One of the reasons why many individuals and business owners are hesitant to launch their websites is the high cost involved in creating a website. There are the designing costs as well as the maintenance and hosting costs. Imagine having to pay the out-sourced webmaster every time you need to update the website. There’s also the question of whether these chosen professionals are reliable or not. And we are not even talking about building an e-commerce website yet. These are enough headaches to stop anyone from creating a website.
But what if there was an easier way that allows you to build and manage your website… even if you don’t have any website building knowledge?
Well, the good news is that there is and it’s call WordPress.
What Is WordPress?
The official explanation, WordPress is an open source contentmanagement system (CMS), which is often used as a blog publishing tool that’s powered by PHP and MySQL.
In non-geek language, it is a free website creation software that is easy to use and yet powerful enough to be customized according to your requirements. You are able to create and edit your web contents easily via the content management system. WordPress is very popular and is being used by individuals and businesses alike.
This is the simplest way to create an online presence. The best part is that it’s free, even the hosting. Yes, you heard me right, you get free web hosting! You just need to create an account and you are all set to build a new website. Thus, it is recommended for beginners who wants build a simple website.
There are certain limitations in using WordPress.com though. You are not allowed to upload themes and plugins other than those found in their list. WordPress may show ads on your website but you are disallowed to publish your own ads.
For those who wish to have more freedom, there’s WordPress.org. This is where you can download the WordPress application for free. However, WordPress.org does not host your website for you. You will need to find a hosting provider as well as purchase a domain name too.
This method will costs a little more than if you were to host with WordPress.com and requires some technical knowledge on website building. However, it offers more control, features and flexibility to customize your website!
For myself, I definitely prefer downloading the WordPress software from WordPress.org and get my own web hosting. This way, I will have complete control over all aspects of my website! Total website building satisfaction!
My top 10 reasons for choosing WordPress
There are various reasons why individuals and businesses decide to use WordPress as their website creating application. Here are mine:
It Is Free
Let me rephrase this. WordPress is free to download because it is an open source application, which means that it was developed under the free license called GNU General Public License. Its codes are available to developers while the WordPress application is free to download, install and use.
Of course, the you may need to pay for the website’s hosting and third party plugins and themes, depending on the choices you choose.
Installation Is A Breeze
If you use WordPress.com, you won’t even need to do any installation. You can immediately start designing your website or even go ahead and post your contents.
If you use self-hosting (through WordPress.org), then you will need to install WordPress yourself. However, you’ll be glad to know that most major web hosting providers like Bluehost, WebhostingHub and HostGator provide you with 1-click installers which allow you to install WordPress with just a few clicks of your mouse! Anyway, even if you choose to install WordPress manually, it’s pretty easy and straight forward. Usually, a typical installation takes less than 5 minutes.
Because WordPress is web-based, you can have access to it anytime and anywhere from an Internet-connected device. Updating and housekeeping your website are no longer restricted to your desktop or laptop.
The application is very easy to understand and navigate, even for a non-techie beginner. You don’t need to know complicated website coding languages (PHP, ASP, MySQL…) to use it. In fact, WordPress’ interface is very intuitive! Adding new contents, updating the system and managing your third party applications can be easily done via the dashboard.
Because website creation and management can be managed entirely by youself, you get to save on expensive web developer fees.
You get to decide how you want your website to look like and how it should function. If you want to make changes to your website, you can easily log in and make the amendments directly. You won’t need to explain to your web developers the changes you need and then wait for them to come back to you, only to find that the changes were not exactly what you had in mind. No wasting time. And you get to save on expensive web developers costs!
Thousands of Plugins
In order to make WordPress as light as possible, it was created with only basic features that majority users would need. But at the same time, the freely available WordPress codes allow developers to create plugins for WordPress. Plugins increase the functionality of WordPress.
There is just about every type of plugins you can think of being available for WordPress websites, like anti-spam, website speed, and SEO related, among others. Just check out the over 25,000 plugins listed in WordPress’ plugin repository.
Designing Is A Breeze
Themes are your website’s design and layout. There are plenty of made-for-WordPress themes in the market, free and premium. So, you won’t have to worry about looking like a carbon copy of other websites.
An awesome theme provider that I absolutely recommend is Elegant Themes. They are constantly coming out with beautiful themes with lots of features and are absolutely affordable. For a small fee of $39 per annum, you have access to all of their 86 themes (and counting, they usually come up with 2 new themes every month). That’s less than $0.50 per theme per year!
WordPress is highly optimized for search engines and thus, search engines like Google can crawl and index your website faster. Search engines also like the fact that WordPress is constantly being updated. And if you like to increase your website’s SEO, you can always install popular SEO plugins such as All-In-One SEO Pack.
One major concern about WordPress is the security, being an open source application and all. But in reality, WordPress has been pretty secure, thanks to the tight WordPress community. Of course, you will need to do your part too like keeping your WordPress version up-to-date and performing constant backups.
WordPress has an engaging and professional community. So, if you ever have problems like customizing queries or installation errors, you can easily find help and support from this community. Chances are there is someone who had already addressed the issue that you are facing and you can easily Google for the solution.
I am a huge fan of WordPress simply because of the flexibility, community support and that it’s completely free! No doubt there are plenty of other open source CMS around like Drupal and Joomla, but none as popular and as easy to use as WordPress.
No wonder there is a growing number of WordPress users, as proven in the increase of number of the top 100 blogs using WordPress from 48% in 2012 to 52% in 2013. So, for a fairly simple website that’s easy to manage, WordPress is your best solution.