Why we quit Wordpress
I started blogging in 2002 or 2003. At that time, there were few elegant options. When my blogging platform went to paid, I switched over to Wordpress in 2004 and never looked back.
Wordpress sucked back in the day. It was hard to use. You needed to hard code in HTML almost everything you wanted. It went down often and updates were a complete nightmare.
But Wordpress was free, and basically free to host.
Given that my first website cost $50/month and $100 every time someone looked at the damned thing, Wordpress was a dream. I could make changes myself. I could add things and take them away at a blink of an eye. Plugins came along and soon there was better security! Downloads were easy to use! And the little-platform-that-could was suddenly to easy to use.
I never thought I'd leave Wordpress. Ever. I mean, I was there when it all happened.
At this time, we only have one site on Wordpress, Alex the Fey. We will change that site when we get a chance.
Why did we quit Wordpress?
1. Global brute force attacks suck : In late 2012, we were hacked by a global brute force attack -- an attempt to overcome your security with mass login attempts. Once we got the sites back up, the attacks continued. Even with the best security plugins, we lost our store and a few other sites in April, 2013. We did everything anyone suggested, but because we were on a WordPress host, we continued to get these attacks. While our security plugins blocked them from gaining access to the sites, the spike in traffic crashed our servers -- even our super fancy, very expensive Virtual Private Server.
A crashed server means that, despite our best efforts, my readers were unable to read the Denver Cereal in any given day. And there was nothing we could do to stop this kind of traffic and security nightmare. (We continued to get these attacks long after most of our sites were no longer Wordpress sites.)
2. The more traffic you get, the more you pay : When your web traffic reaches a certain level, it's time to move to your own Virtual Private Server or VPS. The way most VPS work is that you pay for the amount of memory you use on the server. The more memory you use, the more you pay. Each global brute force attack cost us hundreds of dollars. Every increase in reader traffic meant more money in hosting fees.
Our goal has always been to provide great stories for people to easily read. We can't have website outages because of stupid security stuff. And we certainly can't afford to pay for security breaches and increased traffic. We needed to find a way for people to be able to easily read the site without increasing the cost to us. Wordpress had to go.
3. Wordpress is freakin' slow: Ok, it's not really fair. Stories by Claudia currently has over 3,000 chapters at 3,000 or more words a chapter, and it's growing. The site is huge. When it was a Wordpress site, it was incredibly slow.
On Wordpress, the pages are created every time someone requests them. That means if you click on Chapter Three Hundred from the Denver Cereal, Wordpress goes to the database and creates a page for you. In some respects, this is awesome. It means that every single time you make a change, it's immediately seen by a reader. But when you're talking about thousands of long chapters, it's incredibly slow. Regardless of the server, a large, content driven Wordpress site is incredibly slow.
Why is this an issue for writers?
It's as simple as this -- Reader's do not have time to sit around and wait for your website to deliver content. They're reading on their phones or iPads or whatever else device. They have time to read right this minute.
So your content better be available right this minute, or they will move on to something else.
Wordpress is too insecure, too expensive, and too freakin' slow for readers to bother with.
I'll go over our solutions tomorrow.
This month, I will attempt to share thirty thoughts about writing - one a day for thirty days.