Why use WordPress? This is one of the most common questions sent to my email inbox, so rather than replying to every email individually, it is time to write an article covering this topic. Software is never 100% perfect, like every other website builder there are limitations.
Within this article, we are focusing on the self-hosted WordPress solution, which is available for download on WordPress.org. For this, you will need to purchase website hosting and a domain name to get your website off the ground.
WordPress is more than a blogging platform
Firstly, it’s worth bearing in mind that WordPress is no longer just a blogging platform, many brands (i.e. New York Times, eBay and Sony) have built their website and mobile apps using WordPress. The fact that these big brands have trusted their business based on this platform is a huge statement and one of the reasons why you should use WordPress.
Ten years ago, to have a web presence you had to hire a website designer, which could cost you thousands of pounds or, pay for a website template and learn HTML/CSS. WordPress is free and open source, which means that you can download, install, use and modify it.
There is a huge community behind the platform, many who volunteer to help maintain and enhance WordPress so businesses like your can have a presence online.
Free and open source with a huge community
Themes are designed so that you can style your website and there are literally thousands of free themes for you to download. Plugins add additional functionality and tens of thousands of these plugins are available.
You don’t have to hire a developer to make changes to the themes because within the WordPress dashboard you can add your logo, change the colours and font match closer to your branding.
By using WordPress you become part of the community. You get free support from other community members within the forums, and once you have little experience with WordPress you can even contribute back to the community.
Anyone can contribute to WordPress by writing patches, answering support questions, writing plugins, creating themes, translating WordPress and updating documentation.
Easy to learn and maintain
WordPress is like any other software that you use – over time you become more comfortable with it and it is easy to learn, providing you put the time in.
You will also have to regularly update the software, including theme and plugins and while this is easy to do, it’s important to make sure that you have regular backups of your website before making these updates.
Some hosting companies specialise in WordPress setups, and they optimise the website so that it is secure. Smaller, budget hosting companies won’t offer this service so you will need a level of knowledge to ensure that you have set up WordPress safely and securely, you certainly need to know what you’re doing.
Power of the community but technical knowledge advised
The biggest advantage of using WordPress is the huge community and that you can create a website with some technical knowledge without having to spend thousands of pounds on a website developer.
When you want to add new content, you are not relying on someone to update the website new pages, posts and content can be added all within the dashboard, which is easy to navigate and use.
Hopefully, we’ve covered the main reasons why you should use WordPress and highlighted that you do need a level of technical experience to set your website up and make it secure, depending on the hosting company that you use.