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It's not you, it's WordPress!

Mar 30, 2023

Have you been disillusioned with your WordPress site when initially it held such promise of being simple? Free templates had most of us ask, ‘where do we sign up?’. Now, many of us have abandoned websites in our entrepreneurial wake and we’re not quite sure why our websites didn’t work out to start with. Between installing plug-ins and getting emails about PHP updates (what does that even mean, why should we care?), and asking the neighbour’s kid to help us out, and now no-one knows the password anymore – you’re stuck on the outside, looking at a site that is nothing like you envisioned.

 Move on from Wordpress to something that's easy to manage yourself.
Move on from Wordpress to something that's easy to manage yourself.

In 2003, WordPress launched with a simple mission: to democratise website publishing for everyone. With over 40% of the world’s websites hosted on WordPress, it’s safe to say that they have upheld their mission—but there is a catch.

Because WordPress is an open-source, self-hosted content management system (CMS), you must purchase the software and set up your own web hosting. Once you have done that, you will need to learn the terminology, configure your theme, install plugins, and troubleshoot problems continuously.

Over the years, managing a WordPress website has become so complex that an entire industry has sprung around it in the form of WordPress developers. Unfortunately, many small business owners in South Africa can't afford developers who typically charge between R250 to R2,500 per hour. So when it's time to take their businesses online and to the next level, they roll up their sleeves and dive into learning WordPress.

Having no website or a broken one, does a serious disservice to the business you have worked so hard to build.

These all too familiar past experiences are what fueled our fire to craft a Savvy solution - just for you.

In this article, we'll discuss some of the recurring issues that WordPress website owners may face, and look at the affordable, reliable and intuitive code-free alternative that's custom-developed to empower South African entrepreneurs with the tools they need to thrive.

 Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/IgUR1iX0mqM
Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/IgUR1iX0mqM

4 Common problems with WordPress websites

WordPress Problem #1: Outdated or Incompatible Plugins

A WordPress plugin is an essential tool that extends your website's capability features. For example, suppose you want to add a contact form, e-commerce functionality, social media integration, or analytics monitoring to your WordPress website. In that case, you will need to get comfortable installing, configuring, and updating plugins.

Unfortunately, the software that helps your website run can also cause it to break. One report found that plugins cause 98% of website vulnerabilities. This is due to the following reasons:

  • Plugins that are not compatible with one another, driving both to crash

  • Outdated plugins that no longer work with WordPress

  • Plugins that have vulnerabilities hackers can exploit

  • Poorly coded plugins that slow down your website or make it vulnerable to hacking

WordPress plugins can slow your website down, crash, or even be exploited by hackers.
 Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/ZjX-z2Q5zrk
Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/ZjX-z2Q5zrk

WordPress Problem #2: Slow Loading Times

In today’s fast-paced digital world, the user experience is everything. If a customer visits your website only to be met with slow loading times, chances are that they’ll leave your website and start looking for the nearest competitor.

One study found that the ideal loading time for websites is two to five seconds. For every two additional seconds your website takes to load, the risk of users leaving your WordPress website increases. The whole point of having a business website is to attract and convert customers, so it's a significant problem if they leave your website without learning more about your offering or making a purchase.

When it comes to troubleshooting a WordPress website, some of the reasons you may be experiencing slow loading times include:

  • Large image files that take a long time to load

  • Outdated plugins that cause compatibility issues

  • A slow server hosting plan

  • Cache settings that are configured incorrectly

WordPress Problem #3: PHP Updates

PHP is the programming language that WordPress is built on. Whenever WordPress updates, it often includes updates to the PHP version it supports.

These updates are vital because they often introduce new optimisations that can make your website faster, more efficient, and more secure. On the other hand, updating to the latest PHP version can break your website. This is because some of your plugins, themes, and code may not be compatible with the latest update.

In the case of PHP updates, you can’t keep ‘snoozing’ notifications while you look the other way. Doing nothing will also break your WordPress site at the most inopportune time. PHP updates create a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t scenario.

If you haven’t backed up your website before updating to the latest PHP version, it can be a tedious and time-consuming process to repair it. As all business owners know, time is money—and the longer your website is unavailable, the bigger your risk of losing potential sales.

 Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/coffee-writing-computer-blogging-34600/
Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/coffee-writing-computer-blogging-34600/

WordPress websites are vulnerable to malicious attacks without constant monitoring and updating plugins.

Because WordPress is such a widely-used platform, it's a prime target for hackers. However, it's important to remember that hackers won't always target your website directly. Instead, they often exploit plugin vulnerabilities to target as many websites as possible.

When they target websites directly, you may think hackers will go for some of the biggest websites hosted on WordPress—such as PlayStation, The New York Times, or The Walt Disney Company. However, one study found that 43% of WordPress attacks are aimed at small businesses, primarily because they tend to be more vulnerable than large businesses who have entire security teams at their disposal.

WordPress security vulnerabilities can come in many forms, but some of the most common are:

  • Brute force attacks that try to guess your password

  • Malware and viruses added to outdated plugins or WordPress themes

  • SQL injection attacks where hackers insert malicious code into a website's database

  • Phishing scams that trick users into revealing sensitive information

With so many technical issues to navigate, it's no wonder that many South African small business owners feel overwhelmed with the prospect of setting up and managing their own website.

Unfortunately, using a WordPress website isn't a "set it and forget it" solution—it requires constant maintenance. Issues can arise anytime, even if you've had your website for years. For a small business that relies on its website for business, a major WordPress website crash can be a nightmare.

When your website crashes, you can sift through years of plugins, updates, and other website elements to troubleshoot the problem. This process can be time-consuming, frustrating, and often leads to more questions than answers. Luckily, there is a quick and easy answer that streamlines the entire website building and hosting process.

Say Hello to Savvy: Your Simple Website Solution

We know that building a professional website can be a daunting task for local small business owners. That’s why we’re committed to changing the game by providing an affordable, reliable, code-free alternative that bridges the gap between businesses, technology, and their customers.

We see ourselves as more than a website provider. Savvy is built on the belief that African entrepreneurs deserve more. It’s time to say goodbye to complex coding issues, hidden fees, and software updates that crash your website. We’re dedicated to empowering small businesses and entrepreneurs to reach the next level through our range of simple website tools, expert guidance, and friendly support.

At Savvy, simplicity is key. Our websites are designed to give small business owners exactly what they need, minus the bells and whistles that lead to technical headaches and maintenance nightmares. Plus, our mobile-friendly website designs ensure your website looks great on any device while seamlessly integrating with Calendly, WhatsApp for Business, and more.

Whether you're a plumber or personal trainer, food truck owner or tutor, restaurateur or home baker, we offer a simple website solution tailored to your business needs. Are you ready to supercharge your business with a Savvy site built to perform?

Come see for yourself!