WordPress is currently the world’s leading CMS platform, offering users the possibility to build just about any website they want. Today 5% of the entire internet is powered by WordPress.
Thanks to its easy to use interface, about 80 million blogs and websites use WordPress in some form. Not long ago, its main function was to give users a simplified blogging experience, but since then developers have greatly expanded its functionality. Now, it can even create very complicated websites. It is an all-in one website platform that can do just about anything. You can also expand its functionality with the 44,000 plugins that are available to download.
If you have any particular idea in mind that isn’t supported by WordPress’ default lineup of features, you’ll probably find a plugin that will help you build it.
WordPress is not just CMS platform for casual users. A lot of high profile brands like MTV News, The New Yorker, Mashable and even NASA have their sites built on WordPress. It works great for them and for most businesses and types of websites one could think of. It is also ideal if you’re looking to start up an online business. No matter what function or size your website has, WordPress can handle it.
Once set up, a WordPress Site is easy to manage. You or your client can keep the site’s content updated and maintain it easily. You can find extensive documentation on how every bit of this software works and how to resolve just about any issue that comes up. Most problems have been experienced by others and have been solved.
Working with WordPress a bit more professionally requires about three months of practice if you want to work as a freelancer. You can customize themes, set up new WordPress sites and learn to do a lot more as you go.
An incredible number of functions can be added to your site without having to write a single line of code. You can find a lot of free and paid plugins to do just about anything on your site. Also, if you’re comfortable with using PHP, you can customize plugins to fit your needs perfectly.
Pros and Cons of Using WordPress
Nothing is perfect and neither is WordPress. While the reasons to use it far outmatch the reasons not to, there are a number of downsides to using this CMS platform for creating and managing your website.
Pros of WordPress
- Simplicity –It doesn’t take too much time to learn using this system before he/she can start working with it and editing the website’s content. You don’t need a developers help to install it and run your website.
- Ease of access – As long as your housing is working properly, you can customize and update your WordPress site from just about any computer or device.
- Convenience – I have been stressing the phrase that “anyone can use WordPress” which is true. It was made for the mass market and the admin panel is very intuitive and easy to use for newcomers. A basic site can be set up and can have its content easily accessed and update without much upfront technical work.
- Low Price or Free – Another advantage of WordPress is that it is free to use. You’ll also be able to use hosting and various other WordPress related services at a low price.
- Optimized for PC/Tablet/Mobile – Most WordPress themes are fully responsive and ensure that every user gets the highest quality experience, no matter what screen size or device they’re using.
- Integrated SEO – WordPress in itself is not SEO friendly, but you can download a number of plugins that improve your website’s SEO results.
Cons of WordPress
- Vulnerability – Once you have set up your WordPress site, upgrading your security is a step you must take. WordPress has some vulnerability that hackers seek to exploit before they get patched.
- High Hosting Requirements – You have to have an up-to-date hosting plan to make sure that your WordPress website runs smoothly. For this, you’ll have to choose a server that uses the Linux operating system and the Apache web-server. It’s also important that it supports PHP 5.2 and MySQL 5.0.
- Not Ideal for Large Webshops – You can use many advanced plugins to turn a WordPress website into an online store, it still isn’t enough to handle the massive amount of data, numbers and calculation associated with running a web store. You’ll be much better off using an eCommerce engine when it comes to that.
- Needs to be updated regularly – WordPress is a massive dynamic software that is constantly running on a server. There are various patches and updates released frequently to improve themes, codes and to defend against hackers. You’ll want to make sure you know how to apply these updates or have a web developer help you.
- A lot of sites look the same – Many WordPress themes and sites look very similar to each other. You can adjust the theme and the colors, but a lot of them will still look the same. You’ll have to invest some time and money to make your website look more unique.
So What Kind of Websites Can You Build?
Telling you that WordPress can do anything fairly easily is cool and everything, but it’s not enough if you have an idea in mind. While listing every single website that can be built with WordPress would fall outside the scope of this article, we’ll list the most important ones.
Sharing information is the main feature of most websites on the Internet. WordPress lets you easily create websites to provide instructions, manuals or any kind of information you might want to share.
Using WordPress is probably the quickest and easiest way to build a professional looking website for your business. It works so well, that big brands like PlayStation, BestBuy and Sony Music are using it.
WordPress is among the evident solutions when it comes to building an eCommerce website. Great plugins like WooCommerce were created and optimized to turn WordPress websites into a functional eCommerce platform. It lets you easily manage shipping, taxes, and inventory, have a shopping cart feature and accept payments from your shoppers.
Personal Websites or Blogs
WordPress has been a blogging platform when it first saw sunlight. It has since then become a CMS, but the blogging features are still very much intact. In fact, they have become even better and more solid over time.
Now, you can create a sophisticated website to match any kind of personal preference you might have when it comes to building your own site.
There are a couple of hundreds or maybe even thousands of plugins that were created and optimized for transforming your website into a great-looking gallery. You’ll easily find photography themes and plugins that help you upload tons of pictures onto a professional looking website on a daily basis.
If you need to create a photography portfolio then you know where to go.
Review and Affiliate Websites
Affiliate marketing offers a great way to earn some money on the side if you do it right.
If you have a website that is dedicated towards certain kinds of products, your goal is to have as much traffic on it as you possibly can. After that, you provide your users with links somewhere in your content, to take them to the sales site.
To ensure you have the maximum amount of traffic, WordPress has many SEO plugins that help you increase your search engine rankings and make sure that users who are searching in your niche find you among the top results.
You can take your career a step forward and showcase your skills and talents on a portfolio website. There are literally thousands of great themes that were made to help you set up a professional online portfolio. It’s also easy to give it your own unique flair and give users a taste of your work.
It’s easy to create a website for sharing news regularly with WordPress. You can use tags and categories to help users find the content they are looking for.
Websites for Online Communities and Forums
You have a lot of useful resources, not to mention plugins that help you build and manage an online community that is dedicated to a certain topic. Share information with people who share the same interests and add a sign up option as well. You can also allow your users to post to your websites and offer them a lot of other useful features thanks to WordPress. BuddyPress is a popular WordPress plugin that lets you create your very own social networking website.
Choosing the Right Host for Your WordPress Site
Housing providers provide the server space and the technology necessary for users to have their websites on the Internet.
Choosing the right host for your website is the key component of its success. It can also improve SEO and thus earn you more sales. You have an incredibly large number of hosts to choose from, so it’s easy to get lost in them.
The first choice you’ll have to make is between regular hosting and managed WordPress hosting. Regular hosting basically provides you with server space where you can store your website. You’ll also get some level of support. Their responsibilities end there and you’ll have to manage the rest of the stuff yourself.
Managed WordPress Hosting comes with a different number of services that will help in keeping your site run smoothly, but they will also come at a bigger price. This means, your provider will be responsible for:
- Setting things up
- Making regular backups of your website.
- Installing updates and plugins.
- Handling any security breach that might happen.
- Monitoring traffic
There are a lot of other factors to consider as well. Depending on what your website needs and your budget. Which host works best for you, depends on what you need the most from the following factors. You might want all of them, or at least as much as possible, but not all managed WordPress hosts perform well in all areas.
The factors to consider are:
- Setup Simplicity
Which of these you have to focus the most on, depends completely on what your website is built for and its overall needs.
When you’re looking for a provider, keep in mind that all of them offer the same core features, such as automatic backups, 24/7 security monitoring, free repairs, fast servers specifically built for WordPress sites and so on.
We recommend using InMotion, HostGator or BlueHost, who offer stable and reliable WordPress hosting services. They have been in the business for a long time and can help you have your website set up incredibly fast. Their services also feature one-click installs and all the help you’ll ever need when it comes managing your WordPress site.
Whatever website you’re seeking to build and whatever level of computer skills you have, you’ll definitely be able to manage a WordPress site. It has worked well for average users and developers alike over the past 12 years and it continues to do so. You can accomplish a lot of things if you’re willing to read and put the necessary work into it.
There is a lot to cover when it comes to this content management system, but most of that falls outside the scope of this article. Your online venture should start with some extensive research or with finding the right developer and host to help you get the job done. Either way, you’ll find a quality and low price solution that suits you.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading through this article and that it has inspired you to use WordPress and make your ideas come to life!