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10 of the Most Annoying Problems with WordPress

Updated on Jun 07, 2020

Aa a blogger, author or a publisher you would have come across with WordPress or might even have worked with. WordPress being one of the most popular CMS and publishing platforms for content marketers, independent bloggers, authors/writers, publishers or individuals looking to build or redesign a website for their business. However, while WordPress has many remarkable qualities, it has several notable downfalls as well.

To begin with let us make our-self one thing clear on the confusion between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress is WordPress right? Not really. Both are owned by Automattic, both help people build websites and blogs, but there’s some very important differences between them.  

WordPress.org
WordPress.org

Firstly, there’s WordPress.org – the organization that provides you with a free, open source, downloadable version of the WordPress software. You can download and install it yourself. Also, some select hosting providers and control panels offer easy, one-click WordPress installs. WordPress partners some specific hosting providers listed here. However, if you install it yourself, it means that you and your hosting provider are responsible for your WordPress installation. It also means that you need to do backups, security updates and any upgrades that are necessary yourself. Which is totally understandable, considering it’s free and open source.  

WordPress.com
WordPress.com

Then there’s WordPress.com – the commercial entity that provides you with the WordPress software as a service which is ready to use, out of the box. So, instead of installing it yourself on your own site, you just sign up at WordPress.com and start blogging. No downloading, no installing — it’s all turnkey. And, all backups, security updates and upgrades are handled for you by WordPress.com. WordPress.com is free to get started, but offers premium services for prices starting at $36/year.  

According to W3Techs, WordPress is used by 36.6% of all the websites, that is a content management system market share of 63.4% worldwide. This is the whopping popularity among every web user these days.

W3Techs Stats
W3Techs Stats

If you currently use a WordPress site for your marketing efforts, or are considering building a website of your own using the platform, read this article to see some of the most frustrating wrong things that you may encounter.

1. Inconsistent Backend

Due to the many customization options available, the backend of each individual WordPress site is often extremely different.

For individuals bloggers or publishing agencies  who manage several different websites for clients, it can be frustrating to have to learn how each specific WordPress account is setup in order to make simple website changes.

In addition, this can also present a problem for beginners looking to troubleshoot issues, as step-by-step walkthroughs are not necessarily a one size fits all solution for this platform. As a result, it can be difficult to extremely difficult to find the support you need when need it, and the subsequent downtime can be harmful to your business.

2. Needs Customization

As mentioned above, WordPress allows a great deal of customization, but main reason for this is because the core product is extremely minimal.

A basic WordPress site consists of a number of themes which you can use to create different types of web pages. On the backend, these themes resemble a standard word document, and you are able to set the URL, meta description, and page title that appears in search engines. However, because many users don’t want their site to look like everyone else’s, customizing these themes is very common.

Because there are many desired features missing (i.e. SEO, social media, in-depth analytics) from the core software, most people need to download several plugins to make their site function the way they want it to -- increasing the timeline to setup and launch dramatically.

WordPress currently has over 56,000 plugins you can incorporate on your website, with a variety of purposes from SEO to minor site performance fixes.

Many people see this is a positive aspect of WordPress because of the variety of options available to improve your site and create something unique from scratch, but as many marketers (and developers) will agree, these plugins are a double-edged sword.

For one, many of these plugins can be costly, and paying a steep price tag for a single feature can be aggravating - to say the least.

Clashing with other functions (i.e. reporting)

Using plugins for essential components of your marketing strategy like email and social media can also hurt your overall effectiveness in your campaigns. Because these plugins don’t interact with each other like they would in all-in-one marketing platforms, it’s difficult to accurately track how your efforts are paying off. This can have a huge impact on your reporting accuracy, which in turn hurts your ability to adapt and strengthen your marketing efforts overtime.

Too many choices

Furthermore, because there are so many plugins that do virtually the same thing, it can be difficult to determine which is right for you. This issue is one of the more frustrating on this list, as some plugins will be incompatible with your theme or other add-ons you already have on your site.

Additionally, even if you do manage to find all the correct plugins you need, you’ll still find yourself at a disadvantage - the more plugins you add, the slower your site is likely to get, but we’ll get into that later.

3. Too Expensive To Run a Site

Because while WordPress.org is technically free, you won’t be able to get a site live without forking over at least some of the six costs we’ll be covering in this article. Some of the main costs you’ll encounter include domain name charges, hosting fees, and premium themes and plugins.

To purely cover the basics, WordPress costs around $11/month. Realistically though, you should expect a one-off cost of around $200, with a small ongoing monthly charge ($11 – $40/month). Your WordPress costs could quickly creep into the $1000+ mark if you need to hire a web designer for making a better site/blog. 

Since WordPress needs customization to run a successful blog/site you need to add on proven plugins. It’s easy to get swept up searching through the 54,000 free plugins available in the WordPress repository. You need to have plugins that you can rely on, provides updates and support, and has advanced functionality, you would end up investing in a premium plugins.

Fundamental Premium Plugin types and their price range

Premium Plugin Types and Cost
Premium Plugin Types and Cost

4. Security Issues

WordPress uses an open source structure for many aspects of the site, meaning that programmers can access the page's source code to see how it works, adapt it based on their needs, and share their code online with one another.

On one hand, this can be viewed as a positive aspect, as it saves developers time when they can input already written code into their website. It can also grant you more freedom to customize themes based on your individual needs.

On the other hand, however, this structure can also leave your website vulnerable to being compromised. Having all your systems code available online makes it that much easier for hackers to find security holes in your code.

In addition, there have been many cases of malicious code being placed into published code, so you could unknowingly be allowing hackers to gain access to guarded information.

WordPress Vulnerabilities over the years
WordPress Vulnerabilities over the years
Type of WordPress Vulnerabilities
Type of WordPress Vulnerabilities

Common Exploits

One of the most common bugs exploits in 2019 was related to the improper implementation of the update_option() function. This function is used to update any entry in the options database table. If the permission flow for this function isn’t correctly implemented by developers, attackers can gain admin access or inject arbitrary data into any site.

Unfortunately, there are a considerable number of plugins that allow admin users to edit its options and although this is not an issue per-se, the lack of security checks let attackers change those values to one of their liking, often with the possibility to edit one of WordPress’ internal options.

Most Common WordPress attack vectors

Brute Force Attack

A cyber criminal uses trial and error to identify a password or pin. They use combinations of common usernames and passwords until they find the right one. It’s the equivalent of trying every key on a key ring to find the one that works. This is all done using a computer script so they can run thousands of combinations with very little effort. Given enough time, any account is hackable but strong passwords thwart this kind of attack.

SQL Injection

Malicious SQL code is injected into a database to gain access to database information that was never intended to be displayed. Depending on the hackers goals, this can lead to your database being deleted, customer information being stolen, or sensitive company information being accessed.

Malware

A virus or spyware is inserted using an expired theme or plugin. The attacker can gain access to your data, insert pages into your site for black hat SEO, and perform a number of other nefarious activities using your site.

Cross-site scripting

Javascript code is inserted which then collects data commonly used to exploit WordPress plugins. This can be used to redirect your site visitors to malicious content. also known as an “XSS attack.”

DDoS Attack

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack floods a website with traffic which overwhelms server resources causing it to fail. Multiple machines send frequent requests to the server using malware installed on those machines for that purpose. The distributed nature of the attack can make it difficult to identify and block the sources of the traffic.

Older PHP usage

PHP, like any other large system, is under constant scrutiny and improvement. Each new version will often include both major and minor changes to enhance security and repair any flaws, configuration mishaps, and other issues that will affect the overall security and stability of your system. Like other system-level scripting languages and programs, the best approach is to update often, and maintain awareness of the latest versions and their changes. PHP, Keeping Current

More than 50% of WordPress are on older PHP versions source: t.ly/NwyF
More than 50% of WordPress are on older PHP versions source: t.ly/NwyF

Fundamental reason why WordPress sites should have been upgraded to latest version of PHP is for the security its sites. Running the latest version of PHP ensures that site is protected against vulnerabilities identified in older versions of PHP.

5. Updates are Difficult to Keep Up With

To counteract some of the security issues, WordPress rolls out many updates. While these updates are helpful, and necessary for keeping your information safe, they can also present a huge headache.

Updating the system can actually cause certain plugins (even those that aren’t malicious)to become incompatible with your website. In fact, this can even happen to your theme.

This risks breaking many aspects of your website, with each upgrade that comes out, and because WordPress releases these updates so frequently, this is a common frustration noted by users.

6. Slow Page Speed

A common frustration with working on WordPress sites is the slow page load time.

This occurs for a few reasons -- excess plugins, generic code that doesn’t contribute to the overall functionality of the website. With more plugins and more custom themes, the longer it can take your computer (and the computer of your users) to process the information.

At best, a slow load time causes frustration for the marketers and developers working on the website. At worst, it can turn-off visitors and cause them to leave your site, costing you potential leads. Moreover, today, Google uses page load time in their ranking algorithm, and penalizes websites that move slower.

Fortunately, there are a few known solutions that will increase page speed, including additional plugins (ironic, huh?) and enabling/disabling different setting options. Regardless, however, this problem can be a common source of frustration for WordPress users, and solving for this issue can sometimes up time that could be spent improving the site rather than fixing the bugs.

7. Can Come With a Steep Learning Curve

One of the greatest things about WordPress is the fact that anyone, even with limited technical knowledge, can build their own website. There is a steep learning curve, however, as you dive deeper into anything past the basic features.

It’s not uncommon for custom layouts in WordPress to have pages that are entirely hard coded, so even if you have a developer build the page, it can present significant difficulties for non-technical individuals to make simple edits. With this in mind, if you want more advanced customization options, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of different code languages.

8. No Built-In Backup System

If you haven’t taken preventative steps for this, it is probably one of the most frustrating problems with WordPress you’ll encounter. WordPress does not include data backup in place for its main platform.

Because there are many actions that can put valuable information in jeopardy of loss, one wrong click can result in irreversible consequences.

Again there are plugins available to create backups and to prevent losing a big portion of your site. The bad news is, some of these plugins require a bit of configuration to fit your needs and storage limits may always be a concern.

Furthermore, unless your plugin backs up automatically, you may have to remember to backup your data regularly and make sure your chosen solution is compatible with each update that WordPress rolls out.

9. Poor SEO

WordPress positions itself to be the SEO-friendly platform but in fact, almost every open-source CMS is SEO-friendly. Though it has to automatically optimize your website and improve your search ranks, WordPress gives you only the basic optimization. If you want to boost your website, you have to download special SEO plugins, which as we know slow down the loading speed of your site.

WordPress is also known for messing the sitemap due to its category system and special tagging that create duplicates. To fix all these issues you need to learn SEO or to hire a specialist who will manage all the optimization. Can you really call this platform SEO-friendly after all? And do you really need these additional expenses? It can be better to invest into a custom website from financial prospective. Yes, it can seem expensive, but you will save a lot of money in the future. 

10. In-efficient Comments system

Internet is full of spam bots that automatically spread links for nefarious websites in the form of comment spam. The purpose of these spam comments is to get ranked in search engines and also to get accidental clicks from unsuspecting visitors.

If you have enabled comments on your site (although by default it is enabled), WordPress allows anyone with WordPress.com login is able to enter and see comments. This means by default Spammers and Bots are welcomed into your site for spamming with comments. 

If you are running a site or a blog which is more popular, comments spam would also increase rapidly. To moderate comments would be very tiring and time consuming activity, with this you would also tend to loose genuine comments from your readers.

Again there are plugins to resolve some of the issue of spams, but you nee

This affects your website’s reputation. Users would consider your website to be a low quality or spam website.

Search engines can also mark your website as unsafe if they found links to websites that distribute malware and viruses.

Most influential bloggers/professionals find this really an annoying to find the valid comments on their blog/site.

Conclusion

All the points listed are based on personal experiences and our research. Most people still choose to go with WordPress because there is a bigger community and wider options of plugins for them to select.

At times WordPress becomes too expensive to use by adding multiple plugins for various requirements. For beginners it would be way too difficult to select the best plugins among with ocean. One have to spend enormous amount of time and try out various themes/plugins before they first publish there article

Anyone starting to blog or create site with WordPress need to know the problems before they begin. Have you come across these problems or any other, do comment below.