WordPress – why does everyone want to use it? Part 1
This somewhat follows on from my previous mention about the bizarre preoccupation that some business owners have about “needing a content management system”.
Cue the full disclosure statement: We do bespoke web design.
Now the reason I say that, is it might sound like I’m going to be giving WordPress a bit of a beating in a moment (despite me using it to type this very post, but you will see why later). The reality is, I’m trying to give a more balanced view to it, and allow people to make more informed decisions about the professional web design services available to them.
So, a short introduction first, written by the good people at Wikipedia:
WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a content-management system based on PHP and MySQL, which runs on a web hosting service. Features include a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by more than 18.9% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013.
So, there are some technical terms in there, but you can forgo them (for now). I am going to pick out a few key things though.
used by more than 18.9% of the top 10 million websites
That’s a pretty phenomenal statistic. Nearly 1/5th of all websites that matter (let’s be honest here, that’s what they are trying to say) are running on WordPress. So now we have some context regarding just HOW MANY sites really are on this platform.
free and open source
Oh dear. This is where it starts to go wrong. Now don’t get me wrong. I love open source. I’d have open source things every single day if I could. In fact I do, as our quality web design services wouldn’t exist without it. But open source things introduce something else. That is, exactly how WordPress runs, is freely available for anyone to look at. That encompasses a rather interesting demographic, from you grandmother, to the nastiest of corrupt criminal gangs. That last one is the one I’m interested in. If you want to protect something from being exploited, then surely one of the first things you do is try to hide how it works?! Of course, that isn’t always straight forward and there are ways around this, but I want to describe the concepts in a very basic manner.
Would it be acceptable to say though, that the more complex a freely available system is, the more opportunities there are for exploitation?
Security with WordPress is a huge, huge problem. There are no end of plugins to help with this, but then they are plugins that need updating. Those plugins are open source themselves so as soon as they are in the wild, exploiters are going to start looking for new methods. Security with WordPress is a never ending process due to the inherent complexity.
Come back in a few days for insight into what WordPress is actually being used for.