WordPress is the most used content management system (CMS) in the world and powers 24 percent of websites. This CMS has been around for a decade, but it is still the best way to make websites in 2015. Why you should make a WordPress website? I will cover the reasons below.
Easy to Use
One of the main benefits of using WordPress is that it's easy to install and use. Many web hosts support the platform and allow WordPress to be installed with a click of a button from the hosting account's control panel. You can find tutorials online that will help you get WordPress up and running in minutes.
You can easily add pages, posts and other content to WordPress sites, and no coding is required. WordPress comes with an intuitive WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, so writing posts is as easy as using word processing software. If you are a professional web developer, you can build a custom WordPress website for a client and then let the client add his own content at his leisure.
Many other platforms also allow the user to easily publish posts, but WordPress stands out because of its extensible. You can easily increase the functionality of a WordPress website. Contact forms, event calendars, analytic and more can be quickly added to the site by installing ready-made plugins.
Plenty of Available Resources
Since WordPress is tremendously popular, many resources are available for the platform. Designers have created over 10,000 themes to customize the look of your website. On WordPress.org, you can choose from 37,878 free plugins - and counting - to augment your site.
You can build a professional-looking website with WordPress even if you aren't a graphic designer. Themes allow you to easily change the appearance of your website, including
its colors, fonts and layout. You can find an elegant theme for your site, whether it is an online magazine, portfolio or corporate website. Themes can be further customized or coded from scratch using HTML, CSS and PHP.
Even if you're a skilled coder, there is no need to reinvent the wheel in many cases. A vast number of WordPress plugins are available that provide off-the-shelf solutions to various website requirements. Here are some examples of how plugins can enhance your site.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Plugins that streamline on-page SEO are very common additions to WordPress sites. These plugins allow a webmaster to easily set the title, meta description and keywords for each Web page. A popular SEO plugin is called WordPress SEO by Yoast. In addition to providing the basic SEO features mentioned above, the Yoast SEO plugin allows the author to specify a focus keyword for a post. The plugin then helps the author ensure that the focus keyword is used in fields such as the page title, URL, content and meta description. These are just some of the capabilities of the various SEO plugins for WordPress; many more features exist.
- Social Sharing: Hundreds of social media sharing plugins are freely available for WordPress. These plugins automatically add social sharing buttons, such as Twitter's Tweet and Facebook's Like buttons, to pages and posts. Social following buttons, which make it easy for visitors to follow your profiles on social networks such as Google+ and LinkedIn, can also be added to a WordPress site.
- Automate Tasks: Common, repetitive tasks can be automated using WordPress plugins. For example, when you post on a WordPress site, certain plugins can automatically publish the new content to your social media accounts. Other plugins act as autoresponders or allow you to automatically email newsletters to subscribers.
- Export and Import Your Entire Site: Numerous plugins let you schedule backups of your entire WordPress site and save the backup files to the cloud. Other plugins can export and import site content to and from CSV files. In addition to giving you peace of mind, these plugins are useful for switching hosts or migrating content from a non-WordPress website to one that uses WordPress.
An Active Community
WordPress has an immense community of developers who are constantly creating new themes and plugins for the platform. Over 20,000 of these themes and plugins are free and open-source. Updates to WordPress, which fix bugs, increase security and add new features, are published frequently. Despite the numerous updates, the WordPress developers are committed to maintaining backwards compatibility so that existing themes and plugins continue to work after platform updates.
There are many resources available to help you learn to use WordPress. The official documentation is extensive, and the lessons found on WordPress.org will help beginning bloggers as well as advanced developers who are coding custom plugins. If you have questions, experts on communities such as StackOverflow are always willing to help.
Ready for Mobile
Close to two-thirds of Americans now own a smartphone, so having a website that mobile users can easily browse on small screens is a must. Tailoring websites to smartphone users has become even more crucial after Google's 2015 mobile-friendly algorithm, which promotes smartphone-optimized sites on mobile search rankings. Fortunately, WordPress sites can easily be made mobile-friendly.
A responsive website is one that adapts to different screen sizes; the same URL of a responsive site will look good on desktops and smartphones. Many responsively-designed WordPress themes are available so that your site can meet the needs of both desktop and mobile users. These themes allow you to build professional-looking responsive sites without touching a single line of code. Since a responsive website does not require a separate mobile sub-domain, there is no need to devote extra resources to SEO for a standalone mobile site.
Only about 10 percent of mobile Internet time is spent on the mobile web. The rest of the time is spent on apps. However, you do not have to choose between building an app or a mobile website. Products such as AppPresser enable you to port your WordPress site to the iOS and Android platforms; the resulting apps can be published to the app stores. Posting content through the WordPress back-end will automatically update the apps. You can even use WordPress to send push notifications to users' phones.
More Than Just Blogs
WordPress is most commonly known as a blogging platform. However, websites other than blogs can also be built using WordPress. Below are some examples.
- Membership Sites: Several WordPress plugins enable a site to lock down premium content such as tutorials, videos and downloads behind a paywall. The plugins provide an easy way to monetize your site by handling subscriptions and payment processing.
- E-Commerce Sites: WooCommerce is an open-source plugin that transforms a WordPress site into a feature-rich online store. The WordPress back-end is used to add products, manage orders, create coupons and more.
- Restaurant Sites: A website for a restaurant can be assembled using a combination of WordPress plugins. These include plugins that display menus, showcase food photographs, accept reservations, take online orders and give directions to the restaurant.
- Social Network: The BuddyPress plugin enables you to operate a social network using WordPress. Site members can create profiles, make friends, send private messages and join groups.
As you can see, many different types of websites can be built using WordPress. Web developers save time by not having to code everything from scratch. Business owners can focus on their products and services instead of managing the nuts and bolts of running a site. WordPress is versatile, powerful and easy to learn, so make a WordPress website now!
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