For the average business owner, creating a website can be a daunting experience and one of the first hurdles to overcome is to decide what content management system (CMS) to use. The most popular CMS system online, by a big margin, is WordPress. However, there are other options available such as Shopify, Wix and Magento and WordPress won’t be the best option for every person. They all have their benefits and specific purposes but WordPress still comes out top and these are the top 10 reasons why so many business owners opt to use WordPress for their business website.
If you have received quotes from website developers for a WordPress site, then you will know that it can be very pricey. Plus, once you start to add on all those extra features and monthly maintenance, the cost can begin to spiral and become unaffordable for new businesses. WordPress can be slightly confusing and overwhelming at first to use, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. Some of the maintenance that you will have to do that WordPress makes easy for you is:
One of the biggest benefits of choosing WordPress is that this is essentially all taken care for you and doesn’t require much effort on your part. As long as you have a good host, there is no need to be personally checking on the server to ensure the site is up and running. Furthermore, a WordPress hosting plan or plugins can help with automatically keeping your site backed up and the security working. A great plugin to try is WP Time Capsule as this will create database and file backups in the background. This means if the site crashes, you can simply use the restore function. Panic over! For each of the other items on this list, you will only have to worry about them every other day. WordPress also notifies its users when there are updates released. It usually takes just a few minutes to install updates and then you can get back to running your business.
When it comes to building a functioning website, one of the most important aspects that can be overlooked by businesses is its search engine optimisation. If you want your website to rank well on search engines like Google, and who doesn’t, you will need to have good SEO in place. Thankfully, WordPress has a lot of SEO checklists built into its platform. It can automatically create meta descriptions and tags for your pages which lets search engines know what your content is all about. I will also index your pages which also helps your site move up the rankings. Furthermore, you can download plugins to help with more advanced SEO.
To get you started, the one plugin that every business needs to have on their WordPress website is Yoast. This plugin allows you to create a focus keyword for your content. It will then analyse your page content and inform you of how effective your content is at targeting that keyword. This includes providing you with information such as keyword density, internal links, keyword placement and more.
One of the top reasons why so many businesses choose to build their website on WordPress is that it is so versatile. WordPress sites work with a wide variety of businesses as they are easily customisable. Whether you are looking to create a blog or an e-commerce site, WordPress has the functionality to be used as both. Some of the website types you can build with it include:
Plus many, many more! Your perfect website can be built with a range of easy to use plugins and themes. Some of these themes have to be purchased with a one-off payment but will, overall, save you a lot of money.
Blogging has taken off exponentially in the last decade or so and you are looking to build a website for this purpose, WordPress should be your only option. No other CMS comes close to WordPress for its power in providing not just the themes and design you need, but also the tools to help you advance in this field. If you just want to blog for a hobby, then an option like Blogger, Medium or Tumblr is fine. However, for those taking it seriously and who want to make a living from it, WordPress is the top choice. You can choose whether to run a simple format blog or you can even build an entire online magazine through post scheduling and adding multiple editors and contributors. It will give you options to preview your work before publishing and you don’t need to know any coding.
Okay, not every single person or business chooses WordPress as their CMS system, but it is by far the most popular. If you like to follow the crowd, then this is the one for you. Additionally, search engines will rank WordPress sites first. While it may seem like the easier and cheaper option at first to go with another CMS system, ultimately, it is much, much, harder to get your site ranked. If people can’t find your business online, then what’s the point? Out of all the websites online, nearly 30% use WordPress and you can see why this is from all the reasons we have listed above.
If you are a new business just starting and don’t have a big budget, you will be glad to hear that WordPress can be totally free to use. Anyone can download WordPress for free and this is a great way to hit the ground running. While it can be downloaded for free, this is not a long term option for businesses who want to make money from their site. You will have to buy hosting, which is cheap, and while many themes and plugins are free, if you want a premium site then you will have to pay for these better features. There are also some features that you want for your website which are too difficult for a novice and in those instances you may have to get a freelancer or agency on board to help you.
However, what is great about WordPress is that if you need to, you can keep the costs of running your site extremely low.
As we just mentioned, you can start small with WordPress if you are a new business or just starting out online. What’s great about this CMS is that the themes and plugins make it incredibly easy to scale up your website as your company grows. This could be an extra section on your website to sell website or goods, it could be creating a membership section or it could be something interactive as a way for your brand to interact with potential customers. Many of these plugins are free and you can download them quickly whilst others have to be bought. For example, you could download a membership plugin that allows you to turn your website into a community.
There are more than 50,000 plugins available to download with WordPress and, combined with the huge range of themes on offer, has everything you need to scale up your website to meet your needs.
Images, documents, audio and video media files are all accepted on WordPress websites. Common file types can be uploaded with ease such as:
There are a few file types that cannot be uploaded, however, there are ways to get around this and you can follow simple tutorials online to show you how to upload almost any type of file. So, if you are looking to showcase images in a gallery, videos in a portfolio or your own music, it can easily be uploaded and displayed in WordPress.
One of the greatest aspects of using WordPress is that you will be part of a huge community. This is an open source software and can be used by everyone as there are no limits that may be applied to other CMS systems such as customer support, pricing or skill level. WordPress is very easily accessible to the masses and because of this, there is a huge community and a wealth of knowledge online that is created through forums, online courses, blogs, books, webinars and more. There are a plethora of resources to find online about WordPress, so even if you don’t want to pay for extra support, you should be able to find the answers to any questions you may have in the online community.
Many blogs will have a sign up feature and you can get the latest WordPress tips and tricks sent straight to your inbox. There are also plenty of online training courses and if you want to go down this route you will need to look up reviews, ensure they are packed with the specific information you are looking for, are well-organised and, perhaps most importantly, are affordable. If you have a problem with a paid plugin it is worth contacting the support offered by its web developer to get your issue resolved quickly.
The tenth and final point for choosing a WordPress website over its competitors is that you will have full control over your website. Some of the tempting CMS systems you may want to opt for include Squarespace, Weebly, Shopify and WIX. These options are all fine for beginners and can seem like a great deal but the big catch is that you won’t have full control over your website and the changes that you can make are limited. Some of the limitations that you may experience include:
As you can see, WordPress is, by far, the best of the best when choosing a CMS to build your website on. From having full control to being able to improve your SEO, it has everything you need to make your site a success! However, if you’re looking for a reason NOT to choose WordPress, there are many, including this recent report from Toolbox.com.
Are you ready to get started building your own WordPress website? Head on over to WordPress.org where you can download this CMS and begin building your dream site.
Ryan is the VP of Operations for DEV.co. He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations–delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.