By Hâfi Martinsdóttir
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes | 1922 words
If you’re struggling with where to begin when it comes to building your website and are considering the pros and cons of using WordPress.org then this article is designed to help and ultimately guide you in making a smart and informed decision.
There are so many options out there when it comes to building your website that it can be hard to decide which one would suit you and your business best. Each CMS (Content Management System) has their virtues and follies. But of all the ones I have worked with, WordPress is by far the superior and here’s why.
At the time of writing (January 2020), WordPress currently powers 35% of the internet. Over 400 million people visit WordPress sites each month. Some of the big names out there use it for their own website, including The New Yorker, Fortune Magazine, LinkedIn and even Beyoncé!
The benefits that come from being such a popular platform for building websites is that it has a huge variety of software developers creating specialist plugins and tools just for it, simply because it has the largest audience.
So with WordPress hogging all of that special attention you can guarantee that you’ll have access to the best website functions and tools out there.
Being so popular comes hand in hand with a big responsibility to keep their users and their websites safe. WordPress is opensource with a few key developer keeping a closer protective eye on things at the centre. This means that anyone can access the code and check it for vulnerabilities. If a vulnerability is found, the developer who found it can suggest an amendment to the key guardians of the WordPress code and together they fix the hole and over time it becomes a fortress.
Of course, with any software there are risks of exploitation and hacks but think of WordPress as a bee hive, the entire colony of bees is taking care of the Hive and its welfare. If there’s anything wrong then someone will spot it and fix it fast. WordPress is always improving thanks to these many watchful eyes who are willing to lend a hand.
As I briefly touched on with the bee hive analogy, there is an entire community of WordPress experts. So if you’re ever stuck, have some questions or are in need of professional help, you have an enormous community of willing and able advisers ready to step in and help you out. There’s nothing worse than being stuck and having no idea where to turn for guidance. If you come across an issue on WordPress, you can be guaranteed someone has already solved it somewhere and shared the solution on a forum, just reach out and ask!
This also means that there are countless helpful tutorials out there to guide you with whatever it is you’re trying to achieve on your WordPress website. YouTube is a good place to start!
The best part about WordPress is that it’s free! All you need to get started is your domain and hosting.
In case you’re new to all of this, allow me to explain. Consider WordPress to be your (free) house, your domain (www.mydomain.com) is the name of your house and your hosting is the plot of land that your house sits on and you pay for both your domain and hosting annually.
Another benefit of having such a big WordPress community is that you’ll never get trapped in a corner. If you have the misfortune to work with a WordPress developer that you don’t like, simply find another one! With the sheer volume of ready and willing developers out there you’ll soon find another that’s more suited to you and your business.
The fact that WordPress is popular and growing meaning it’s not likely to become abandoned anytime soon. This ensures regular updates with constantly improving tools and features at your disposal. Some other CRMs have become abandoned and neglected so please do look into this before you opt for one otherwise you could find yourself investing time and effort, not to mention money, into a dead end software.
One of the great things about WordPress is that you can export your website, including all of its content (images, graphics, text, etc) and the design should you ever wish to do so (ie. move platforms). Many other website platforms such as Wix and Squarespace won’t let you export your site, even though you built it and you should have the right to do so. So should you decide to move elsewhere (ie. to WordPress) in the future as your business expands beyond the capabilities of Wix and Squarespace, you would need to start from scratch.
It’s also worth mentioning that WordPress gets the nod of approval from Google which is a really big deal! Google are the ones in power when it comes to sharing your website with the rest of the world, they deem how well your website will rank. And although simply having a WordPress website is not enough to move your site up the rankings of Google it’s certainly a head start compared to other CMS platforms.
The reason why Google loves WordPress so much is because it is so easily configured for good SEO, it’s set up to align with what Google wants to see in a website so all you have to do is make sure you’re optimising as best you can on your end which makes it a powerful combination for SEO.
Here are some articles that cover the topic of boosting your SEO organically:
The 5 Stages of Organic Online Marketing Explained, The Winning Process for Writing Successful Blog Posts and 6 Key Ways to Grow Your Business Online.
The great thing about WordPress is that you can mould it into whatever you want. You can easily switch it up with new plugins and themes to create completely different styles. Do you want to add a shop? No problem, install an eCommerce plugin. Do you want to offer a straightforward booking system so that your website visitors can book directly with you? No problem, install a booking plugin.
The same goes for the design and layout of your website. Themeforest has 48,000+ themes available for you to purchase should you wish to do so. That is over 48,000 different ways that you can style your website. Mind boggling isn’t it?!
So if you’ve had one layout for a year or so, or you’re getting tired of it, simply switch it up for a new theme and voila! A whole new look for your business.
One of the most important factors when it comes to considering which website platform to use is whether or not it can grow and scale with your business. The last thing you want is for your business’ growth to be hindered by a CMS that can’t keep up.
The fact that Disney, Sony, TED and even Facebook use WordPress are a positive indicator of WordPress’ ability to expand and evolve with you.
So with all of those glowing factors about the positives of WordPress, it wouldn’t be a balanced article if I didn’t list a few of the not so good.
WordPress can be tricky to set up and time consuming to learn. One of the main reasons why my clients approach me is because they’ve tried their hand at WordPress but found it to be a little on the baffling side when it comes to getting it to do what they wanted, not to mention frustrating.
The amount of time my clients have spent trying to build a website themselves and neglecting their own businesses because of this, it would have cost them less money, time and stress to have hired a website developer at the beginning instead.
We are here to spare you those frustrations, the stresses, the time and the money lost. We have already mastered WordPress, so what might take you years to learn, would take us just weeks to execute.
One of the main complaints I hear from new clients is that they managed to install WordPress on their hosting platform and installed a theme (so far so good). But their site just doesn’t look “quite right”. They say it certainly doesn’t look as though a professional designer built it and the sense of disappointment is palpable.
To truly get the best out of WordPress you do need to be willing to spend the time getting to understand it and know how it operates and also have a fair amount of patience if, and when, things don’t turn out quite as you had hoped.
One of the hardest parts about designing a website is that the job never feels fully finished. As with any creative pursuit it’s an ongoing process, a few tweaks here and overhaul there and that’s how it continues on, seemingly forever. WordPress doesn’t exactly make this easy for us indecisive folk out there by teaming up with brands that offer 48,000+ themes to choose from!
I know I also stated this as a positive factor earlier, but it’s also a real hinderance, a double edged sword. Having too many options at our disposal makes it far too easy to be distracted and spend forever redesigning your site and buying the shiny new plugin that is the “plugin of all plugins!” (or it is at least for a little while until the next shiny one becomes available). This cycle of always being distracted by the latest theme or widget is something I have learned to deal with over time. When I see one I think I simply must have I remind myself to “keep it simple stupid”. This simple mantra can save a lot of time, heartache and not to mention money over the long run.
I have lost count of the times when I purchased a fancy new plugin that would help me achieve a certain image slider or animated effect only to grow bored of it a few weeks later. Don’t keep jumping onto the latest trends. If I’ve learned one thing about what makes a website successful, it’s keeping it simple.
Keep the layout simple, the format, the message, the look. Clean and simple wins over cluttered and over complicated every single time. It’s crucial that your aesthetic ties together with your brand’s message and doesn’t overwhelm or distract the site visitor. Sometimes you simply need the eye and guidance of a professional to keep you on track when it all gets a bit much.
So, if you think you have better things to be spending your time, effort and money on than wrestling with the sometimes (and certainly at the beginning) overwhelming technical aspects of WordPress, perhaps hiring a professional is the way to go.
But if you do have the patience and tenacity required, then within WordPress you will find a reliable and valuable ally.
If you’re already in the midst of your website building process or already have an established website then it might help you to know that I am currently offering a few complimentary coaching calls each week. Within these calls I take a look at your existing website strategy and offer advice and guidance on what can be improved in order for you to get the results you’re looking for.
If this interests you, simply reach out to me here.
You can enjoy the many benefits that WordPress offers and avoid the pitfalls by choosing to work with someone who knows their way around WordPress and can help keep your online marketing message on track. Click here to find out more.
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