It’s trusted by the best: WordPress currently powers around 31% of the top 10 million websites on the Internet.
What is WordPress?
It’s a framework that organises your content by combining the information you provide (text, images, dates) with a design of your choice, and the back-end mechanics to assemble and navigate your site – otherwise known as a content management system (CMS). The WordPress CMS works invisibly in the background so you only have to see the tools you need to control it.
WordPress prides itself on its security record
Knowing it is responsible for a vast number of websites, from multi-national businesses to government portals, the organisation is constantly releasing updates to keep hackers out – all of which can be updated with a simple click – or even automatically.
Be aware though, no site can ever be 100% secure, no matter what anyone can claim. It’s just a risk every website takes and is aware of. This is why web hosts provide malware protection (also – not 100% secure) (not to be an alarmist).
WordPress is Easy
The editing screen for posts has a visual structure similar to basic word processors making it feel very recognisable. Should you get stuck, there are more help files than you could ever need! Plus having so many users, there is a huge community online available to answer questions if you’re stuck at any time of day or night.
It also means if you want to change who is looking after your site, there are plenty of writers and designers who know how your website works.
You can also create multiple users and assign approval levels from entire site administration to the ability to add new articles only.
WordPress is flexible
You can change how your site looks without disturbing the content – a complete redesign or a simple colour change can be made in an instant across the entire site while keeping all your information intact.
Also, as you become more comfortable with the system, you can explore extra functions that are available (with extensions called plugins … a huge amount of which are free) to enhance your site, from being able to set up your own online shopping cart through to enhanced social media sharing.
Of course you can completely ignore that part of the system – it’s just good to know that options are there, that expansion and additions are available, and your site won’t get outdated quickly.
WordPress is technically advanced
Sites like YetAnother.co benefit from WordPress’s ability to be mobile responsive: this is where your site automatically optimises how it is viewed depending on the device used – it adjusts appropriately whether viewed on a panoramic desktop or a smaller mobile phone screen and all sizes in-between.
Finally, the structure of WordPress makes it easy for web-crawlers to index, meaning your site is Search Engine friendly (this is where the term “Search Engine Optimisation” or SEO comes from – it’s the free way to be found on the web).
WordPress is free … BUT
The only technical aspect that can impact on you financially is if your current web host isn’t equipped for WordPress (although the majority are). If not, a more suitable host will be required, and could cost more than your existing plan.
WordPress actually have a pre-written letter to send to your host to confirm compatibility that can be copy / pasted into an email.
Naturally, you can avail yourself to any of the free themes and plugins that are available, or delve deeper into the incredible functionality available with tailored themes and higher-end plugins. The amount of work put into these and the results they provide are worth every cent of investment – with every purchase you are essentially buying a coding team’s output of a specific project (for example, while the free version of The Events Calendar may provide a perfect solution for a small group only needing the basics, the Pro version packs a huge amount of value for money into all of its additional features).
Don’t Get Confused by .org VS .com
You only need to host your own site if you use WordPress.org … the WordPress.com provides hosting for you. However the .org option provides far more options and advanced theme and plug-in designs, meaning if you are happy to proceed with your own hosting, it’s the far stronger of the two.
But, if you’re looking to set up a personal blog, or if you have a small business that doesn’t require more than a simple page online, you’ll find WordPress.com more than sufficient for your needs. Additionally, you can follow other WordPress blogs and develop a network using the .com version.
That’s Why I Use WordPress
The ability to match existing theme layouts and designs with client’s requirements cuts out potentially weeks of development time (months, even), meaning we can focus on developing the site to suit the purpose.
A website is like any other communication medium: it doesn’t matter how attractive or technologically advanced it is, if it doesn’t match the client’s objectives, it’s a waste of time and money.
By providing the ‘what’, WordPress allows the person constructing the site to focus on the who, where, when and why.
Photo by Adriana Cikopol via Free Images