Build Naked Websites

nakedThe best website is a naked website.

A naked website is a website with no add-ons.

A naked website has no plugins, no extensions, no modules and no large frameworks.

Most people start using WordPress, Joomla and Drupal and see the thousands of available add-ons as a huge selling point. They're wrong.

If you build a naked site, you'll have a website that's faster, cheaper, safer and easier.

Here are 7 reasons why you should consider building your WordPress, Joomla and Drupal with only the core features:

Reason #1: Less Maintenance

Here's what 37Signals said about features in their "Getting Real" book:

"Each time you say yes to a feature, you’re adopting a child. You have to take your baby through a whole chain of events (e.g. design, implementation, testing, etc.). And once that feature’s out there, you’re stuck with it. Just try to take a released feature away from customers and see how pissed off they get."

They were talking about building a product, but the same applies to running a website. Every module, plugin or extension requires time and energy to maintain.

A site with many add-ons requires far more frequent maintenance.

Reason #2: Fewer Conflicts

Not only does each add-on require individual maintenance, but the conflict between add-ons will multiply exponentially.

With 2 add-ons, you only need to worry about 1 possible conflict. With 20 add-ons, you have 400 possible conflicts.

A site with many add-ons requires more debugging.

Reason #3: Easier Updates

This applies to Joomla and Drupal in particular, but can also happen with WordPress.

Every time your core software updates, you need to make sure that your add-ons work with the latest release. And, if it's a major update, you need to rely on the add-on's developer to provide a migration path.

A site with many add-ons is harder update.

Reason #4: Speed

Almost every add-on loads its own files and will slow down your site. Some badly written add-ons will also load on every page of your site, regardless of whether they're needed.

A site with many add-ons is a slower site.

Reason #5: Security

Every add-on is a potential source of security holes. It's well-known that the vast majority of security holes are not found in the core software but in third-party software.

A site with many add-ons is considerably less safe.

Reason #6: Cost

This applies to WordPress and Joomla in particular. Many add-ons and themes cost from $30 to $100 or more per year. Maintaining a site with 10 add-ons can cost you several hundred dollars a year.

A site with many add-ons is a more expensive site.

Reason #7: Fit For Purpose

Every add-on you use is an admission is an indication that you're moving away from your software's real purpose. If you need 20 add-ons to turn WordPress into a full website, Joomla into a blog or Drupal into a shopping cart, then consider whether you made the wrong choice of software. Rather than try to turn software into something it wasn't meant to be, go and look for something that's more closely aligned with your goals.

A site with many add-ons is often trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.


About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.