If you’ve ever consider building a website, then you’ve probably heard about WordPress, an open source content management system (CMS) that was first released back in 2003. Since then it has grown to become the most popular CMS system on the web, powering roughly 1/3 of all websites on the internet and growing.
Not only that, when you only consider websites with a known CMS then WordPress holds a 60% market share which is is nearly 12x the market share of other popular self-hosted content management systems (Joomla has roughly a 5% market share, while Squarespace and Wix have 2.7% and 1.8% respectively.
So while market share alone is not the only measure of a CMS, you can see that WordPress is unlikely to be knocked off the throne anytime soon meaning launching a new website powered by WordPress is a safe bet.
But what about other reasons for using WordPress and why do we choose to use it exclusively for our client websites, well we’re glad you asked as we’ve assembled our “11 reasons why we only use WordPress for client websites, and why you should use it too” and they’re outlined below.
1. Free to use and open source
Regardless of how you are going to use WordPress there are no charges for the CMS itself and it doesn’t matter if you get 2 or 200,000 visitors to your site each month, the upfront cost of WordPress is zero!
In addition to being free it is also open source which means you are able to alter the code to suite your own purposes, tailoring it to suit the needs of your business or project. Furthermore, because it is open source, there are a huge number of people who take part in keeping it up to date, squashing bugs and making improvements.
2. Search engine friendly and secure
Straight out of the box WordPress is friendly for search engines and Google etc have a tendency to rank websites that use WordPress better than those that don’t. This is largely down to the way in which the CMS framework makes it easy for the search engines to crawl the site, and even Google employees have endorsed WordPress in the past.
Not only that, but WordPress is very secure, even though it is a common target for would be hackers (and has suffered from issues in the past). The WordPress team and contributors around the world work extremely hard to ensure that it is constantly updated and known threats are taken care of quickly.
You can do your part too by ensuring that you only install plugins from trusted sources and if you do find a security issue you can share it with the community. Of course there are also plugins designed to make WordPress even more secure, so you can be rest assured that your site is protected from threats.
3. Mobile friendly
The web is mobile these days, so it’s important that your prospects and customers can access your website from whichever device they choose, whether that be a large screened desktop/laptop or their mobile phone and tablet.
By default WordPress is shipped with what is known as a responsive theme, a design that changes depending on the device it is being viewed on, ensuring that users are able to successfully find what they need. Google also favours websites that are mobile friendly when it displays its search results so there are SEO benefits too.
Most themes that are available today are also response, meaning you’re putting your best foot forward regardless of how a user is accessing your site.
4. Media support and integration
With video becoming more popular and tons of other websites hosting great content, it’s important that you have an easy way to integrate this content (legally) onto your site if you need to. WordPress provides simple and easy ways for you to add/embed this content directly through their post/page editor saving you time and effort.
Not only that, but WordPress also allows you to integrate with a huge number of other platforms via plugins, letting you capture emails, send out newsletters, create shopping sites and accept credit cards, directly from within your own website.
5. Management is simple
If you have basic computer skills i.e. can type on a keyboard and click a mouse, then you can manage a WordPress site. Writing content and adding imagery is simple through its built in editor and adding plugins or themes can be done without the need for any additional software.
If your WordPress site is in need of an update it will inform you and you can usually update multiple items with a single click, while WordPress itself can be configured to perform version updates automatically in the background saving you plenty of time and effort, and ensuring you are up to date and secure.
6. Customisation is king
We recognise that not all businesses are alike, the internet would be a pretty boring place if every website that you visited looked the same (although at least it’d be clear how to use it). The reality is that you and your business are unique, so your website should reflect this and WordPress allows you to manage this with ease.
There are a massive number of themes, plugins and custom solutions available for WordPress that will have you standing out from the crowd, making best use of your brand, logo and personality. From one-pagers, to complex multi-level shopping experiences, WordPress can cater for them all, ensuring you can achieve what you need to online.
7. You can host it (nearly) anywhere
I’ve had WordPress running on my laptop for development purposes and practically all hosting providers can host your WordPress site for you, meaning you are not tied to one supplier should you run into issues.
There are definitely specialised WordPress hosting suppliers, some of whom will charge a small fortune to host your website, however this is not required when you are just starting out and should you need to make a switch in the future then many hosts will migrate your WordPress website for free onto their platform.
8. Support for multiple users
Let’s say you run a small business and you want to allow someone else to be able to publish content on your WordPress blog, however you don’t want them to be able to change the look and feel or install plugins etc. Well, WordPress has you covered through the use of different user roles ensuring that you can be in charge of who can do what.
You can allow Editors to create and publish their own posts, as well as approve posts written by others or you can choose to allow someone to be a Contributor, where anything they write must be approved by an Administrator. Alternatively if you want someone else to update and manage your site for you, you can create further Administrator accounts on your WordPress site.
9. Attracts user interaction
WordPress allows for users to interact with your content (if you are writing a blog or choose to allow it), meaning that you can hear directly from people who are interested in your content or products and services. If you’ve created something particular compelling then you can attract a lot of interest, driving traffic to your website and increasing your chances of making a sale or getting a new customer.
WordPress also allows for users to share your content via their favourite social media platforms and/or use those platforms to log into your site using those social media accounts. If someone likes content that you have created they can easily share it via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc providing you with a larger audience to tap into.
10. Choose when to publish
Not only can you elect to create a new post or content and publish it right then and there, you are also able to create multiple posts and elect to schedule them for the future. This is a great feature if you find that you have time once or twice a week to write content, but you’d rather it appeared on your site on a regular basis.
If you find that your audience is largely browsing your site during particular time periods then you could schedule a new post for that time, which makes dealing with people in different timezones far simpler than forcing you to write and post your content at odd times during the day.
11. WordPress is continuing to improve
The creators of WordPress and all the contributors to its development are committed to seeing WordPress continue to dominate the CMS world, as such they are constantly adding new features and have a clear roadmap for the future.
A perfect example is the launch of the new “Gutenberg Editor” which came about with WordPress 5.0 late in 2018 (although it had been available for beta testers and early adopters before then). This brought about a new way of editing posts and creating content which has been welcomed by most WordPress users/developers.
If you’re interested in what’s on the horizon for WordPress they publish their roadmap for all to see, along with details of when they expect the next point release e.g. 5.2 to be made available.
So, those are our “11 reasons why we only use WordPress for client websites, and why you should use it too”.
Don’t be fooled though, there are a ton of additional reasons why WordPress is the right tool for your website. A few others that we could think of include:
- Can be used as a membership site
- Allows you to keep your site looking new/fresh over time
- Saves you money through ease of use
- No need to learn HTML code or PHP (unless you really want to)
And we’re sure that you probably have your own reasons for choosing to use WordPress for your website… so don’t be shy, feel free to add a comment and let us know what we’ve missed.