Firstly, I need to clarify that I’m talking about WordPress.org and not WordPress.com. The latter is a hosted blogging service. Whereas WordPress is the free, open-source web publishing software. I thought I would mention in case you wan to investigate on the internet.
Anyway WordPress has been around since 2003 and now 43% of all sites across the whole web use it. I’ve already listed some large organisations that have sites built with WordPress but even I was surprised with companies such as Vogue, Rolling Stone Magazine, Unicef UK, Network Rail.
At it’s core WordPress’ mission is based on accessibility, performance, security and ease of use. There is no sales department, no advertising, no commercial driver. People use it because it’s good.
WordPress is wholly responsive to work on all devices, with a full content management system which enables easy updating.
In simple terms, WordPress is like a house.
Your ‘domain’ is your home address. Your hosting is like paying ground rental. You then decide what your house will look like (website theme) how many rooms you need (web pages) and what you want in each room in terms of functionality and features (plug-ins, widgets and pre-built blocks in website terms). The best thing with this house though is that you own it and can move it AND keep the same address!
Key WordPress Terms
Key terms that you will generally hear bandied about when looking at building a website are:
- ‘content management system (CMS)‘ which is basically an application that manages web content: create, edit and manage your website.
- Also, mobile responsive is still used although generally nowadays this is the norm for modern website themes. It’s just the older websites, that haven’t been updated that you can still come across not re-sizing properly when you look at it on a phone or tablet.
Good Things about WordPress
- Really flexible – you can used to build any type of website from business websites, news websites, personal blogs or e-commerce shops. The ability to customise therefore means that it can grow with your business. Also, as so many websites are built using it other key business products like PayPal, MailChimp, Facebook to name a couple are compatible.
- WordPress is continually being developed and improved.
- Search engine optimisation. Search engines like it because it can be clean and quick. It also gives users the freedom to use best practices and optimise for search engines.
- WordPress is an online community of developers through to site owners. So there is help out there.
- User-friendly publishing tools means that with a bit of training most of my customers are comfortable with adding or editing posts or pages. Also, uploading and adding images and media to WordPress can be relatively straightforward.
The “Not-So-Good” Things about WordPress
- It’s not a one-stop shop. It doesn’t come with a domain and hosting.
- If you haven’t used it before it can be a steep learning curve and time consuming.
- It will require some regular maintenance to keep updated with best practices and maintain secure.
- No direct support if things go wrong.
All of the above cons are negated if you hire a web designer like me! Still not convinced? Find out more why most people opt for a web designer to help with setting up their website.