WordPress is probably the most popularly used content management system (CMS) out there. It’s been a cheap, DIY solution for bloggers and influencers for years, and it’s added additional paid options over time that make it more suitable for traditional businesses to use, too. These days, you can even pay someone else to use WordPress for you!
So, what’s all the buzz about WordPress? Does WordPress have some kind of edge over other platforms? Does Google prefer it? Will switching to WordPress automatically give you some kind of benefit?
We get asked these kinds of questions from time to time, and you may have even wondered about the same kinds of things, yourself. So, below, let’s dig into these questions and get some real answers.
WordPress: Simplicity at Its Finest…Sort Of
WordPress is something of a web giant, used by millions of people around the world to create and maintain websites. Its free, basic plan is a boon for the home website hobbyist, and small businesses find the modest annual fee for a commercial license very affordable. When it comes to easy-to-use, turnkey sites, WordPress has the market cornered.
With little to no web experience, a person can build a simple website beyond the basic blog format on which WordPress cut its teeth. There are thousands of plug-ins available to customize each site, and the supportive user community seems willing and able to help with even the smallest problem. New users simply pick a template and the necessary plug-ins, and they’re off on their web marketing adventure.
For most WordPress users, however, that adventure is limited from the start. Those millions of users we mentioned are often corralled into very similar templates and layouts, making it nearly impossible for any one site to stand out. The thousands of available plug-ins—and we mean thousands—vary widely in compatibility and quality, often dragging site performance down to a frustratingly sluggish pace. In order to maintain a high level of security, especially at a level that would satisfy HIPAA compliance, each individual plug-in needs constant updating.
In the end, like many do-it-yourself projects, your results will be limited based on the time you can invest in the project and your own abilities. When your initial goal for your website was to launch your business or to help it grow, your time is too valuable to waste on a website that won’t work just as hard as you do for your success.
Of course, that’s why we now have web companies that offer to set you up on WordPress and do the work for you! But does it really make sense to pay someone else to use an essentially DIY platform on your behalf? That should make it even simpler to get started, right?
But here’s the thing: even if a pro is doing it for you, the “free” foundation they’re building on still has all the same problems. In our minds, it makes no sense to pay a pro to build on a teetering, over-generalized platform when you could pay a pro to build it for you on proprietary platform that was built specifically for your industry.
It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with using platforms like WordPress. It’s just that, if you’re already paying someone to do it for you, there are probably platforms that are a much better fit for your business and your industry.
Yeah, it’s going to work better than something truly terrible (or nothing at all). But it’s not necessarily going to give you the most for what you pay for it or work better than options that are more tailored to what you’re trying to do.
What’s the Difference Between DSS and WordPress?
DSS is FWM’s robust suite of marketing automation software, combining content management, SEO, customer relationship management (CRM), mobile platforms, video, social media, and more. You don’t have to go searching for the perfect plug-in or template because what you need is already vetted, tested, and built right in.
Your site and service are custom-tailored to your needs and wishes, and our team of in-house SEO and web marketing experts are on hand to show you how to stay a step ahead of your competitors. If you want to do it yourself, it’s easy. If you want us to do it for you, no problem. If you want all the bells and whistles, they’re in there. If you want to start small, you can do it with room to grow.
With WordPress, you get a website and a basic content management system. With DSS, you get all that and all the following:
- Cutting-edge CRM and automated email sequences
- Top-to-bottom optimization for modern search engines, including constant development and fresh updates as technology shifts
- Easy integration with popular third-party software used by law firms and medical practices
- Lead tracking, lead tagging, and sophisticated reporting that keeps potential clients from getting lost in the shuffle
- Full-time dedicated IT and client support team—when you call, you talk to a person that probably already knows your name
- Lightning-fast response to customization and feature requests
- Innovative security and privacy, including a dedication to maintaining HIPAA compliance in an evolving digital landscape
- Cohesive, intuitive user experience that lets you make on-the-fly changes without a call to customer support
- Developed specifically for the marketing needs of attorneys and physicians, as opposed to trying to be everything to everyone
- Costs are clear, with a lot less “nickel and diming” through premium plugins and services
- Less “bloat” from over-generalized options and third-party development, meaning more reliability and consistency in practice
- No plugin conflicts—all DSS modules are compatible throughout our system
- Easy transfer of existing sites, making it less likely that you’ll need to rebuild from complete scratch
- Constant optimization for page speed and other Google Core Web Vitals that influence your search engine rankings
- Experienced web marketing services team available to support the ongoing development, maintenance, and tweaking of your digital strategy
We're always enhancing, updating, and upgrading DSS to be the best—and only—content management system and customer relationship management software you need. Is it as popular as WordPress? No. Is it a customized and cohesive package that gives you a lot more bang for your buck? Absolutely.
Does Google Favor WordPress?
You might be saying, "I heard Google favors WordPress!" Is that true?
Nope! Google's Search Advocate, John Mu, quashed this rumor in November 2021:
"CMS's for the web all make HTML pages in one form or another. There's nothing inherently making one generator better for SEO than any other. Google Search doesn't know/track if a page comes from WordPress, FrontPage, or an artisan code-foundry."
That’s right. Google does not inherently favor WordPress. Google does not pay attention to what platform a site is built on. The strength of your SEO has much more to do with who is handling it and how they optimize your website and content, not so much what platform they use to do it.
Ultimately, Google rewards sites that are ethically optimized, relevant to searchers, responsive to mobile devices, and quick to load. There is no plug-in combination in WordPress can match the site-specific optimization we perform on our V5 sites built in DSS, and using WordPress won’t give you any extra “juice” in the rankings.
Heck, if it did, we’d be using it ourselves!
If That’s the Case, Why Is WordPress So Trendy Right Now?
Influencers and brand personalities dominate the current digital landscape. And most of them know WordPress really, really well because that’s where they started out before they had the cashflow to pay for a better fit or a more traditional package. It’s familiar. It’s been around for a while. And, over time, it’s become more viable for businesses. So, why not try to play on some fears to get more clicks and subscribes? It only takes one person putting out a misleading statement or outright myth to get 20 more people repeating it—even if there’s zero evidence that it’s the truth!
It is absolutely true that WordPress has been around much longer than other open-source CMS platforms, and it has absolutely gained a lot of market share as a result. It may very well be the best open-source platform out there right now. It definitely deserves accolades where accolades are due.
But that doesn’t mean that it is the best platform for you or your needs as a business. And I think that’s where so much of this discussion ends up losing track of what’s actually important in the first place: YOUR SUCCESS.
So much of the benefit of WordPress is in what it can do for plucky, DIY influencers that can’t afford more traditional websites or have the time to tinker with an open-source solution and all the plugins that go with it. Once you get to the point that you’re paying someone else to pay for premium upgrades and manage everything for you, the benefits of using it to promote your business shrink tremendously.
So, you have to be able to see past the hype and think straight about what’s actually best for you.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Your website is single-handedly the most important marketing tool you have, and DSS offers the power needed to make your business stand out above the rest. WordPress is—at its core—just a content management system; DSS includes features that are available in WordPress only as expensive add-on tools that may or may not work together.
So, it’s a long story with a lot of rabbit holes, but I hope that you got some answers and some clarity. If you’d like to see the difference for yourself, we’d be happy to give you a demonstration of DSS and discuss everything in more detail.
Are You A Lawyer Or podiatrist Who Needs To Get More Clients?
If you've been trying to get more leads, more clients or patients, and you're not sure how to get there, Foster Web Marketing is here to help. Contact us online or call our office directly at 866.497.6199 to schedule your free consultation. We have been helping clients throughout the United States and internationally since 1998 and are confident we can help you not only reach, but exceed your goals.