Is a WordPress Website Bad for SEO?

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system and the most preferred choice for people looking to create a professional website. However, just like any other CMS (content management system), WordPress has a bad side that you need to be aware of and protect yourself from.

Speed Kills

Every company, agency, or individual operator that launches a website or updates a blog constantly fights for page ranking (or lack of it). The best way to gain credibility with Google and other search engines is to provide users with a fast loading, responsive website.

Google Page Speed scores factor in a number of different metrics, all of which matter, to create a better user experience. They include:

  • Overall layout and design
  • Fonts and icons
  • Page speed
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • JavaScript usage
  • Picture size
  • DOM consistency
  • Server response time
  • HTML errors
  • CSS optimization

Each of these elements impacts user experience and, in turn, search rankings. To maximize your page speed and ensure your website’s performance on all devices – including laptops, tablets, and mobile phones – use a content delivery network (CDN). A content delivery network is a service that essentially acts as a middleman between your website’s servers and your users. When a user visits your site, the network automatically directs them to the most appropriate server based on their location and device.

Achievement of the highest page speed scores is difficult – if not impossible – without using a content delivery network. A CDN takes the stress out of performance-related issues that would otherwise arise from operating a personal website. When your users experience lags and freezes, they are more likely to become frustrated, bounce off, and ultimately leave.

While personal websites may operate using just a web host and a domain name, businesses, agencies, and even news websites often outsource their web content to a third party to improve the user experience. Doing so has many advantages. For starters, having an external contributor means that you can always get more content, whether for free or at a discounted rate. In addition, outsourcing your web content provides you with more flexibility in terms of design and functionality.

Security Breaches

Malware (short for malicious software) is a general term used for software (such as a virus, Trojan, or worm) that is designed to infiltrate and damage a system for personal gain. WordPress is among the most popular CMSes used for publishing websites because it is open-source and extremely functional. This makes it easily hackable by anyone with basic coding knowledge.

WordPress is also among the most popular CMSes used for hacking because of its extremely porous nature. This is a fancy way of saying that anyone can essentially “junk” a WordPress website with very little effort. As a result, anyone can attempt to harm your website in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Earning you money through affiliate marketing
  • Sending spam to your email or social accounts
  • Phishing users for their login credentials
  • Installing malware on your server to steal information or monetize your site (malware includes viruses, Trojan horses, and ransomware)
  • Manipulating your website’s SEO
  • …and the list goes on

In light of the above, it’s clear that WordPress is not a safe choice for a business, agency, or individual seeking to establish themselves online. While it is extremely functional, there are many security measures that you can put in place to make your site more resistant to attack. These include but are not limited to:

  • Use of a dedicated IP (Internet Protocol) for DNS (Domain Name System) records
  • Use of HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) for your sites’ login forms (with the exception of mobile banking websites)
  • Regular backups
  • Wiping of the system following backups
  • Use of security plugins
  • Keeping your plugins up to date (especially the popular ones)
  • Use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt all your online transactions
  • Regular scans of your network with a security tool like Malwarebytes
  • Adjusting your sites’ settings to only allow trusted hosts (hosts that you’ve vetted) to connect to your server
  • Adjusting your sites’ passwords using a strong password manager
  • Only permitting specific IPs (Internet Protocol) to connect to your server (with the exception of mobile banking websites)
  • Regular scans of your system with a security tool like Malwarebytes
  • Use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt all your online transactions
  • Adjusting your sites’ settings to only allow trusted hosts (hosts that you’ve vetted) to connect to your server


A sitemap is a list of URLs that are accessible from within a website. The list usually includes a variety of content, including but not limited to:

  • Regional and local business details (hours of operation, addresses, etc.)
  • Products that the business offers for sale
  • Contact details (telephone numbers, email addresses, etc.)
  • Images of products
  • Blog posts
  • …and the list goes on

When a user visits your site and clicks on the Sitemap button, they will see a list of links (usually near the top of the page) that they can click through to access the content referenced above. The list typically includes links to all the pages within your site (known as “self-links”), along with external links (to other sites).

While a sitemap alone won’t help your SEO (search engine optimization), creating one for your site is an easy way to ensure that your website is properly connected to the outside world. In addition to SEO benefits, creating a sitemap will allow you to easily update content on your site as your business grows.

Keyword Rich Content

In the past, web content was mostly seen as “long-form” content – that is, content that was entered in a natural manner and was therefore difficult to scan. Because of the rise of shortened online sources like Twitter and the ‘net, content today can (and often does) exist in the form of succinct tweets, status updates, snippets of information, and so on. As a result, search engines now seek out content that is as relevant and as concise as possible. To attract search engines and gain maximum exposure, create content that is as keyword rich as possible.

When a user searches for a keyword (or keywords) within your content, the engine will recognize the content as relevant, and give it high priority within the search results. In turn, this can boost your SEO and increase your website’s visibility on the ‘net.