Sunday, July 25, 2010

WordPress Last Straw – with me, anyway

The wildly popular blog platform of choice did the last few things to sour me on it completely.

1. I almost got kicked off a server because of plug-in conflicts which was tying up that server completely. (This was after I had been required to move it from another cheaper and slower host the year before – and that was because of the bandwidth WP uses in posting.)

2. That bandwidth hog problem makes me use a desktop client in order to post, just to avoid it.

3. WordPress simply doesn’t SEO right out of the box. There are perhaps fully a dozen plug-ins you have to install in order to get it running right. Meanwhile, you have to turn off all sorts of gadgets and gerflunkies in order that the Search Engines won’t give you duplicate content penalties. (WP keeps at least three copies of everything – or so the Search Engines are told.)

4. While it’s user-friendly, it’s not something any SEO pro uses (other than to sell to other people to make sure they have continuing income.) It’s great for design. But that’s it.

5. I tweaked some plug-ins on another self-hosted version of it, and managed to basically get locked out of the system.  It takes so long to load the browser times out – gawd only knows what it’s doing to the server…

6. Wordpress.com itself sucks because of it’s no duplicate content robots. I was simply moving from one to another without deleting first – and guess what?!? Everything was simply gone. I was only warned because I was actively working on these sites and they would go dead on me. Earlier experience on this tells me I won’t even get an email.

7. Last week, I tried to migrate a site from a remote host over to Wordpress.com and it worked only for the first day. After that, between Google and WP.com, they would send everything to the home page. I moved it back the third day, but then I was minus half the traffic than before – plus had to get the redirection errors corrected in Google.  Sheesh.

8. Look up CMS SEO and you’ll see that people say to simply get a custom system built. Nothing out there really does the job – because they are trying to be everything to everybody. That’s WordPress’s problem – a popularity contest.

9. You can use WordPress as simply a CMS and turn off all the posts. But what happens is that after a certain amount of pages, my blog simply always said that my front page was something else. It’s stuck that way – period – now.

10. Where does WP actually run well? In closed-down systems which don’t allow any installs except what is approved. And in theory, you could then buy a domain name for these and set yourself up with that protection.  But that is for some sort of hobby site, not anything which is “set up once and run forever.’

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So the use of Wordpress in SEO is on WPMU-type sites which are there simply to give backlinks and some traffic. (Just don’t ever, ever host on Wordpress.com if you don’t want it to suddenly disappear.)

And if you want to simply build a nice, stable site – go retro. Use onefileCMS  to build your sites. You can still get in and edit the pages after you built them and it’s an easy install with XAMPP on your own home machine, then FTP up to wherever you want to run it from. No databases to worry about. No conflicts with other programs.

Most clients will say even WP is too hard to learn. So just have them pay you to do your updates. Or teach their admin assistant for a fee.

I’ve been taking almost any CSS-based template out there over the past few days and shoving it into onepageCMS to make it just a fine and dandy little mini-site all on its own. And just plop in your Google files into the header and footer and you’re away!

The use of WP is to get backlinks and traffic. Set up on these remote blogs and don’t duplicate content within that host.  You’ll be fine. What I read is that you still get the backlinks even if your copy is duplicate somewhere else. Easier just to spin your articles.

Update: I did get an email (very, very short) from WP, saying that they didn’t like my affiliate links.  Duplicate content wasn’t in that email. I managed not to get kicked off entirely – but I was for a few hours.

The point is that WP.com is touchy and have their servers set up to nuke your sites automatically. And the WordPress platform is best hosted by professionals, not on your own server.

So I’ve moved on to real CMS platforms (and hobbying with onefileCMS), plus narrowed my passions to what I really need to work on.)

Lesson: Get Pro. Drop Wordpress – or hire them to host your site.

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