There are a number of solutions available for creating websites, each with their own advantages, disadvantages and fanatical user bases championing each of them. This means finding the solution to publish your content could be tough. Make the wrong choice and you’re potentially stuck with a platform that causes you headaches and grief further down the line.
Fortunately, there’s a publishing platform available with the right balance of functionality, flexibility, cost, and support to match hand-coded websites and it also outperforms the other available solutions. That platform, of course, is WordPress!
In this post, we will look at six reasons why WordPress should be the go-to publishing choice for your website, but first of all, let’s look at exactly what WordPress is, along with a little back history.
What Is WordPress?
Put simply, WordPress is a platform for publishing self-hosted websites. Its interface is accessed through your web browser and other than using a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client for the initial install, WordPress offers you everything you need to publish your content. In fact, if you choose the right host, you wouldn’t even need an FTP client.
WordPress was first launched in 2003 by two developers who wanted a better solution for publishing their blog content (Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little). 13 years later, WordPress has now grown to power over 25% of the internet – with high-profile users such as TechCrunch, the Washington Post, and BBC America, to name a few.
Its humble beginnings solely as a blogging platform are still present, but constant development has meant WordPress has evolved into a full-featured Content Management System (CMS). With developments such as the incoming REST API on the horizon, WordPress looks to become even more dominant in the future.
Now we’ve briefly looked at its history, let’s take a deeper look at some of the reasons you should choose WordPress as your publishing platform.
- WordPress Is Open-Source with No Software Fees
You may have heard the term ‘open-source software’ bandied around, but might not know what it means. Quite simply, open-source means anybody can contribute to the software in question, with all of the source code freely available to download and modify. In a lot of cases, open-source software is free to use.
An important aspect of WordPress’ freedom is its protection under what’s known as the GNU General Public Licence (GPL). This license lets anybody use, share and modify the software. Also, in contrast to a standard copyright, any derived works must also be released under the GPL. What this means is WordPress is free, and will be freely available forever.
While WordPress is highly unlikely to be unsupported in the future (WordPress’ parent company Automattic was recently valued at $1–2 Billion, and the CMS is the cornerstone of their business), its open-source nature means other developers are free to take over the project if development is halted. Plus, because of the GPL, they too would have to make their work freely available.
- You Don’t Have to Be a Web Developer
There are a multitude of ways in which WordPress’ design makes it easy to create pages and content, all without requiring any coding experience. In WordPress, each page or post is created using the open-source TinyMCE editor. This gives WordPress the functionality of software like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, meaning styling your text with bold or italics, for example, can be done directly within the editor.
Media can be embedded in a couple of ways. The Media Library enables you to add images using the Add Media button and can be resized directly within WordPress, so there’s no need for external programs such as Photoshop. ‘Under the hood’ functionality also enables you to embed video from the likes of YouTube and Vimeo.
- Designing Your Site Requires No Coding Skills
Your website’s overall design and layout doesn’t require the knowledge of your garden variety web developer either. For a start, WordPress includes several default themes designed to show off its core functionality. While these themes perform admirably, there are thousands of other themes to choose from, created by a variety of website design agencies like MGR
- If You Need Extra Functionality, There’s a Plugin For That
The basic functionality of WordPress is very good and may be just what you’re looking for, but it doesn’t cover every need and want out of the box. You may need additional functionality and in WordPress this is provided by small add-ons called plugins. There are thousands of plugins available for free within the WordPress Plugin Repository, each providing different additional functionality. Similarly to themes, custom plug-ins can also be developed to fit your particular need.
- Search Engine Friendly
If SEO is important for you, WordPress is your ally. It is already well known and documented (even by our own MGR SEO Team) that search engines favor WordPress websites because of their friendly hyperlinks (permalinks) and the easy to crawl framework. Google spokespersons have also acknowledged and endorsed several times WordPress websites as a search engine friendly platform.
- WordPress Has a Large, Strong Community
A major benefit of using WordPress is its strong, passionate, and inclusive community. The WordPress.org website has its own forums, where users share advice and ask for help on a regular basis. If you have a question to ask, this is the place to do it! Many plugin and theme developers have support forums here for their free offerings too, so support is always at hand and you’ll more often than not, be talking directly to the developers themselves:
Finally, as WordPress has grown, so has its developer base. The platform attracts contributors from all manner of other fields and industries, who pool their talents to make WordPress better. Updates to WordPress itself are frequent, with a team of hundreds releasing three core updates per year.
- Adding E-Commerce Is Easy With WordPress
Unlike a hand-coded website, setting up an e-commerce solution on your WordPress website is easy when using one of a number of available plugins.
One such example is WooCommerce – currently the most popular e-commerce solution available that can be integrated with most themes. Its strengths lie in how fast it is to set up a store and its support from all major payment providers.
Finally, while it’s not a WordPress-specific solution, by adding an open-source SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt, you could potentially build an online store with WordPress, and WooCommerce, and Let’s Encrypt for a very reduced budget.
Choosing a publishing platform for your website can be tough and choosing the wrong one means wasting time and money later, when migrating to a more suitable solution. WordPress should be your first choice for publishing your website. MGR specializes in both, “off the shelf” and custom theme development for WordPress websites and blog. Please contact our team anytime if you would like to explore new possibilities.
Thank you for reading. Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)
- Source: Theme Fusion – Tom Rankin