WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for building all types of websites today. An astonishing 30% of all websites in the world use WordPress, including 25% of all eCommerce stores. These sites are built using a WordPress eCommerce solution like BigCommerce, Ecwid or WooCommerce together with the WordPress platform. 

And there’s a good reason for WordPress’s popularity. It’s an open-source and free website building and management platform. The huge number of available themes and plugins make it extremely flexible, so you can adapt it for almost any type of website. The community support is legendary. 

WordPress has many advantages to offer web design agencies – but sometimes, you still need something more. 

You can find plenty of articles online convincing you to use WordPress for every website because it’s so awesome. You’ll also find plenty of articles explaining why you should never use WordPress because it’s such a nightmare. 

Personally, I prefer to take a more balanced view of WordPress. To us, it’s an incredibly powerful platform with plenty of virtues, but that doesn’t mean we need to be blind to its numerous flaws for specific situations

Here are three things that agency designers love about WordPress – and three things they hate about it. 

Agency designers love: extensive themes and design options

When you’re working at a web design agency, you have to come up with an original website design for each of your many client projects. 

Sometimes your clients aren’t willing to pay for a custom theme, but they still want something that stands out from the crowd. 

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WordPress helps you out with a massive range of literally thousands of template themes, making it easy to find a theme that works for your client, without having to start from scratch. 

Agency designers hate: client management challenges

As a web designer, you need an easy way to communicate with your client. Sometimes, you need to explain exactly what input you need or ask their opinion about different website elements. It can also speed things up immensely when your clients can add content directly to the site, instead of sending it to you first. 

Unfortunately, when you work with WordPress, you’ll have to send complicated emails or messages to provide progress reports or ask for an opinion. Although it’s possible to give a client limited access to the site, it’s not easy. Generally, if you give the client permission to add content to a WordPress site, you’re also giving them the ability to break it. 

Instead of using WordPress, many agencies prefer to use Duda’s website creation platform. Duda offers centralized login credential management, so you can permit clients to access only certain areas of certain sites or only to carry out certain actions, safeguarding your project progress.

Duda’s communication tools let you ask a client their opinion about specific elements directly in the site itself, and they can reply in the same place. What’s more, Duda has a tool that scrapes content from your client’s existing site, removing the need to wait for clients to deliver files. 

Agency designers love: fast to build 

Building on WordPress is a real time-saver for web designers. Instead of doing complex coding from scratch, you can just install a plugin for anything from adding form submit buttons to improving SEO. 

There’s a plugin for almost everything; in fact, there’s usually more than one, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs. 

Thanks to all the user reviews, you don’t need to guess which one is the most effective – just pick a tried and tested option. 

Agency designers hate: weak eCommerce capabilities

You can build an eCommerce site on WordPress, but you’ll need to use a plugin to get the eCommerce capabilities your clients need. Plugins have their advantages, but they sometimes also open up security vulnerabilities and lead to website bloat, slowing down site performance which is so critical for online sellers. 

The open-source nature of WordPress also undermines a secure checkout. Finally, eCommerce sites need to be easy to tweak and have a high degree of reliability – but with WordPress, you can never be sure which plugin or update will crash the site. 

Depending on your situation, Squarespace might be a better option. It’s got many features built specifically for eCommerce, so high security is baked into the system. PCI DSS compliance is standard, and there are multiple apps for fraud prevention and additional payment security. You can easily add and remove products and apps without worrying about crashing the site, and there’s no cumbersome site bloat to slow things down. 

Agency designers love: built-in SEO tools

Every web design client wants a site that is built from the ground up to rank well in Google, and WordPress delivers. 

Without adding a thing to your WordPress install, you’ll be in great shape in this regard, thanks to customizable permalink structures and its ability to work with many types of hosting services, many of which might deliver superior speed performance.

Thanks to its fundamental nature as a CMS platform, WordPress also offers plenty of ways to add different types of content and optimize it for SEO. In addition, top plugins like Yoast SEO make it easy to adjust meta tags, breadcrumbs, and alt text, improve keyword usage and otherwise tighten up on page SEO. 

Agency designers hate: inefficient user management

If you’re managing a single site, it’s not so difficult to log in and out each time you make changes. But when you are an agency managing multiple sites, it can become a serious waste of your time. 

Each WordPress site is likely to have different hosting solutions, development and content management environments, user permissions, plugins, etc. You can’t flip to alter them without logging out, and then logging back in again on a different account. There’s also no way to view all your sites from a central dashboard or update themes from a central point. 

With GoDaddy Pro, you get a single login to a central dashboard that shows all your client sites. From here, you can manage DNS, email and hosting configurations for each site, without having to change accounts. GoDaddy Pro enables one-click login to make changes to every site, and one-click bulk updates for themes and color schemes across all client sites, even if they aren’t hosted by GoDaddy. However, this solution delivers the most value if your agency is a GoDaddy hosting reseller, so beware of unwanted upsells.

The right tools for your team

There are many advantages to working in WordPress, even when you’re a web designer in a busy web design agency. But we can’t pretend that there aren’t serious drawbacks, too. Before you choose to build client sites in WordPress, carefully consider disadvantages like poor client management tools, weak eCommerce features, and no centralized login credentials. 

Think about how much of an obstacle they will prove to scale your agency without compromising on high-quality service. Perhaps one of the alternatives mentioned above would serve you better. 

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