I just wrote a blog post on this topic, and I wanted to see what you all thought of it. I'm sure I'll get some pushback from WordPress Developers, but I welcome any debate, as long as it's respectful.
Anyways, here is the meat of my blog post that discusses issues I've seen with WordPress and WordPress Developers in general:
If you're about to hire a web developer, keep these things in mind, as you'll undoubtedly come across a company who will insist WordPress is your only option.
1.) Lazy or Wanna-be “Web Developers”. This is honestly rampant in the industry, and is potentially unethical, in my opinion. Many people who call themselves “Wordpress Developers” will charge you thousands of dollars and do nothing more than buy a premium WordPress theme(around $60), then drag-and-drop their way to building you a website, writing very little, if any, code in the process. This leaves their clients with a site that looks good, but has several issues. As I mentioned, using these premium themes is a great option for start-up business owners to build sites on their own, but as I’ll explain in my next point, a company who is offering Web Development shouldn’t ever use these.
2.) These premium drag-and-drop WordPress themes will leave you with a site that looks great, but loads incredibly slowly, providing a bad user experience. I’ve had several potential clients contact me who have just had a brand new site built for them with one of these themes, but they were unhappy with the loading time, so they were seeking someone to try and speed up their site. Think about that for a moment: These people just had a brand new site built, and it’s taking 6 – 10 seconds to load what is essentially a static web page. Just as a reference, sites we build at Summit Digital generally have a loading time of 1 – 2 seconds.
3.) “Plugin for Everything” Mentality. When I build WordPress sites, I do everything I can do try and limit the number of plugins I install, for a few different reasons: plugins will further slow your site down with needless amounts of PHP, as well as security flaws in these plugins. Be wary of developers who answer every question you have with “I know a plugin that can do that”. If they’re indeed a competent developer, they’ll have no problem banging out some logic to take place of a simple plugin (depending on the complexity of the functionality you’re looking for, of course).
4.) WordPress is a blogging platform, not a Web App Framework. Because several web development companies build only WordPress websites, they tend to try and force WordPress to do things it wasn’t intended to do. Is it possible to make an ecommerce site with WordPress? Yes, it is possible, but is it really the best option? Hell no. If you want a site that needs some specific functionality outside of a blog, chances are that WordPress isn’t the best option for you.
In case you're interested in the rest of the post, here is the url: http://www.summitdigital.io/blog/2/why-wordpress-isnt-always-the-answer-for-small-medium-sized-businesses
Bonus Content, not in the blog post:
So, when you're hiring a developer, and they're insisting on you using WordPress, here are a few questions you can ask them to make sure they're competent:
1.) Can you explain why WordPress is the best platform for my website?
2.) Are you using a drag-and-drop page builder?
3.) How well do you know PHP?
4.) What is the average load-time of the sites you normally build on WordPress?
As a commenter noted, I never actually say why WP isn't always the best option, so I figured I'd put my reply here as well, thank you u/MooPower for bringing this to my attention:
Why WordPress isn't always the best option for small businesses:
1.) Bad developers are aplenty in the world of WordPress, and it's all too easy to fall for these developers who will build you a site you aren't happy with.
2.) Because there are so many bad WP developers, you will likely end up with a website that loads in 6+ seconds. Studies have shown that most people won't wait more than 2 – 3 seconds for a site to load before they bounce.
3.) WordPress Plugins lead to code bloat due to the developers trying to put as much functionality in them as possible, while their users don't even use half of the functionality provided.
4.) Attempting to turn Worpress into a Web App by adding functionality far outside of what WordPress is intended for will have negative consequences. If you want a true Web App, PHP probably isn't the best option, although I'm obviously biased towards Python.