WordPress is a CMS system that helps you launch and manage your own website/blog. But is it the most beginner-friendly CMS?
Some might say no. And I understand why that appears because Wix, SquareSpace, Shopify, etc., other CMS has made some things so easy that it makes WordPress look more difficult.
However, if this is true, why is 43% of the websites built on WordPress, and almost every day, thousands of new ones are added in.
I am somewhat an intermediate user of WordPress and still learning, but I have seen some people think “why is WordPress so hard to use” repeating regularly.
I will break down why beginners find it hard to use WordPress.
Confusion Between WordPress.com & WordPress.org
The first thing someone stumbles upon in WordPress is getting confused between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
Making a website/blog in WordPress.com is comparatively easier than WordPress.org because you get premade themes and templates.
You get very limited customization and no flexibility on WordPress.com. Besides, you will get a basic experience in WordPress.com, but WordPress.org is a better choice to enjoy the full flexibility.
In WordPress.com, you don’t need to get any domain hosting plans and start with a subdomain. Yet the website won’t launch properly on WordPress.com unless you get some premium features.
In comparison, you need a domain and hosting for making a website in WordPress.org.
Platform Hosted Vs. Self Hosted Websites (For WordPress)
Let me clarify if you don’t understand the difference between a Platform Hosted, and Self Hosted website.
A platform-hosted website doesn’t require the owner to buy hosting differently. Only buying a domain and connecting it to the platform does it all.
For example, the most known platform-hosted websites are Blogger or Blogspot.
When you sign up with a blogger, you get to run a website/blog on their hosting. Blogger provides free subdomains to start the website/blog initially and connect your domain later.
And the newer examples are both Wix and Shopify, where you can create a blog or online shop on their platform with their subdomain or your custom domain.
On the other hand, WordPress needs a custom domain and hosting to make a good website. Not just that, you need to install the WordPress software on your hosting and then connect your domain.
Many beginners get stuck on this step and spend a lot of time just here to fix it. Although nowadays, most hosting providers have added the Softaculas app installer in the hosting server to make it easy.
However, if you need to install that manually, you will need to check a tutorial. And today, I will skip that part.
Not Enough Clear Instructions
After you successfully install WordPress, you will see a dashboard that has everything sorted in tabs. Although WordPress is a user-intuitive platform, there is not enough instruction for beginners.
You can easily understand the Post tab will let you generate a new post, and the Page tab will create a new page, but except those, the other settings can be overwhelming for a newbie.
When I started my first website on WordPress, I was really confused, just like any new user. But thanks to the large community and various tutorials on Google and YouTube, I found my way.
You might have a plan on your mind about how you want to design your blog/website and start making things, but after a while, you will get lost in the settings.
In my case, when I was trying to make a menu, I was adding more pages and the menu looked okay. But as soon as I started to add other things, it got messy. I had to look for blogs and tutorials on fixing that and got the solution.
But a little instruction could make it so easy for any newbie who wants to start a website on WordPress.
Need To Learn Website Design and Theme Customization
WordPress installs its basic theme on your website on installation. That looks decent, and you can keep that theme and just keep posting new content if you are not into the looks.
However, the design of your website also represents the value of your website.
You may have some ideas or visions of your website’s look and design like that. You can look in the themes and install the theme of your choice, which is better than coding the website using HTML and CSS.
However, you will need to learn how to change logos or banners. How to replace or remove an item from the sidebar and more.
For example, if you want to remove something from the sidebar or the whole sidebar from your entire website, you need to edit the widget.
And to remove something from the page, you need to edit the pages. This makes a lot of beginners think that WordPress is confusing.
And it just does not ends there because most themes have similar settings, but each has its unique individual function as well.
If you do something in a theme one way, you may need to do that same thing another way in a different theme. Or you may not find that feature at all.
Opportunity To Use Plugins and More Plugins
In a nutshell, plugins are add-ons that extend the functionality of WordPress. You can use them to add features like social media integration, image gallery, eCommerce, and so on.
Plugins can also make your blog more secure or customizable and can save you time by providing features that WordPress already offers.
But the problem is you need different plugins for each function you want to add.
For example, if you want to make your website more secure, you need a plugin. To add forms, you need a plugin. Even if you don’t like the header or footer, you need a plugin.
And that makes confusion in the beginning. If it was not enough, the plugins need other plugins and a specific setup to work properly.
I mean, how a beginner can handle all of these in one go.
Complex SEO Settings
When you clear all the hard stuff I told above and make a website, you might think that’s it. But it is not always. WordPress is built for blogging, so there are categories and tags to keep the content in a specific manner.
However, silly mistakes can make it hard for your website to show up on Google when starting. Your well-written content may never appear on Google if your website is set on not to appear in search engines.
Also, you need to fix the link structure. A real-life example is when I was trying to add a new post on my website, I did everything well, but I didn’t fix the permalink. And I was not able to index it on Google.
I was a total newbie but found the problem was on my “Permalink” or “URL.”
So what happened is that instead of showing the URL as www.mydomian.com/my-new-post-title, the URL was showing www.mydomian.com/p-123456, something like that.
Then I had to find the setting and fix this problem. And the new Search Engine Algorithms discourage adding numbers on URLs. And not just that if you are not using any SEO plugins, fixing the links can be hard.
Internal Analytics Feature
As a new website owner, you may want to know how many visitors your website is getting. But WordPress doesn’t track that for you, as you can find this on Blogger/Blogspot and many other CMS.
If you don’t know what is working till now, you won’t be able to determine what will work in the future.
So, to get the analytics, you will have to rely on third parties. Even in analytics, you have to install a WordPress analytics plugin or other scripts on your WordPress website.
Usually, people use Google Analytics to measure their website traffic, but Google is not the only search engine. Bing is also a very popular search engine and brings a lot of traffic to websites. That again creates a universal analytics problem.
Some SEO plugins might solve some of your problems, but each has its own pros and cons as well.
Should I Give Up on WordPress?
Well, if you want to give up on WordPress and stick with easier options like Blogger or even Medium and try for years to shine, that is not a good choice. WordPress is half-bad than you actually think.
How To Make WordPress Easy For Me?
#Take your Time:
The first thing is you need to learn it slowly. Remember, you have to understand WordPress properly before unlocking its true potential.
I know OS like Android or IOS is similar to software like WordPress, but they are way easy and user-friendly.
WordPress is also dedicated to users, but it’s not something you can learn in a day or two. If you are a quick learner, trust me, a 3 hour tutorial on YouTube will be enough for you to start with WordPress.
However, you should at least give it 3 months to master the features properly.
#Join the Community:
Because WordPress is widely used, many people share their thoughts and experience on forums. You can join there, get yourself motivated, and learn some tricks from the experts.
So try to implement your learning, and once you get the hang of it, you will be more comfortable with WordPress.
#Search for the exact problem in any forum or just Google it:
As you are using WordPress, you might face some difficulty initially. If you are in a WordPress community forum or any forum like Quora or Reddit, etc., you can ask your question there.
Or you can search for the solution on Google by writing the exact problems, and some article might appear because somebody may have already faced and fixed that problem.
Why Should I Use WordPress?
Many things will keep your interest in using WordPress. First and foremost, it’s totally free. You don’t have to pay anything ever to use the facilities.
WordPress uses plugins that might come with a subscription. But WordPress is completely free as long as you are not trying to get that premium tool.
WordPress is open source, so a new plugin arrives every day with something new to offer. Not just that if you are a developer yourself, or you can get one to make your very own plugin to help your website on WordPress.
You don’t require a single line of code to set up a fully functioning website with multiple functions that require some complex coding. Each function you need got a plugin that makes your job easy.
You can choose your own domain and hosting and also the cost. If you are trying to make an eCommerce site, you might look into Shopify for building your site. For that Shofipy charges, you 29$ a month.
But with WordPress, you can make that same shop using a completely free WooCommerce plugin, and you can get your hosting for a way lower price.
And you have a lot of control over your website that you might not have in any other CMS. If you are non-techy, that doesn’t matter because you will be able to adapt to WordPress within a year or so without any difficulties.
Yes, WordPress is not as easy as Wix or Squarespace, but it’s also not complicated. WordPress doesn’t ask for any subscription fee like Shopify or similar CMS. And mostly, it gives you the most flexibility.
Almost every company that deals with websites has its own WYSIWYG CMS. For example, Godaddy is a domain and hosting provider but has a dedicated website builder.
Yes, you can make websites using that way quicker than WordPress, but that won’t be as flexible as WordPress.
For example, If you want to add Google Webmaster in Wix, Shopify, or anywhere else, you need their integration feature to do so.
Whereas in WordPress, you can do that with any third-party plugin with a few clicks only.
In reality, WordPress makes it a little difficult for new users. But some of the features are so easy to use that the users think that complicated ones will be easy like them.
That is where they get stuck and complain. Other than that, if you go easy and give at least 3 months to a year in WordPress, you will like it.