If you’re a small business owner, a blogger, or an artist looking to launch a new website or upgrade an existing one, WordPress is probably the best starting point for your website. And of all the reasons to choose WordPress, the most lauded is the least important: WordPress is free.
Yes, WordPress is free, but so are most of the other options you’re likely to be considering, including other Content Management Systems (CMSs) like Drupal and Joomla, as well as building a site from scratch. Websites consist primarily of different types of text files, any of which can be made (for free) with a text editor, but few people build sites this way. Why? Money isn’t the only factor. At the very least, there’s also your time to consider. Everyone has their mix of time and money to balance, but like any endeavor, both factor into putting up a website. So there’s the outlay of resources, and the effectiveness of the result. WordPress is excellent on both points.
WordPress is a Content Management System. Basically, a CMS like WordPress provides the framework for your site. It handles the technical aspects so that you can focus on content. If you’ve ever used webmail, like gmail or yahoo, you’ll find the WordPress interface to be familiar. Adding an image or a link is a simple, code-free experience. Changing the whole look of the site is simple. Adding functionality like forms and sharing is simple. Your content is kept independent of the presentation of the site, so that either can be changed without affecting the other. One of the chief problems that a CMS addresses is that it allows easy updates to your site. Want to add some new client testimonials or change a picture? There’s no need to call your web designer.
With a lot of web hosts, like bluehost.com, installing WordPress can be done with one click. Almost no technical knowledge is required. Pick a domain name and you’re off and running. WordPress is great for beginners, but it’s also excellent for anyone who doesn’t want to focus their resources on creating and maintaining their site. Even if you hire a professional to design your site, choosing WordPress as a foundation covers a lot of groundwork for them. Faster build, fewer resources… better work in less time.
With that said, WordPress is not just any CMS. It has a huge community of users and developers who have created
- Plugins (to add functionality): photo galleries, sliders, shopping carts, forums, maps… almost anything you can think of
- Themes (to change the visual presentation). The Thesis theme alone is reason to choose WordPress. Thesis expands on WordPress’s already remarkable Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and provides a ton of other benefits. (See this post for a write up on Thesis.)
WordPress’s large install base also means that almost every service you might want to use will work with WordPress. Do you have a mailchimp mailing list? Get the wordpress plugin to add a signup form to your site. Want to recommend products from amazon.com? Get the WordPress plugin. Want to provide a mobile version of your site? It’s easy with a WordPress plugin. And if there’s something super-fancy that you want to do, but can’t find a plugin for, there are tons of developers out there who live and breathe WordPress every day.
The size, scope, and quality of the WordPress development community has also ensured that WordPress is
- Extremely Efficient
- SEO Friendly
- Standards Compliant
- Clearly Documented
At Pocket Studios, all our sites are built with WordPress and the Thesis theme. If you’d like a professional install and design, please get in touch.