As a freelance WordPress web designer it’s very easy for me to take for granted what and how great WordPress is.
But for those of you who might be a little less familiar with WordPress and the world of web development I thought I’d address the topic and try to shed a little light on how it can benefit you or your small business.
So What is WordPress?
Simply put, WordPress is free, open source software used for creating and powering websites and blogs…
To start with it was mainly known as a blogging platform. However, over the last 10 years, its features have advanced to the point where, with the right knowledge, it can be used to create practically any type of website.
WordPress is Incredibly Popular
WordPress is the worlds most popular web software and (according to statistics compiled by W3Techs) now powers 22% of the web. It’s the ideal solution for anyone looking for a website thats easy to update, expand and self maintain.
WordPress is used by 60.2% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 22.4% of all websites.
There are an estimated 60 million WordPress websites online. From TechCrunch, CNN and TED, to small businesses and freelancers. Individuals and organisations from all walks of life use WordPress to publish their content.
“WordPress was used by more than 22.0% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013. WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites.”
WordPress is User-Friendly
WordPress is a free content management system. Often abbreviated as CMS, a system which is used to manage a website’s content. WordPress makes it incredibly easy to manage and update your own website content, from a single backend login panel.
Although WordPress is used everyday by big businesses all over the world, it’s simplistic enough that anyone who can use basic word processing software can use it to manage their website content. If you can use software such as Microsoft Word then you can use WordPress. This means no need to hire an on going webmaster or learn complicated coding languages such as HTML and PHP.
First launched in 2003, it is considered by many experts to be the most powerful website content management system available today. It can handle all types of content including:
- Web pages
- Blog posts
- and much more
Basically any type of data or information you’d want to include on your website.
WordPress is Open Source
WordPress is Open Source software. This means that it’s free to use for both commercial or personal projects without restrictions, such as cost or legal parameters. This encourages hundreds of volunteers to contribute to the core software every year, continually evolving and improving WordPress over time.
This also means it’s free for anyone to use or build a website with should they have the necessary web design and development skills. If you’ve got the chops this gives you the opportunity to create your own website.
Alternatively, due to its popularity, it makes it very easy to hire a professional web designer or developer, if you need assistance or a professional website design.
The ability to hire a single web designer or developer, rather than an entire company, also allows you to work closely with a single person. This enables you to keep costs down, reduce communication issues and ensure you receive a website that fits exactly with your expectations.
WordPress is Highly Customisable
WordPress has thousands of themes available…
A theme is like a “skin” that creates the desired look and functionality for your WordPress powered website. If you thought of your website as a car then WordPress would be the engine and the WordPress theme would be its body and paintwork.
This gives you the opportunity to launch your own website extremely quickly and cheaply, in fact, in a single weekend, for as little as £5…
Alternatively, if you if you don’t have the time or the inclination to go the DIY root, you can reap the benefits of a professional WordPress web design service…
WordPress is Flexible and Extendable
WordPress is easily expandable with many, many plugins available…
“What’s a plugin?” I hear you say.
Plugins are additional bundles of PHP code or software that can be installed on your WordPress site with a single click.
In simple terms, they give your website additional functionality. There are currently over 31,000 plugins available from WordPress, designed to do almost anything you can think of.
Here’s a just a small list of the additional functionality plugins can add to your WordPress website with a single click:
- Guided assistance on how to easily update and optimise your website for better search engine rankings using the wonderful WordPress SEO by Yoast.
- Easily setup and email new blog post notifications or auto-responders to subscribers with MyMail.
- Strengthen your security and protect your WordPress website from malicious hackers and bots with iThemes security.
- Quickly setup highly customisable yet incredibly easy to use contact forms with Gravity Forms.
- Create piece of mind from website hacks or mishaps with automatic daily website backups and easy site restoration using BackUpBuddy.
WordPress is designed for versatility. As a result, it can be used for much more than a simple blog or business website, for example:
- E-commerce and online shopping
- Membership Sites
- Portfolio websites
- Ratings websites
- Events calendars
- Online Booking
- Job boards
- And much, much more.
WordPress Offers Many Support Options
Due to its huge popularity WordPress offers a fantastic support ecosystem. There are many online trainings available for leaning WordPress basics, including my own WordPress Website Mastery. It’s also easy to find online support through the huge range of WordPress dedicated blogs, websites and forums available.
WordPress’s popularity also makes it very easy to find professional designers and developers if your need a bespoke website or something a little more advanced, or would simply prefer to take advantage of the speed, convenience and knowledge an expert can provide.
WordPress is Search Engine Friendly
WordPress works extensively to ensure that every piece of code is cleanly generated to meets the compliance and web standards of the World Wide Web Consortium, often referred to as the W3C.
This clean and well structure code is vital for good online usability, cross browser compatibility, visibility, search engine rankings and success.
WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) search engine optimisation (SEO)
– Matt Cutts – Head of Google’s Webspam Team
WordPress also offers a built-in registration system. This gives you the option of only allowing registered individuals with profiles to leave comments on your blog. You also have the opportunity to block non registered users from leaving comments.
WordPress also supports RSS. A simple method of allowing your visitors to subscribe and read your blog articles on all their devices via the many free RSS readers available.
Spam protection is also including along with an integrated blacklist to manage and eradicate spam comments on your blog. As is trackback which notify’s you of anyone who links back to your site, as well as Pingback, which creates a comment if you link to a different blogs post or article.
WordPress Lets You Own Your Own Content
Unlike some third party website solutions WordPress enables you to self host your website. This means your not limited by a hosted, propriety system that has full control of your website and content and that could potential disappear overnight.
Creating a self hosted WordPress website, (wordpress.org not wordpress.com) using your own hosting, your not locked into a website service. You own your website and all of its content. It becomes your asset to do with and move as you please.
WordPress also makes it extremely easy to export and import your content between different platforms should you wish to ever move over to or away from WordPress in the future.
Final Word on WordPress
Over 10 years since it was first introduced to the world; WordPress has made a significant impact on the internet. It’s also made a significant difference to the ease and efficiency in which companies can build and operate both their websites and business’s.
I know I’m a big fan. But what about you?
Do you have a website experience you’d like to share or any unanswered WordPress questions you’d like to ask? If so, don’t be shy, leave them in the comments section below or get in contact now and I’ll be happy to answer or help you.