Why WordPress? The power and security behind the most used CMS of today

    WordPress remains one of the most popular CMS platforms today. In 2023, WordPress was used by 45.8% of all websites on the internet. And, as of 2024, more than 835 million websites are using WordPress around the globe, with over 500 new WordPress sites being built every day.

    Those are big numbers, and for good reason.

    WordPress can be used by larger corporations to host high-traffic websites and e-commerce, or by solopreneurs who may host a small blog or portfolio site. Its versatility is reflected in its sheer reach.

    In this blog, we’ll delve into the many benefits of WordPress, while discussing security, plugins, and API development.

    So, let’s start with what makes it such a popular choice…

    Why WordPress?

    It’s safe to say that since its launch back in 2003, WordPress is certainly not outdated.

    As time has gone on, the platform has developed in line with customer expectations, improving functionality and capability. By June 2010, WordPress had introduced version 3.0 which gave users the ability to manage multiple sites.

    This ultimately established WordPress as the dominant CMS (Content Management System) software on the market due to its ease-of-use and capabilities.

    As time has gone on, many WordPress plugins have been introduced into the market and sophisticated coders have been able to customise these plugins to enhance their websites and the user experience.

    Alongside WordPress website development, we also offer WordPress hosting services for our customers. As a hosting provider, we strive to offer our customers the best service possible.

    Extensive customisation

    One of WordPress’s unique strengths lies in its ability to cater to diverse business needs through extensive customisation.  No two WordPress websites are the same, since the CMS platform allows you to completely adapt each aspect of the site.

    However, some reservations stem from fears that customisation may compromise security.

    Thankfully, with Interdirect’s expertise, you can harness the power of WordPress’s customisation features without compromising on security. We work diligently to strike the right balance, tailoring your WordPress website to meet your specific objectives while adhering to industry-leading security standards. Our team is also on hand to support you throughout the website build and into the future, taking care of any updates or changes that reflect your business’s growth. During the onboarding process, we will discuss and create a WordPress theme to suit the requirements of your business. Using the WordPress software, we will fully customise your new website.

    [You might also like: Unleash the power of conversations: 3 tips for building a successful website]

    Is WordPress secure?

    Perhaps the amount of focus on WordPress security was born from the fact it is such a prolific platform. It is only natural that with the significant number of websites hosted on the platform, there would be more security misconceptions. But you will be relieved to know that most of these are unfounded.

    The WordPress Security Team, in collaboration with the WordPress Core Leadership Team, and backed by the WordPress global community, all work to identify and resolve security issues in the core software.

    In doing so, they are recommending and documenting security best practices for third-party plugin and theme authors. They also often collaborate with other security teams to address issues in common dependencies, such as resolving the vulnerability in the PHP XML parser. This vulnerability resolution was a result of a joint effort by both WordPress and Drupal security teams and highlights the collaborative work done behind the scenes creating a global front to cyber security. These security fixes will be used in other CMS systems, such as Umbraco or Drupal as they are all developed within the same language, PHP.

    How secure are WordPress plugins?

    One common source of apprehension surrounding WordPress often centres around plugins. While it’s true that plugins contribute significantly to the platform’s flexibility, it’s crucial to distinguish between issues arising from poorly coded or outdated plugins and those inherent to the WordPress core. Our agency takes a proactive approach, curating a carefully vetted selection of plugins that align with security best practices. By doing so, we ensure that the plugins employed in your WordPress website enhance functionality without compromising security.

    There may well be outdated approaches to coding that some agencies or developers still employ, but at Interdirect, our team’s knowledge ensures all plugins are met with the most stringent security practices that prevent interception or breakdowns in security.

    Application Programming Interface (APIs) and WordPress integration

    What is an API?

    An Application Programming Interface (API) refers to a set of rules and protocols that allows different software applications to communicate and interact with each other.

    This may be part of your WordPress site if you extend the functionality, create custom plugins, or integrate third-party services seamlessly.

    Securing APIs, preventing unauthorised access, and protecting sensitive information are crucial considerations for API integration. WordPress excels in this thanks to its robust security features, secure coding standards, and extensible API functionality. Its commitment to security, coupled with a user-friendly interface, makes WordPress an excellent choice for secure API developments.

    Sitewide Security Considerations

    Whichever platform you use, you are always at risk of vulnerabilities if you do not follow the right security protocols.

    While we work hard to ensure you are protected, there are a few things we recommend to enhance security:

    Use strong passwords

    Enforce password complexity rules that use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters in passwords.

    Regular password updates

    Consider setting up automated reminders for users to update their passwords at specified intervals.

    Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

    Require users to verify their identity through an additional factor, such as a code sent to their mobile device or email.

    Implement SSL/TLS certificates

    This will establish a secure connection between clients and the WordPress server, preventing eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks.

    By incorporating these strong password practices and security measures, you can bolster the integrity of your WordPress site, reducing the risk of unauthorised access and potential security breaches.

    The Interdirect technical team is on hand with ongoing support and training, to ensure your online presence is as secure, optimised, and functional as it can be.

    Your partner in WordPress excellence

    As a Milton Keynes-based PR and digital marketing agency, we not only advocate for the unparalleled benefits of WordPress but also serve as your dedicated partner in navigating any concerns you may have.

    Our team is committed to offering transparency, addressing misconceptions, and empowering your brand with a secure and highly effective online presence. Don’t let unfounded claims deter you from exploring the vast potential of WordPress. Instead, take the first step toward a dynamic and secure website by reaching out to us for a personalised consultation.

    Let’s build your online success story together. Get in touch with the Interdirect team today.

    Let’s talk… hi@interdirect.co.uk or call 01908 422242.

    Unleash the power of conversions: 3 tips for building a successful website

    So, you want to build a new business website?

    The first question to ask is ‘why’?

    For many of you, you might think that change is the best thing for you and your business. Perhaps you’re not seeing the results you want, and you’d like a fresh new look and strategy?

    Or maybe you’re experimenting with a new strategy and want to signify that to your audiences with major development?

    Whatever the reason, be sure that it underpins every decision you make moving forward.

    Here are 3 tips to consider when building a professional business website.

    1. Understand your target audience

    This journey starts with us really understanding who your target audience is.

    Yes, you can create something generic that speaks to ‘everyone’ but won’t get you the results you crave. If you’re marketing to everyone, you’ll often be marketing to no one.

    It’s important to establish exactly who your target audience is – who is most likely to consume the media, products, and services that you’re providing. No matter your business, whether you have an online store selling shoes, or a business website providing advice, you will still be targeting a specific audience. From that, your web development agency can determine who is most likely to engage with the content and features we build into your website. For example, if you compare the process of designing a car and designing a website, the fundamental principles and components aren’t too dissimilar.

    Cars will generally all have the same mechanics such as wheels, an engine, and gears – however, depending on the target audience they can be two very different vehicles. If your audience is a family of four, with two dogs who live in an off-road location, you wouldn’t build them a three-door sports car with low profile tyres!

    2. Build your user profiles

    So, what do we do to ensure that you’re pointing your newly developed website towards the right audience?

    Good old-fashioned demographic research. At Interdirect, we look at a number of different factors that help us build up a profile. These can range from simple demographic information like their age range, location, job title, and hobbies, etc, through to their psychographic information such as behaviours, attitudes, lifestyle preferences, and personality types. This information creates a strong base of a marketing strategy.

    You will likely be targeting a few different sub-audiences, so it’s essential you speak to all of them throughout the user journey.

    3. Measure your metrics

    However, you need to ensure you’re also analysing your current visitors and SEO (Search Engine optimisation) too.

    Who are your most successful clients? Are you attracting the right clients to your site?

    Platforms such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console will provide you with the necessary metrics including what devices are being used to access your website, how long users are spending per session on your site, what pages are most relevant to them, and who the new and returning customers are. With this information, you can tweak your strategy over time, ensuring the website is consistently performing and converting your visitors into customers. Using SEO tools will help your website more friendly for search engines, so you’ll rank higher.

    Using the metrics gathered, we can help you to create a tailored marketing strategy that can drive traffic to your new professional site.

    Armed with all that knowledge, we would then use your research to create User Personas…but that’s a blog for another time.

    At Interdirect, we take great pride in designing and building websites for clients and connecting with them on a level that means they’re more than just another client to us. With our team of website builders, we want to create a website that achieves your business goals.

    If you would like to discuss your website ambitions and run through some ideas, we’d love to hear from you!

    Author – Marisa Harwood on LinkedIn

    Let’s talk… hi@interdirect.co.uk or call 01908 422242

    Image credit: storyset on Freepik

    Can AI replace humans in PR and marketing?

    The influence of AI on business is growing rapidly. But should we worry that AI will replace humans completely? Especially in the realms of a marketing agency?

    Artificial Intelligence is behind some incredible business innovations. Helping users make automated decisions to improve their efficiency, AI is being used in business to drive innovation and expand the scope of services provided to customers.

    AI vs humans in a digital comms agency

    When it comes to a PR or comms agency, AI can help with everything from writing a document to brainstorming ideas – but what about the human touch that comes from dealing directly with an agency?

    As a bespoke digital marketing agency in the heart of Milton Keynes (a hub of innovation) we are seeing first hand the impact AI has on the industry.

    But we always come back to the importance of human relationships; something that cannot be replicated by AI. Whether you require help with a website build, or assistance with your PR and marketing, it’s natural you will opt for the people you enjoy working with, and connect with. They will understand the nuances of your business, your target audience, any cultural considerations, and drive their decisions with empathy.

    They do so with thought and insight, which is the foundation of what makes a digital marketing agency so great to work with. AI is extremely intelligent, but it can’t replicate this human connection and interaction.

    How can I use AI in digital marketing?

    There are, of course, a number of things AI can do for you and your business. For example, you can set up bots to replicate live chat to respond to new site visitors, to placate those people who need answers that second. This has been known to improve website retention rates and nurture users towards a conversion.

    AI can also help people conduct market research on potential customers, finding out important statistics such as who they are, what they do, where they consume media and so much more. That information, when building your PR and marketing strategy is vital.

    However, humans understand humans. When it comes to physical interaction with a client you can’t beat chatting to someone to understand their needs, reading their emotions, ‘getting’ what they mean, and asking those questions that get them thinking in a different way. Those are the details that even with Artificial Intelligence, some people struggle to extract from their vast expertise.

    Some of our best relationships are the ones we’ve built up from having a chat, connecting with people on an emotional level. AI won’t remember your kids’ birthday or your favourite coffee order! Empathy can really help people going through a tough time, humour when they’re ‘winning’ and sympathy when something hasn’t gone quite right.

    A business is founded on people. People buy from your business, and it’s the people who make it what it is.

    Humans can create ground-breaking campaigns based on their knowledge of you, your audiences, and your business’ history. And yes, computers and technology will always have a place in modern business, the thoughtful, hard-working, going-that-extra-mile attitude you can gain from a good agency is extremely hard to replicate.

    Let’s talk…email hi@interdirect.co.uk or call 01908 422242.

    Photo credit: FreePik