WordPress started life as a blogging platform but has evolved to a full featured, fully customisable CMS. It is very common, driving about 22% of all websites on the internet. Everything from complex websites, simple blogs and online shops can be powered by WordPress.
There are hundreds of thousands of web designers who use it as their primary tool of choice. Finding a web designer and developer to help with the ongoing support for your website is very easy. If you are technically minded and like to get your hands dirty you can even do the majority of the setup and configuration yourself. Utilising templates allows the majority of the behind the scenes heavy lifting to be done for you, whilst still allowing exciting creative input from your design crew.
What is so great about WordPress?
Apart from the fact that it is the most widely used platform around world, WordPress has a raft of features to rave about. Here goes:
So simple, your Mum can use it!
It is very easy to use. With a little training and hand holding, anyone familiar with operating a web browser will feel confident in the driver’s seat. It doesn’t require any technical programming knowledge. Just point, click, type and publish. Voila – go Mumsie!
Super search engine friendly
Google absolutely loves WordPress – in fact they publicly recommend it. The head of Google’s webspam team, Matt Cutts, said “WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)”. Out of the box it comes standard with most things your website needs to get results. A few handy plugins will further extend your reach in Google.
Different user types
You can assign different levels of access and restrictions to your website. Administrators can manage your site, editors can focus on content, and authors and contributors can create the content. Just like your own little online newspaper!
Easily add a blog
There is no greater way to keep your audience up to date than with a blog (more on content generation in Chapter 5). WordPress actually started life as a blogging platform. Commenting is inbuilt or enhanced, which means readers can interact by providing questions or feedback on your posts, thus promoting discussion and dialogue.
As your business grows, so can your website. From a simple five-page website right up to a 10,000-page site, WordPress doesn’t miss a beat. Companies such as CNN, General Electric and Time Magazine all have websites or blogs driven by WordPress.
WordPress is like the underlying engine of your site. The skin of your site can be completely customised so that the look and feel of the site is unique to your brand. Your site design can be one of a kind (as it should be!).
Out of the box,WordPress comes with lots of features. These can be extended even further through the use of ‘plugins’. You can add photo galleries, social media sharing, shopping carts, maps, forms and much more. If a plugin doesn’t exist,you can get one written, making custom functionality very easy.
Inexpensive to run and maintain
WordPress is free to download, customise and use. There are no licensing fees and there are thousands of free plugins and themes. It is inexpensive to host your site and the best bit is that you own your website and data, meaning you can move it wherever you want. You are not tied to any web designer or host.
Hundreds of thousands of developers
Because of its popularity lots of freelancers and web design agencies specialise in WordPress design and development. This is great for small business owners as this gives you options. If your web designer is unresponsive or slack you can pack your bags and leave. You can transition away from your current provider in a way that is relatively easy, straightforward and pain free. You won’t need to be stuck with your crappy provider for long.