Although WordPress began as a blogging platform, it has evolved throughout the years to become a comprehensive content management system. Its modest origins have influenced its progression: while you can create a fully functional website and mobile applications with WordPress, you can also still use it to host a simple blog.
Nowadays, there are two forms of WordPress: WordPress.org and WordPress.com. WordPress.org is managed by the non-profit WordPress Foundation and is a form of open source software. WordPress.com is a for-profit business owned by Automattic that uses the WordPress.org open source software. While the two entities are separate, they remain closely linked, and it’s incredibly easy to create a website with both.
This user-friendliness and flexibility designate WordPress perfect for the website beginner, because as your aptitude for the software grows, so too can your web page. WordPress’s popularity is reflected by the many who favor it for hosting their website: an impressive 32% of the world’s sites are powered by WordPress, including big brand names such as Time Magazine, Google Facebook, LinkedIn, and eBay. Version 4.9, the most recent incarnation of WordPress, has been downloaded more than 169 million times. WordPress can be used for websites as diverse as:
- Rating sites
- Shopping sites (e-commerce)
- Membership sites
If you’re contemplating creating a web page or multi-sites for your business or project, here’s our list of the top seven reasons why you should opt for WordPress:
WordPress is open source.
Open source software is democratic, community-run software. WordPress has been developed and maintained by a team of volunteer contributors since 2003, who are consistently working to improve and advance the system and make it as accessible as possible for all who host websites on it. WordPress contains source code which is available for anyone to view, change and enhance, and anyone can contribute to the ongoing development of WordPress by answering support questions, providing translations or writing plugins.
One of the greatest attributes of open source systems is that they tend to be free and allow greater freedoms to those who use the systems. What’s more, WordPress comes with a large, supportive community to help troubleshoot problems.
WordPress is free.
Both WordPress.org and WordPress.com are free to download, install, use, and upgrade. WordPress.org is self-hosted, which leaves you responsible for finding web hosting, a domain and security, which can cost as little as a few dollars up to several hundred dollars monthly. WordPress.com hosts your site and handles everything for you, but at the expense of flexibility. For greater diversity of options, you’ll most likely need to upgrade to a premium version of the software.
There are more than 2600 WordPress themes and more than 31,000 plugins to download for free on your website. Although you can keep your costs to a minimum, if you are looking for customized design, robust security, high-speed loading, and flawless web page performance, be prepared to invest more. Premium plugins frequently offer top-notch support and better features (Gravity Forms, for example, is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for creating forms due to its user-friendliness and versatility). WordPress users also often pay additional for services from freelancers, designers, and WordPress service providers who run security checks, remove spam and provide regular back-ups.
WordPress is search engine friendly.
Web pages have little value unless they can attract traffic. WordPress is written using standard compliance high-quality code, so search engines can easily crawl and index the site’s content. What’s more, WordPress has been designed with SEO in mind. For example, each page, post, and image can have its own meta-tag keywords, description and title, allowing for precise search engine optimization. You can enhance WordPress’s SEO capabilities by using the WordPress SEO plugin, or accessing community support such as WordPress SEO tips for beginners.
WordPress is highly customizable.
Web pages that stand apart have been customized to meet the needs of their users, and clearly transmit the brand and vision of the business. Successful web design requires engagement with UX (user experience) and UI (user interaction), both of which rest on customizing your website to provide a memorable and user-friendly experience for your customers.
WordPress allows full customization of your website, permitting modifications of layouts, themes and applications. When you couple this flexibility with plugins, extensions and thousands of free templates, you can be assured of achieving a unique website that conforms to your specifications.
Many WordPress themes are accompanied by their own options panels which allow you to choose colors, upload logos, transform the background and create striking sliders without ever writing any code (cue relief!). WordPress websites are also scalable: you can create a website with more than a hundred thousand pages, or stick with a simple blog post, and the performance of the site will remain consistent.
WordPress can handle diverse media.
WordPress is exceptionally well-versed in handling text. However, it also comes with built-in support to integrate images, documents, audio, and video effectively. Embedding YouTube and Soundcloud content is super straightforward, and plugins can facilitate automatic updates from social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Visitors to your site can even embed videos in the comments section.
WordPress is extendable
As your business grows and changes, your WordPress webpage can evolve in response. Adding event calendars, video galleries and Twitter feeds is made simple with the addition of plugins. There are thousands of plugins to transform your website and help you to create bespoke forms, map your customers’ journey, provide backups, cull spam and enhance security. These plugins not only improve functionality but can also extend your web page by adding a whole new platform.
Most critically, WordPress is easy for beginners.
Hardly anyone who uses WordPress is a web designer or a programmer. WordPress was first designed to be so accessible and intuitive that even those who had zero prior knowledge of website design could dabble in website creation. An intuitive user interface renders WordPress super simple for beginners, and the admin dashboard feature shows the page owner if a new version of WordPress is available and if updates are ready.
The addition of new pages, posts and images can be performed quickly and breezily. Need to add another user to your WordPress site? Simple. Another appealing feature for beginners is that WordPress sites can be managed from any computer with Internet. The abundant community support also underscores its accessibility with thousands of online tutorials and guides available.