As WordPress celebrates its tenth birthday this year, it also has other reasons to celebrate. With over 65 million blogs and websites created on WordPress and companies like CNN and TechCrunch using it, it’s no wonder that developers and marketers alike recommend it to their clients and colleagues.
The WordPress platform has many benefits: it’s free, it has a passionate community behind it, and developers are rapidly expanding its selection of themes, layouts, and plugins to allow it to accommodate any website purpose or need.
While most use WordPress as a blogging platform, it can fit any business or organization, from an e-commerce store to a social networking community. Here’s why WordPress should be your website’s CMS (content management system).
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Because WordPress is first and foremost a blogging platform, it makes adding, editing, and publishing content very easy. This ease-of-use is key for easily rolling out your content strategy while enabling all your employees and writer corps to contribute.
Besides making content creation easy, plugins and administrative options allow for thousands of possibilities as to how your content is approved, displayed, and edited. From SEO plugins like Yoast that grades the SEO value of your blog post to photo gallery plugins that allow you to showcase your most recent client case study, what your organization needs in a CMS can probably be met with WordPress.
While the available plugin and customization options can be overwhelming, there are many places to go for help, as one of the best things about WordPress is the number of people using it. WordPress has support resources built on a hefty community forum that’s moderated by both WordPress fanatics and employees alike. If your answer can’t be found in the forum, you can ask your own question.
You can also seek advice outside of WordPress as well. There are several blogs and websites with articles on everything WordPress (such as WPBeginner.com), from theme installation to plugin reviews. Because many of the users who build a website with WordPress love its flexibility and options, they are ready and willing to help others get started too.
Plugins and Themes
WordPress has hundreds of thousands of functionality-augmenting plugins which are available both free and paid. Each theme (which is a design or layout for the front end of the CMS website) and plugin displayed in the WordPress gallery is accompanied by user reviews so you know how both will function when actually put into practice.
Besides checking out the reviews, you can also see when the plugin or theme was last updated. If it’s been longer than a year, it may be worth trying something else, especially if WordPress has done a recent major update.
While there are a plethora of free themes and plugins, you’ll need to do your research to make sure they all work together. Many major plugins, like BuddyPress (which is a complete social networking/community plugin) can only work with certain themes that have been built around it.
When it comes to company CMS platforms, it’s usually worth the cost to invest in a unique or premium theme for your website. In addition, unique plugins that will enhance your employees’ or users’ experience using the CMS are usually worth the purchase.
Access to Security
Because WordPress is currently the largest website-building and blogging platform in the world, it is important to protect your content from spam attacks. WordPress sites are targeted mostly because there are so many of them (as any popular CMS platform can attest). Luckily, there are several options available for keeping your CMS secure.
Invest in a secure theme and consider utilizing a back-up service, like VaultPress or another security back-up plugin. There are free and paid options, but be sure to read all the considerations and reviews before deciding on one. It’s also helpful to do regular back-ups of your site to your local computer or a hard-drive, just in case. Again, because WordPress is used in such large numbers, the options to protect your content are endless.
Numbers are also on your side when it comes to finding the best web developer or SEO consultant for your new CMS. There are many web developers who are experts with WordPress, which means you’ll have an easier time finding one. Because of this, competition is fierce, and they may come cheaper than others who work with rare or proprietary CMS’s. There are also plenty of design firms that specialize in building WordPress websites, which can lead to better service and greater breadth of knowledge about the platform.
Of course, after you build your website, you’re going to need to market it, and that’s where SEO comes in. WordPress is the CMS of choice for SEO professionals (including us here at AudienceBloom!), and most know how to work within WordPress. This is because WordPress has many SEO plugins that allow SEO professionals to provide a higher level of optimization, support, and customization.
Finally, while requirements vary in either case, design and SEO set-up often take less time than creating a complete CMS entirely from scratch.
One of the slogans of WordPress is “Code is Poetry”, something which is taken to heart by those who work with it every day. The thousands of developers, writers, marketing consultants, and programmers who use WordPress daily have proven that its use and benefits make it a great choice for anyone needing a flexible, easy-to-use, and affordable content management system.