off hiring someone to build you a custom website. Do a little bit of research and find out what the best alternative is for you.

This article was written by Ben Anderson. Ben works as an SEO consultant providing Monthly SEO and is a freelance webdesigner. He has a lot of experience using WordPress design, and knows the advantages and disadvantages first hand.

Google Alerting Webmasters about outdated WordPress Installs

According to a tweet by Google’s Matt Cutts, the search giant has kick started a process of informing webmasters via it’s Webmaster Tools about their outdated WordPress installations. 

“[w]e’re kicking off a fresh run to inform webmasters with out-of-date/insecure versions of WordPress”

Outdated WordPress installs are generally targets for hackers and we believe it’s in this regard that Google is taking upon itself to alert webmasters to update their WordPress installs. If you’re using a one click install from your webhost, you might want to make sure it’s the latest version of WordPress they are offering.

Anthologize- Turn your WordPress into an Electronic Text Publishing Platform

WordPress is no doubt the best blogging platform in the world. Users of its latest release, version 3.0 now have the ability to turn their installations into complete publishing hubs. Anthologize, currently in its alpha release, is a plugin that

“[I]s a free, open-source, plugin that transforms WordPress 3.0 into a platform for publishing electronic texts. Grab posts from your WordPress blog, import feeds from external sites, or create new content directly within Anthologize. Then outline, order, and edit your work, crafting it into a single volume for export in several formats, including—in this release—PDF, ePUB, TEI.”

Anthologize, a project of One Week is financed by National Endowment for the Humanities. If you want to take your blogging functions a step further, this plugin is definitely a must have. You can keep up with Anthologize on Twitter as well.

WordPress theme generator for non-geeks

WordPress is unquestionably the most used blogging platform out there. There also are thousands and thousands of templates ranging from the free to the most expensive available for use on any WP powered blog. However, there comes a time when you actually want a very customized theme to reflect your personal taste. When that happens, you are left with two options. You either pay a designer to do it for you if you are not a familiar with the process or learn to do it yourself. Now though, there is a third option which is to use this WordPress theme generator from Yvoschaap. With this tool, you can generate a WP template complete with menus, sidebars, customized backgrounds and more. You can also customize the color of every part of your template.  All this and more can be done in your browser without the need to sign up or download anything else. It is also worth knowing that this service is available free of charge. So next you think of a customized WP template, it is worth taking a look at WordPress theme generator.

The 4 commandments of a WordPress installation.

WordPress is inarguably the best blogging platform in the world. If you are going to use the selfhosted WP, then the following 5 dos and don’ts should be of interest to you. 
Change your database prefix
I wonder how many sites that could have avoided database injection attacks simply by changing the database prefix. By default, the WP database prefix is wp_. You should change this to anything that will be super hard to crack when you are entering the values in the wp-config.php file. Doing this will make the work of any would be attacker more than difficult. 
Choose the strongest password for your first user account
By default, the first account you create after a WP installation is more or less the root user. That account has complete and unfettered access to your entire WP backend. Change the default password generated by WP and choose a password that you yourself think twice before remembering.
Activate Askimet
The first thing you need to do upon logging into your WP backend the first time is to activate the Askimet spam blocking plugin. You’d need a WP api key, available for free with a wordpress.com account.

This is a simple plugin that will scan your entire installation and alert you of any security lapse and how to rectify it. 
These are the 4 things that I strongly believe you need to do with your WP installation in order to keep is safe and sound for a long time. Sure, different people will prefer doing different things during their installation, but these 4 to me are a must. What would you add?

The WordPress Foundation is born today.

Matt Mullenweg, the founder of the world acclaimed WordPress blogging and CMS platform, has announced the birth of the WordPress Foundation. The foundation aims to promote the core tenets of WordPress which is to make the very art of publishing as open as possible or better put “to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software.”
“The point of the foundation is to ensure free access, in perpetuity, to the projects we support. People and businesses may come and go, so it is important to ensure that the source code for these projects will survive beyond the current contributor base, that we may create a stable platform for web publishing for generations to come.
“As part of this mission, the Foundation will be responsible for protecting the WordPress, WordCamp, and related trademarks. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the WordPress Foundation will also pursue a charter to educate the public about WordPress and related open source software.”
The Foundation seeks to make online publishing as free as possible, citing the Mozilla Foundation who are making the web better with Firefox, the Free Software Foundation who are the vanguards of software freedom and OSAF, the creators of Chandler as sources of inspiration. In short, the WordPress Foundation seeks to apply the GPL to the WordPress and allied projects to the letter.

WordPress for iPhone and iPod – Mobile blogging made easy.

Are you a WordPress and iPhone user? Did you know there is WordPress for the iPhone? This version of WordPress in your hands lets you write posts, upload photos, edit pages, and manage comments on your blog from your iPhone or iPod touch.
It supports both WordPress the free hosting and WordPress self-hosting. You can take a photo with your iPhone camera and easily insert it into blog posts. You can also preview your posts before you publish them, manage multiple blogs, make draft posts and works on all models of the iPhone and iPod.
The latest version, WordPress for iPhone 2.1 boasts new features and some bug fixes. So if you are a WordPress user and have an iPhone or iPod, why not get a copy of your blogging platform right in your hands to take your readers with you everywhere you go?