Why WordPress? And is it really safe?

Anyone who has in the past few years asked GCI to host a website for them knows that I push WordPress. And while we don’t force you to use any particular website hosting environment, there are good reasons why we recommend it even if it is more work for us. So here are some reasons:

  • WordPress is simple enough that if no one with website experience is around any more, we could walk a pastor through making changes to the text. So even if the design never changes, at least the content can be keep updated with any changes in your church. That’s the biggest reason. In our experience, we have watch church after church after church allow their website to remain severely out-of-date and incorrect because their webmaster left.
  • WordPress is already a complete content management system. You don’t have to do much more than select a theme and put in your pages.
  • But WordPress can be customized as much as you are willing to learn and do. The entire look and feel of your website is controlled by a few pages of PHP, CSS, HTML and optionally JavaScript. These are all common website tools.
  • WordPress is very popular so there are tons of articles and videos available to help you make your website.
  • WordPress is well-supported so when there are problems, they are fixed quickly.

But because WordPress is very popular, it’s also a big target for hackers. Vulnerabilities are found regularly. Of course, they are fixed quickly too, but in many cases that means upgrading the software or plugin to fix the issue. For the websites we host, we do that for you. I now use a support tool that allows me to see software that needs upgrading and apply those upgrades without visiting each website. This allows me to act quickly when serious security vulnerabilities are found so websites are less likely to be hacked.

I was reading this article today which echos a lot of how I feel about WordPress. He includes some impressive stats and some other information that might be helpful.