Why WordPress is the best choice for building your website

posted on: Aug 14, 2015 03:24 PM by Firuz Alimov

In the early days of CMS usage, WordPress was widely regarded as just a blogging platform. Not anymore. WordPress still is the most popular blogging platform, but it's much more than that. Thanks to its broad community base, it has grown to become a capable CMS that can power just about any kind of website.

So wile Joomla, Drupal, Magento and other open source CMSs are just as powerful, why pick WordPress over all of them? First things first, why should you use a CMS to build your website?

Four reasons a CMS is all you'll (ever) need

  1. Rapid development - you can build a powerful, professional-looking website in minutes. Yes, minutes, because most of the essential programming code ships with the CMS.
  2. Ease of use - the biggest advantage CMSs offer is their ease of use. You don't need to understand a line of HTML or PHP to get started building a website.
  3. Power - CMSs have plugins, or extensions that you can easily integrate for just about any kind of functionality.
  4. Ease of maintenance - most of the maintenance work with CMSs involves just updating the plugins, themes or CMSs whenever newer versions are released.
And here are7 reasons why WordPress is the most popular web content management system, with a CMS market share of 66% as of May 2013. That's about 15% of all the websites on the internet:

1. Easy to use

WordPress' meteoric rise to the top of web development software is mostly down to its ease of use. The admin interface, compared to Drupal and Joomla, is far less cluttered and everything just looks straightforward. It makes it easy for anyone who's not had any experience with the web before to get up to speed with it. If you can use Microsoft Office, you can probably begin using WordPress straightaway!

The WordPress Admin dashboard. Source: Playingwithwire.com

2. Saves you money

WordPress is 100% free and open-source. That means you are free to download and modify it as you please. In addition, the large developer community around it is always working to improve its core with new features and patches. These upgrades are also free. If you hired a developer to code a custom CMS for you, you would have to pay thousands of dollars. And if you decide to code your own content management system, it may take you hundreds of painful hours, only to end up with stuff that WordPress can comfortably accomplish.

3. Flexible and extensible

The core WordPress software isn't the only free thing - most of its plugins are free, and even those that are commercial cost very little. With plugins, you can extend WordPress to accomplish more. For example, the popular WooCommerce plugin lets you integrate a fully-functional ecommerce system/shopping cart into your website in just a few clicks. That allows you to focus on adding the products and other content. There are plugins for building your own social network, forum, file-sharing site, hotel-booking system, project management system, classified ads site and anything else you could think of.

4. Beautiful templates

WordPress is again popular for the great collection of beautiful free and premium templates, or themes, available on the web. If you want to begin blogging right away, there's a nice collection of free themes on WordPress.org to choose from. You can also find quite a few good themes for creating a business website.

However, if you are looking for a great design with a ton of customization options, we'd probably bet on premium themes. Some premium themes come with amazing built-in functionality, making it so much easier to build a custom website with just the theme installed (no additional plugins required). For instance, you can find themes for real estate websites, Auto classifieds websites, corporate websites, non-profit sites, ecommerce sites, etc. Find them on marketplaces such as Mojo Themes, Themeforest, and dozens of other popular theme makers at a small fee - usually from $30-$100.

5. Smooth blogging experience

WordPress began primarily as a blogging tool. It has grown over the years to become more powerful, but still, its easy implementation for blogging means that it leads the pack by a great distance. Well-known websites that use WordPress for their blogs include CNN blogs, NY Times blogs and People Magazine.

6. SEO-friendly

You've probably heard that search engines love WordPress. With its SEO-friendly URLs and compatible page design, it's not hard to see why. As if that's not enough, there are a number of great plugins for SEO to further optimize your posts and pages, most notably WordPress SEO by Yoast and All in One SEO Pack.

7. Amazing community

WordPress has a large community of developers and enthusiasts behind it. That means it will always be updated regularly and you'll always find answers to nearly every question whenever you're stuck. In addition to the WordPress.org forums which can be a great source for free support, there are thousands of bloggers who regularly offer tips, tricks and advice on getting the most out of WordPress.

WordPress.com versus WordPress.org ... What's the difference?

WordPress.com is a free hosting service for WordPress blogs. On the other hand, WordPress.org is the resource center for the self-hosted CMS software itself and thousands of free plugins and themes released by the software community.

There are 3 key distinctions between the two:

  1. A free-hosted WordPress blog does not allow you to choose your own domain. Your website resides on a subdomain e.g. yourname.wordpress.com. Such a web address is a definite no-no for business, and still looks unprofessional for any blogger who wants to be taken seriously.
  2. WordPress.com limits the number of plugins you can install on your blog. The choice of themes is also limited and it's not also possible to install a premium theme. That means the only kind of website you can maintain on the platform is a basic blog. The self-hosted option on the other hand gives you all the freedom and flexibility to build whatever you desire.
  3. Advertisements are not allowed on your free-hosted WordPress.com blog. There's no such rule with your self-hosted WordPress site.

There are more limitations of WordPress.com as outlined here.

From the above, we can safely conclude that the self-hosted option is the outright winner - even if you want nothing more than a regular blog. Mainly because you get to choose your own domain name and have all the power in your hands to build the type of site you want. All that at just the modest price of a domain name and web hosting, which will cost you just $50-$100 a year.

Luckily, most web hosting providers offer one-click installs for WordPress, so getting started with your website is really that easy. All you'll need to do to get started is adding the themes and plugins you need - and of course, the content.

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