Recent stats show that as many as 11% of all websites on the internet are built using WordPress. It’s a hugely popular and powerful blogging platform but can also be used as a content management system (CMS).
The main question though is why should you choose WordPress over a content management system that is specifically built for the job?
The biggest one is probably its ease of use. If you can follow instructions then you can use WordPress, it really is that simple. It features a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor – an editor that makes everything you see in the box appear on the website in the same way. This alleviates the need to code any HTML at all (although you can if you like!).
Second is manageability. There are thousands of plug-ins for WordPress and you can find most of them by using the “Add Plug-in” feature built into WordPress. Common plug-ins include the All-in-one SEO pack, XML sitemap generators and redirection plug-ins. By using these plug-ins (which are in essence plug and play with very little configuration), you can make your website SEO friendly right from the beginning.
Next is compatibility. WordPress is extremely compatible. By compatible I mean it will work with just about any hosting company you choose right down to templates from previous versions of WordPress.
One of the other main perks of WordPress is the security and support you get. WordPress is very secure – providing you keep it up to date. As soon as a flaw is found, it is fixed and an update is released. Once an update is available, you’ll see an update button inside your WordPress admin area. All you have to do is click it and 99% of the time WordPress will update itself with no additional input. Some hosting platforms may require FTP details to be input but this is rare, and you’ll already have those details anyway.
Of course there are downsides as no platform is perfect. WordPress doesn’t make it easy to host an online shop for example. For that you will be better off with a dedicated ecommerce platform, of which there are hundreds to choose from and will almost certainly do the job better.
However if you’re just getting started with a website and don’t really know where to start, WordPress could be your saving grace. You need very little knowledge to get it running and many hosting companies will have one-click installations of WordPress available in their control panel, meaning even less effort and knowledge is required on your part.
WordPress is suited to many people, but I believe is perfect for anyone who just wants a basic CMS platform to work with, or a powerful blogging platform. It’s one of the easiest platforms ever built so if you’re just starting off with CMS’s then WordPress is definitely for you. What’s more is you get the benefits of basic SEO with zero effort if you install the appropriate plug-ins. If you get stuck, visit the WordPress site where there is a huge amount of documentation to help you and a huge friendly community.