Choosing a content management system is one of the very first things to do when you set out to create a website. It’s also one of the most important.
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. It powers 33% of sites on the Internet and has stood the test of time, supplying users with every tool imaginable to create flexible and functional websites that do much more than your average blog or portfolio.
WordPress is up against two major competitors: Squarespace and Wix. Both alternate content management systems that you should look into as you do your research, but keep in mind that WordPress still holds onto over half of the global CMS market and is the fastest-growing CMS. Every day, over 500 new WP sites are created, compared to just around 50 on Squarespace. Why does WordPress continue to blow its competitors out of the water?
At Pressable, we have a bit of a thing for WordPress (can you tell?). But we didn’t develop our passion for WP out of nothing. Here are five of our favorite things about WordPress to keep in mind while you shop around.
Note: If you would like to get an introduction to WordPress first, you might want to read What is WordPress?
Easy to use and maintain
WordPress requires a bit of a steeper learning curve than its competitors, but that doesn’t mean that you have to learn to code. WP sites can be set up with all your favorite plugins and themes without ever thinking about code. A development background doesn’t hurt, though. It can unlock a lot of functionality and customization that you can’t get anywhere else. There are plenty of tools out there to help you learn, too, like WP101.
Your WordPress dashboard is the key to keeping your site up and running. Update your plugins and WordPress core regularly, though really, your hosting provider should do this for you.
Speaking of hosting providers, you’ll need one if you’re looking to scale. The right host can be a big benefit to your business. A managed host like Pressable will take a lot of that site maintenance off your hands by making sure the WordPress core is up-to-date, backing up your data for you, and providing 24/7 support just in case you get stuck.
Themes and Flexibility
This is where WordPress really has every competitor beat. Once you download the WordPress core, you have access to a myriad of tools you can use to develop your site to fit your unique needs. You have complete access to WordPress’s open-source software, as well as your site’s codebase, which means you can really get into the nitty-gritty and customize your website as you see fit.
WordPress is known for its thousands of free and low-cost themes, which make site setup a breeze. You can find a theme for every purpose, from a photography blog to an e-commerce site. These themes are moldable (depending on your coding knowledge) to your needs and provide a perfect template for your site, especially if you don’t have a web designer on call.
Other CMS companies won’t give you this kind of flexibility. The moment you hit publish on your Wix site, your theme is locked in. This makes making any drastic changes to your site a lot harder, and suddenly, you are spending a lot more time on your site than you anticipated.
Like themes, plugins contribute to the customizable design and function of your site. Whatever functionality you want to get out of your site, there’s probably a plugin for that. You can use a plugin to stream a social media feed on your site, to set up your e-commerce store, to track your site visits—anything!
Plugins also mean more functionality at a low cost. Your team doesn’t spend any time coding up a program for your site, you just find the right plugin to fit your needs. With a megamall of plugins, make sure you find one that is tried and true. Look for one with a large customer base and regular updates.
Google loves WordPress almost as much as we do. WordPress sites can easily achieve the level of content, navigation, and responsiveness that Google’s algorithms look for. WordPress also gives you access to the details in your site code, which means that you can edit header tags and other SEO essentials that Google looks for.
WP is SEO-friendly straight out of the box. WordPress also allows a bunch of tools that will help you optimize your SEO. We recommend JetPack Security Daily, which provides accelerated SEO tools for your content strategy. JetPack Security Daily’s Ad Program also gives you access to more site traffic data so you can really see what works and what doesn’t.
Imagine the disaster if 33% of the world’s websites were created on an insecure platform. WordPress is designed with security in mind, but if that’s not enough for you, there are countless security-oriented plugins to choose from.
Plus, since you get to choose exactly who hosts your site, you have more control over your site’s web application firewall than if it was left on Wix or Squarespace servers. If you opt for managed WordPress hosting, this also means that you get an extra set of experts on your side to keep your site safe.
If all this still sounds a little overwhelming, just remember: choosing WordPress also means joining the WordPress community. WordPress users are all over the internet, ready to answer your questions (if somehow, you have one that no one’s already asked) and point you towards the right solutions. Choose Pressable as your host, and you’ll have 24/7 support on your side, ready to help with anything you need.
Learn more about our 24/7 WordPress hosting support team.