WordPress is currently the most popular platform for building websites and blogs. Trusted by small and micro-sized businesses, large and well-established corporations, and even government entities, WordPress is flexible and powerful enough to support a very vast range of needs. In fact, this open-source content management system currently powers the official whitehouse.gov website.
Given that WordPress is open source, anyone can use it, and anyone can modify it. With a content management system like WordPress, creating, managing, and updating websites is both easy and hassle-free. This remains true even for those who lack programming expertise.
The Evolution of WordPress
At its inception, WordPress was largely a blog-building tool. Countless people used it to publish content on basic platforms that had minimal aesthetic appeal and very limited functionality. Now, however, following updates in core WordPress code and the addition of numerous themes and plug-ins, WordPress can be used to create websites of all types, and for virtually any purpose or industry. In addition to powering the websites of companies and government entities, it can also be used to quickly build functional e-commerce stores. It's perfect for producing attractive:
- Membership sites
- Social networks
- Small business websites
- Corporate websites
- Contractor websites
- Customized websites
For every digital asset you can possibly dream up, WordPress likely has a means for supporting it. Moreover, not only is it possible for those with little web development experience to leverage this tool for website creation, but it's also easy to upload new content, edit pages, and perform other site management tasks. Moving through the backend of a basic WordPress platform doesn't take a lot of training, experience, or technical skill.
The Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org
WordPress.org is the free, self-hosted version of WordPress. This is the open-source software that can be downloaded and used by anyone, anywhere, and at absolutely no cost. To use WordPress.org, you'll have to find your own web host service, buy your own domain, and maintain ongoing management and control of your site.
Conversely, WordPress.com offers websites as a service. The websites produced by WordPress.com are based on the WordPress.org software. The difference is that everything about the management, hosting, and maintenance of these sites comes as part of the for-profit service. Although WordPress.com seems like the more comprehensive and straightforward solution, sites that are built via this service lose a tremendous amount of flexibility.
For instance, the vast majority of WordPress.com clients cannot install any third-party plugins or themes. This limitation alone can lead to very basic-looking platforms that boast less than optimal levels of functionality. As such, companies desiring unique, dynamic, and ultimately responsive websites typically opt for the free, open-source software that's provided by WordPress.org.
The Benefits of Using WordPress
Huge selection of plugins:
WordPress users have access to more than 54,000 plugins. With these, it's possible to both customize and enhance websites according to individual needs and goals. These allow for the creation of brand-specific platforms, and platforms that boast the right features and functions for ensuring optimum user experience.
WordPress Makes SEO Easy:
When it comes to promoting any business online, creating a functional, engaging, and needs-specific website is hardly enough. Every website owner should have a plan for optimizing their platform for major search engines. SEO or search engine optimization is highly supported by WordPress. WordPress has a reputation for prioritizing SEO best practices across all design elements. It even offers a number of effective SEO plugins that assist with keyword focus, and the optimization of meta tags and content among other things. Many of the best WordPress SEO plugins are also free.
Designing Responsive Websites:
When choosing a platform for web design, the responsiveness of websites is also a top concern. A good website will always be both visible and viable on many different viewing devices. With the right WordPress themes, companies can design platforms that match the habits of their targeted users, whether they're searching by desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
Change Web Developers with Ease:
Finally, as an open-source platform, WordPress makes it easy to pass ongoing site management from hand-to-hand, particularly when design and management are outsourced to third-parties. This level of flexibility is far preferable to working with proprietary platforms that can only be handled by specific web developers. When WordPress is used to create a website, this website can be refined and managed by almost anyone. This eliminates the risk of being locked into services, and of needing to have platforms completely rebuilt when changing third-party providers.
The Drawbacks of WordPress
As with all content management systems, WordPress is not without its drawbacks. For instance, although anyone can build a simple, low-function website with WordPress, the more involved the design process becomes; the more important it is to have a professional at the helm. For companies that intend to collect personal and payment information from their clients, professional web development is an absolute must.
WordPress is inherently secure at its core. However, every time a new plugin or widget is added to a site, new security concerns arise. Moreover, because WordPress is an open-source platform, the potential for hacking exists as well. Unless those building websites are well-versed in the best strategies for preventing attacks, and for assessing the safety of plugins and widgets, anyone using their sites may be at risk. Ultimately, to enjoy the full and undeniably impressive range of benefits that WordPress provides, and while avoiding its potential drawbacks, hiring a professional web designer who uses WordPress is always the best choice. If you are considering a new website or a redesign of your existing website, think about using WordPress, the possibilities are endless and honestly once you get used to managing the platform you won’t want to stop exploring.
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