When we talk to new clients, we often have to explain why we only use wordpress for our websites content management system. So we thought we’d put together our top 5 reasons for why we love wordpress websites.
1) WordPress is free
WordPress is a content management system, which you install on a hosting server to run your website. Think of it like a software application that sits on your desktop, like Microsoft Word. Today WordPress powers one of every 6 websites on the Internet, nearly 60 million in all, with 100,000 more popping up each day.
So why would anyone develop something as sophisticated as wordpress, which powers more websites than any other, and then give it away for free? How can anything that is free be that good?
They are difficult questions to answer, but it’s fairly safe to say, that wordpress is what it is today, thanks to the fact that the software is ‘opensource’ and has had significant improvements from a community of developers. It’s like a community garden. People love gardening, they plant seeds, they water the plants, the build shades, just to see it grow and bare fruit.
I guess you can consider wordpress is that market garden. And once that garden is in place, people can make a living out of providing for that garden to help it improve. Nutrient soil, watering systems, fences, and fertilisers perhaps. Or in wordpress terms, designers, developers, themes, plugins, hosting, and security products all allow us to make a living from that garden.
For more information on wordpress founders visit:
- Matt Mullenweg (co-founder) – http://ma.tt/about/
- Forbes – http://www.forbes.com/sites/jjcolao/2012/09/05/the-internets-mother-tongue/
2) It’s powerful and yet really simple
I can teach somebody how to post content, upload images, edit menu’s, change a header, and add a sidebar feature in their wordpress website in less than hour. When you think back to what a web developer had to do 3-4 years ago, reading lines and lines of HTML code, you marvel at wordpress’s simplicity.
And yet on the other hand, I’m often confronted with a new challenge each day. Something to fix, a problem to solve, and each time I learn something new about WordPress.
There in lies the beauty of wordpress websites. They can be so very simple for the novice user, but can be extremely powerful, and flexible for the more advanced.
3) Need a feature? Plug it in with a plugin
WordPress had a bursting apps market long before Apple. Of course they are very different, wordpress calls their apps, plugins. I compare the apps on your phone to plugins, because they provide additional functionality with a simple click and install. The majority of these plugins are free, and can be installed from the WordPress dashboard. Our favourite plugins for wordpress do things like improve SEO rankings, add contact forms, integrate e-commerce, or pull in image galleries from places like Picasa, Flickr or Instagram.
Not all plugins are good for your wordpress website however and some have major security concerns. For our clients, we don’t allow people to add any plugin they like, and instead we vet them before installing any.
4) Out of the box, fully functional themes
Time is money (unless you are developing wordpress apparently). Building websites in the past was a costly experience, working with designers and developers who’d provide flash slide shows, funky menus, and a general styling. These days we can procure themes that have the majority of the functionality built in, at a small cost, and then customise them to suit each client.
We tend to think it’s like buying a kit home. It’s a lot cheaper to purchase and assemble, but can be customised to suit individual needs. Change the colour on the walls, move the kitchen, add a balcony, that it’s all part and parcel of the sort of thing we do with wordpress themes. The extent to which you can customise your theme is really dependent on your theme and skill level. Again just like building a house. Sure you can have a go at building and painting, but if you want expert construction you working with a project manager, a builder and a architect.
Again not all themes offer ongoing reliability and security. Our preferred supplier is Woo Themes, who have a huge theme portfolio and a great support community.
5) Dynamic Publishing
We can save the best for last. Wordpress is a dynamic publishing platform, which began life as a blogging tool. I always explain the way wordpress works by using an online newspaper as an example. You can post articles to various sections of the paper, like technology, or latest news, and as each article comes in, the other articles move down. You can click on the article heading and read the full article on another page. It’s this sort of functionality that comes built into wordpress. This means you can have hundreds and hundreds of articles, that might go hundreds of pages deep, and they are all filed away in categories, or tagged, and are in date order. And at any given stage you can pull an article to the homepage, or link to it, or delete it.
I just wish I had a filing cabinet like that.
So there you have it, the simple reasons we love wordpress websites. What started out as a simple list, turned out to be something much bigger, but we’d love to know if we missed something, or if you have other ideas.