You’ve probably heard of WordPress at one point or another. It started as a blogging platform and has evolved a great deal since and not just for blogging.
For those who need a website, whether for business, a portfolio, or just a personal blog, there comes a point when you need to decide what platform to build your website on.
Creating a website is easier now than ever. You no longer need to know HTML, CSS, PHP, and a bunch of other languages made up of acronyms, but still, what platform you have your website on is important. These days, Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly have also gotten popular, but if you’re trying to decide, WordPress is the way to go. There’s a reason why 25% of the world’s websites are on WordPress!
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a free and open-source web software platform that websites can be built and managed on. This means, as a user, it helps you create and manage your website a lot easier, without the direct need for code necessarily. You can add pages, add blog posts, add images, add functionalities, make simple edits, or maintain it on your own with a easy-to-use interface, without going into the sometimes scary back-end of a website.
To clarify, there’s technically two WordPresses – WordPress.com, and WordPress.org – I’m taking about the latter. The .com refers to a free blogging platform that you can get a subdomain on, for example: WordPress.com/myblogsite; whereas the .org, and what this article is about, is the CMS that you use in conjunction on your self-hosted website (you need a domain name and web host – see my article here on how to set it up).
So, why choose WordPress?
It’s free and open-sourced
Well, free is always good, right? Though, WP itself is free, you will need to self-host your website (go here for an explanation and who I recommend as a web host) which is very affordable .
I also love that it’s open-sourced, which means there’s a big WordPress community worldwide, of developers and users that means that it’s easy to get support, always growing and evolving to create solutions.
It’s so widely used
Expanding on the last point, because about a quarter of the world’s websites are built with WP, there is a very large community which means comprehensive support and resources. There an array of sources for troubleshooting support whether from their free forums, to theme developers.
You own your own content and site
If you install WordPress on your own web host, then you own your own content on your website. Whereas, for WordPress.com, Squarespace, Wix, etc., you don’t technically own your content because it’s like buying your home vs. renting. Essentially, not owning your own site means you’re at the host’s mercy. They can do what they want with your website. I don’t think I need to go into why you want to own your own site!
To be honest, there’s a bit of a learning curve, as there is with any platform. There’s jargon to learn, but there’s tons of free resources and tutorials. Once you get the hang of it though, you can do a lot. There’s also a big range of how much you want to know WordPress…but you don’t need to know that much to do the basics (because we’re not all coders or have the time to learn)! There’s a visual editor with a rich text editor so you don’t need to know code! There are also some themes that allow you to build your website through drag-and-drop.
The sky’s the limit!
Compared to all of the other contenders as mentioned before, WordPress offers more functions for your website, as well as the flexibility to grow with you and your business’ needs. There are thousands of premium and free plug-ins and themes to shape your website however you need to. WordPress can be used for ecommerce sites with a shop, or membership sites for your courses, or a personal blog of your recipes.
Built with SEO in mind
WordPress sites have excellent search engine optimization (SEO). It’s coded with this mind, and there’s a lot of free plug-ins to help with increasing how your website shows up in your favourite search engine.
There are security risks that come with WordPress, as any websites, but there are many security products that can help protect your website. These, along with following a few best practices like always keeping your plugins, themes, and core WordPress files up-to-date will keep your website protected and safe.
There you have it, some top reasons for choosing WordPress to build your website on. While you can change platforms later on, it’s never that seamless and better to start with one that is free, and full of flexibility so there’s no worries later on!
I design websites only with WordPress, and this is why! Rather have someone set it up and design it for you? I can help!