Is a WordPress.org website right for you? The Top Three Questions to Answer

Person image with question boxes floating aroundNote: WordPress.org websites are WP-based sites where the owner provides their own hosting. WordPress.com sites are hosted directly by WP.

WordPress.org recently released a new update (Visit https://wordpress.org/news/category/releases/ for new updates and releases). When a core update is made, it takes time for the plugins and themes to catch up. In the midst of helping my clients get back online as soon as possible, at least one client asks, “I’m losing a lot of money and time with this update. Is WordPress.org still right for me?” Others will ask for WordPress troubleshooting, especially when updates take place. In order to help them determine a good fix, whether they’re already using WordPress or are considering an initial platform, these are the top three questions we ask:

Question 1: Are you a one-person business?

The majority of my clients are “solopreneurs,” but most aren’t using WordPress.org websites anymore. The reason is simple: they don’t have the time to work through and troubleshoot issues that arise from WP.org updates.  They are busy providing services and products to their clients and customers.

Our recommendation for one-person companies: Use a non WP.org CMS or outsource WP.org CMS management.

Question 2: What type of WP.org hosting do you have?

The majority of my WP.org website clients use Managed WP hosting (where hosting companies manage all of their WP sites under a specific program). This means that when a WP.org update is released, every site on this managed host is updated, whether they are ready or not. Unfortunately this can knock your site offline, especially if you have invested a lot of time and money into detailed customizations and custom PHP coding.

With the non-managed WP hosting option (still with .org), updates aren’t automatic, but you have to stay on top of everything, do a lot of testing, research, and backing up before updating to the new WP.org version.

Our recommendation: Select a website hosting company that offers both Managed and non-Managed WP.org hosting.

Question 3: How much income will you lose if your website is down for 24 hours?

This question is the toughest to answer, as many don’t know or keep track. Most of my clients, they have other Internet properties, such as social media or directory listings. An e-commerce site might sell $1,000 worth of merchandise per day, and if their site is down, they might be out of business soon. I had one client lose almost $10,000 after a previous update. Their original website designer was unresponsive and therefore they were unable to get their site back online and open for sales.

Our recommendation: Carefully consider the risk associated with extended downtime and create a downtime mitigation plan.

We can help you determine if a WordPress site is right for your business. We also educate you about other non-WordPress options that will fit with your budget, technical skill level, goals, and more. As a busy entrepreneur, selecting the right website host can make or break your business. These questions are just a starting point; get a detailed analysis before investing hours and hundreds of dollars.