“WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.” (About WordPress, www.WordPress.org)
WordPress has been downloaded by 60 million plus users to date, easily making it the most used content management system on the world wide web. Some of the companies that use WordPress include The New York Times, CNN, Forbes, Reuters, GM, UPS, Ebay, and Sony.
Why should you use WordPress? Read on to find out.
What is WordPress?
Before we jump into the topic of “why should you use WordPress,” let’s talk about what WordPress is.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS), meaning it is a system for controlling content on a website or a network of websites. Once WordPress is installed, users must choose, install, or create a theme to use for their site. A Theme is basically the look and feel of the site and usually includes the background, the page formatting, a header, a sidebar, and a footer. Along with the theme, WordPress uses plugins that can be used to add features to your site, like sitemaps or Facebook feeds. The best part about WordPress is that from an easy to use interface, users can make posts, create pages, move around widgets in the sidebar, add media, and more. Whereas with an html site that would have to be done in the code for each individual page, WordPress makes it easy by letting users do everything from a simple dashboard that is clearly marked and easily navigable. This means updating your site no longer has to be a pain. It can be a simple and fast process.
Aren’t There Other Content Management Systems?
Yes, most notably Joomla and Drupal. Both are similar to WordPress, yet very different. Joomla is probably a more powerful tool, yet with that added power comes added complexity. Drupal is maybe more simplistic and easier to use, but also lacks for some features. What really makes WordPress better than these other two content management systems is the community that goes with it. WordPress has been around since 2001-2003 when it came out as the successor to a program called cafepress. Since that time, people have been using WordPress and the community has been growing. Developers have been adding features and perfecting everything that goes with WordPress. Ultimately, it is just a more refined and developed system than the other two. There are also WordPress experts everywhere that can help you out with any problem or question you might have.
Is WordPress Just For Blogging?
Originally it was, but now it is so much more! WordPress can really make ANY type of website! You don’t even have to include a blog or the ability to create posts. Many WordPress websites are online stores that use some sort of shopping cart system and payment portals. Many companies build sites that are just a few simple pages explaining who they are, what they do, and how to contact them. More and more people are using the web instead of phone books or newspapers, so it is important to have a web presence so potential customers can find you.
How Difficult Is It To Setup WordPress?
Not difficult at all. Many web hosts include an option for one click installs of WordPress. Once it is installed, it is easy to switch themes and plugins. Some plugins are more difficult to setup than others, but it is a lot easier to use plugins than to try to code elements completely by hand. Developers often spend months creating plugins, which we then get to use with just a few clicks. Some plugins do take quite a bit of work to setup (the Facebook plugin comes to mind), but it is still way easier than developing the whole thing by hand.
Theme development and setup is often slightly more complicated than setting up plugins. If someone wanted to customize their chosen theme beyond the built-in options (which are often very limited), they would need to possess at least some coding skills to do that. Even then, your site might look very similar to other sites that are running the same theme. If you want a professional looking site that is unique to you or your company, you have to get your own theme. At Simply Compelling, we can create a professional, stunning theme for you or your business. You won’t have to worry about other people having a website that looks just like yours, as your site will be one of a kind.
What Else Is Great About WordPress?
So far we have discussed how WordPress began, what WordPress is, why WordPress is the best content management system, how WordPress is easy to use, and how WordPress is easy to setup. However, we’ve really left the best thing about WordPress for last.
The best thing about WordPress is how it helps your website with search engine optimization (SEO). When SEO first started to become a hot topic with the rise of search engines like Yahoo and MSN and later Google followed by Bing, people all across the internet were asking the question, “How do I do well in SEO?” To this question, many tech savvy people would answer “build a WordPress website.” This might well be how WordPress came to be so popular.
At the time, many sites were just basic html and a lot of the text on those sites was not readable by search engines. There are workarounds for that today, but it is still a big pain to change text on html websites, whereas WordPress is simple and fast to use. All a user has to do is sign in to the WordPress dashboard, and then they have some easy links to click on to add new posts, edit pages, add images or other media, or change around the sidebar. Most of WordPress is really WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). Users don’t even have to touch the code, although you can access that too with just a few extra clicks. WordPress also has some handy tools to help boost SEO, like the Yoast plugin and Google XML Sitemaps.
In today’s online environment, the battle for SEO is even more competitive, and the ability to constantly and quickly update your website is what makes WordPress absolutely vital to having great search engine performance. The constant changing of content also keeps people coming back to your site on a regular basis.
Conclusion – Why should you use WordPress?
For all the reasons listed above and countless more, WordPress is the best option for your next website. At Simply Compelling, we specialize in creating WordPress based websites. We can handle everything to do with setting up your website, including domain and hosting registration, WordPress installation, theme creation, setting up plugins, integrating social media, setting up email, and a lot more!
We would love to work with you on your next web design project! If you are interested in creating a website, or just want to see what we could do for you, please Contact Us!