As WordPress celebrates its fifteenth birthday this year, it has other reasons to celebrate as well. With over 65 million websites and blogs created on WordPress and big companies like TechCrunch and CNN using it, it does not come as a surprise that marketers and developers alike recommend it to their colleagues and clients.
The WordPress platform is known to have a myriad of benefits: free of cost, holds a passionate community behind it, and developers are quickly expanding its selection of themes, layouts, and plugins to allow it to accommodate any website need or purpose.
While most of the WordPress plugins are used as blogging platforms, it can fit any organization or business from an e-commerce store to a social networking community.
The ‘big dogs.’
Whether you are starting your company, learning how to improve your online presence or have had an ‘unsatisfactory’
site for some time, you might have heard of WordPress, wondering what it is and how it works for businesses.
WordPress, in simple words, is a publishing platform used for constructing blogs and websites. It allows for a uniquely customizable consumer interface, powering tens of millions of websites around the world, with lots of massive manufacturers like New York Times Blogs, People Magazine, PlayStation, and CNN using WordPress.
No doubt, WordPresshas a spectacular list of customers, and if it’s exact enough for the ‘big boys,’ it is suitable for your website online as well.
Every website, big or small, requires a good content management system. When designing a website, you want the best digital publishing system available. There are various platforms out there which you could use. However, WordPress still ranks as the best for website design.
Many expert studies indicate that over 29 percent of websites worldwide use WordPress, with the numbers increasing on a daily basis. It has greatly evolved from just being a blogging platform to an efficient content management system. So, why should anyone use WordPress for website design? Here is a list of 9 reasons that might convince you.
1. It’s been around for many years
WordPress was launched in 2003 when no one had the basic idea about CMS or a blogging site. While it may have started off as a tool for bloggers, it quickly grew to become the first go-to platform for everyone from business owners to programmers with little to no tech experience. Almost 500 new websites are created every day using WordPress.
The longevity of WordPress means it is going to be around for a more extended period. You don’t get the same confidence with some of the latest CMS platforms sprouting up; they struggle to attract a large consumer base, and either many get acquired by a competitor or shut down entirely. Consequently, it leaves you nowhere, or probably in a bad spot, if you’re using it.
2. Open source CMS
Open source only means that WordPress’ building code is free and can be accessed by all users. An open CMS will not make your online domain vulnerable. In fact, by using WordPress, you have taken the initial step in improving security for your website.
You can easily download and alter the WordPress code whenever need be. It is essential to keep in mind, however, that not all changes will be accepted by the WordPress team. You may have to update to a new version in case the changes are approved.
Furthermore, acquiring WordPress does not cost you a dime. That is more than you can say about other similar platforms out there in the market. At present day, there are over 31000 WordPress plugins and over 2600 WordPress themes online. All you need is a web host and structural domain to run WordPress, and you are good to go.
3. Search engine friendly
It is almost every site owner’s dream to rank higher on search engines. WordPress is designed to be SEO friendly since you can download WordPress to enhance this function and improve your domain’s optimization.
By using WordPress, your website becomes very attractive to search engines. The main reason being, the platform is written using simple compliance and high standard clean codes. Thus, it contains the ability to produce semantic markups.
The responsive and highly logical design make search engines have a certain preference for WordPress. The platform gives each page and posts unique Meta tag keywords, allowing for more precise search optimization. It’s also the preference for many SEO professionals in the industry, as they can implement tried and tested strategies quickly.
4. Customization is easy
No business owner wants to get stuck with cookie-cutter sites, and in case you’re using WordPress, you won’t be. The WordPress theme system refers to implementing attractive designs quickly. All you have to do is purchase a one-time license for a premium theme – the best of which come with detailed documentation and pre-set layouts for tons of use cases.
Moreover, WordPress is at the heart of thriving freelance development community. That means whenever you do require assistance, you will be able to find it with ease.
All of the factors mentioned above will cost less if you need help customizing your site, and doing so will not take ages. If you think you have the basic technical skills with a well-documented theme, you can make the modifications yourself.
5. Community support
While the customization options and available plugins can be overwhelming, there are many places and areas to reach out to for help – one of the best things about WordPress being the number of people using it. WordPress is a host to a hefty community forum that is moderated by employees and WordPress fanatics alike. If your answer can’t be found in the forum, you can formulate your inquiries.
You can also ask for help outside WordPress. There are many blogs and websites with articles such as WPBeginner.com on everything WordPress, from plugin reviews to theme installation. Since the majority of the users who build a site with WordPress love its options and flexibility, they are ever-ready and willing to help others get started too.
A digital marketer, Alex Denning, works towards solving the marketing problem users don’t want to deal with. He first used WordPress seriously at around version 2.5, roughly ten years ago. “I remember at the time thinking the vibrant community made it an obvious choice, and I’m very glad I was right I’ve tried a handful of CMS platforms over the years but always come back to WordPress,” said Denning. According to him, WordPress has the right mix of extensions, simplicity, and customizability. Most of all the WordPress community is its strongest asset, driving innovation, an incredible array of themes and plugins, and its support network.
6. Plugins and themes
WordPress had a wide range of functionality-augmenting plugins that are available both paid and free. Each theme – usually a layout or design for the front end of the website – and plugin displayed in the WordPress gallery is accompanied by individual user reviews, so you know how both will function when put into actual practice.
Other than checking out the reviews, you can also see when the theme or plugin was last updated. If it’s been more than a year, it may be worth trying something else, considering WordPress has gone through a recent major update.
While there is a plethora of themes and plugins online, you will need to do extensive research to make sure they all work aptly together. Many major plugins like BuddyPress (a complete social networking/community plugin) can only work under certain themes that have been developed around it.
When it comes to organizational CMS platforms, it is worth the cost to invest in a premium or unique theme for your website. Additionally, unique plugins that enhance your user experience are usually worth the purchase.
7. A simple host
WordPress can be easily set up virtually on any web host since it powers approximately 60 percent of the entire web. Majority of the hosting plans include single-click installation for the CMS or come with it pre-installed. That means customers have full freedom when deciding where to host your WordPress website. You can easily find the cheap dedicated server provider, and you can even set up a local installation on your computer for development and testing purposes.
The mother of Bourn Creative, blogger, speaker and an award-winning designer, Jennifer Bourne, began her relationship with WordPress after a particularly ‘tiring’ interaction with a client whose constant demand was to make immediate content changes to their website late one night. The user site was using a CMS, but it was so cumbersome that the client did not want to bother updating it on their own.
“I was at my wit’s end and began looking for another solution. In my search, I came across WordPress, and when I realized just how easy it would be for my clients to make their content revisions, I was hooked,” says Bourne.
The CMS platform Bourne used fore was LightCMS, and while it did get the job done, it was inflexible and not very intuitive. It required clients to skip through the hoops to make simple changes, and the monthly cost was not ‘loved’ by any customer.
The thing Bourne loves the most about WordPress, on the other hand, is that it can be as simple as you want it to be. From a simple site without a blog to a basic blogging forum or massive media site, WordPress is flexible, extensible and can meet the needs of almost any project, maintaining its ease of use.
8. Security access
Since WordPress is currently the largest blogging and website-building platform in the world, it is vital for you to protect your content from spam attacks. WordPress sites are mostly targeted because there are so many of them available (as any popular CMS platform can attest). Fortunately, many options can keep your CMS safe and secure.
Make sure to invest in a secure theme and consider utilizing a backup service like VaultPress or any other security back-up plugin. There are paid and free options, but make sure to read all the considerations and reviews before deciding to install one. It is also helpful to do occasional backups for your website to your hard drive or local computer, just in case. Since WordPress is used in such large numbers, the options to protect your content are endless.
9. Affordable experts
Numbers are usually on your side when it comes to locating the best SEO consultant or web developer for your new content management system. Many web developers are experts in dealing with WordPress, which means you will have an easier time finding one to utilize. Because of this competition is fierce, and some designers may come cheaper than others who work with proprietary CMS’s. There are also many design firms that specialize in building WordPress websites, leading better knowledge and greater service about the platform.
After you build your website, of course, you are going to need to market it, and that is where SEO comes in. WordPress is the management system of choice for SEO professionals, and most know how to work on the platform. The reason being, WP has various SEO plugins that allow SEO professionals to provide a higher level of support, customization, optimization and user support.
Finally, while requirements may differ in either case, SEO set-up and design often take less time than creating an entire CMS directly from scratch.
For example, the Founder and Managing Director of Moove Agency – London based WordPress Agency that builds and supports high-performing websites – Ilona Filipi began working with WordPress as a freelancer more than a decade ago. She was new to the CMS world and conducted extensive research into which CMS tool to choose for her projects. The research indicated that WordPress is the best platform to use for client websites.
“Ten years later I can safely say that I have made the right decision and WordPress truly is the best CMS platform out there,” says Filipi. Back in the day, many agencies and developers used their propriety CMS developed in-house. The mentioned practice is entirely extinct as of now, as supporting your platform is incredibly pricey and time-consuming when open-source alternatives such as WordPress deliver system updates every three months, completely free of charge.
When it comes to website development, we know that not everyone wants to spend all their working time on structuring an online domain. That is why we believe that WordPress is, indeed, an excellent tool for beginners and techs alike.
WordPress is free, responsive, secure, and highly customizable. In case you are looking for a digital publishing platform with ease of use, try WordPress. It will be a quick win for cultivating better consumer experience.