Like many web designers and web entrepreneurs, I’ve built my online empire (ha!) on the back of WordPress. And that’s not an accident. It was the many benefits of WordPress that drew me to the platform initially, and it’s the many benefits that have kept me here, years later.
I’m using WordPress to build and grow this site, and I think WordPress is often the best choice when you’re deciding on a website builder. Here’s why.
Benefits of WordPress:
Maybe the best reason to put WordPress at the top of your list of potential content management systems is that it’s free. Other popular systems, like Wix for example, require that you purchase a plan in order to do even simple things like use your own domain name.
Now everyone has different needs for their website, but pretty much everyone wants their own domain name (and you’ve already got to pay to get one). When companies charge you for services like this, you know they’re seeing you as a cash cow.
Plus, once you pay to use these other services, then you’re also on the hook, to follow their terms of service (and what’s your recourse if they change those terms of service? You’ve got no ownership).
While alternatively, WordPress has always been free. You’ll have for a host if you want a self-hosted website, but even then, the WordPress itself is free. And you might want to add a premium theme, which again will cost you a little, but there are tons of great free themes, too.
So cost alone is a big reason why I recommend WordPress to my clients and budding web developers, especially when you’re in the ‘just learning about this’ phase of your online business.. If you’re interested in learning more, please see my guide to building a completely free website here.
Unlike other content management systems which are more specialized, WordPress can be used to make any kind of website. You can use WordPress to create an e-store to sell merchandise, a members-only site that requires a username and password to login to, a combination of the two, and on and on.
The sky really is the limit with WordPress. Any site you or your client desires can be made relatively easily and at a low cost. Of course there is a learning curve, but learn your way around WordPress and its plugins and you’re way ahead of the game.
(All that being said, while I almost always think WordPress is the best option, I have recommended Shopify to clients with limited time and experience who want to manage their own estores, because ecommerce can get a bit tricky).
But what if you want to create a website that has some kind of unique functionality not available through WordPress out of the box? This is probably the number one concern for web developers, as hiring programmers to make third party plugins can get costly.
This is where WordPress shines, along with its large community of users and developers.
You see, WordPress occupies around 60% of the market for content management systems (source). That means there is a massive amount of users out there.
And that means that likely whatever functionality you were looking for has already been developed into a plugin.
WordPress plugins are little bits of code that you can easily add to your website, offering an almost unlimited amount of customization. They’re often free, although sometimes you have to pay for them (often, developers will just ask for voluntary donations).
In either case, plugins are usually much cheaper than paying a programmer for their labour and wondering if you’re going to the the solution you were looking for.
It’s SEO FRIENDLY
If you’re building and running websites, you need to understand SEO, which is how search engines like Google and Bing rank certain websites higher than others.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a whole science unto itself, but don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be super complicated or even something you need to spend much time worrying about. At least not when you use WordPress.
According to beloved SEO expert (and former Google lead) Matt Cutts, WordPress takes cares of 90% of SEO (source). It does this by making sure you have all the appropriate tags and formatting so that Google knows exactly what your site is all about and why it should rank it higher in its search results.
And, WordPress does this pretty much automatically for you, which is awesome.
But if you want to take your SEO to the next level, WordPress again makes that super simple. You just have to select from one of the many advanced SEO plugins for WordPress that are available for free. I use Yoast myself and recommend the same to most of my clients (find all the tools I recommend for building websites here).
As the world’s largest CMS, WordPress is obviously a target for hackers. But thanks to the dedicated efforts of the WordPress foundation, there are patches released regularly to address any security flaws.
In addition, there are many third party plugins for increased protection of your WordPress website. Some of them are free, like Wordfence, but offer paid subscriptions for additional functionality.
So if you care about keeping your website safe and like taking a hands-on approach to security, I definitely recommend using WordPress.
(So There’s Tons of Support & Resources)
I saved the best for last. Especially if you’re a newbie, then the most important feature when considering new software is how popular it is.
WordPress is beloved worldwide, with millions and millions of both free and paid websites using it (source). That means that there are countless resources and guides out there to help you on your journey (like this one!).
(This is also one of the reasons I recommend Elegant Themes to amp up your WordPress – tons of users, tons of options, tons of support).
It also means that any problems or issues or desires for your site – you’re probably not the only one. And there’s strength in numbers.
If you’ve got any questions about the benefits of WordPress or how to get started, please reach out in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org – I do my best to answer! And good luck with your web design journey!
Psssst …. like the Pinterest graphic in this post? I built it super easily and FOR FREE using Canva.
It’s one of my favourite online resources available to digital marketers …
find them all with links here!