Building a WordPress Business

WordPress is not easy – and that’s OK

WordPress is not easy. But learning WordPress is. Set the right expectations for clients and new WordPress users by changing your language. Join the conversation.

If you pick a random WordPress user and ask her why she uses WordPress there is a good chance her answer will be “because it’s easy” followed by something about how you can get up and running in 5 minutes and “everyone can do it”. I encounter this sentiment all the time and you’ll even find me saying these exact same things, but I’m realizing this idea – that WordPress is easy – is becoming an issue because it is an ill defined statement: What WordPress experts mean when they say “WordPress is easy” does not correspond to what new and prospective users understand when they hear it.

We need to change the way we present WordPress to the people. WordPress is not easy. But learning WordPress is.

To illustrate my point let me give you three examples of conversations I’ve had around WordPress in the last several months and then I’ll go through what problems they unearth, and what we as a community can do about them.

“I spent the last 4 months building my website and it’s still not ready”

On New Year’s Eve I found myself at a party with a prospective political candidate. He was lamenting the challenges of recruiting new party members, the hours spent campaigning, the usual stuff.  Then he went on to talk about his web strategy and voiced his frustration: “I spent the last 4 months building my website and it’s still not ready”.

I hear statements like this all the time – from small business owners and event organizers and community groups and non-profits and pretty much any person or business with a small budget and big dreams. They want a website, they’ve been told it is easy to build one, and they’ve invested a substantial volume of time trying to make it perfect. But the end result is dismal and they know it. Now they feel either lied to or like failures or often both.

“Let me tell you why I hate WordPress”

In December I took a stroll with my developer accomplice Mark and we drifted onto the topic most people default to when talking to me: WordPress – and in particular the topic of why he hates it. I can’t quote him word for word so let me instead summarize his argument as I remember it:

“What WordPress does is make people think they know what they are doing when they don’t. It’s too easy to create something and the power you feel from being able to do things you don’t really understand convinces you you actually know what you’re doing. So you get people with the ability to do things on the web that have no idea if what they are doing is right or wrong. And they start doing very dangerous things. They set up insecure sites. They write terrible code. They get hacked. And then to top it off they start selling their services!”

“We paid a WordPress developer $200 to build us a new theme and we’re having some issues”

During one of my client consultations in 2013 I was presented with what I can honestly say is the worst WordPress theme I have ever seen. A quick look told me the person who built it had only a fleeting understanding of XHTML (yep, XHTML) and CSS, was firmly stuck in the coding practices of the early 2000s, and had zero understanding of WordPress. Bewildered I asked where they got this theme from and they told me they paid a “WordPress developer” $200 and that they were “having some issues”. When I asked them why they would hire someone who only charged $200 for this kind of work I got the deadpan response “Well, WordPress is free and it’s so easy anyone can do it so why should it cost more?”

WordPress is not easy

What the three examples above and many others like them show is that we have a communication problem when it comes to WordPress. Statements like “WordPress is easy” have created three common misconceptions, or myths if you will, about WordPress:

  1. Some* people think WordPress enables them to build a professional grade website with little to no effort.
  2. Some* people believe their ability to publish content with WordPress makes them web developers.
  3. Some* people conclude that based on 1 and 2 (and because WordPress itself is free), WordPress services should be free or cheap.

*I say “some” here though in reality these are commonly held beliefs.

Anyone working with WordPress on a professional level will have encountered each of these myths and knows they are not true: (1) While you can build a professional website with WordPress, doing so requires a lot of work. (2) Being able to publish content using WordPress makes you a web publisher or content manager. A web developer or designer has the ability to build the application that makes that publishing possible. (3) While WordPress is free and open source, the time and skill spent on building content for WordPress has a monetary value in much the same way air is free but being able to fly in the air has a monetary value.

Now that these myths have been dispelled, let’s look at how we can change the way we talk about WordPress so we can avoid these misconceptions moving forward.

WordPress is relatively easy.

At the beginning of this article I said that I often use the statement “WordPress is easy” myself. That may seem like a bit of a contradiction after what you’ve just read. It’s not. And here’s why: WordPress is easy relative to the alternatives. And when I tell people WordPress is easy I always point this out. If you set out to publish a website or blog that you control it is my opinion that WordPress provides the quickest, most secure, and yes, easiest solution. That does not mean WordPress does not require effort. It just means in comparison to the alternatives WordPress will spare your keyboard from frequent forehead impacts.

The reason for the myths above is the understanding of the word “easy” as “no effort”. This is a cultural phenomenon that has its roots in commercials and it is causing major headaches for the DIY culture WordPress is a part of. When you see a commercial promoting something as “easy”, what they are actually saying is “just click here and magic happens!” This is rarely if ever true, but it’s a nice an comfortable illusion we have trained ourselves to believe. The unfortunate pitfall of WordPress is that it really is easy to set up and start using so the illusion is carried into the application itself.

I would argue that WordPress’ ease of use is it’s most dangerous feature. If people were realistic and accepted that just because they had an easy time setting it up doesn’t mean they are immediately experts we wouldn’t have a problem. But in reality people do make that leap of judgement – from the ability to set it up to perceiving themselves as experts – and that’s not good for them or for anyone else.

WordPress is easy to learn

What is great about WordPress, and one of the main reasons I use it and am such a vocal proponent for this CMS, is that WordPress is easy to learn. WordPress makes sense to people in a way few other online publishing applications does. That’s what set it apart when it launched more than 10 years ago, that’s what made it rise to the popularity and power it has today, and that’s why most existing and new CMSes are emulating the WordPress user experience.

WordPress is a great platform to start your journey in web publishing, web design, and web development, because it takes away the basic hurdles that used to stand in your way. You are not starting from scratch. You get going right away, and you can experiment and tinker and learn at your own pace and on your own terms. With WordPress the learning process is less daunting and thanks to its semantic templating language and strict adherence to web standards you don’t need to be a coding genius to understand how it works under the hood.

I teach front end web development at and Emily Carr University of Art and Design and I use WordPress as the baseline for all my courses because in my view it provides the best platform and starting point for anyone wanting to work on or with web technologies.

WordPress is easy once you know it

My last point has two sides to it: On the upside, WordPress is easy once you know it because of all the things listed above and because of its logical and user driven development structure. Once you know and understand WordPress and its overall philosophy, new features and updates make intuitive sense. When new elements are added to WordPress they usually fall into the same overall approach as previous ones and thus fall naturally into your process. And because WordPress is open source the people who develop the application are the people who use it so new features are generally things the community want and need.

On the downside, WordPress is easy to use once you know it and it can be difficult to remember that a) when you began using WordPress it was much simpler than it is today, and b) you think it’s easy because you already know how to use it.

When I began using WordPress many years ago it was a simple blogging application with few options. And I grew with the application. Today WordPress is a complex CMS and new users are often overwhelmed by this complexity. We who have been using WordPress for a long time need to remember that just because we know how it works and think it’s intuitive doesn’t mean it actually is intuitive. Our tacit knowledge can easily cloud our judgement and make us confuse our own acquired understanding for intuitive understanding. And when that happens we become poor teachers and even worse developers.

WordPress is not easy. But it can be once you learn it. And when you do, help new users onto the same path.

Building a WordPress Business

I’ve been working with web development for the last 10 years and I’ve acquired a lot of hard learned lessons and well hidden tips and tricks along the way. As this new year begins I’ve decided it’s time to pay it forward. This article is the first of a series that will cover different topics and insights about building and running a WordPress business. The series will not be a how-to step-by-step guide but rather a series of stand-alone articles and possibly videos discussing common achievements and challenges that face a burgeoning WordPress business owner. I would love your input and requests on this matter so if you are looking for information on a particular topic hit me up in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer your request. And as always you can follow my ever growing series of courses on where I will push out a whole slew of new WordPress and web design / development related courses.

By Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Morten Rand-Hendriksen is a Senior Staff Instructor at LinkedIn Learning (formerly specializing in AI, bleeding edge web technologies, and the intersection between technology and humanity. He also occasionally teaches at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He is a popular conference and workshop speaker on all things tech ethics, AI, web technologies, and open source.

84 replies on “WordPress is not easy – and that’s OK”

Hey Morten!
Really excited about new business articles coming along, this was a very good one.
Im just starting out with your mastering wordpress playlist on, so Im eager to see new content pop up.

Hilsen fra Kringsjå studentby ved UiO 🙂

I’d like to take one step back from the actual WordPress site and look at server hosting. I started out, like most people, with shared hosting but it was crap unreliable performance – which is something the uninformed (as mentioned in this article) won’t understand – “why is my site suddenly slow?”, “why is my site inaccessible so often?”.

I’ve moved to a VPS with WHM and cPanel but quickly found it requires a whole newfound knowledge of server management which is scary, and potentially dangerous if you get it wrong. Unfortunately doesn’t have any tutorials on this subject yet which is surprising, so I’m slowly learning through trial and error and using the software’s frustrating documentation.

Any thoughts on this topic?

Hosting is tricky and often depends on the exact host you are using. I was with the same two hosts for 8 years before I started switching this year. The full migration of all my sites won’t be complete until later this year. Shared hosting servers are often suffering from what I like to call “WordPress Bloat” meaning they have many inefficient WordPress sites eating up their resources and slowing everything down. To ameliorate that problem you can add caching through a service like CloudFlare or move to a VPS or even a hosted platform, but that means more money. My current host SiteGround is far more snappy than my old host and is still a shared solution of sorts. I pick hosting plans based on projected use and load and scale up where necessary and I also try to distribute sites across multiple plans rather than jam them all into one. There are many strategies here, and hosting is one of the topics I plan to cover in the 2014 stack of courses.

I’m in the same situation as Grant. Although I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) how to host client’s websites on a VPS I’d really benefit from a deeper understanding of how VPS’s can be configured specifically for WordPress websites.

By the way I enjoyed reading the ‘WordPress is not Easy’ article. Well written and so true! I look forward to reading more of your articles.

I’ve only been using WordPress for 8 months and currently have it powering only the Blog section of the ACHUKA site. [Previously the blog was on the MovableType platform.]

I attended WordCamp London a couple of months ago and am pretty committed to becoming more proficient in child-theme and ultimately theme development with a view to building sites that give creatives such as authors and illustrators full control over content.

One of the things I’m currently weighing up is whether or not to use the Genesis framework as the basis for child-theme development. Part of me wonders why WP should need an additional foundation on which to build, but there seems to be so much support online for Genesis that leads me to think it’s probably a wise starting point.

It’s just this kind of decision which makes WP “not easy” once you get beyond the simple posting of blog posts.

Will look forward to the rest of this series.

Frameworks are an interesting phenomenon. They were originally built to add user-controlled in-app functionality like custom menus and other elements to WordPress, but now WordPress comes with much of this functionality built in. That’s why you get the feeling of a framework on top of a framework. Most frameworks, Genesis included, are prominent in part because of their very smart affiliate marketing programs which urge existing users to recruit new users for money. I personally don’t use frameworks at all because they are bulky and get in the way, but I also know people who use them with great success.

Great read! I just started my web dev business last year. My biggest hurdle by far was to get my sites compatible with IE. Even in IE 10, there are still some challenges to overcome.

When you start the WordPress business blog I would love to read other users/owners experiencing the same frustration as well as some solutions. I am willing to pay a premium price for a all in one IE fixit plugin…if it was ever available.

Again, thanks for this article. It not only helps us WP users regain a proper perspective, but also validates our hard work as entrepreneurs who have successfully implemented this CMS as a business platform.

Stay optimistic. Stay blessed.


IE compatibility is a very interesting topic that I will be covering this year. What I can say now is that in most cases if something isn’t working in IE it’s because it’s not following web standards. That sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. With a simple HTML5 shiv like this one ( your CSS should render properly all the way down to IE7.

Brilliant article! Best one I’ve read this year. 😉 You’ve articulated the frustration we’ve been feeling for quite a while.

I’ve been referring to it lately as a sense of entitlement, like a thick cloud of “everything should be free and easy and work flawlessly” hanging over the WP ecosystem.

IMO, it all comes down to relative perception and false expectations. Folks won’t bat an eye at a $2000 MacBook Air, but they’ll balk at the idea of paying $50 for a plugin. They’ll spend a few bucks a day on a coffee, but not over $10 a month for hosting their website.

One of the biggest advantages of spinning up WordPress — the free and cheap stuff (themes, plugins, $2-a-month hosting) that users have access to — is also one of our biggest disadvantages.

Sense of entitlement or lack of valuation. We see the same thing in the Android community: People who use Android phones are less willing to buy apps than people who use Apple products even though the apps cost the same. The reason is the platform gives the illusion that things should be free or cheap.

Very good article and hits the nail on the head with reality of WordPress. Too often for years I hear the claim of it being easy to use, but no one really clarified what parts are easy and what parts are not.

I actually come from the Joomla environment of 6+ years and eventually added WP to my development. I can easily say I was swearing a lot when I was designing themes. This is when I realized that WP is NOT easy (at least for development).

For the most part and more for the end-user as appose to developers, anyone using WP to create their own website really should have at minimum, a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and even some PHP would help. Being familiar with how WordPress works behind the scenes is also important.

I’ve seen many get frustrated because they are trying to put together a major site instead of a just a blog, and I can understand it when they hear it was supposed to be easy. Putting a site together, even before you dig into WordPress is not easy, because in a sense, you have to become an instant web designer to even begin contemplating how your site will look, function, what features, etc.

I agree. There are also a lot of issues that are generally left unconsidered, like information architecture, content strategy and so on. Premium themes tend to worsen this problem because they present a one-size-fits-all standard that doesn’t exist. Without proper structure to your content it doesn’t matter how good your content looks: It’ll still be hard to find and digest.

Hey, Morten. Awesome post! Would it be alright if I borrow a few points/quotes for a WordCamp presentation I’m working on that talks about teaching WordPress to clients? (This would basically be the “why” of why and how you should do it).

Hi Morten.

There is some good points made above. Some of the issues arise due to the way WordPress is introduced to people.

WordPress is promoted as being easy to use and free, straight there is where the value is lost towards what has and does go into WordPress and from a users perspective things seem to get lost in translation further as this free/easy to use gets whitewashed across the WordPress process as a whole and not taking in the design and development aspects.

Yes WordPress is easy from a users perspective as a final product/tool, the design and build is a skilled profession in itself, that is where the clarity needs to be.

WordPress has the difficulty of being in both camps of a business and an open source product.

Hello Morten and the WordPress community! I’m french web designer and I work with WordPress since two years. I respond to forum WordPress France Support, often. And I agree with your reflexion and we have the same point of view.

Also, I translate your great post in french on my blog of my studio. And I add my exprience and my point of view. The link of my post in french is on my name.

@Ewen: I don’t speak French so I read the back to English Google Translate version which is pretty funny. I like how you did this with annotations and references. Thanks for sharing this discussion to people who don’t read English.

hi Morten,
Thanx to you wordpress was a doable project for me. I watched your tutorials on I think for a newbie wordpress can be challenging. Maybe easy for most but it was a lot of learning for me ..but now i love it and want to learn more and keep going! Thanks for your article and your perspective..and also easy to understand tutorials!

That is great to hear Dianna! In my work with I aim to enable the learner to understand how WordPress works and build a foundation of proper knowledge they can use to do great things.

Y’know, you’re right from a user point of view. I think from a developer angle, WordPress is too easy.

This results in developers who know almost nothing about coding standards, able to manipulate WordPress / add functionality with no structure or reason apart from copy/pasting snippets

That’s the point Mark the developer was making: The low threshold for access to WordPress and the relative ease with which it can be altered can make people very dangerous because they have power without knowledge. Because so many people enter web design and development through WordPress it is our responsibility as a community to ensure they learn how to do things the right way and get the proper background knowledge and understanding to be able to do good things.

One of the most challenging experiences I’ve head while learning WordPress is the amount of things you have to take for granted in order to proceed and get the job done. In my book, that makes for a poor learning experience. Many WP experts write books on WP development with dozens of lines of code, and instead of explaining what each line of code (or code snippet) means, they tell you “just copy this piece of code in that template file underneath that template tag and – voila !! “. For an up-and-coming developer who wants to get to the bottom of how WP works, I must admit that such instructions are quite disheartening. In fact, I think that such development practices lie at the root of the problem – a lot of copying and pasting. I think that recognized WP authorities should not spare the paper to explain the functionality and logic behind basic WordPress template tags, functions and the like – line by line.

Spot on Bane, and this is not ‘just’ a WordPress thing. Web development in general is plagued by poorly written and created learning materials and a high level of what can be called “ignorant arrogance”. A lot of developers who are amazing at what they do are unable to communicate their skills in an understandable way to aspiring developers. And in some cases these same developers have forgotten that they once had to learn this too, so you hear a lot of answers like “just read core” or “if you read the code enough times it will make sense”. I had a teacher like this in university and he was the reason I quit that course. I work hard to provide proper explanations of any code I share, whether it be here on this blog or in my courses, so that the person seeing the code not only knows how to copy and paste it but understands what the code does and how to change it to work the way she wants.

WordPress, at one point in time, was a simple blogging application. Today I find myself wondering (at random whimsical moments) what the fuck it’s become. I use and love it for blogging… all the rest… is left up to the “experts.”

Yep. I’ve looked into the eyes of many a new user when they first encounter the WordPress admin panel. What I see is bewilderment and often fear. It has become a complex beast. But it is still the easiest to understand of all the complex beasts.

Excellent piece, the best I have read in weeks. There is this false perception among users that they can create any kind of websites with WordPress without even learning anything. Freelancing websites are full of business users seeking custom solutions under $200 and so-called developers willing to do it for less than that. The result is usually an awful and insecure website which does not help anyone achieve any goals.

Right after reading this insightful article, I came across this plugin, which was just released today(for Genesis): . It promises “We can guarantee you two things: you’ll do it on your own, and you won’t have to write code.” and is endorsed by Chris Lema among others.
Thought-provoking. In the context of this article, which I happen to agree with, it’s plugin devs pitted against freelancers.

Premium theme frameworks like Genesis make their money selling people on the idea that they can do everything themselves and that they can earn money simply by getting other people to use the same framework (otherwise known as affiliate marketing). I have mixed feelings about these frameworks. Some of them are great, some of them are terrible. Some people do great things with them, some people do terrible things with them. But overall I tend to disagree with their message that it makes things so easy anyone can do it without training. Frameworks on average add more complexity to WordPress and makes it even more confusing. In addition they add functionality that is bound to the framework so they are hard to move away from if you want to go down a different path in the future.

Thank you for a great article. I’m just learning WordPress with the Genesis framework and I don’t even know why I love it yet but I do 🙂 I decided to learn on my own since I paid someone $1500 for a WordPress site for my real estate business and came way with little to nothing. I was in software development (not design, back-end web services) for many years so I can speak general “tech”. However, just because I *can* code doesn’t mean I want to keep doing that. WP seems to have a nice flow and feels smooth (non-techy terms there). I’m watching tons of videos and things are syncing in. I think the look of a well designed WordPress site is amazing. I’m looking to camp out at that intersection of good design and technical wonders. Yes I did just read the Steve Jobs biography and this was said (in a much more elegant way) a lot. But it really is true, I love and appreciate clean, crisp design and now I can use something that can give me that look without being a designer. Are there specific courses you recommend at Thanks in advance for your time!

Sounds like you’re on the right track Ginger. And yes, WordPress allows us to focus more on design and less on the technical aspects behind the scenes. What’s important to keep in mind though is that once you start wanting to do something unique, you have to get down and dirty with code. Frameworks will often sell you on the idea that you don’t. but that’s an oversimplification. Frameworks may allow you to point and click and get something that looks the way you want, but it might be a total mess once you look behind the curtain. Good code and good design is not just easy to use – it’s well written. And that can’t be done with an automated system. Don’t let that deter you from doing what you do though. Like I said, WordPress is a great learning platform and it allows you to learn at your own terms. Just don’t restrict yourself only to what your framework can do. WordPress is so much more.

Very well said. While WordPress is easy to install and use, its ease of use is misleading. Companies and organizations using WordPress often do not realize they should plan for ongoing and responsible management and maintenance of their website, and they should not install something once and turn it loose just because they can. WordPress code is poetry, but we know the best poetry requires genius and the ability to speak volumes in a few words. Good developers know the double-edged sword of a job well done, the satisfaction of working out all the issues and interactivity to produce a flawless site but the frustration that in doing so, the end result can look much easier to accomplish than it is. Simplicity is never simple.

Great article and even more value in the comments (and your willingness to respond to all).

I look forward to your series.

I like Genesis because it is much lighter than 90% of the Premium Themes out there. Lighter in the aspect of no where near the code-bloat that you get with a Premium Theme that is loaded with features that most will never use. Sure, I have to work harder to visually customize Genesis and make it look pretty. But I would rather have a site that loads quicker and isn’t bloated. I look forward to your post on Frameworks (Thesis, Genesis, Woo, Pagelines, Headway, Carrington, etc)

The other topic that needs a voice is plugins. It drives me nuts that there are plugins in the WP repository that are several years old or haven’t been updated yet people are still installing them. The WP community needs to address this and clean up this mess. I think Paid Plugins are the future and we all need to embrace it with our clients. Support and regular updates are so valuable and will help build a better plugin community.

Thanks for being progressive!!

I loved your writing (style) , and the subject matter is most important to me. I’ve been doing information technology most of my life ( I am seventy ) and web sites for the last 13 or so, with special emphasis on WP the last few years. I use Builder framework ( for all my projects since last year, because i understand that tech support even for developers ( i sort of use that freely, but really i am more of a constructivist, assembler, stylist than a true developer), is very important. And builder is extremely flexible, and got tired of purchasing themes that had no parent child ). The whole idea of freelancing with it’s client psychology issues, economic valuation per project per client, the full range of development a project can become, is all part of the fun! I look forward to a myriad of important aspects discussed by you, because i think you have a way of imparting the information in a way i can understand it, and bring the perspective i value. thanks again!

It’s a bit like when someone buys a cheap old Jaguar because it’s the same price as a used Ford. But they forget that when it breaks down you’re committed to the repair bill commensurate to a $100,000 supercar.

Just because something is cheap, it doesn’t mean it’s affordable.

Agree totally that our experience with WordPress has dulled our knowledge of how difficult it is for a beginner, indeed my first look at it many years ago frightened me enough to learn a little HTML (for which I am eternally grateful) but I soon realised that WordPress was the only way to go.

Greeting to you from Asker in Norway Morton!!

I like your analogy there Ian. I use something similar when explaining why you shouldn’t hire someone charging $600 for a website: If someone offers you something extremely valuable for next to nothing you know that either they have no idea of the value of their product or they are selling an inferior one. Either way it is not a transaction you want to enter into.

Excellent post, This addressed the some of the frustrations I had with wordpress.
I have been learning and playing with wordpress for more than an year now. Yes, in some of the sites I managed I spent too much time with little results. The other part is also correct. Seems many theme developers suck. There are too many WordPress experts here and there. One thing that makes wordpress difficult is the number of free options it gives. Anyone can think it’s easy by just installing plugins and themes. However the customization was not a smooth. It gave more headache when the plugins were heavy. More difficult when choosing the right cache plugins and social media plugins and theming it properly.

However still I think wordpress is really amazing blogging platform to use

Thanks for this. I’d like to add that I’ve been led to WP by the many, many, many blog sites about getting started building an affiliate marketing business. I HAVE read over and over that WP is easy and that I can be up and running in no time with one of the many WP templates available. I’ve found this to ALL be very misleading based on the things you’ve addressed here. I’m overwhelmed by the WP settings and configuration terms – and the “help” explanations are written from the perspective of someone “in the know,” so aren’t that helpful either. Then you add plug-ins like SEO optimization tools, and it’s very hard to know what you need and how to use these tools on top of the built-in tools in WP. I would also have to disagree with you that WP is easy to learn. I’m not completely illiterate regarding web design and coding, but for all practical purposes, I don’t know much. WP may be easy to learn for those with a basic understanding of web design/publishing terminology, but it is not easy to learn for a complete beginner. I think affiliate marketing is part of the culprit here because marketers want to encourage newcomers to purchase their products whether they be keyword research tools, web templates, or SEO optimization tools – these things must be marketed as “easy” in order to convince the newbies that they can do it. When you mentioned the $200 web designer, I’ll admit your judgmental tone made me cringe because I, too, would not pay $200 for a web designer because of the MASSIVE numbers of websites that consistently tell me I don’t need one – that WP is FREE and EASY, and that professional websites can be built from the free templates available all over the web. So, keep in mind that many of us are not assuming that we have expertise that we don’t have – we KNOW we don’t have the expertise, but we’re being told that we don’t need it – that WP makes it easy. Then websites are built without that expertise, and I’m sure you’re right that dangerous things are happening. Those of us that are new to this don’t even know what we don’t know. I see how someone could easily set up a vulnerable site and think they’re okay – not think they’re experts, but that they’ve followed through with what was “easy,” and now have working website. I can also understand how web designers must feel undervalued and disgusted at those of us who don’t know what we’re doing, but I encourage you to keep in mind that WE are the ones that have been sold a lie – it was probably inadvertent and unintentional, but it happened all the same. I’m just getting started with WP, and recognize that I have no idea how to configure anything in my “ready-made” template that has tons of configuration settings. I don’t dare publish my site until I learn more. I see, too, that this is going to take a LOT of time to learn, and is not an “out of the box,” “plug and play,” that it’s described to be by the masses. I’m not giving up because I do believe in my ability to learn this stuff, but I also hope others read your post and recognize how misleading that “easy” term is!


Yes, wordpress is good but a lot of articles as this remember the first and most important: security. A few person at the World named hackers Can make anything. And our site – who are wordpress users – are the best goal for they project.

Maybe two years or more I use wordpress. Thats is good while all is ok. But any problems must to find anyone who Can give this bad codes to valid. In my country it is Dollars 100 or more.

And I ask himself: why nobody not spoken about it for me? Because my site was hacked. A lot of time a lot of money and my site was corrupt.

Never use wordpress!! Never!! When I spoken with “developer” said me: for him never hacked sites before. Thats ok, but for me this is not important. My site was hacked because articles as this not SAID ME as first step before use wordpress step by step securities solutions!!

Never use wordpress! Or any cms. Hacker will be quicker as normally wordpress user who think his webpage its ok but he not thought for security as I and… problem persits.

Never use wordpress. A few month ago I asked google for questions: Why don’t recommend to use wordpress or same: why we didn’t choose wordpress to our website and nothing to found.

In this day a few month ago I saw for my iMac and asked myself: and now? In my mind any angel or who gave me solution: text editor and html codes with images folder with style.css and thats all!!

Without hack! Without problems! Without wait for site to download. WordPress page for small business aren’t the best idea. Big codes.

May be 2 weeks I could use basics of html. I downloaded any template studied it and a few days I could wrote codes alone. Without stress or hacks.

Newer use wordpress. Its a horrible and 50% quicker will be hacker as webpage owner.

For me a lot of “developer” as this article said nice and beautiful cartoon about wordpress. But that is not correct!!

Newer use wordpress.

Amazing piece!
All I can say is, I know the feeling, and I confront almost all of the questions mentioned in the article. WordPress is easy, yes it is, but to use it and implement a stable architecture built upon a good design is not.

Hi Morten, great article. I like the fact that you exposed the truth about wordpress. As I read your article I realize that perspective is really important to understand wordpress. The naive client’s prospective of wordpress is an easy solution to a lack of website problem. As a developer for over 20 years I look at wordpress as thousands of lines of code I don’t have to write and this is where the problem lies, the glue that puts it all together. Clients don’t understand modules/plugins and the custom glue code that needs to be written in PHP, JS & CSS not to include the database your are using. Adding custom programming to wordpress can be very expensive. Spending hours debugging modules/plugins will take a bite out of your budget.
I often hear developer sell themselves short to stay competitive. I wish they would explain to the client that not all wordpress sites are created equal!

Thanks Morten for the wonderful article, i know wordpress is not so easy to learn while you are at the initial stages but after understanding basic phenomena and practical steps you can go through in wordpress. But the actual problem is that how to optimize wordpress site to search engine.

LMAO. Ive been training on how to use wordpress since the 7th of June 2012 and Im still trying to get a basic website on line using it and a basic template. I bought many tutorials and books on how to use this time wasting POS app. Ive just taken a break after an hour of struggle to get this thing to try and do something and its April 22nd 2016. Its comming up to 4 years that Ive been learning how to try and work this. It is not easy at all. Using this app makes me want to cut myself its so illogical. If I stay away from it for a few hours my will to live slowly starts to come back its that depressing to work with. To say this is easy to learn is a very willfull deception.

well its 2017 and im still trying to get a wordpress site on line and no luck. Easy to set up? BULL. I KNOW ill be back here in another 5 years still no further ahead. Why do I use WordPress? I dont…I do try but this is a usless POS to get anything on to the web with.

Excellent Post by Morten!

My Personal Experience of 12 years says that wordpress is just a tool like any other tool for web development but most of people mix it and understand that by just using this tool they can develop a good website.

a professional website always need concept, color choice,Layout, web design mockups, contents (text, images, videos) and their presentation and all this is ot a single day job.

Read tourpost that eordpress is not easy. What an understatement!

I am truly in the beginning stages of learning wordpress and creating a presence on the web. I constantly read posts that I need to choose the right theme that will work for me but how is that possible when I don’t know how to make an informed decision when I don’t understand the product much less exactly where I can take it?

I am not starting in complete darkness. I have worked as a support specialist for a hospitality suite software package and have a good basic working knowledge of computers. Experience with photoshop. So with all the hype I was taken in that wordpress would be easier than it is turning out to be.

Is there a source of support that I can turn to to go over the fundamental basics of how wordpress is set up and to make better decisions as to choices that will determine my future use? Even the question of starting now and ‘developing’ the site later begs many questions as to dangers of losing posts and changing themes and how changes can affect the base database of those posts. Everything I find on line devolves immediately into code speak tweaks when that is not what I am looking for.

Eternally grateful if you could point me in an advantageous direction.


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