WordPress is one of the most accessible web site development platforms out there. And it has some impressive credentials – it powers more than 25% of the sites on the internet. That’s truly amazing! Even software development companies use WordPress for their own web sites (and they’re software development firms!) Why? Because it puts the power of a great web platform in the hands of the marketing teams, and gets it out of the busy development and IT departments.
WordPress isn’t perfect for every site, but it’s a great platform for many of them. Why? Our top three reasons:
1.) WordPress has a development plugin library of more than 50,000 extensions and plugins that provide deep functionality on almost everything that you can think of
2.) WordPress has a development community of millions.
3.) As a small business owner, you can manage your own site, if you choose to
What do you need to get started?
- Your own URL (every website needs them).
- A server to host your web site on (a server is the physical location of the web site files that the URL is pointed to).
- Have WordPress installed at your server (your web host or web site development team will handle this for you).
Once you have these elements, you can begin building with WordPress
Themes power the look and feel of WordPress sites
There are thousands of free and paid themes, or web site templates, that control the look and feel of your site. Like almost all open-source web site platforms, the content (words, files and images) are stored in the site’s database and the theme controls how these elements are displayed on the site. Each site’s theme can be customized with colors, logos, pictures and other design elements to give your site a unique look and feel.
Template or theme quality varies wildly. Some are simple to use but lack customizable features like adding your company logo or changing the color scheme. Others are highly complex, requiring a lot of customization (and some coding) to get to match your business branding. Somewhere in the middle (or with the help of a WordPress web site development and marketing company that you are working with), is the perfect solution.
There are quite literally tens of thousands of extensions for WordPress. Some are exceptional software packages in their own right, and cost hundreds of dollars per year for licensure. These sophisticated systems manage members for associations, commerce for small business or other complex tools. Most plugins are free, but like templates, quality varies a lot. A good plugin or extension has a lot of positive reviews, and probably is based on a freemium model – available free for basic features, but with an annual license for more advanced features.
If you can imagine it, there is a plugin for it. Your WordPress web site development and marketing company can help you source, select, install and configure these complex (or simple) plugins. You can also install and configure simple plugins yourself, a big advantage over many other platforms.
WordPress is easy to maintain
Unlike other platforms, WordPress offers one-click or even automatic core updates, and one-click plugin updates. What does this mean? Software – including web based software – requires updating on a regular basis to plug security holes or improve functionality. Unlike other web site platforms, with WordPress’s easy updates and plugins, you won’t have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars per year to have your site maintained. It doesn’t require that your web team upload files to the server and perform complex scripts to update the site, and it doesn’t need to be done manually. Before performing updates, it’s a good idea to either do a backup, or have a backup plugin running on your site, so if an update fails you can revert to a previous backup. Unlike other platforms, such as Drupal or Joomla, however, we’ve not ever seen a WordPress update fail to install or update correctly in nearly 15 years of using the platform.
WordPress puts the power in your hands
You can update your own web site with confidence with WordPress. While other platforms require extensive knowledge to add features, WordPress’s easy to use interface makes it possible for clients to update their own sites – and this goes way beyond just updating your content. You can change themes, install plugins and extend your site with a few clicks and without programming or platform knowledge.
WordPress is flexible enough to manage the features you haven’t thought of yet
Unlike more closed systems like SquareSpace, Big Commerce or Shopify, WordPress allows you to customize your site as your business grows. Want to add a subscription model? No problem! Want to manage a membership database? No problem there either. Adding these more complex features to your site are clicks away.
In short, WordPress is a platform that powers 25% of the world’s web sites for good reason. It’s flexible, well-maintained, with a powerhouse of development behind it. It’s a smart choice for savvy marketing teams and small business owners alike. With some assistance from your WordPress development and marketing firm, you can gradually increase your skill set so that you can maintain your own site, putting the power of marketing at your fingertips.