WordPress started as a blogging platform in 2003 and since then it has evolved into a fully-featured content management system. In this time WordPress has become increasingly popular for business websites and is now by far the most popular CMS around.
Since we work with WordPress pretty much every day and always highly recommend it to clients, we thought it would be useful to have an article explaining why choosing WordPress for a content-managed website is almost always a good decision.
WordPress is huge – and it’s Open Source
WordPress is open source. This means that WordPress itself is licence free and updates don’t cost anything. There are thousands of people all over the world constantly working on improvements and new features. This means that WordPress isn’t going anywhere and is a future-proof choice.
You can use WordPress for your website and be 100% confident that it’s not going to disappear in a couple of years time.
We’ve worked with a lot of clients who have had websites built on Content Management Systems that have become obsolete. When this happens and things go wrong it takes a lot of time and money to fix.
WordPress will continue to evolve
Because of the huge number of websites using WordPress and the massive amount of people involved with the WordPress project, it’s guaranteed that WordPress will continue to evolve with any new technology or trend on the web that comes along.
Some of our clients have previously worked with web design agencies who have had their own Content Management System. No doubt some of these CMS’s are great, but what happens when the client wants to move their website elsewhere? Or, even worse, what happens if the web design company goes bust or disappears? In effect the client is trapped because only the company who originally built the website will be able to provide new features and functionality.
Because of the size of WordPress, there are a lot of people with expertise available to help. With so many high quality companies and WordPress developers around, you will never be short of options if you need big changes or new features on your WordPress website.
WordPress is a Content Management System
One of the major problems that companies will encounter with owning static websites is that even small changes to the content will require the involvement of a web developer. Or at the very least will involve someone with technical skills in HTML and CSS. A far easier and more flexible solution is to build a website with Content Management System such as WordPress.
Regularly updated websites are more attractive and engaging to potential customers. Frequent updates to a website with unique, interesting content shows that a brand is active, has expertise and, in general, has plenty going on.
Search Engines like this too.
One of the many factors that Google uses to determine a website’s position in search results is the recency of content. You can’t afford to stand still on the web. If your brand has a static website that hasn’t been updated for months, you’re going to be losing out to rivals who invest the time and effort to keep their website fresh.
Why WordPress is easy to use
WordPress is really easy to use for almost anyone, regardless of their level of experience.
The WordPress Dashboard is it’s administrative area. From here it’s easy to add, remove or edit content. There is no need for any web development skills. Creating new content is as easy as writing a Microsoft Word document.
We’re always impressed by how easy it is for clients to get the hang of managing their websites with WordPress. Even people who don’t have a great deal of experience with these kind of things always say how simple and straight forward they find it.
WordPress uses themes and page templates to control the look and feel of the website. This means that it’s easy add new pages that maintain a consistent design with the rest of the website. All a user needs to do is choose the kind of page they want to add, enter the title of the new page, then the text, images and any other content they want on it. WordPress does the rest.
Why WordPress is flexible & extendible
We’ve already talked about why WordPress is so easy to use for clients. It’s an absolute dream for web designers and web developers too. The possibilities are endless.
Your WordPress website can grow with your business. You may start out with a simple brochure website, but as you raise your online profile you can add additional features and functionality to your site.
Customising a WordPress website can be split into two separate areas – themes and plugins.
Themes control the look and feel of a WordPress website.
At TAC we build everything from the ground up and don’t use pre-built themes at all. There is a time and place for downloading or buying WordPress themes, but we always try to convince clients that their website should be designed specifically for them. A bespoke website, built to meet a brand’s exact requirements and business needs is always going to be better, isn’t it?
However, the range of options available mean that WordPress can be a solution for any business, no matter how low their budget may be.
WordPress themes are completely separate from the website’s content. This means that completely changing the design of a website isn’t as difficult as you might expect. A new theme can be installed and then activated with only a couple of clicks. If the website is well maintained and both themes are well designed, the whole process can be completed with minimal effort.
There are also thousands of plugins that extend the functionality of WordPress. Whatever the feature, someone has probably made a plug-in that delivers it.
Of course, being open source means that anyone can make a plugin. Quality varies and much of what is available is not something you’d actually want to use on your website.
At TAC we usually build all of our functionality in-house and only use trusted plugins for non-functional things like SEO, security and backups.
If you are going to use plugins, the WordPress plugin directory helps with deciding on which ones to use. Every plugin is listed, rated and supported from here. Looking at the ratings a plugin has, as well as the questions and comments in the support forums is usually a good indication whether using it on your own website is a good idea.
Aside from the thousands of free plugins available in the WordPress plugin database, there are also a large number of premium (or paid) plugins that usually offer a high degree of custom functionality.
WordPress is still a blogging platform
WordPress was originally developed as a blogging platform. Since then it has evolved into a full Content Management System but it still retains all the great blogging features.
A blog is great for:
- Engaging with people who are interested in your brand
- Keeping your website fresh, lively and interesting
- Allowing your visitors to interact with you, leave comments and discuss your products and services
- Building a following
- Ultimately driving more traffic to your website
One thing to remember is that blogging is only effective if you are prepared to invest time in it. A blog that only gets updated once every few months won’t give the same results as a blog with frequent, unique and interesting content.
Why WordPress is Search Engine friendly
One of the reasons why WordPress is a great choice for almost any website is it’s built-in Search Engine Optimisation features. However, when these are paired with the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast, the control you can have over SEO is taken to the next level.
There’s no need to write too much about WordPress SEO or why WordPress SEO is by far the best and the only plugin you should use to optimise your website. It’s covered in enough detail in this article which is pretty much the definitive guide to WordPress SEO.
WordPress is (or at least can easily be) secure
As already mentioned, WordPress is regularly updated with new functionality and features. The updates also take care of security problems and closes loopholes that might have existed. Updating is a one-click process so there’s really no excuse not to do it.
Even if you manage multiple websites the task of keeping them all updated with the latest versions of WordPress as well as the latest updates to plugins is even easier by using a management plugin like WP Remote. This app lets you manage all of your websites from once central dashboard. Backing up and updating multiple websites is as simple as one click.
Aside from keeping WordPress up to date, there are other simple steps you can take to keep your WordPress site secure. Most of these will be the responsibility of the person developing the website and, if your developer is any good, they should be automatically doing most of them anyway.
We hope this article has explained why WordPress is our Content Management System of choice.
If you have a WordPress project and you’d like to speak to our highly experienced Newcastle-based WordPress team, we’d love to hear from you.
Get in touch and let us show you what we’re capable of.