If you have never heard of WordPress before, then you are not alone. When people ask me what I do for a living and I mention that I specialize in, among other subjects WordPress, they often reply ‘Word-who?’. Many smaller businesses haven’t heard about this free, easy-to-use open-source online application that allows you to develop and manage your website.
How free is WordPress?
When I say free, I mean free. The core files are free, there are 1000’s of free excellent templates and plugins to download and install. There are some things that you can pay for if you wish, but in the years that I have been using WordPress, to this day I haven’t paid a penny and my websites lack nothing.
Isn’t WordPress just a blog platform?
WordPress is the best CMS (Content Management System) blog platform, but it is so much more than just that. You can mix and match the functionality to such a degree, it can be whatever you want it to be. Whether you wish to build a simple online brochure, traditional website or powerful user enriched stage, WordPress gives you an unbelievably high level of control.
The fact that it has been developed for blog usage is an advantage. You can have standard ‘static’ pages with a stream of fresh content flowing through. This will in turn encourage greater user visits and debate. Search engines such as Google and Bing love to be fed on a regular basis with fresh and interesting content. And so do your customers.
You may feel a little confused: do you only need a simple advert for your business, or grasp the nettle and move toward a fully fledged socially connected blog? The beauty of WordPress is that you can start as small as you want. there is plenty of room to grow.
WordPress is a Chameleon!
One of the best aspects to WordPress is that it’s so easy to change functionality, layout and design without loosing content. You may have a thousand pages on your site, but one day decide to move to another template. Nothing changes other than the template itself. At the click on a mouse, your entire online image is renewed.
There’s a plugin for that!
Another great thing about WordPress is the ability to add plugins. If you need a shopping cart on your website, you just search for one using the built in plugin search tool and click to install it. How about a planner or a calculator? Again, there will be plenty of plugins to choose from. At the time of writing this article, the WordPress website hosts 27,610 plugins and rising. I can imagine that you will be hard pushed to find a subject matter for your WordPress site that doesn’t already have a plugin.
What would a CMS be, without updates? Dead in the water I think. WordPress offers regular updates for its core files and CMS. In addition to this, the authors of templates and plugins may also occasionally submit updates and general security improvements. Updates are very easily managed via the WordPress CMS, with alerts and one-click solutions.