SO WHAT IS WORDPRESS?
WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System), the most popular in fact. A CMS allows you to create, edit, organize and publish the content on your site through an online application. With a CMS you can add or delete pages from your site, you can edit text on your pages, you can change the images in your gallery, and much more, all without a single line of code. It’s a great tool allowing you to manage and maintain your website. And without any knowledge of HTML or CSS!
SO WHY CHOOSE WORDPRESS?
It’s so easy
There’s nothing worse than having to call up your developer (and pay them) to change something as simple as the address in your footer because your office relocated or to remove Ted from the employee page because he retired early and moved to Tampa. Through the WordPress Dashboard, right on your browser, you can make any content changes you need to. The interface is super user-friendly, organized and simple. You can edit your About page, publish a blog post, update your headshot, whatever your heart desires. I absolutely love this about WordPress. Because as your business grows and changes, so should your website. WordPress puts that power in your hands.
IT’S INCREDIBLY FUNCTIONAL
I have yet to reach a standstill with WordPress- if I can think it up, I can make it happen. Once known as purely a blogging platform, WordPress is now capable of anything and makes up a majority of CMS based sites on the web today. That includes large dynamic websites, online stores, portfolios, as well as plenty of blogs.
This extensive functionality is in a large part due to the thousands of plugins that are available to use on your WordPress website. A plugin is a small bit of software, developed by a third party, that seamlessly integrates with WordPress to add a feature to your site or enhance an existing one. There are tons of free plugins (as well as premium/paid ones) that offer a variety of different features. For example, contact forms. The easiest way to add a contact form to your website is by using a plugin. It takes care of all the code and functions, you simply insert it on your Contact page. Image sliders are another common website feature that can easily be added through the use of a plugin. Load it up with your favorite photos, insert the plugin shortcode on your page and boom, you got a slider.
Plugins can also come in the uber convenient form of a widget. Widgets are extremely helpful in organizing and structuring your website. Your blog’s sidebar is a perfect example. You may choose to include a brief bio of yourself, a link to your social media profiles, a list of your blog categories, and a promo of one or two of your most popular posts. All of these things can be added through the use of a widget. You can also remove sections or rearrange their order at anytime by simply dragging and dropping them into place.
Plugins can can also add logistic aspects to your site, like Google analytics and social media integration, as well as behind the scenes aspects like speed and security. The functionality plugins allow is limitless and can truly take your website to the next level.
IT’S VERY AFFORDABLE
WordPress is an open-source CMS which means it was created by a community of developers and continues to be worked on by hundreds of different people from all over the world. It’s code is up for grabs for anyone who wants to get their hands on it. Anyone is allowed to use the code, modify it, build on it and redistribute it anyway they’d like. (This allows all those awesome plugins to exist.)
Due to this nature, the use of WordPress is absolutely free. It doesn’t cost a thing to download and install WordPress. There are also countless free themes, plugins, and widgets available for use. But (sorry, there’s a catch) you do have to provide your own hosting. You may have heard the term “self-hosted WordPress” and this is what it’s referring to. Fortunately, hosting costs won’t break the bank. Providers like SiteGround and Bluehost offer great service and affordable rates. Including the cost of monthly hosting (and a domain you need to renew annually) WordPress is still one of the most affordable ways to get online.
IT’S SEO FRIENDLY
Potential clients need to be able to find you online, no doubt. The code used in WordPress is some solid, high-end stuff and therefore it’s easily found and read by search engines like Google. Boosting your SEO even more is painless with a little help from the Yoast SEO plugin. (There are several other SEO plugins to choose from, but Yoast is just my favorite.) Yoast allows you to specify SEO for each post and page. It tells you exactly what to do in order to rank higher and gives you immediate feedback on how well you’re doing so you can improve.
IT’S FOREVER GETTING BETTER
Remember all those developers around the world I mentioned who are constantly working on WordPress code? Thanks to those lovely people, WordPress is always getting better. They’re making it faster, stronger, and easier to use each and every day. Updates are released regularly to make sure that you’re always running the latest version. Your Dashboard will notify you automatically when updates are available and you can install them with the click of a button.
I could continue to geek out about WordPress all day, but I believe I’ve left you with the jist you need. If you still have questions, I’d love to answer them! Leave a comment or contact me!