Why WordPress Isn’t Great as a Membership Site’s Content Management System

Both this blog and our other free publication WhichTestWon.com are built in WordPress. However, I prefer not to subscription sites on this platform. Because

Both this blog and our other free publication WhichTestWon.com are built in WordPress. However, I prefer not to subscription sites on this platform. Because when people are paying for content, it shouldn’t crash on them. Ever, if humanly possible.WordPress is great because it’s (a) free, (b) relatively easy for your editorial staff to use without loads of training, (c) lots of free and cheap plugins are available for it, so your site can be cooler without heavy custom dev costs, and (d) there are tons of experienced WordPress designers and developers for hire. Oh, and it’s relatively SEO-friendly.In my experience though, it’s prone to crashing or to being crashed. The problem seems to lie in three things. WordPress frequently issues upgrades. There’s a tech staff cost to going along with all the upgrades – you have to put the site on a dev server, try out the new version, see if it screws up any of your custom programming or works badly with any of your 3rd party plugins… and then you move over to the main site. I’ll pay for my staff to do that once a year or so. But, WordPress’s last upgrade launched just 42 days after the the launch of the prior one.If you add too many plug-ins to your site, it will slow page load times to a crawl and could even cause crashes.  Unfortunately “too many” can be a fairly small number.  Also, most plug-ins issue upgrades. On their own whimsical schedules. Which you probably won’t know about until after part of your site is broken, and your customer service department is fending the calls off.Lastly, your hosting company may throttle your traffic (ie. stop most people from getting in) when you have a spike in traffic due to, oh say, sending your weekly newsletter. Then they’ll try to point the blame at the fact that you did not comply with the most recent WordPress upgrade. Actually I’ve found often it’s just the fact their automated scripts noticed the spike in traffic and freaked out suspecting a DDoS attack or just fussing about you using too much of their precious bandwidth. Most blogs don’t have such sudden spikes, so it makes the hosting cos nervous. Yes, you can upgrade to a better account… which I’m about to do for the third time and counting.That’s why I strongly recommend that all paid content sites be developed on a more stable content management platform. You do not need the aggravation.

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