How to Move Away from WordPress in 2022
‘Good’ is no longer enough for a CMS.
While WordPress remains the most popular content management out there, with over 35% of all websites using it, it’s no longer sustainable. Beyond simply being good and usable, you want the best.
Major shortcomings with WordPress include poor performance, limited scalability, and high-security risks when compared with modern CMSs. On top of that, WordPress uses PHP, a programming language that continues to lose its popularity daily—coupled with the fact that WordPress has a monolithic architecture.
WordPress houses the data and UI on the same platform with plugins available to extend its capabilities. Despite a headless offering, it’s still heavy and convoluted, difficult to configure and update, and ultimately less secure.
This article helps shed light on why and how you can move away from WordPress.
The Perils of Using WordPress
Never Built for Enterprise Use
To provide immersive and engaging digital experiences, enterprises need platforms with a high degree of scalability and reliability. You have to consider a few technical aspects when managing a business's digital presence. Is it a scalable platform? How secure is the infrastructure? Does it deliver the best customer experience?
These questions are crucial in identifying the best platform for enterprise use. Despite the high number of features, plugins, and themes available for customization, it remains—at its core—a blogging platform. Of course, these plugin tools can quickly transform WordPress into an overcrowded mess of integrations and plugins that aren’t scalable.
A Constant Security Concern
Despite popular belief, not all WordPress sites are insecure. The most effective way to maintain your platform's security is to select a reliable hosting provider, use trusted plugins, and update your platform regularly. The truth, however, is that it requires a substantial amount of effort, time, and expertise.
Adding to that, keeping track of everything is a challenge due to WordPress' dependence on third-party plugins. If you don't monitor them, you may be susceptible to security vulnerabilities. In fact, 70% of all WordPress installations are vulnerable to attack, according to recent reports.
Read More: 7 best practices for securing microservices.
The fact is, you can enable more customizations and flexibility with plugins. WordPress provides a plugin for everything you need, such as payment integration, on-page SEO, search capability, and much more.
Do you need a plugin for a subscription form? A payment integration? On-page SEO? There are plugins for them all. WordPress currently has over 59,000 plugins. However, plugins also come with a greater risk. If you use more plugins, your application becomes more bloated, and you face more problems.
For instance, you need to monitor and update all plugins constantly. The more plugins you use, the more time you need to spend on updating the plugins. And If you fail to keep them up-to-date, you are likely to become a target for security attacks and spammers.
Poor Content Management
The whole point of a CMS is to manage structured content efficiently, transparently, and effectively. When a CMS with a monolithic architecture contains all the stack components, integrations, and customization, it may lose sight of its actual purpose and fail to deliver the best end-user experience.
With a composable DXP, you can leverage an API-centered approach for managing structured content and developing transparent and effective relationships. You can reuse content and deliver it across multiple platforms and devices. You can also move whole sections between websites quickly. By doing this, you can speed up your production time and ensure a faster time-to-market.
Lack of Flexibility
Monolithic platforms like WordPress constrain you to use their frameworks and use their programming language. This makes it difficult to improve or scale the platform. With an API-first platform, you can leverage a REST or GraphQL API to feed content directly into any channel or frontend page.
This process enables content reusability and frontend agnostic use. Because of the API, developers and content authors can easily create and deliver the best experience with a significant amount of flexibility over structure and framework.
Why You Should Consider Migrating to a DXP
WordPress is a monolithic legacy architecture that comes with several limitations. Modern user demands require composable digital experience platforms such as Zesty. But what’s the difference, and why should you migrate? In this section, you’ll learn about the differences and advantages of DXP over a monolithic platform.
Better Agility: When you use a composable DXP, you'll be more efficient and effective. For each function, you can choose the technology you want rather than limiting yourself to one platform. When you take advantage of Zesty's agility, you can adapt and change seamlessly to meet your business needs.
Best-of-breed: Choosing the best option is key to delivering the best results. Composable or best-of-breed stacks provide you the best chance of leading innovation.
Enthralling digital experience: By leveraging several services and MACH-aligned functionalities, you can provide end-users with engaging digital experiences that are tailored to their needs and will future-proof your enterprise. Learn more about MACH architecture.
Better scalability: A composable DXP allows for scalability without limitations, allowing you to expand your stack to meet any demand. You won't have to worry about vendor lock-in. Plus, you'll have the option to add or remove services as you see fit. That way, you won't get stuck paying for features you won't use.
Faster Upgrades: Since the components are modular, you can upgrade faster and fix bugs with greater ease. And even if a service becomes outdated or faulty, you can switch to a more reliable one with no impact on other services.
This table compares a monolithic CMSs with a composable headless CMS.
Coupled system with all-in-one stack and a linked frontend and backend
Decoupled platform that’s independent and can be connected together via APIs
You are limited to the platform’s framework, language, and stack
You have the freedom to select any tool, language, or framework you prefer
Limited frontend options
Can deliver across all digital touchpoints and frontend channels
A restrictive and unnecessary complicated content workflow
Customizable and extensible workflow with several options that you can tap into through the REST and GraphQL APIs
Highly insecure and requires a fair amount of work to ensure utmost security
Highly secure platform that separates data from frontend
Slower upgrades and plugins that may adversely affect the entire system
Faster upgrades; can connect with several other services through APIs
All-in-one integrated platform with services ranging in quality from excellent to subpar
Freedom to integrate and leverage the best available services
Rigid flexibility for developers and content creators
Simplified developer experience and content creation options
The Best Way to Move Away from WordPress: 3 Steps
Migrating your website from WordPress is never an easy process; however, modular components can be made seamless and less complicated. And when you’re done with the migration, you’ll be glad you did it.
Step 1: Get WordPress Data
To start with, it is usually more convenient to use a CSV format when you have a lot of data and information. This spreadsheet format will make it easier for you since most platforms offer a direct import of CSV. You’ll need to extract the CSV of all your articles and blog posts in WordPress. With this, you can import the data into a headless CMS of your choice.
Another way to migrate your content is to use JSON-based WordPress REST API to crawl all pages for posts or articles by requesting the WP endpoint at wp-JSON/wp/v2/posts?page=[pageNumber] until it returns an error 400 back.
Step 2: Prepare Data
During import, it’s common for WordPress to provide more information than you probably need. To have a clearer view of your data, it’s crucial to prepare them and extract the content you need. Similarly, some content such as images or videos present in posts may be ignored during the API call. You can make more API requests to get this information by using regex to extract the image source URLs and the alt texts present within the post's body.
Step 3: Import Content Into New CMS
The first two options focused on extracting and preparing your WordPress content for future content purposes. The next step is to migrate your content to a headless CMS. This will differ depending on the particular CMS you choose. For instance, Zesty.io provides a CSV import tool that you can access on a dataset or page set by pressing down your keyboard’s alt or option key. You can find more information on that here.
Zesty.io: Charting the Path to Better Experiences
If you get here, then you’re ready to begin the journey to a modern digital experience platform. The greatest benefit from a migration out of WordPress is that you’re no longer tied to a monolithic CMS. That means you are free to explore and innovate. Such migration leads to an enterprise-ready platform with higher scalability, more security, better flexibility, and customization options to tailor the experience to your end-users.
Zesty.io is a hybrid headless CMS that can serve as the foundation for your DXP. It comes with an integrated WebEngine, which provides greater flexibility and control when rendering, building, and delivering web pages. On top of that, WebEngine's API-first approach offers you the benefits of both PaaS and SaaS platforms, allowing you to easily manage workflows and initiate marketing campaigns, making it a great platform for digital experiences.
Would you like to learn more about the benefits of a digital experience platform for your company? Learn more on Composable DXP.
By Todd Sabo
When it comes to software and hardware technology management, operations and sales, I know how to drive revenue and build successful organizations. In my 25-year career history, I have generated more than $500M in revenue in start-up and Fortune 500 companies such as RMS, AMD, Broadcom, Arithmos and ST Microelectronics.