Is WordPress a Good Choice for Enterprise?
Jan 10, 2022
UPDATED: Dec 16, 2023
Is WordPress an enterprise CMS? The short answer is, no.
WordPress currently powers 43.1% of the web. While WordPress has a growing list of excellent features, plugins, and themes, enterprises have an even longer list of considerations before going all-in on a CMS that will fuel their digital ecosystem. And as far as we can tell, with almost two decades of experience in the web development and CMS industry, WordPress simply cannot match modern composable enterprise CMS.
Although WordPress is an impressive platform and powers a substantial amount of the world’s web, it is not optimized for enterprise use. For one thing, WordPress falls short in terms of consistent maintainability, features, and integrations with other software compared to modern composable digital marketing platforms. This article helps you understand why enterprises should reconsider WordPress as an enterprise CMS.
WordPress Was Never Built for the Enterprise
As consumer demand grows, enterprises need platforms that are scalable and future-proof so that they can provide immersive and engaging digital experiences.When managing a company’s digital presence, there are a few technical aspects to consider. Is it scalable? Is it secure? Can it be configured to deliver the best experience?
WordPress offers highly customizable, powerful plugins that are easy to use and navigate. But at its core, it is fundamentally a blogging platform. Over the years, there have been numerous plugins, themes, and features developed to extend the capabilities of WordPress beyond simply blogging. Still, with such ad hoc tools, WordPress can quickly become a hodge-podge of integrations and plugins that won’t help you scale when used in an enterprise context.
Here are some of the reasons enterprise WordPress can be a real pain for the enterprise.
WordPress Security: A Constant Concern
With WordPress’ over-reliance on third-party plugins, it is hard to keep track of everything. If you fail to consistently monitor and secure your WordPress sites and plugins properly, you could be open to attacks or security vulnerabilities. In fact, according to recent reports, 42% of all WordPress installations have at least one vulnerable component.
Of course, WordPress is not vulnerable to all types of attacks, but here are a few of the most common vulnerabilities if you fail to ensure maximum security for your WordPress site:
Backdoor attacks: This type of attack occurs when hackers install malicious software to bypass standard network security measures and authentication procedures through deception and disguise.In WordPress, these attacks can occur through unconventional methods, such as FTP, DFTP, or WP-ADMIN.
Pharma hacks:In this attack, an attacker exploits vulnerabilities in your site to distribute spam and redirect or return customers to other product listings controlled by the attackers. It is a major attack on traditional CMS like WordPress and Joomla, causing search engines to display results that contain the attacker’s products listings together with yours.
Drive-by download attacks: These attacks occur when a hacker sends a payload that says you need a particular software or antivirus, whereas they intend to gain access to your data, inject scripts into your system, and generally infect your site.
Malicious redirects: These attacks happen when hackers inject malicious scripts into vulnerable sites to redirect users to questionable links where they can be scammed or infected with malware. If someone attempts to reach your website through this, it will redirect them to a malicious site.
Sadly, these enterprises do not set up adequate security measures to monitor uptime, track and report bugs within the infrastructure. A monitoring service such as Uptime by Oshyn is essential in keeping your application secure and available by continuously performing automated tests, conducting SEO scanning, monitoring patch updates, and providing reports on system status.
Plugins: Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them
Of course, plugins make your life easier. WordPress has a plugin for almost everything you want to do. Do you need a plugin for a subscription form? A payment integration? On-page SEO? There are plugins for them all. There are currently over 59,000 plugins available on WordPress.But with plugins comes greater risk. The truth is, the more plugins you use, the more problems you face and the more bloated your application becomes.
If a plugin has a bug or crashes, there may be limited support for resolving them. In other words, for every plugin you install, you open your application up to numerous security risks.
Enterprise Features Deficit
Enterprises often have unique requirements that a monolithic CMS feature or plugin does not cover. For instance, custom workflows and audit trails are vital features of enterprise-level content management systems. Despite its ease of use, WordPress can be unnecessarily complicated—expensive— when you want to change something or create something unique. Features that your enterprise may need include multilingual and multi-device support, headless CMS capabilities, personalization, multivariate testing, engagement analytics, Click-stream tracking and much more. With WordPress, you can access only a few of these features through plugins readily available at a fair price.
On the other hand, enterprise CMS like Optimizely and Sitecore offer more advanced functionality and ease of use, including setting up user groups and permission levels, which allow the manager to approve content before publication and track changes to the site back to the appropriate user. This method is ideal for companies with employees in different countries.
For example, consider a scenario where an organization must distribute content to different countries and languages through multiple departments. It may not be easy to use WordPress in this situation. These enterprise CMSs allow users to customize workflows such that complex requests are handled more efficiently.
On top of that, enterprise CMS’ tend to offer audit trails that allow you to track previous versions and changes in content. These can be helpful to businesses looking for a record of when and how content was published. WordPress lacks this functionality.
Content Relationship Woes
Essentially, WordPress is a blogging platform that can be customized to look like a site through using themes and plugins; thus, while great for blogging, it’s not a very powerful CMS. Meanwhile, Sitecore ranks top among CMSs for high traffic enterprise sites across all major industries, making it a great enterprise platform.
With a strong enterprise CMS, no plugins are required for basic enterprise functionality. Instead, you’ll have several native features that allow you to reuse content across several areas of your website, which allows for easier updating and updating of information across digital touchpoints, ideal for events and promotions.
In WordPress, these functions are more limited and require you to insert content manually in each location. If you intend to reuse and update content, then a true, purpose-built enterprise CMS is the better choice.
When making lots of updates to your WordPress site, versioning (also known as revisions) lets you create multiple copies of your site so you can preview changes before you commit.
Constant Maintenance—All By Your Lonesome
WordPress is renowned for being a bloated CMS with all its plugins, themes, and add-ons that lower its performance level and increase page load time.When your WordPress site starts having issues, it’s usually because you neglect to conduct proper and adequate maintenance.
With all the additional features to deal with, WordPress requires constant maintenance. That means keeping track of all added components, ensuring upgrades, security apps, and monitoring uptime and compatibility issues. The fact is, many WordPress users don’t update their websites, themes, or plugins regularly.Because of this, hackers can exploit vulnerabilities that have been fixed in subsequent versions.
On the other hand, the security of modern composable digital marketing platforms are enhanced by their built-in features. The lack of reliance on plugins or third-party software means that security isn’t compromised.They also provide frequent upgrades, making the platform highly secure.
Total Cost of Ownership: The Sky’s the Limit
Last, but unfortunately not least, enterprise WordPress users need to consider their total cost of ownership with great care.
As a free platform, it’s easy to think that total cost of ownership will be low, but as we’ve highlighted already, WordPress has its way of eating into your budget and time in unplanned and even unforeseen ways.
Stacking up the cost of building or integrating enterprise functionality, staving off security issues, maintaining your code and hosting, and those good old plugin and theme-related headaches, the true cost of WordPress can get out of hand.
Not only do you need to employ a dedicated team to maintain and protect your WordPress-powered ecosystem, but you’ll also spend valuable time on preserving your digital experience, when that time could go into improving it. The monetary cost can be calculated, but the opportunity cost? That’s a trickier and perhaps more concerning calculation.
How to Choose a True Enterprise CMS
Choosing a CMS can be very challenging. An enterprise leader must consider several things: functionality, security, adaptability, scalability, UX, and customizability. If your website is critical to your business, and you’re embarking on a significant digital transformation project with priorities that include security, scalability, and branding, then Sitecore is for you.
As a large enterprise, if you currently use WordPress, you’ll be unable to deliver the best digital presence and performance for your end-users. However, as part of a longer-term strategy, it is best to transition away from WordPress. A digital experience platform like Sitecore or Optimizely will be more effective at delivering the best value while offering scalability, security, and high-quality performance.
Oshyn is a seasoned Sitecore implementation partner that has worked with several brands and agencies across the globe. Our team offers comprehensive, agile software development services for building, deploying, and maintaining web applications. As a result, Oshyn can help large and medium-scale enterprises to optimize their workflows and experiences in multiple channels while building a scalable and sustainable infrastructure.
To learn more, have a look at the ebook on how to select a digital CMS platform.