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7 Jan
Posted by Scott Shorter

What makes WordPress websites great: SEO and Social Media

This blog is an outline of the reasons why WordPress is a great CMS for SEO, Social Media, and counters to arguments against WordPress in regards to hackers and security. It is written by the fabulous Scott Shorter, Director at Scott Shorter – Search Engine and Social Media Specialists who holds a B.Comms – BSc (M), Multimedia & Internet Computing from Edith Cowan University.

Content Management Systems

Working as a search engine optimisation (SEO) specialist for a number of different web developers, I’ve seen my fair share of content management systems (CMS). In my experience there are three main types of CMS:

  • Open source
  • Proprietary (created and owned by the developer)
  • Third party (which are purchased on a license)

There are various benefits and drawbacks for each type of CMS and coming from a search perspective we try our best to work with all three. As a guest writer for Clever Starfish, I would like to outline why, in my experience, WordPress makes for a great choice in CMS.

Open sourced CMS

There are a number of open sourced CMS’s available; the most well-known are Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. My personal favourite of these is WordPress for its ease of use, SEO readiness and available features.

WordPress is an open sourced CMS, which means it is an open platform that allows programmers throughout the world to continually develop for and contribute to. The popularity of WordPress means there is likely to be more developers contributing to it than any other CMS, which results in an outstanding level of refinement and extension availability.

Top CMS usage chart

WordPress and SEO

A standard install of WordPress is a great CMS for SEO, with Matt Cutts, one of the world’s most important Google representatives, stating:

‘WordPress takes care of 80-90% of [the mechanics of] search engine optimization.’

The level of on-page SEO on a WordPress website can quickly be taken to the highest degree via specialist SEO extensions following a standard install of WordPress. These extensions save both time and money because they are free and kept up to date with the latest Google algorithm updates by the wider community of WordPress developers.

WordPress and Social Media

WordPress is also a future-proof decision when you consider the rapid pace of social media evolution. WordPress is always at the forefront of what’s hot because of its hundreds, possibly thousands, of social media-ready extensions, with new extensions developed within hours of a social media change. This allows your WordPress developer to build faster, higher quality and more advanced functionality for a better price.

Security and WordPress

I often hear the counter sell that open source CMS’s are an attractive target for hackers due to their popularity. As a generalised statement, this is a one sided spin with half the facts of the story missing.

It is true that open source CMS’s are an attractive target for hackers, but primarily this is only true if your CMS is not kept up-to-date. WordPress’ attraction to hackers comes from vulnerabilities (all CMS’s have vulnerabilities) in out-dated versions of WordPress being left open. This means hackers are able to use the same vulnerability on another website that uses the same out-dated version of WordPress. However, this concern can be easily avoided by making sure your developer applies updates on a regular basis. If this is done correctly, the risk of being hacked is arguably no greater than if you were using any other type of CMS.

Putting security in perspective

The risk to WordPress security can be put in perspective when you consider that Matt Cutts (one of the world’s most important Google representatives) uses WordPress for his personal blog, as does rap mogul Jay-Z and renowned comedian Russell Brand. National burger chain Grill’d also uses WordPress for their corporate website.

Backups

It is important to understand that no type of CMS is hack-proof. If a hacker is unable to gain access to your website via the CMS, it is still possible for them to gain access through other avenues. This means it is essential that you make sure you have adequate backup procedures in place as a backup is often the quickest and most cost effective way to recover from an attack.

Final word

WordPress is a great CMS to use as a base for SEO and the Starfish crew are undoubtedly clever people for using it! Pay attention to your updates, backups and enjoy your future proof decision to go with one of the world’s most flexible and friendly CMS’s!

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