Heard about Wordpress ? You want to create your own website ? You wonder if it is worth a try?
I started my first blogs in 2006 with a free platform (Centerblog) that made it very easy and intuitive, even for a complete beginner like me at that time. The design options were very limited and my blogs were looking like absolute clones of the other thousands blogs on the same platform.
You had like a bunch of cookies cut with the same cookie cutter or you could say my blogs had thousands of twin sisters or brothers: that was a big virtual family! To be honest, I was already more than satisfied with my basic blogs as I only wanted to publish some posts.
WordPress is a gem for the next level
But as time went by, you need more… and indeed, I wanted more. I also started being frustrated by the multiple ads that the platform was running on my websites. It was like having strangers coming in your house and trying to sell stuff to your friends without your authorization. I wanted more freedom, more options and more privacy: no more unwanted ads that would take up to 40% of my webpage. I wanted to be the real owner of my websites.
For 2 years, I started researching for a way to get websites up and running easily. I could not find anything that suited me. I was even so frustrated that I ended up with the hard way and started learning HTML, CSS to create websites from scratch using softwares like dreamweaver. The learning curve was huge… but I was happy to be able to get good results…. Even tough it was taking me so much time.
In 2011, I stumbled across some blogs created via the WordPress platform and was absolutely amazed by their diversity in terms of design. I was so curious and excited that I had to give it a try, so I quickly installed the WordPress canvas to gets my hands dirty.
Guess what ? I fell in love with it after a few clicks. A really clean interface and a simple framework and yet full of potential for almost any cases.
The 9 main reasons why WordPress is a no brainer for your website
1) It is free
Yes, let’s face it; the cost is certainly one the first parameter to check. Good news ! Here, it is free to download and free to use as WordPress is an open source “software” created from a community project with a core team of talented developers, and constantly improved thanks to the growing community. And yes, the updates are free as well…
2) Ease of use: easy installation, easy interface and easy to publish
No matter how skilled you are, even if you don’t know anything about html, css, php… you will find WordPress easy to use: it is moreover so popular that all hosting companies (who will host your website) propose an easy way to install it via a one click installation that is a real time saver. The interface is simple, easy and very intuitive which makes creating, publishing, editing content for your website as easy as ABC.
3) Suitable for any kind of website : business website, e-commerce
Most people think it is only for blogs. Well it is true it started out as a great blogging platform but over time has evolved into a reliable content management system (CMS) for all kinds of websites (blogs, business websites, ecommerce….) because of its simplicity, customization possibilities and extensibility. So whatever your project, chances are WordPress will be best suited for your needs.
4) Limitless customization
With this CMS, you can make your website look the way you want. Your website will grow and adapt as your hobby/business evolves. It can be as big as you want, ranging from a simple page to a large website with multiples features to choose from. The secret behind this limitless customization lies with the ever growing number of themes and plugins that can literally give you full potential to customize your website.
5) Design: themes
Think of your WordPress website as a naked man or woman (I will let you choose) then you only need to dress him or her. In other words, Themes gives your site the design, the look you want. You will find tens of thousands of available themes which might make your choice as hard as choosing your favorite ben and jerry’s ice cream flavor (Ok I love them all lol). Some themes are free; others are premium (paid) like the ones of studiopress that I really like. You can also ask a developer to customize an existing theme to your liking. (Feel free to contact me if you need 🙂 )
6) Plugins for more features
Plugins are tools that you add to your WordPress website to get additional features. Those tools will extend the functionality of your website: it is like having a regular car and adding options to make it look and do what you need. You can add a slider (images sliding), a backup plugin to create automatic backups of you website in case you get hacked like backupbuddy, an e commerce plugin and so much more..…. Here again, you will find thousands of plugins (free and paid) to choose from.
7) SEO : an asset for the search engines
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) means optimizing your site to make it search engine friendly and appear high up in the search engine results page. Why is SEO so important ? Simply because if you create a website, I suppose you want it to rank higher in the search engines results, and get some traffic…. WordPress is indeed a SEO-friendly platform that, with some minor tweaking, can help search engines index your content easily. Even Matt cutts from Google (head of webspam team to help websmaters understand how search works) agrees. You will also, in most cases, have to add a SEO plugin to fine tune your SEO settings to get the most of it .
8) Used by many famous names
Some of the world’s biggest brands and industries use it as their publishing platform : CNN, TIME, METRO, BBC AMERICA, the Rolling Stones, Perez Hilton etc… 1 out of 4 websites are built via WordPress which is huge for an open-source platform with more than 50 million websites around the world. There must be a reason….
9) Support and help by a huge community
It is an open source platform with a huge community. That means: you will never be alone, and will always find someone or documentation to help you via the support forum, the documentation and thousands of other websites, developers…. However, in all fairness, this platform has also some cons that are directly related to its pros.
Issues to keep in mind
Plugin addiction : the more, the heavier.
With this great CMS, you could be tempted to add tons of plugins in order to get more and more features. Frankly, I would totally understand, I have done it myself a hundred times and I am still tempted to add more new features. But be aware that it is not recommended to do so, as it could potentially slow down your website (especially if some plugins are not coded correctly…) or break it. Keep in mind that the more plugins you add, the more possible interactions you could get, which would lead to some plugins not working… Always make a back up before using a new plugin so that you would be able to restore your website if necessary.
Hacker target : don’t let your website unattended
Because of its popularity, WordPress websites are the target of smart and canny hackers who will try to get into your website. It might sound scary, but don’t worry ; all these issues can be handled easily. Updates are thus definitely vital to keep the hackers away, and a few security tweaks, plugins will help fix the most common issues and let you sleep better as you know your website is automatically secured.
And you ? What do you think about Wordpress? If you also chose to use this CMS, what made you choose it?