WordPress powers almost 25% of all websites on the internet. In this article we consider why it’s so popular by listing our ‘WordPress Top 10 reasons to use it’.
- WordPress if Free!With some web designing software you will need to pay to use it. With WordPress however anyone can install it and start using it. There are also hundreds of free themes and plugins that will allow you design almost any type of website (premium themes also exist and generally we recommend premium themes for the extra features and support they offer).
- WordPress is flexible. What do we mean by flexible? Well whatever needs you have for your website chances are WordPress can handle it. Whether you want to try blogging, design a photography website, run a membership website, a review website or operate an online shop there will be themes, plugins or add-ons that will allow it.
- WordPress is easy to learn. Sure it’s not as easy perhaps as knocking together a website using something like Wix. However WordPress offers so much more and considering how capable it is, the user interface and options don’t take too long to master. Once you understand the basics of WordPress chances are you can make small edits to your website yourself, rather than paying your developer for simple text changes.
- Themes! When you install WordPress it will also install a couple of default themes. Themes are what gives your website its ‘look’ or ‘style’. With anything as popular as WordPress you are guaranteed a huge number of creative people will be offering ways to make WordPress even more useful. This includes theme developers.Some themes are free and others charge a one off fee or annual membership. Most themes offer limited editing options to change the look slightly, for example colour schemes. More recently theme builders have begun to appear which offer more flexibility and the ability to get a totally custom look. If you don’t have a designers eye it can be hard to get a great looking website with a theme builder as the default theme that you start with is often very bland. Theme builders usually offer clever modules that you can drag and drop onto your pages. These modules can be easily edited to give you exactly the sort of look you want.
- Plugins. No WordPress top 10 would be complete without mentioning plugins. Plugins are extra elements you can install that extend what WordPress can do. Most are free, some charge a fee. The sorts of things popular plugins do include:SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Look at your content and suggest ways to boost your visibility in search engines.Backups. In the unlikely event your website goes down or is hacked you would want to have a recent backup.
Contact Form. Many themes have contact forms built in. Form plugins often offer more features though.
E-Commerce plugins. If you want to run an online shop there are plugins for WordPress that can do this.
Spam Prevention. If you operate a blog eventually you will get lots of spam comments.
Whether you want to try blogging, design a photography website, run a membership website, a review website or operate an online shop there will be themes, plugins or add-ons that will allow it.
- Support. WordPress has a great, knowledgeable community around it. If you are experiencing any issue with your WordPress website chances are someone else has had the same issue and found a way to fix it.
- Accessibility. What do I mean by this? Well WordPress is not software that you download to your computer. You can login to your WordPress website from any computer and make changes and amendments. Prior to WordPress I used Dreamweaver which was software that you installed on your computer.
- Security. Being so popular makes WordPress a target for hackers. WordPress takes security very seriously and regularly updates the core software. Updates are now automatic too so you don’t even have to remember to do it. Having said WordPress is secure you are advised not to install plugins from unknown sources. I would also avoid plugins that have not been updated for some time.
- Mobile Responsive. In my opinion a top WordPress feature would have to be how it is mobile responsive. More than 50% of all internet searches are now done using either a smartphone or a tablet. It’s essential your website looks great on these smaller displays. Luckily WordPress has always tried to be at the forefront of new trends and even most of their free themes are mobile responsive. When you visit a website that does not display well on a phone you can be pretty sure it was built with something less flexible than WordPress.
- Access Levels. Finally in my WordPress top 10 features is ‘Access Levels’. To explain this further anyone who is familiar with the WordPress desktop will have probably noticed the ‘Users’ option. Any individual website can have multiple users and each user is granted an access level. The top level is administrator which gives complete access to everything. Other levels limit what the user can do. For example you might want to give someone the level of contributor so that they can write posts but not publish them. Different access levels allows a business to give various employees access to the site whilst also limiting what they can do.
What do you think of my list? Feel free to comment if you have features that you think should be in a WordPress 10 Ten list.