I am known as a staunch advocate of choosing WordPress as your website platform so the team has asked me to share some of my reasons publicly.
While there are many reasons I opt for WordPress as the default position on new website projects, in today’s article I will focus on just five, namely:
- Open source
- Large community of developers
- Large selection of plugins
- Built to grow with you over time
I’ll expand briefly on these points and share some links to previous articles that will take each point a little further.
And if you’re raring to go, it would be silly not to suggest you contact Baker Marketing to scope out and develop your new or existing website as part of your overall marketing strategy.
Choosing WordPress as your website CMS: Open source
From my first foray into WordPress when it was a fledgling one-year-old in 2004, I was quite struck by the way it harnessed the best of humankind by being an open source project.
Open source means developers coordinate and volunteer their time towards a core project for the satisfaction, for becoming experts to sell consulting services, for making a name as a coder; for a host of reasons.
Under such conditions, the software is freely available for ‘the world’ to use and this makes it a great entry point for small to medium enterprises because all they need to pay for is the skill of an experienced developer to configure and develop WordPress, they don’t have to pay exorbitant licencing fees like those charged by locked down, proprietary systems.
WordPress, the software, comes in two flavours; hosted at WordPress.com or available to download from WordPress.org for you or your developer to place on your own web hosting foundation. I’ve written this piece to help make sense of these options: Blogging insights: When to choose wordpress.com over wordpress.org
Choosing WordPress as your website CMS: Google-friendly
Most people choose WordPress because they know it is the leading way to incorporate Google-friendly blog content into their websites.
Spurred on by former Google SEO spokesperson, Matt Cutts, I have long been satisfied by the way WordPress sites (even those not properly configured) manage to attract Google spiders and help them index content for search.
Over the years, plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast have come along and lifted this integration of Google and web content to a new level and I recently wrote about it here: WordPress SEO maintenance tips: Are you using the Yoast snippet editor and primary categories?
Another article that showcases the way WordPress ‘just works’ is that when you have been blogging about the questions and needs of your audience, it helps prospective clients find you. This article explains this a little further: Yes, Virginia, blogging really works: The WordPress blog virtuous circle
Choosing WordPress as your website CMS: Large community of developers
One thing that makes my blood boil is when web developers ‘lock’ clients into them for website updates and maintenance.
I believe clients should be free to choose whomever they wish to work with AND be empowered to get their hands dirty inside their own websites to the degree to which they feel comfortable.
With WordPress, we make sure our clients have all their passwords and administrative privileges so they are in control. Of course, many ask us to look after maintenance and even help produce their content over time, but the important point is they have a choice.
What makes this realistic is that when 25 per cent PLUS of the world’s websites use WordPress, you can find help guides and videos on Google for almost every issue and question you’ll ever have, let alone easy access for finding alternative support.
Due to the open source nature of WordPress, this large community is able to stay on top of technology and security developments in a way that a locked down proprietary team never could. I expand on this here: Open Source vs Proprietary Content Management Systems
Choosing WordPress as your website CMS: Large selection of plugins
What do you feel like doing on your website today?
In some ways, that can be a dangerous question but the beauty of WordPress is there are tens of thousands of plugins, many of which are free, for you to add new functionality to your website.
Of course, like all things, being judicious in which items you add to your site is important for a range of reasons (is it needed, will it burden your site for no gain, are there better alternatives), however, adding ecommerce or calculators or extra security, etc, becomes easy with WordPress.
As an example, Google’s latest push for fast-loading mobile pages has been met right off the bat by the WordPress team, who released a new plugin to keep WordPress at the cutting edge. The technology is called AMP and here is some background: Google says AMP up your WordPress blog for better SEO
Choosing WordPress as your website CMS: Built to grow with you
And sealing the deal is the knowledge that the same copy of WordPress can power a tiny ‘mum and pop’ shop or a multinational giant.
Yes, your copy of WordPress will continue to grow and evolve with you over time, hence my use of the term ‘evolutionary’ in packaging up these thoughts.
Like evolution ‘in the wild’, it can be a scary prospect for dinosaurs still trying to push stale software, like this skirmish I had with a grumpy developer who was lazily trying to bad mouth WordPress to a client of ours: Fear and loathing about WordPress from a ‘competitor’
And what has helped WordPress survive the evolution of technology is that from the outset it has ‘selected’ for the benefit of blogging, one of the most potent, Google-friendly ways of executing a content marketing strategy. It is why it comes up whenever people ask me, How do I add a blog to my website?
I hope these musings help explain why WordPress is still with us, keeps growing, and is seriously worthy of your consideration.
In the meantime, if you have evolved to prefer ‘watching’ your information, I whipped up this quick video to supplement this article.