If you’re in the market for a new website, chances are that one name keeps popping up time and time again – “WordPress”.
What is WordPress? WordPress.org (not to be confused with the similar service WordPress.com) is a content management system (“CMS”) – an operating system that sits “behind” a website, allowing those in charge of the site to control and manage the content that is displayed. Automattic Inc. are a notable contributor to the WordPress.org project.
WordPress is an incredibly prominent platform. As of 2019, 33.9% of all websites run on WordPress, making it the world’s most used CMS. It also commands 60.7% of the world’s CMS market share (Source: W3Techs, 2019).
But what makes it such a strong contender amongst other CMS systems like Joomla, Magento, Wix, or SquareSpace? Here are 9 reasons why we feel WordPress is best.
1. Well-Supported Amongst Service Providers
WordPress is a well-renowned platform amongst hosting providers, web designers, and developers alike. Specialist WordPress hosting is widely available from a number of hosting providers and resellers, though most hosting packages available on the market are generally compatible with the platform.
There are numerous web developers and designers who specialise in WordPress, favouring its simplicity when creating functionality and assets.
2. Astoundingly User-Friendly
If you’re unsure about tinkering with code, with WordPress you really don’t have to. WordPress’s admin dashboard is remarkably straightforward and intuitive, even for those with limited technical knowledge. All of the different sections and functions are clearly labelled and the page editing interface is much like using a basic word processor. If you already have a domain name and hosting (and you’re moderately tech savvy), you can even install WordPress yourself with minimal hassle.
3. Simple Multimedia Management
A website with no graphics would be incredibly uninspiring. Thankfully, WordPress makes it easy to upload and manage media of all kinds. Uploading and embedding images in your pages and blogs is a given – but WordPress also makes resizing images and adding alt text a breeze. There’s even a dedicated “Media” section where you can manage all uploaded images and assets.
WordPress’s easy to understand WYSIWYG (“what you see is what you get”) editor means you can create attractive, fully formatted, media-rich blog posts with ease; it’ll even embed YouTube videos by default with no coding needed! The editing interface gives a basic impression of how your formatting and graphics will look too, depending on your site’s design.
4. Built for Blogging!
WordPress started life in 2003 as a simple blogging tool. Though it has blossomed into a complete content management powerhouse, blogging functionality still sits at its core. “Static” web pages are in good hands too of course, but content marketing is where WordPress really shines.
We’ve already spoken about WordPress’s robust editing functions, but WordPress offers much more than a “place to upload your blog posts”. You can organise posts using categories and tags, potentially making them easier for visitors to browse through. Avid content marketers know that maintaining a reliable publishing schedule is essential; WordPress provides a scheduling tool that allows you to prepare content in advance and publish it at a desired future date and time.
5. Added Flexibility Through Plugins
Want your website to do something that the base WordPress installation doesn’t provide? Plugins are optional pieces of software that can be installed within WordPress in order to extend its functionality and can easily be added through the “Plugins” menu. Chances are there’s a plugin out there that’ll allow you to integrate any desired additional functionality without having to write a single line of code.
There are WordPress plugins available for all kinds of services and functions. They can add relatively small, useful features like contact forms (such as Hubspot), email subscription forms, pop-over windows, site backup tools, and live chat/chatbot features (like Intercom); or can completely change the ways in which your site operates – turning it into a fully-fledged media platform or e-commerce destination.
6. Top-Notch SEO Compatibility
If you want your website to be found online, you need to optimise for search engine visibility. WordPress makes it easy to optimise your site’s “on-page” attributes like page title, hierarchical header tags, and image alt descriptions.
This functionality can be further bolstered with plugins such as Yoast SEO which enables you to enter meaningful meta descriptions on each page, analyses pages for use of target keywords, and provides Open Graph Markup which keeps your links looking nice when shared over social media. The speed at which a website loads is becoming an important ranking factor, so plugins like WP Smush are also key – this plugin compresses your image files to make them as small as possible, helping to keep load speeds high.
Search crawlers also look at how the site’s code, URLs, and multimedia assets are laid out, favouring a structured approach. WordPress keeps everything organised in a methodical way by default; and as such it’s often touted as one of the more SEO-friendly CMSs.
7. It’s Free and Totally Open Source
WordPress is totally free and open source, meaning anyone can download it, install it on their web server, tweak it to their needs, and start using it freely without limitations or paywalls. There are experts around the world contributing to WordPress every day – a network of specialists who help to keep the source code the best it can be. This means that the platform is always growing and improving as web trends develop, visual styles change, and security issues come out of the woodwork.
8. Outstanding Support Community
WordPress’s collaborative, open source attitude is mirrored in its online support community. Though official WordPress support guides and forums are available, there’s a wealth of tech support resources available elsewhere online. This decentralised approach means that you aren’t tied to a single resource for answers like you are with a lot of software – you’re free to ask your own questions and get support from a growing, global community.
9. Excellent Security Against Hackers and Malware
Website hacks don’t just happen to high-profile companies like Sony or British Airways – they happen to businesses of all sizes. Hackers can do all sorts of worrying things to websites, including installing malware on your site that infects visitors’ machines with viruses, getting your website flagged as a source of spam, or accessing sensitive user information. WordPress’s community of developers know this, so they’re always working to fend off new, concerning threats to your website’s security.
WordPress’s security is incredibly robust and can be further reinforced with the help of plugins. Whether it’s keeping hackers and malware threats at bay with plugins like Wordfence or simply keeping your blog comments free of spam through Akismet, WordPress can usually handle it.
Provided you use strong passwords and keep your installation of WordPress up to date (as well as any installed plugins), you’ll have little to worry about in terms of malware and hacking.
So if you’re looking to set up a brand new WordPress website or you’re looking to convert an existing site over to WordPress – give OLCO a call! Our in-house design and development team can advise on a number of content management systems and are dedicated to finding the best solution for you. Claim your free consultation today – email [email protected] or call us on 0330 223 1193.