What is WordPress?
Originally launched in 2003, WordPress today is probably the easiest, most powerful and most widely used content management system (CMS).
Although WordPress was originally known as a blogging platform, today it has evolved into a very versatile CMS. Still used to build simple blogs you can also use WordPress to create the most sophisticated sites.
As of January 2019, it was used by nearly 33% of all websites. Due to the excellent features it provides, WordPress is used by many world famous brands, such as The New York Times, Harvard Law School, Google, Time, Fortune, Xerox, eBay, Sony Music, BBC America, Walt Disney, Samsung, Playstation, Forbes and many, many more.
There are 2 different alternatives (hosted or self-hosted) for creating your site with WordPress and this sometimes causes some confusion.
- WordPress.com – (hosted) your site is hosted on the WordPress servers. You can create a site for free but you have many restrictions, could be useful for trying WordPress.
- WordPress.org – (self-hosted) you host or pay for hosting for your site. This is my preferred version and with this method, you have complete control over your website with no restrictions. This article relates to the self-hosted version of WordPress.
A Few WordPress Statistics From 2018
Here are a few statistics from 2018 that are quite mind-blowing. These are only based on sites hosted onWordPress.com sites or external sites using the Jetpack plugin. Sites not using this plugin and not hosted on WordPress.com are not included in these figures. (statistics from WordPress.com)
- There were roughly 70 million blog posts published per month (23 posts per second) on WordPress.com sites
- In addition, to the posts, there were also nearly 9 million pages published per month
- There were about 52 million legitimate comments per month that got through the Akismet plugin. Many sites use different anti-spam plugins, so the real figure is much higher.
- The number of page views on WordPress sites was more than 21 billion per month
WordPress seems to be taking the world by storm and every year the percentage of sites made by this platform is increasing.
This alone is probably not a good enough reason for you to use WordPress. You will probably have some questions.
You may also like: What is WordPress Gutenberg?
Here Are 25 Reasons Why You Should Be Using WordPress For Your Website.
WordPress is free to download and install. You can create any sort of website and no matter how large or how successful your site is, WordPress will always be free.
Being an Open Source software, you can modify or improve the code any way you like.
Different people or businesses have widely diverse needs. No matter, WordPress is capable of handling a simple personal blog or a large e-commerce site with its many built-in or add-on features.
Easy to Use
Another great advantage of WordPress is the ease of use. There is a learning curve, but to be honest, I have found it to be just as easy to use as the drag and drop editors. Adding pages, posts, images or videos is made very simple, people adapt quickly to WordPress.
Most of the leading hosting companies now have one-click installs which take just a few minutes to install WordPress. If your hosting company doesn’t provide the one-click installations you can find many tutorials online that will take you through the process.
Easy to Get Support
There is a lot of support available for WordPress. Your first stop if you are searching for the answer to a problem should be WordPress Codex, this is an online manual. This has information on the first installation right up to developing a theme or plugin or even contributing to the development of WordPress.
Next, there is the support forum where you can get help from the community. The forum provides help for the themes and plugins that are distributed by WordPress.org. For premium (paid) themes and plugins, the support is provided by the publishers.
Ready to Use Out of the Box
Once installed WordPress is ready to use. You don’t have to install anything else, it comes with everything you need. You can choose a theme and customize it as you like. As your site grows you will undoubtedly decide to add extra functionality, this can be done at any time by adding plugins.
WordPress is Always Being Updated
This is one thing I love about WordPress, it’s always being improved! Updates can be viewed from your dashboard and can be installed when you like. Always a good idea to install as soon as possible (after backing up your site) as they might correct security problems.
Customizable Using Different Themes
This is another great feature of WordPress. It’s easy to make changes to the design of your site in just a few clicks. A theme changes the overall look of your site but it can also include different features. There are about 3000 free themes and 1000s of premium themes. Once you have chosen your theme you can customize it further to have your own unique look.
Although the process of changing themes in quite easy, picking the right theme for your site might prove to be a little more difficult. Themes have different: layouts, sidebars, footers, headers, etc. So, your new theme should be carefully considered and once installed there will probably be a fair bit of tweaking to be done before it is ready for the public. Again it’s good practice to backup your site before making changes.
Extendable with Different Plugins
Adding extra functionality in WordPress can be as easy as searching the plugin directory and then installing the plugin that will do the job. Many platforms offer plugins or apps to improve the range of capabilities of a website, but nothing quite like WordPress where the numbers and versatility of the plugins are unmatched. There are nearly 43,000 plugins available and many are free. Plugins permit you to add sliders, add photo galleries, stop spam comments, improve SEO, add a shopping cart, add social media buttons and much, much more.
Before installing any new plugin on your site make sure it’s compatible with the version of WordPress you are using.
Search Engine Friendly
The search engines seem to appreciate WordPress perhaps because it’s easy to crawl. I know it’s a while ago, but in 2009, Matt Cutts who was head of Google’s webspam team said that WordPress takes care of 80-90% of SEO mechanics. This is one of the reasons WordPress is held in such high regard by site owners.
There are many online tutorials that show you the best practices for search engine optimization.
Change Hosting When You Like
If you’re having problems with your web host and you want to change, this is possible in WordPress. Many of the well known hosting companies will even help you to do this either for free or for a small cost. If not, there are tutorials and plugins that can help. Remember before starting to backup your site.
When choosing your hosting, it may not be a good idea to sign up with the first you find or the cheapest. Hosting vulnerabilities are often the reason for sites being hacked. Always do your research and only select a company with a good history of implementing strong security measures. It’s worth paying a few dollars extra per month and knowing your site is secure.
It’s worth considering that with many online site builders it’s impossible to move your site.
Easy to Manage
WordPress has a built-in updating management system, with just a click you can update either the WordPress software, plugins or your theme. Using a plugin you can easily create a backup of your entire site which can then be stored in a remote location.
Create Any Sort of Website
WordPress is great for more or less any sort of website. You can create a personal website or blog, a business site, an e-commerce website, a portfolio or photography site, a niche affiliate marketing site, a directory, a job board, a school or university website, an online community website, a forum, a membership site …
Started originally as a blogging platform WordPress now provides a solution for creating e-commerce websites. To create an e-commerce site, you need to add a plugin to your site.
There are both paid and free plugins, the best known is Woocommerce, which powers about 18% of the e-commerce sites that are online. This is a free plugin, although to get all the features you require you will have to pay for some extensions which might be quite expensive.
Add Features or Update Your Website Without Needing a Web Designer
It is usually quite easy to make changes or add functionality to your WordPress website. If you run into problems you can find the answers online with WordPress support or your premium theme or plugin support. No need of going to the expense of hiring a web designer to update or make adjustments to your site. WordPress is user-friendly and making changes is a simple process.
It’s essential to have a responsive website these days, your site needs to look good on smartphones and tablets as well as an ordinary desktop. This isn’t a problem with WordPress, most themes that are mobile friendly and the WordPress dashboard is also responsive so you can work on your site with any device.
Over the 13 years, it has been in existence WordPress has been developed, improved, made more secure and well and truly tested. Although it started as a blogging platform it has developed into an awesome website publishing platform that is used by many leading enterprises worldwide.
No Need to Get Involved With Coding
Many people still have a fear of setting up a website, but with WordPress, all you need is a few clicks of your mouse and a few minutes. Once your site is created you can start a simple blog or make a complex interactive site.
WordPress is Secure
Built with security as a priority, WordPress is considered as quite safe but still suffers from the attacks of hackers. Always a good idea to keep the WordPress software, your theme and all plugins up to date. Updates are often for security reasons.
They have a dedicated security team of about 25 experts that identifies and then works to resolve any security problems. The security team also give advice to third-party theme and plugin authors.
You Have Control of Your Site
With a self-hosted WordPress website, you have complete control over your site. You can edit the software, change your theme and add plugins. The only restrictions you might encounter may come from your hosting provider not allowing certain plugins, however, this doesn’t usually cause any problems.
Adding multimedia to your site is a great way to improve your user’s experience. Including images, image galleries, videos or audio on your WordPress site is made very easy.
Social Network Friendly
Social media is essential for online marketing and attracting more people to your website. WordPress makes it easy to incorporate social media buttons on your site. These buttons make it easy for your visitors to share your content with their friends or followers which in turn will mean in more visitors to your site.
Low Cost to Set Up Your Site
As the software is free the only cost you have is for the hosting and domain name. You might decide to buy a premium theme or a paid plugin, but to get started this isn’t necessary. A domain name costs $10-$12 and hosting about $10 per month.
Easy to Communicate With Your Visitors
Having interaction with your visitors is possible in different forms. When you activate the comments feature your visitors can leave comments on your pages or posts. With plugins, you can add other forms of interaction such as live chat or contact forms.
Translating your website into different languages is possible. You can do this by manually translating your page and then with the help of a plugin your readers can select the language they want.
Alternatively, you can install the Google Translator plugin, which will automatically translate your posts. The translations won’t be as good as manual translations, but if you don’t have the time or know how this is a good alternative. There are also other plugins both free and premium that can translate your pages and that even allow your readers to correct your translation.
Although the default language of the WordPress dashboard is English it is possible to change the language of the dashboard to edit your site in your preferred language.
WordPress is a great choice to create a new website or to improve an existing site. It’s easy to use, very flexible, search engine friendly and the software is free.
If you’ve been thinking about launching a site for your business or even a personal blog but were worried about the costs or the technical side, WordPress is the answer to your problems. A really awesome platform and the best choice for building any kind of website.
If you would like to try the platform for free to see what you think, fill in a domain name in the form below and take it for a test drive.
You will be directed to the SiteRubix platform where you don’t even need to install the software, it’s already done! You just choose a domain name, select your theme and then press the button “build your site”.
You will even receive some step by step instructions on setting up your site. This is where I first learned about WordPress and I was so impressed I went on to follow some more lessons about building an online business.
I highly recommend you try WordPress!
If you have any questions or comments about WordPress, I would love your feedback.