This website uses WordPress, both for software and for hosting, so I frequently recommend it to anyone looking to improve the set up of their website. I guess I am not alone, as I recently read that more than 25 percent of websites use WordPress.
Thousands of successful websites use WordPress. Although WordPress was born as a blogging platform, it has evolved to become the most powerful CMS in the world.
Much of this is thanks to a strong community of developers who actively work to add features that are compatible with WordPress. It is a great open-source success story.
WordPress can be used to build any kind of website. Whether you want to build a business website, an online store, a corporate website, or an online portfolio, WordPress is an option you should strongly consider.
There are some great reasons why you should consider building your website with WordPress.
WordPress is free (mostly) and actively developed and improved.
When you use WordPress on the WordPress servers, you site can be completely free. There are paid upgrade options to allow you to use your own domain and access other features, but you can have a robust website for no cost if you choose.
When you use WordPress at another host, the software is still free but you layer on hosting costs. It then is your responsibility to install the software and plugins that you want and to keep them updated.
Thousands of designs to get you started.
Not a designer? I’m with you. One of the things I love most about WordPress is that you don’t need design skills. There are many designs, called themes, available for free and scores more available for a small cost. This can be a great way to get sophisticated design with a small outlay.
Designs are cataloged by type of business or site, primary color and more parameters, making it relatively painless to sort through the options to find one that is a good fit.
The downsides are that few have any decent documentation on how to customize the theme. If you are not well-versed in WordPress, this can make it a huge challenge to set up a theme. I have also found that many of the themes sold by independent sites are of widely varying quality. For that reason, I generally stick to the themes available directly from WordPress.
Support for latest technology standards.
Any website built today needs to be responsive so it can be seen on phones and tablets as well as desktop computers. Sites should also not use flash, an old tool for animation and use newer techniques like HTML 5 and animated GIFs.
There are still older themes out there that don’t use these newer standards. So you need to be aware of your requirements and make sure any theme you choose is compatible.
So many options!
WordPress is the easy to customize. You can add all kinds of functions just by activating plugins. To customize WordPress you don’t need to know any code. You can build forms, add and size images, embed videos, and so much more.
Online commerce options are growing.
WordPress has been slower than some CMS platforms to offer robust online store options. But the number of plugins to support this are gorwing. WooCommerce is a great free eCommerce plugin for WordPress which can easily handle about 2,000 products.
Support is available.
WordPress support will help with your questions. The WordPress community, people who are actively involved with this open-source software, is also available. Its forum has experienced developers and designers who will respond to posted questions.
There are also a growing number of web developers who are building their business around building and supporting WordPress sites.
WordPress is great, but you still have work to do.
One final note: keep your software up-to-date. Due to its popularity, WordPress has become more prone to hackers. This is a problem that affects other popular CMS software as well. You must keep whatever software you use to power your website updated so you are protected by the latest security patches.
This is one reason I use WordPress as my host as well – they update my software and plugins as needed. If you chose to use another host, you will need to be attentive to updates or hire a third-party service to do the work for you.