In this post I’m going to talk about what exactly WordPress is, why I use it, and why you should use it to run your website.
WordPress originated as a blogging platform, where only blogs were made using it, like the blog section of this website. Over the years it has evolved into a full content management system (CMS). CMSs are just pieces of software that run on web servers making it easier to create content and maintain content on websites.
I use WordPress when creating websites because it gets rid of a lot of the manual work required when creating websites.
Adding a new page is as simple as clicking ‘Add Page’ and giving it a title, versus creating a new file and writing a load of code. Obviously WordPress isn’t ideal for all types of websites, but I’ve always managed to make it work for every website I’ve created.
If you have no background in programming or web development at all, you will still find WordPress easy to get the hang of. Of course there is a small learning curve like with anything, but the basics can be understood in a few hours.
Once a WordPress website has been created by a developer like myself, the client can then add new pages and update the site regularly without having to hire the developer to do further work editing code. Not only is this going to save you money, but time as well. If you see an error on your website, or need to update something, you can do so in a matter of minutes.
Plugins and Themes
Plugins are a part of WordPress that extend it’s functionality and are what allow you to create such a diverse range of websites using it. At the time of writing this post there are currently 51,485 free plugins available to install through the one-click installer. This doesn’t include the many custom plugins developed that aren’t published online.
Some plugin examples are:
- WooCommerce – For online shops
- YoastSEO – Improves SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- Contact Form 7 – Integration of contact forms
- Social sharing plugins – Easily add in social sharing buttons to posts and pages
- Security plugins – Prevent hackers from taking over your site
WordPress also has a directory of free Themes, which are just templates that control how your site looks. There are thousands to choose from, however the quality is what you’d expect of something that is free.
The theme I’m running on this website is my own custom built WordPress theme, just like the ones I create for my clients with my WordPress web design service. Not everyone needs a unique theme, and for a lot of people using a free theme can be perfectly suitable. But for many small businesses, it’s important to have a custom-built theme. Using a free theme doesn’t allow you to build a brand, or any theme for that matter. You need your website to be unique. Having the same looking website as a hundred or thousand other websites out there is poor branding.
Free themes also come with their fair share of problems, such as bad coding and poor performance. All reasons you should hire me to make you one instead!
A Glance Into How It Works
WordPress makes it so easy to add new pages, write blog posts, control menus and navigation, and change settings. Take a look at the picture below:
This is the admin dashboard area of a WordPress site. This is exactly what I’m looking at as I type out this blog post.
As you can see from the image, it is highly intuitive and behaves just like you’d expect it to. No code to look at or anything. I explain to my clients that adding new content in WordPress is as easy as adding new Facebook posts. Except it’s even better as you can format your posts and have more control over them.
Below is a screenshot of the admin area of this website:
It is clear from the screenshot that you can change settings that control the site title and email address associated with the website. This is just a small peek into the backend area of a WordPress website. There are a bunch more settings such as what users see when they first visit your site: one of your pages or your latest blog posts. Or changing things such as the navigation of your site.
Changing the navigation of this website, for example, is done as shown in the screenshot below:
There are over 18,744,034 websites that use WordPress, and it runs 28% of the entire internet.
It is a very flexible piece of software, that is used to create almost all types of websites.
I like to use it for my clients as it provides blogging functionality built in, and also because of the ease of use as explained in this post.
However, a lot of websites are made poorly by people who don’t know what they are doing. I’ve been developing with WordPress for over 6 years now, and know how to create high performance, visually impressive sites using it.
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WordPress statistics data – https://trends.builtwith.com/cms