WordPress is a free open source content management system (CMS) that makes it easy to manage your website content from a web based admin system. It is a software platform to build your website on.
WordPress now powers one third of all websites on the internet, and more than any other content management system. It is the most widely used platform to build a website, and therefore is well tested and supported by a huge community of developers worldwide.
Originally released in 2003 as a blogging platform, WordPress is now a mature and stable CMS. I’ve personally been developing websites in WordPress for well over 10 years and it has slowly become the go-to tool for building most business websites. Using WordPress we can build everything from a flashy corporate “brochure” website, to magazine websites heavy with news and blogs, to personal portfolio websites, and more complicated websites with custom functionality. Even e-commerce websites are well supported using the WooCommerce plugin that has out of the box support for many existing payment gateways and shipping options – saving time on the most complex parts to develop.
What is WordPress good for?
WordPress is well designed for building most general websites and there are some areas that WordPress particularly excels at.
WordPress saves time
While developing a custom theme and plugins can be a significant project on par with creating a custom website, there are still many areas in which using WordPress can save you significant development time.
Simply by adding a few well-used plugins we get out of the box support for SEO (search engine optimisation), caching, image optimisation, AMP (accelerated mobile pages), e-commerce, security hardening, and much more. All these things would be significant development time to create from scratch, and more importantly there is no need to reinvent the wheel when a good solution already exists. Focus your custom development efforts on what truly sets your website apart from the rest, not on recreating functionality.
You can get your hands as dirty as you want when you use WordPress. Either get stuck in to the core code, writing plugins and creating completely custom themes. Or keep the coding requirements light using one of many free or premium themes with pre-defined options to customise your website.
Even when we develop a custom theme and plugins for a WordPress website, in the background it is still powered by the same familiar framework. This saves time for site administrators, since if you are already familiar with adding blog posts then it is not much of a learning curve to manage a website with a custom section like “events” or “listings”.
WordPress is futureproof
Unlike custom developed websites and those built on smaller niche or paid platforms, WordPress is always going to be free and well supported for decades to come. Due to its wide adoption it would be many generations before you’d have any trouble finding a WordPress capable developer to help with your website. This gives you independence and control – you aren’t tied to the original developer.
Although I do hope that if I build your site that you’ll happily stick with me for ongoing maintenance.
WordPress is under your control
Your WordPress website is hosted on your own hosting server, which means you have full access to the files and database. This gives you independence to choose a different host and to move your website if required. So you aren’t tied to one provider – you are free to choose. This is one of the best arguments for using WordPress over a hosted website builder solution such as Wix, Squarespace, Shopify for e-commerce.
WordPress is user friendly – for both developers and users
WordPress is loved by both developers and non-technical users alike. It is often favoured by writers and marketers as an easy way for them to publish content on their website for digital marketing, SEO (search engine optimisation) and content marketing purposes. This is what helps your website go from a nice brochure to a lead generating machine. It is also widely used by entrepreneurs and businesses that manage their own company website with a limited team – making small content updates and adding news or blog posts themselves. You don’t need a developer to update content, only to change functionality or styling.
How to find a good WordPress website designer or developer
You’ve already found me – WordPress is my speciality. Let me know if I can help provide a quotation for your new website project.
I can also provide training for you or your team to help manage your day to day website content, and I offer a standard ongoing maintenance & support package to cover the essential core software updates and website security.
* WordPress is used by ~33% of the top 1 million websites, stats from BuiltWith