You’ve decided to build a website. Maybe you want to advertise your small business, host a Star Trek fan fiction site, or just write a blog to share your thoughts or photos of your kids. As you begin researching how to get started you see the phrase “WordPress” pop up everywhere. Curious about this apparently popular website software, you talk to a few friends more “in the know” about this stuff and they tell you to use WordPress.
So what is this WordPress thingy anyhow? And why should you use WordPress for your small business website?
What WordPress does
WordPress is a framework known as a Content Management System or CMS, which does exactly what the name implies — it manages your content. Once the overall framework is set up, you can manage how your site looks without ever having to know HTML or CSS.
Put simply, WordPress is a tool that takes care of the nuts and bolts of publishing content so you can focus on what you want to convey on your website without having to worry about how to display your material.
More than 24 percent of all websites use WordPress, making it the most popular blogging system on the Internet. Everything from mom-and-pop businesses to blogs for some of the largest names out there (CNN, Spotify, Time, among others) are running on WordPress. That’s nearly 60 million sites with 100,000 more being added each day.
And why WordPress is awesome
So why should YOU use WordPress? Here are seven major reasons WordPress is awesome:
No. 1: It’s free!
Yes, I started with the first, most important thing everyone wants to know — what will this cost me? WordPress itself is 100 percent free, no fees attached. Really! Of course there are other costs involved in setting up a website (hosting, themes, images, etc) but the backbone for your site won’t cost you a dime. And since we’re on the subject of cost…
No. 2: Hosting doesn’t have to be a hassle
Start talking hosting packages, domains, name servers, and IP addresses to your average Joe and you can practically watch their eyes glaze over. But the basic concept isn’t really that complicated. You have images and text you want to show to the world on a website; you need a physical computer somewhere to store that data and put it out there for you. With WordPress, you can get inexpensive hosting packages (like a GoDaddy Managed WordPress account) that handle all the behind-the-scenes setup and configuration for you. You can jump in and focus on your content with no worries.
No. 3: Posting is fast and simple
Adding content to a WordPress site is quick and painless. You type a title, add your content (like Aunt Jen’s stuffing recipe or the story of little Bill’s trip to the dentist), and click “Post.” That’s it. The new content now shows up on your website. No muss, no fuss, and best of all, no programming.
No. 4: Updates are easy
You spent countless hours getting your website to look just the way you want it to… and now it’s time to update. Is all that work down the drain? Not with WordPress! You can install security updates and change your theme without losing a single picture or blog post.
No. 5: Redesign anytime with themes
A theme is the outer layer of your website; it controls how your content looks to the world. With themes, you can try different styles and layouts without having to recreate anything. There are hundreds of free themes available and hundreds more for purchase from companies like ThemeForest and Elegant Themes. Themes also give your site a consistent look and feel across all pages automatically.
No. 6: Plenty of options with plugins
What if I want my site to… automatically post to Facebook? Accept payments via PayPal? Display Tweets from multiple Twitter feeds? Whatever the options, the answer is the same — plugins. Think of plugins as little programs you add to your WordPress website that give you more options or extend the basic functionality. There are plugins to do just about anything web-related you could desire. And again, the beauty of WordPress plugins is you don’t have to know how to program to use them. Installation is easy and with a few button clicks you’re all set.
No. 7: Help is All Around
WordPress has a huge following and the online community is very active. There are numerous tutorials and videos about how to use WordPress and the documentation is extensive. Best of all, you can even access the WordPress community forums (again, FREE!) to post specific questions or search for answers.
So what are you waiting for? Get WordPress for your small business website and start doing business online now.
Also published on Medium.