Why is WordPress so hard to use? You’re not alone – many people share this sentiment when pondering whether to use WordPress for their blog or website. It’s true that setting up and using WordPress can be a little more involved than alternatives like SquareSpace or Wix. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Fun fact: WordPress is a powerhouse, driving over 43% of all websites on the internet (Source: W3Techs, 2023). That’s some serious web real estate!
In this article, we’ll explore pain points people have about WordPress and provide solutions. By the end of this article you’ll have a better understanding of how to install, maintain and run a WordPress website!
Why WordPress, You Ask? Well, for starters, it’s highly recommended for both blogs and websites. This very site you’re on right now? Yep, it’s powered by WordPress, and it’s not alone – there’s a whole bunch of websites running on the same platform. There’s a good reason why despite those initial “getting started” hurdles, people flock to WordPress!
Let’s go over some of the difficulties of using WordPress.
Table of Contents
- The Learning Curve
- Regular Updates and Maintenance
- SEO and Content Management
- Final Thoughts
The Learning Curve
There are a number of concepts you have to understand before you can master WordPress and use it to it’s full potential.
Let’s list these concepts and how they increase the learning curve in comparison to other all-in-one platforms.
WordPress doesn’t attempt to include every single feature within its core software. Instead, you can add features through plugins – third-party software that you can easily install into the WordPress platform.
This reliance on plugins offers advantages, but it does come with a few challenges, such as:
- Compatibility issues: These can arise with WordPress Core, other plugins, or your chosen WordPress theme.
- Security concerns: Be cautious of insecure plugins, as they can compromise the security of your website.
- Performance: Especially noticeable when you have a large number of plugins in use.
- Technical problems: These can occur due to poor coding practices.
Once you get the hang of installing and configuring plugins, you’ll find them incredibly useful for giving your website exciting new capabilities and features.
Let’s take a look at the wide range of plugins available for WordPress below:
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS)
WordPress is a content management system, a software application for creating and managing digital content.
If you are not familiar with content managements systems there is a learning curve to understand how to use them.
While this allows for greater flexibility and customization, it can also make it more challenging to navigate for beginners who are unfamiliar with website structure and troubleshooting.
Initial setup and configuration
Although WordPress is free and can be downloaded easily, setting it up is not easy – especially for people without much technical knowledge.
For most users, purchasing a hosting plan and installing WordPress via simple wizards and installation scripts it the way to go. Good hosting providers will provide simple step-by-step wizards to set up a WordPress installation for you.
Setup WordPress via a hosting plan only. Manual setup of WordPress is not recommended.
Once you’ve successfully installed WordPress and it’s up and running through a hosting provider, the next step is to configure your website. This process is carried out through the WordPress Dashboard.
There are many configuration options you may want to change and it may not be obvious what needs changing and how to do it.
For those unfamiliar with the setup process, I recommend checking out some YouTube videos on maintaining and operating a WordPress site after the installation. Many excellent hosting providers include theme setup as part of their installation process, making things even smoother.
The difference between posts and pages
Content is added to your website in two ways. The first one is through pages, which allow you to create static content pages for your website. Examples of such pages include “About Us” or “Contact Form.”
The second method is through posts, which are pages of content designed for the blogging section of your website. Posts are typically displayed chronologically, with the most recent posts shown first. WordPress provides excellent support for blogging, making it as simple as writing a new post.
A WordPress theme is a collection of files, fonts, images and other assets that determine the visual layout and function of your website.
WordPress offers a selection of default themes you can choose from, along with an extensive array of third-party themes, some of which are free, and others are premium themes that you can purchase to suit your needs.
Editing content, either pages or posts, is done with the WordPress Editor. Content is added using blocks, a block can be one style of content such as:
And so on… There are many different blocks that can with the editor. You can also add plugins that give you additional blocks, depending upon your needs.
I personally use the GenerateBlocks plugin that gives me an additional six blocks shown below:
Learning to use the editor is not difficult, but it does contribute to the learning curve.
Regular Updates and Maintenance
To keep your website safe and secure, it’s crucial to update all the software as quickly as new updates become available. This includes WordPress Core, plugins, themes, and even the software used on the hosting platform.
Reputable hosting platforms offer tools that make this process simple and even automated.
Take a look at the SiteGround tools, for instance, which can automate software updates for your WordPress website:
The WordPress admin section makes it easy to configure automatic updating of your plugins. This is recommended so any security issues with plugins are fixed as soon as possible.
SEO and Content Management
One of the main reasons bloggers use WordPress is its excellent support for SEO. Given the critical importance of SEO for the success of your website or blog, this is the primary reason you need to use WordPress.
Within the WordPress editor, you can easily add titles and subheadings to your content, effectively structuring your blog article. Additionally, you can seamlessly insert images or even videos (via YouTube).
While the SEO support within WordPress Core is impressive, it’s still, in my opinion, important to consider investing in an SEO plugin to further enhance your optimization efforts.
It’s highly recommended to use an SEO plugin when blogging in WordPress.
Luckily, there are both free and premium versions of these plugins available. There are some fantastic options out there, like Yoast SEO and RankMath, but I have a personal favorite that I use right here on this site: All in One SEO.
All in One SEO not only handles on-page SEO tasks but also helps with readability issues, sitemaps, table of contents and headline analysis. The best part? It’s available in both free and premium versions.
Managing media files and organizing content
Managing media files and organizing content becomes a breeze with WordPress. It comes with a built-in media manager, making it easy to upload, scale, edit, and delete your images.
From the WordPress editor, you have the option to select existing images or upload new ones directly from your device to add to your blog or page.
One feature that’s notably missing from the WordPress media manager is image compression and optimization. Uncompressed images can significantly slow down your website and impact user engagement.
You have a couple of options: you can manually crop and compress images or make use of an image compression service. I recommend Imagify – it’s free to use for up to 20MB of image data per month. If you need more, there’s the option to purchase a higher quota. For small blog sites, the free quota should be sufficient.
While WordPress can be challenging to use at times, it is a powerful tool that can help you create a professional and customized website. By understanding the reasons why WordPress can be hard to use and learning how to troubleshoot common problems, you can navigate WordPress with confidence and create a website that meets your needs.
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