WordPress Review: Features, Ratings, Pros & Cons

Nile Flores

WordPress Expert ··WordPress

WordPress Review: Features, Ratings, Pros & Cons

If you’ve been in the market to build a site, you’ve probably come across WordPress. WordPress is a content management system (CMS), that allows you to build nearly any type of website you want. While 43% of websites, as of 2021, are powered by WordPress, as a consumer, it’s important to know what WordPress can do.

In this article, you’ll learn about WordPress, its pros & cons, and hopefully this post will help you decide whether WordPress is the right CMS choice for you.

What Is WordPress?


What Is WordPress

WordPress is a CMS (content management system) that is Open Source and completely free to download and use. It’s designed to allow digital content creators, web designers, and web developers to build a site and easily publish content. WordPress has been around since 2003, but prior to that, it was a popular blog platform called b2 cafelog. The intention of forking b2 cafelog over to WordPress, was to keep improving on the blog platform, in order to make it a full content management system, much like other free Open Source CMS like Drupal and Joomla.

Today, WordPress offers a world class content editor, and countless tools to achieve most types of websites. Additionally, other PHP-based scripts can be implemented in plugins, or bridged into WordPress, in order to create super robust and dynamic websites.

Again, WordPress is free to use however you wish, however if you need extra services not built into WordPress or any of the free themes or plugins available on WordPress.org, you may need to buy premium extensions or hire someone to build the site for you. You also have to purchase a domain name, and a hosting.

As a note, in the case of this article, the WordPress discussed here, is more known as WordPress.org, not as WordPress.com. If you’d like to learn about the differences of WordPress.com versus WordPress.org, you can read about it here.

What kind of websites can you build with WordPress?


WordPress, as a CMS, is fairly flexible, and can be used to build most types of websites, from selling tangible and digital products, directories, photo or art galleries, businesses, blogs, non-profit organizations, churches, informational sites, government sites, and much more.

This being said, it’s important to note that once you build a WordPress site, the images, content, and how it’s stored in the database, over time can eventually become large. You may need to upgrade your web hosting, or scale it up. Some e-commerce WordPress sites that have a lot of products, often have to scale up on web hosting, in order for the site to stay stable and remain up. Now, this isn’t necessarily a negative against WordPress, as other CMS also go through the same type of growing pains. Just don’t expect to stay on a small web hosting plan, if you’re building a really large website or expect to have a lot of website visitors.

Pros and Cons of WordPress



WordPress is free.
You can move your WordPress site to most web hosts.
Lots of free themes to choose from.
Lots of free plugins to choose from.
The WordPress Community is filled with a lot of developers that you can hire for support.

You’re responsible for your website’s maintenance and security.
You either have to pay someone for support, or try to fix things yourself.
It might take some time to learn WordPress.

Pros of WordPress


  • WordPress is free.
    You read that right. Most people like freebies, but you might be surprised because this tool can help you create a website and make money with it.

  • You can move your WordPress site to most web hosts.
    You can build a WordPress site on most web hosts, and even move from to another, if you need to. WordPress is completely yours.

  • Lots of free themes to choose from.
    If you’re not a web designer, there are so many free themes that you can probably find something you can work with. If you’re building a WordPress website on a dime, then this saves you a lot of money, as hiring a web designer or developer isn’t exactly cheap.

  • Lots of free plugins to choose from.
    Free themes, free plugins, and WordPress is free. All you have to do is take the time to buy a domain, web hosting, and then build your site. For the tight budget DIYer, this is an amazing opportunity to take advantage of.

  • The WordPress Community is filled with a lot of developers that you can hire for support.
    The WordPress Community is pretty large. It’s not hard to track down a developer in WordPress groups on Facebook, Fiverr, or even the WordPress Support forums. So, when you’re in a pinch, and need your website fixed, there’s a lot of options out there.

Cons of WordPress


  • You’re responsible for your website’s maintenance and security.
    Once you’ve installed WordPress, and customized it to suit your needs, you can’t just leave the website alone. Technology evolves, and that includes WordPress, the themes, and even plugins. It also leaves room for hacking. Updating your site regularly is the most important way to keep your WordPress site as secure as possible. The other ways are scheduling website backups, and installing a WordPress malware scanner to regularly monitor your site.

  • It might take some time to learn WordPress.
    Learning WordPress is not necessarily a negative. With anything new, there’s always going to be a need to take time to learn, much like learning how to do spreadsheets, or use a social media website. If you don’t have time to learn it, then you might need to hire someone who knows WordPress, and can work on your website for you.

  • You either have to pay someone for support, or try to fix things yourself.
    Sometimes things go wrong. Just like updating your computer or phone, there are sometimes problems that crop up. This is the same with WordPress. You could accidentally install a theme or plugin that creates an error or takes your site down, because it’s not compatible with your other plugins or even WordPress itself.
    If you don’t know how to fix those problems, or don’t have the time to hunt down the solution online, then you’re going to have to hire someone. Not all WordPress developers have the same rates, so it might be frustrating finding an affordable person to provide support, especially if you have little to no budget available.

Comprehensive WordPress Review


This review of WordPress has been broken down into the following areas:

  1. Popularity
  2. Type
  3. Installation
  4. SEO
  5. Ease of Use
  6. Security
  7. Content Manager
  8. Themes
  9. Plugins
  10. Support

Each area will have a rating between 1 to 5, one being really bad, and 5 being excellent.

1. Popularity

WordPress, according to BuiltWidth, is the most popular CMS in both the United States, and most popular Open Source in the entire Internet. Additionally, WordPress blows every other CMS out of the water, in usage, according to W3Techs, at over 43% sites using it, and over 65% market share. Famous sites that use it are the WhiteHouse.gov site, Microsoft’s Stories blog, and even TechCrunch. As a fun fact, WhiteHouse.gov previously used another CMS named Drupal, and dropped it, for WordPress. So, that says a lot about the confidence out there in WordPress.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Reason: WordPress has grown to be a powerhouse of a CMS and the stats don’t lie.

2. Type

WordPress is a full fledged CMS system that uses PHP. In order to use it, you must have some type of web host that offers to store your content within files or in a database.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reason: WordPress still has a long way to go with improving web accessibility for users. This is essential, as not all end users use or see the site the same. Some have physical disabilities, so WordPress needs to improve more in this area.

3. Installation

WordPress is fairly easy to install. Just download WordPress here, and then follow their 5-minute installation tutorial, if you’re familiar with handling files or databases. Otherwise, some hosts like Verpex offer cloud web hosting and WordPress hosting options that can spin a new install in seconds. In the Verpex cloud hosting, there’s a quick installation option for WordPress, in their cPanel dashboard.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Reason: WordPress has worked with the web hosting and Open Source communities to make it easy for the basic user to install WordPress.

4. SEO

Out of the box, WordPress is SEO-ready. However, you can install a SEO plugin like Yoast SEO or Rank Math, to help further optimize your site’s content, so Google may list it higher in their search results.

Please note that using different themes, other than the ones that are offered by default with each WordPress install, aside from your content and how you organize it, can also help or hurt how well your site performs on the search engine results.

The only issue with WordPress, is that if you’re new to learning WordPress and SEO, you don’t use an SEO plugin, you may miss out on submitting your site to Google. It’s an important step, that’s needed, in order for Google to properly index your site’s pages on their search engine listings.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Reason: You will not find a better SEO-ready CMS, or free SEO-related plugins/extensions that offer a lot. For example, even Yoast SEO made a version for Drupal, because even the Drupal community had been wanting an SEO plugin like Yoast, that offered the same features.

5. Ease of use

Ease of use in Wordpress

WordPress is designed with the basic level user in mind, especially with content creating. The original idea behind the content editor was to make it seem as familiar as some of the email services, with a simple window for adding text and images, as well as some tools to customize the message.

Not going to lie, it does take a little bit of learning, and you’re going to want to explore the content editor to familiarize yourself with it. If you like to learn, there’s a lot of free WordPress How to videos on WordPress.TV, which is a nice educational addition to WordPress.org.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reason: There’s always going to be a learning curve for any level of user. I just think WordPress could do a better job within its community to organize video tutorials to make it easier to find. While there are premium WordPress courses that are designed for beginners, not all new WordPress users can afford to pay a subscription fee to access those video tutorials.

6. Security

For the most part, WordPress at its core is fairly secure. However, it’s the responsibility of the user to make sure it stays secure, by performing regular updates to WordPress core, and any plugins or themes used. Additionally, it’s important to choose a web host that is secure.

If you’d like to ensure that your site remains secure, you might want to use a plugin like Shield Security to help monitor and close up any possible holes where hacks could happen. In some cases, your web host will provide some level of security, but having a WordPress security plugin helps pinpoint any hacks particular to WordPress that your web host’s malware scanner may miss.

Aside from security, make sure to back up your WordPress site too.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reason: The WordPress Community needs to put their heads together on a better way to educate new users about security and backups. Perhaps adding a notification on the dashboard, during default installation may be ideal, in order to address this issue?

7. Content Manager

WordPress Content Manager review

WordPress naturally offers two types of ways to publish content, using post types, like posts and pages. Posts are normally like blog posts, where your most recently published articles are displayed first, or reverse sequence order. Pages are more static, and without a time stamp.

In order to create content, WordPress provides a clean content editor. You can add text, quotes, images, and more. The WordPress content editor is known as the Guteberg content editor, and is designed to allow you to organize your post and page content as dynamically as you wish. It is a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) editor, where you can visually see how your page will look when you publish it. You can add columns, stylize the colors and size of fonts, and much more!

Below is an example GIF of a post written and organized using the Gutenberg editor.

Wordpress Gutenberg editor

As an added note, if you need something more than the default WordPress content editor, in order to customize pages or posts with a unique design, you may want to use a pagebuilder plugin like Elementor or SiteOrigin. If you do choose to build your site with a pagebuilder, please note that it may take a little more to learn. However, pagebuilder plugins help extend where the WordPress content editor doesn’t. And in the case of Elementor, the pagebuilder has a wonderful frontend editor option, so you can fully see what you’re designing, as you build your site.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Reason: There’s a lot of things for the basic user to learn. There’s still a huge need to improve a lot of the usability in the Gutenberg editor. This is being worked on, but probably not as quickly as some users wish. The upside is the blocks for adding picture galleries in different ways, that don’t require an extra plugin to use.

8. Themes

To customize the front of your site, so it’s presentable to your website visitors, with WordPress you use themes to make that happen. At WordPress.org, there are thousands of themes available for free use. Some of the more popular themes offered, may have unique design features or even options to upgrade.

It’s best to choose a theme that doesn’t have a ton of options, and that’s well reviewed by the community. A theme with so many options, that you may never use even a portion of them, may actually slow down your page speed. In case you insist on choosing a theme with quite a few options, you might want to consider optimizing WordPress for better site speed.

Once you’ve chosen a theme, you may need to customize the colors using CSS or using any of the theme’s available options. If you need something more advanced, you may need to either pay a web designer to achieve the right look.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Reason: There are so many great themes. The WordPress community does a great job by offering some fairly trendy looking default themes that are easy to customize, which allows new users to launch a brand new website really fast.

9. Plugins

WordPress mostly offers basic features with their content editor and how you can organize your site’s content, like with pages and posts or categories and tags. However, if you want more than that, you’re going to need plugins. Plugins add more dynamic ways for your site to function, like if you need to have a contact form, or want to sell items on your website. You can learn more about WordPress plugins here.

Like themes, WordPress has tens of thousands of free plugins available. It’s important to only use what plugins you need, or you could slow your website down. In some cases, some plugins that collect and display a lot of data, could require you to need more database and file storage, so you may need to choose a web hosting account that can handle that. If you don’t know, then you can ask what web hosting package will fit your site’s needs.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reason: While the thousands of free plugins are nice, it’s a lot to sort through. The WordPress community should put together a helpful checklist on the front page of their plugins directory for essential plugins like ecommerce, contact forms, social sharing, security, backups, and even SEO. On each of those pages, there would be listed the top 5 most popular plugins.

10. Support

With WordPress, even though it’s free, because the project is Open Source, the people in that community are usually volunteers. You can sign up for the WordPress.org Support forums and ask questions, or take a stab at learning how to use WordPress by viewing their documentation.

The downside is that while questions are answered by volunteers, people will not always offer free advice, especially if it requires hands-on troubleshooting or work. You may have to hire someone to help maintain your site or fix any issues that may pop up.

There are a lot of WordPress help-type groups on Facebook as well, but it’s the same issue as the WordPress.org Support forums, where it’s run by volunteers. If you can’t find your answers in support forums, you can always search on Google or Youtube, for any articles or videos, on how to use WordPress, or troubleshoot issues. There are countless articles and videos on thousands of different WordPress-based topics and many of them are free.

Unfortunately, not all web hosts will offer free WordPress support. They may answer some basic questions, but they aren’t obligated to fix a site unless the issue started from the host level.

Honestly, if you need fast support, it’s probably best to hire someone to help you, rather than wait for someone to answer you in the support forums on WordPress.org or Facebook groups.

Another great option is to choose a Fully Managed WordPress Hosting by Verpex: our team of hosting experts will make the process as easy as possible for you

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reason: For beginners that don’t understand that only some support may be free, people aren’t going to fix problems or help design sites for free. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s confusing.

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In Summary


WordPress has a lot of potential, whether you want to run an eshop, or a blog, or just have a business site. WordPress can be whatever you want it to be, and there may be a little bit of a learning curve, but this CMS offers you a lot of freedom that other similar hosted services like SquareSpace, Wix, and Shopify cannot compare with. And depending on your needs, it could cost less in building a site with WordPress, especially if you’re doing it yourself.

It’s important to explore your options, and try WordPress out. Play with it and see if it’s for you. If you’re not sure if WordPress can do it, feel free to reach out to Verpex customer support, in order to find out.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why choose WordPress hosting?

WordPress is so popular because it allows people to create websites with total customization. With hundreds of apps available for one-click installations, creating something that’s eye-catching and unique is much easier with a CMS like WordPress .

Are WordPress plugins free?

WordPress has loads of plugins you can install, some of them are free, but some of them you will need to pay for.

Is a website on WordPress safe?

Websites on WordPress are safe, however to avoid hacking keep your website up to date.

Why choose Verpex for WordPress?

As the leading CMS out there, we’ve made it our mission to offer the most comprehensive and streamlined WordPress solutions on the market. Backed by a responsive customer care team and reliable site enhancement tools, we ensure our users get the full WordPress value and support for a reasonable price.

Nile Flores
About the Author
Nile Flores

Nile Flores is a long time professional blogger, as well as WordPress website designer and developer from the St. Louis Metro East. Nile blogs at Blondish.net, where she’s passionate about helping website owners, whether they’re small business owners or bloggers. She teaches about Blogging, Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Website Design, and WordPress. Additionally, Nile loves to speak at WordCamps (WordPress conferences) across the United States. When Nile isn’t knee-deep in coding, she’s a proud mom of a college student, and enjoys oil painting, cigar smoking, nail art design, and practicing traditional Okinawan kempo karate.

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