Many people ask me why I use WordPress over other platforms to build my websites on so I thought I would tell you a bit more about WordPress and why I use it.
What is WordPress?
OK, so let’s get the boring stuff out of the way. WordPress is a Content Management System – now I can hear you saying to yourself ‘um, OK but what on earth is that?!’
A Content Management System is a way to create and manage content in the digital world. So basically it’s a platform you can build your website on.
And build websites on they do, around 75 million websites are built on WordPress, that’s around 27% of all websites being created through WordPress – making it the number one CMS, with just over 50% of the total CMS market share. (https://www.whoishostingthis.com/compare/wordpress/stats/).
Now I’ve blinded you with stats that prove that WordPress is the choice of many, let me give you a basic explanation of what it is and how you get it.
Why are there two different versions of WordPress?
Google WordPress and the first thing you will see is wordpress.com, so most people click on that and set up a free blog and away they go. They then see they can upgrade, use their own domain name, pay for a premium package and get all these extra features. But guess what? This is how WordPress make their money. As if you scroll down a bit further in Google you will also see wordpress.org, the totally FREE version of WordPress that you install onto your own website (you just need a domain name and hosting – in other words a business name and rental space on the Internet to host your little business) and THIS is the version everyone is talking about when they go on about WordPress, themes, plugins etc.
WordPress.com is very limiting, even with the premium version, and although you can still make a lovely looking website from it, you are going to be very restricted as to what you can do with your site.
So my advice is to keep scrolling, sort out a domain name and hosting and get wordpress.org installed ,for a WordPress website, instead and your website will grow with you.
The first screen you will see when you install WordPress (or one of the first) is the option to choose a theme. This is what your website will look like, so the layout of your website. Many people stress over this and from the thousands of free themes available (without all the paid for premium themes) there is so many to choose from so what if they get it wrong? Then change it! Nothing is set in stone and it is so easy to change your mind – you simply select or install another theme. This is one of the main reasons why I use WordPress, as I have used so many different platforms in the past, from template builders to having a website written in code, and only with WordPress I have managed to get my website how I want it to look and be able to change it easily.
Then add some pages, a few blog posts and ta da, you have a website!
And all you have paid is around £40 for a domain and hosting, unless you have purchased a premium theme – yet another reason why I love WordPress websites.
Now this is where things get fun! This is where we turn that lovely looking website and get it working for you and your business. Plugins are covered in another post of mine, but basically these are little add ons of functionality that you can add to your website and basically getting it to do whatever it is that you want. Need a contact form? Add a plugin. Need an opt in form to start building your email list? Add a plugin. Need to sell stuff on your website? Add a plugin. Yeah, you get the idea. I find that a lot of other platforms give you the basics but then as your business grows you need more and more features on your website to be able to meet your customers needs and give them the best possible experience. There’s nothing I haven’t been able to do with a WordPress website yet!
Easy to use and manage
The first time I use WordPress I thought OMG I will never be able to use this, it’s all too complicated. So I switched it off and continued to use other template builders trying to find something I liked working with and what would do what I needed it to do.
Out of the blue I came across a WordPress course and watched a series of videos on how to use WordPress. It was so SIMPLE! At first glance I was overwhelmed but when I actually looked at it and watched someone else do what I needed to be doing it looked, and was, so easy. So I had a go and got a website up in a few days, that I was happy with. As my needs changed – or just my choice of colours or layout! – I could easily adapt that on on my website and quickly.
All in all the reason why I create WordPress websites is for functionality, cost and ease of use.
Which as a web designer, with my clients best interest at heart, sounds like a pretty good deal to me 🙂
WordPress Website Top Tip
Make sure that you get wordpress.org and not the .com version or you won’t be able to access all of WordPress’ magnificent features, you will also find that you will end up paying, just to be able to customise your website and do things that you would think would come as standard.
There are many different platforms for you to build your website on and many offer you to get set up for free and then hit you with monthly and yearly fees to access certain features.
WordPress.org is totally FREE and you can build an amazing website without having to pay anything more than your yearly domain and hosting renewal fees (so around £30 a year!).