Online and offline, “thought leaders” and “experts” are popping out of every crack, with advice sprinkled with untruths, half-truths, exaggerations and over-promises.
Human nature tells us to believe it all. Whether it’s on Facebook or a tweet. Then a keynoter at a conference throws it in and, whoa, it has to be a fact.
I’m sorry to say, my friends, but WordPress is no different. Here are 5 myths I hear over and over again.
1. Your choices are between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
This is some serious confusion for the beginner. They are led to believe that their blog will be on one of these two sites. They research and after visiting WordPress.org, often wonder: where do I put my blog?
It’s time to clear the air. It’s WordPress.com vs. a self-hosted WordPress site. This means you will either create a free blog on the platform WordPress.com or you will purchase hosting somewhere, for example, InMotion or Bluehost, and install the WordPress software there (the software that resides on WordPress.org.)
I have talked about this here before, and you can learn more about the pros and cons of each option here.
2. WordPress gives you total control
One of the shiny buttons that attract so many people to WordPress is the CMS (Content Management System). This means you can easily add or change content, including posts, pages and media.
But wait, isn’t it possible to change the font, the headers, the colors? Maybe.
This typically will depend on your theme and it’s limitations regarding the features it offers. If it’s not a built-in feature of your theme, the only solution would be to understand CSS, HTML or PHP. And those acronyms, for the average user, are scary stuff. When moving to WordPress, best to know firsthand what you can and cannot do yourself.
3. The more plugins you have, the slower your site
This can be true, especially if you have dozens of plugins. But I’m a true believer in quality vs. quantity. It’s not so much the number of plugins, but the plugin itself. This is an ongoing debate in the WordPress community and there’s not right or wrong answer.
On my own site, I have what most people would consider too many plugins. But I have tested, deleted, installed new ones and found the one’s that do the job without sacrificing speed.
There are a lot of great plugins, and a lot of crappy ones. And if you really want to know if any plugin is compromising your load speed, check out this plugin to measure it (yes, a plugin that actually test other plugins— and by GoDaddy, if you can believe it).
4. WordPress is only for blogs
Yes, that’s where it started. And, of course, the way WordPress is designed, it’s the best blogging platform out there (IMHO). But you can also create a stand-alone website with WordPress. Can you use the features like categories and tags without having a blog? Yes, of course, and here are some examples.
The beauty of a blog is fresh content for both the search engines and your readers. But if you don’t have time to keep up a blog, well, WordPress can help you create that dynamic website.
5. WordPress is so easy my 95-year-old grandmother can build and manage a blog
Whoa there buddy! As with any software, there is a learning curve. Yes, it’s fairly easy to get a very simple blog up but still, you need certain skills.
It’s no different than a writer saying, “Publish a book! Anyone can do it!”. When it comes to learning WordPress, there are just so many variables.
- Are you comfortable with technology?
- What does your blog need to do?
- What do you want it to look like?
- Did it take you a few days to even understand how to create new folders on your desktop computer?
We are all at different levels and varying balances between our left and right brain.
So, there you have it.
Were you a victim of any of these myths?
What has been your experience with WordPress?