WordPress powers more than a third of all websites on the internet from blogs to e-commerce sites and multinational corporation websites. And it’s often voted highly in website builder polls. TechRadar, a leading consumer technology news and reviews site, recently declared WordPress as the best CMS for 2019. At Solve, WordPress is always our first choice and we’ve been designing websites for over 20 years.
What is WordPress and how does it work?
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), which is essentially software that allows you to create, publish and modify content online, i.e. a website.
A WordPress website is made of 3 main elements that need to work harmoniously for a website to perform:
- The CMS core – The core system that drives the site. Almost like an engine of a car.
- Theme design – The theme design dictates how your site will look and feel, from the colour scheme to fonts and page layout. You can choose a template or custom-built theme.
- Plugins – The extra software that you add to your site to perform functions you need, from galleries to analytics, SEO and more.
How popular is WordPress?
Since its launch in 2003, WordPress has grown immensely in popularity. From small independent blogs to multinational business websites, 60 million people now choose to power their websites with WordPress. It’s big brand customers include Rolling Stone, Walt Disney, Bloomberg, Mercedes Benz and Sony Music.
Why is WordPress so popular?
WordPress offers specific benefits over other CMS platforms:
WordPress sites are easy to expand and update
From a website owner point of view, WordPress is very accessible, highly customisable and really easy to use. Once your website is set up, you can simply log in to add menus/pages and update your content. Whether you’re uploading your latest blog, updating your text or adding new pages, you can edit your site quickly and effectively. Any changes can be live in a matter of seconds, without having to contact your web designer. And your website can be updated by multiple users, at any time, from anywhere – even from your mobile.
WordPress is SEO friendly out-of-the-box
WordPress sites are SEO friendly. Websites developed using WordPress are easy to crawl with clear navigation and concise coding right out-of-the-box. With a WordPress site, it’s easier for SEO specialists like Solve to apply advanced optimisation techniques. Other basic DIY website builders can be difficult to crawl and very difficult for SEO experts to work with.
WordPress is open-source
WordPress an open-source system meaning it has a huge online community of experts, sharing their tricks and tools. From guides to tutorials, this collaborative approach and availability of information drives innovation – keeping WordPress at the forefront of web design and the online marketplace.
WordPress is always updating to overcome security vulnerabilities too. Each week, 20,000 websites are blacklisted by Google for malware distribution. The WordPress platform is audited regularly by hundreds of developers to ensure their security measures stay ahead of hacker tactics.
With on-going website maintenance, your WordPress site can keep up-to-speed with the latest in design, functionality and security, ensuring your site always stays online and open for business.
WordPress offers thousands of ready-to-use plugins
WordPress offers 54,000 ready-made plugins that can easily be added to your site to do just about anything, from SEO to reviews. And because these plugins are ready-to-use, you avoid the cost of designing bespoke functions and they can be installed, updated and/or fixed, quickly and easily.
And because it’s an open-source platform, clever web developers are always burrowing away, creating new and innovative plugins, so most ahead-of-the-curve websites are designed using WordPress. It’s important to only install reputable plugins though that are compatible with the rest of your site, so it always pays to check with your web developer before installing anything new.
With WordPress you’re not tied down
As WordPress is so popular, it’s easier to find a web developer that can help. Almost all developers know how to work with WordPress, and sites that are designed using this platform, are easy to transfer to another web agency if needed. With a highly bespoke site made using a lesser platform, you may be tied to the developer for future changes. Or in the worst case, you may even have to build a new website from scratch.
At Solve, we always give our clients a choice and don’t believe in tying our clients down. We find this actually promotes trust, which sees our clients choosing to work with us over the long term.
As well as having the flexibility of web developer, with WordPress you have more choice of web hosts too. When looking for web hosting, you need to choose a provider that offers a secure, fast, local hosting service. Most providers will host WordPress sites, so you have the flexibility to shop around for the best possible solution for your business.
What are the alternatives to WordPress?
WordPress is the platform of choice for most, but there are alternatives depending on what your needs are:
- If you need a CMS site:
- If you need an e-commerce site:
- If you simply need a free blogging site:
There are a number of other cheap, DYI, drag-and-drop website builders out there, but beware as these sites can cost you more than you think in the long run. Many don’t have the functionality to provide the best possible user experience, and generally, they’re not built efficiently, so they’re difficult for search engines like Google to understand and they don’t rank well. So what you might save in set up costs, you can lose in terms of business potential. These include systems like Wix, Godaddy, Websitebuilder, 1&1, etc.
What are the disadvantages of using WordPress?
You need skills
To make the most of the functionality of WordPress, you need to have some experience working with the platform and with HTML and CSS coding. So although WordPress requires the help of a professional web designer, the overall result will be a faster, better-ranking, more user-friendly site.
You need a secure host
As with any site, WordPress sites can be hacked if you don’t keep current of design and security updates. To keep your site safe, you need a secure website host – like Solve. Our web hosting is powered by 100% renewable energy and we provide a hacking guarantee.
You need regular maintenance
As mentioned, your WordPress site needs regular updating to keep it secure and performing well. But updates can completely change the look of your site and can cause conflicts between the core, theme and plugins, so it’s best that these updates are carried out by professionals. Check out our essential maintenance plan to keep you up-to-date and online.
Solve-ing your web development
Here at Solve, we’ve been developing websites for over 20 years, and we tend to agree with the other 60 million WordPress users out there. The platform’s incomparable functionality and SEO benefits make it our first choice for our clients, every time. Our expert team of geeks and geekesses have extensive experience with WordPress. We know exactly how to get the most of it and how to optimise it for maximum results. And we always get positive feedback from our clients about our work. If it’s e-commerce you need, we also have the necessary skills to build you a high-performing Woocommerce or Shopify site.
If you need more advice or you’d like to start your web development journey, get in touch today.