People always ask me why I use WordPress as much as possible when developing sites, when I could just code my own bespoke website. I have probably used WordPress in about 75% of the projects I have done at Square Apple, and before. Beautiful websites can be created on any platform, but WordPress gives you the ability to add advanced functionality, features and options that saves you money in the development stages, and beyond. I thought I would breakdown some of the reasons below, in no particular order.
Completely free, Open Source, and actually completely free!
You can find web-builder platforms all over the net, either at ISPs, free with your hosting, or as an online service. But invariably these all have hidden costs, or upgrade features. WordPress is free. It is free now, and it will be free tomorrow and it will be free everyday until aliens invade us and an intergalactic war is started (it will be free during and after the war too). It doesn’t matter how big the site gets, how many pages you create. WORDPRESS IS FREE! Its code is not segregated off, or stored on inaccessible cloud servers; you can access everything you need.
WordPress is Open Source (yes I know I said that)
When you are created a beautiful, expensive bespoke website by your developer, you will no doubt be delighted, but what happens if you fall out with the developer, or they no longer have the time to help extend/repair your website. The cost involved in finding a developer to look at a bespoke site, work out how it is built and add those extras you want can be large. With WordPress, you not only have fantastic developers like myself, but also plugins. Plugins enable you to add those extra features you want, and when something goes wrong, and you do not have a developer at hand, just search google or the wordpress.org site and you are sure to find the help you need. This is a major reason. You are in control of your website. You are not at the beck and call of the developer.
Editing your site is a breeze
The WordPress backend is a brilliant, and very user-friendly. The editor is very similar to an office app, with a ribbon at the top. You also have the ability to add your own editor through plugins if you want even more functionality. WordPress is updated frequently and new tools are added regularly making the experience top-notch.
Use of themes
Themes are an essential part of WordPress, not only as an easy way to create a site without a custom design, but also as the foundation for a custom design. customising a theme is an essential part of WordPress development. As I always tell my clients, starting from a free or purchased template, allows not only for cheaper development, but also with the use of child themes, updates that do not affect your content.
Elegant themes is a great place to get some quality themes, well worth a look.
Themeforest has the biggest range of themes to choose from, and also a plethora of plugins and templates.
The thesis theme is one of the most used premium themes anywhere, and for good reason. It is highly adaptable and the support is second to none.
WordPress, once installed has good security and permissions structure by default, but by going back to those all important plugins, you can hack-proof your site very easily. Those regular updates from the WordPress creators, patch security flaws when the massive community of users finds them, and the ability to easily backup your site adds extra confidence. Do remember to run a backup when you update though!
Search engines love a bit of WordPress
Well, Google loves sites that make sense to people. Proper use of permalinks allows for lovely URLs and search engine friendly sites. Links within the site are great and the structure is naturally beneficial in terms of SEO. This can be extended even further with some cracking SEO plugins like Yoast SEO, and google sitemaps. I have always recommended to new clients, and those who want to advice to move to WordPress to get that on site SEO boost. Most of all Google loves fresh unique content, and WordPress definitely makes it easy for you to do that.
WordPress Social Media
As a prominent blog system, WordPress provides excellent integration with social media, and with a few plugins like Yoast SEO, Jetpack and …… you can achieve complete integration with social media. From twitter cards, and OG tags, to social media commenting systems, Disqus and social media login. You do not need to be limited to a few social media icons with WordPress, you can go all out to get those important likes and improve your SEO to boot.
External sites and apps
WordPress makes it very easy to embed and display external sites and streams from twitter, and Facebook streams to google maps and well pretty much anything you can think of. And this is not limited to the front end, analytics and platform stats in the backend for administrators makes it easy to see how your site is performing.
Is there a particular platform you will use your site on?
Who cares! As an install, you can easily install WordPress on Linux or Windows, in fact if you are familiar with hosting accounts, you can install WordPress in about 5 minutes. You can also install it on Amazon S3 and pretty much any host you can think of. In terms of usage, it doesn’t matter which device you want to view your site on, as it displays in HTML and CSS. Mobile responsiveness comes with the usage of themes/templates and the WordPress admin section is now designed to work on tablets etc…And as I said previously, you can host WordPress pretty much anywhere!
I need changes, I need more!
Kind of repeating what I have already said, but your site can continue to grow with WordPress, and you can accomplish this with the tools and plugins available for free. Bespoke sites do not allow for the same kind of growth with the need for a developer, and while it is always useful to get advice or help from someone like Square Apple, WordPress allows you to grow on your own.
Does anyone know how I…?
Well yes, there are a few million users of WordPress, and the community are always happy to help and advise. The WordPress.org community forums and plugin support are excellent, and just searching the Internet will show you how much support you can get for your website. The newest version of WordPress 3.9.1 was downloaded over 9 million times in the first 3 weeks, that is how many people use it!
User friendly install and management
WordPress is designed to be simple to understand and use. From the install screens, to the backend. You can set up a default site, with menus, pages and blog with a few clicks with a beautiful simple GUI. You do not need to know code or development to set up the basis of a good site. And updating and backing up a site is equally as easy. (notice I said backing up again, always backup before an install/update).
It is no coincidence that some of the biggest brands on the internet utilise WordPress, it is a fantastic scalable platform. Not only is it a cost-effective solution, in fact it is a cheaper CMS to set up and manage and support than other popular CMS platforms like Drupal and Joomla! It also has a larger support base. Take a look at the WordPress http://wordpress.org/showcase/archives/ showcase archives for a few examples of the companies using the WordPress platform.
Would love to hear from you if you have any comments about WordPress. Perhaps you have some more great reasons to use WordPress or perhaps some reasons not to? And if you need a WordPress professional to help you with any WordPress development/installs please do contact Square Apple. Thanks for reading!