Because it’s so easy to set up, is open source and comes bundled with pretty much every hosting package, you would be forgiven for thinking WordPress is just a decent platform for small operations.
While it’s true that it’s probably the simplest way to get a website up and running in 15 minutes, that’s only half the story. The fact is that WordPress’s popularity comes from the fact that it’s robust, flexible and scalable – and that means it’s suitable for websites of all sizes.
The WPbeginner site lists more than 40 websites you’ve probably heard of that are, it claims, based on the WordPress platform. It includes Sony Music, TechCrunch, Time Magazine, Wired and Vogue, so you should be starting to get an idea of the kinds of traffic we’re talking about.
If you visit any of those sites, you’ll probably experience a visit that’s just as good as any other site you visit. There are some compelling reasons to choose WordPress, whatever the size of your site.
If your site is big and is getting millions of visitors per week, there’s a good chance that you’ve got multiple staff and freelancers working on it day in, day out.
This is where the first bonus comes in – it’ll be familiar to almost everyone. It’s pretty intuitive anyway for a regular user to contribute to, but the same applies to WordPress developers and designers, too. They’ll know exactly how to use it and can hit the ground running.
With so many sites around the world using the platform (more than 400 million of them, representing about a third of all sites), if there’s a problem, it’ll be noticed instantly.
Whether that’s security, performance, back end or user interface, the community will spot any issues quicker than the fastest IT department, and there will be fixes and patches available almost instantly. The truth is that even that rarely happens, as new versions don’t get released until they have been thoroughly tested.
There might occasionally be emergency security updates, but even they are usually down to a theoretical loophole that had posed a tiny risk.
The important thing is to make sure your hosting is up to scratch, and that you don’t overwhelm your setup with an abundance of plugins and other things that put strain on your servers. Keep an eye on your core vitals and you should be fine.
With so many benefits and cost savings, why would a company bother to build a site from the ground up? After all, there are still millions of excellent sites that don’t run on any common platform.
The main reason not to use WordPress for a big website is that businesses often want complete proprietary control over their whole site. They don’t feel comfortable leaving the back end of their website effectively out of their own control.
A few years ago, WordPress changed the way pages and posts were composed from a word-processor type to “Gutenberg”, a block-based entry method. It was not to everyone’s taste, but would have caused businesses to retrain their staff regardless.
Second, building your own site lets you have just the features you need, so there’s no bloat.
There are compelling reasons for both using WordPress and developing your own site, but as far as traffic capacity is concerned, you should have no worries with WordPress.