14 Benefits of Using WordPress to Power Your Website
Since launching in 2003, WordPress has grown to become the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world with over 75 million active websites using the platform.
But what makes WordPress so popular?
WordPress is undoubtedly one of the best CMS’ on the market, and in this post we’re going to provide you with the key benefits of using WordPress to power your website.
Whether you’re a small business looking to produce a brochure-style website or a large-scale enterprise looking to launch a high traffic blog utilising a content distribution network (CDN), we’ll show you how a WordPress website can work for you.
1. Free to use
One of the major contributors to the success of WordPress is that it’s free to use. This has allowed WordPress to gain a massive worldwide following and build a strong open-source community who regularly contribute to the platform. As a result of the size of the WordPress community, WordPress has also been able to generate strong sales of it’s WordPress.com service which has further supported product development of the free and paid versions of WordPress.
2. Simple and intuitive installation options
One of the things we really like about WordPress is how easy it is to install.
WordPress can be installed a number of ways; either by downloading the core package from WordPress.org and uploading the installation files to your server, activating an installation on a shared hosting environment by providers such as GoDaddy, or utilising Wordpress’ own cloud installation at WordPress.com.
We recommend consulting with a team of WordPress experts to determine which version of WordPress is most suited to your needs, budget and future direction.
3. WordPress is incredibly easy to use
Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a newbie to web design and development, one of the central benefits of using WordPress to power your website is that it’s incredibly easy to use, even if you haven't used a content management system before.
WordPress is structured around a few key components which are managed via the WordPress dashboard, these being:
- Themes: When using WordPress, you'll need to add a theme to your website to adjust the look and feel. By default, WordPress comes installed with the current yearly theme release (i.e. 2017), however you can choose to build your own theme, download a theme online that you can customise or hire a web design agency to produce a custom theme specifically tailored to your brand.
- Plugins: Out-of-the-box WordPress has the ability to extend your pages with plugins designed to perform specific functionality. By visiting the WordPress plugin directory and searching for plugins to extend your pages you can add almost any type of functionality to your WordPress site for free.
- Categories: If you’ve every visited a blog, eCommerce site or brochure-style website, you’ll know that these sites tend to have category pages which contain a number of sub pages. Within the WordPress dashboard you can simply give your categories a name and create category pages with almost zero effort. Categories are a great way to build your page count and group common pages together.
- Pages: WordPress’ take on page creation is an industry standard for content management, with super simple page creation and category grouping a feature. Pages, like so many other features of WordPress can be extended using plugins, and come with a really easy to use workflow component which we’ll discuss later.
4. There’s a plugin for everything
If you haven’t visited the WordPress plugin directory, you may be surprised to learn that there’s over 51,000 plugins you can select from and install on your WordPress site. This means that you’ve got access to a massive array of pre-developed content you can add to your WordPress site, largely at zero cost.
WordPress has built its reputation on it’s massive open-source following, huge plugin directory, and continued updates; and with a directory of plugins this size, it’s unlikely there will ever be a scenario you can’t handle on your site which hasn’t already been built.
5. Exceptional content editing
During the development of WordPress, one of the key focus areas of the platform was to deliver the best possible WYSIWYG content editor for the web.
This is something the team at WordPress have achieved.
In many developers and content marketers’ opinion, WordPress offers the best and easiest content editing for the web, and is a real hallmark of the platform that sets it apart from its competitors.
If you’re not familiar with the reasons why developing a WYSIWYG editor is such a difficult process, you may be interested to learn that companies in this space often spend in excess of two years developing and testing a WYSIWYG editor at this level. So next time you edit content on your WordPress site, the lack of bugs and issues in doing so are as a result of a lot of hard work!
6. Advanced publishing (inc. Scheduled Posts, Draft Status, Password Protection)
Oftentimes it’s useful to schedule a WordPress post to go live at a point in the future which coincides with an event or marketing activity. This functionality is super easy to implement in WordPress and really helpful for content marketers.
This feature has been included in versions of WordPress for as long as we can remember, and can be used to set an array of post statuses including Draft, Pending Review and Live statuses.
However, if you’re really looking to step up your publishing capability, you may be interested in testing Password Protected posts and Private pages which are also a handy WordPress benefit.
7. Straight-forward user management
It constantly surprises me how many CMS’ make user management more challenging than it needs to be. With WordPress, this is luckily not the case.
WordPress allows you to create as many users as you like with 5 default roles out of the box to select from:
Of the roles above, you’ll generally only setup one or two Administrators depending upon your corporate structure and a handful of editors who have permission to publish content. However, if your site accepts guest post submissions, you may choose to use the Contributor role frequently.
8. Child Themes
If you’ve got your hands dirty and done a little bit of web development for WordPress, you may have come across a Child Themes.
When OSE build custom WordPress themes for our clients, we do so using Child Themes. This is the process of utilising the most recent yearly theme release of WordPress (i.e. 2017), and enhancing core elements of the theme with a new visual design and set of capabilities.
This practice is widely recognised as best-practice theme development for WordPress and provides WordPress users with all the benefits of the core theme provided by WordPress, but with a look and feel to suit your goals.
9. Broad content management applications
When WordPress first launched, it’s goal was to become the world’s best blogging platform. Check!
Along the journey, the WordPress developer community began building plugins and extending the platform to handle eCommerce requirements using plugins such as WooCommerce, and themes capable of delivering brochure-style websites. Therefore, if you’re looking to extend your blog or website by connecting it with a payment gateway or undertake pretty much any content management activity, you can now achieve all of this using the vast array of WordPress plugins and some basic programming skills.
10. WordPress Widgets
Unfortunately, WordPress Widgets don’t receive a whole lot of press, however they are definitely one of the key benefits of using WordPress to power your website.
From within the Widgets section of your WordPress dashboard, you can drag and drop a wide variety of widgets onto your page designs that allow you to configure and extend the capability of your pages.
To get started with WordPress Widgets, simply download a plugin with Widget support from the WordPress plugin directory to test this great feature out!
11. WordPress Support Forums
If you ever get stuck trying to implement a feature on your WordPress site, the good news is that the WordPress Support community site is vast and has an wide array of forums you can use to interact with WordPress experts and staff.
If you’ve ever used a piece of software with poor support you'l definitely know how challenging it can be.
WordPress has made a concerted effort to provide a quality feedback mechanism to support common issues with answers coming from the global WordPress community and in-house staff, meaning if you do run into trouble, you’ll likely find an answer on the forums.
12. Importing and Exporting content
One of the unsung benefits of WordPress is the ability to import and export content from your WordPress installation.
If you’re using platforms such as Blogger, BlogRoll, Tumblr or have some RSS content you’d like to import into WordPress, you can do this from the Tools > Import menu.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to export data from your WordPress site, you can export your Posts, Pages, Media or any other type of content using the Export menu.
13. The WordPress Media Library
Over the past few years the WordPress Media Library has gone through a number of revisions aimed at making media management and editing a breeze.
WordPress has invested time in ensuring that your files and media are easily identified using their simple to use Media Library. Whether you’re editing images, searching for files, or sorting audio, video or images, the Media Library has got you covered.
The enhancements in the WordPress Media Library in the past few years have also meant that for high volume publishers, content management has become much easier and a real platform selling point.
14. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
As is the nature of content marketing, high quality search engine optimisation is a must if you’re going to succeed in your online marketing efforts.
WordPress out-of-the-box offers a number of ways you can structure page titles, meta descriptions and URL slugs for SEO, and when combined with search engine optimisation plugins such as Yoast, the platform becomes a real SEO powerhouse.
If you’re looking to grow your search engine visibility, you’ll certainly have no difficulty achieving this using WordPress to power your site.
WordPress is an excellent content management system well worth considering when choosing a service to power your website.
WordPress has numerous benefits for developers, content marketers and businesses looking to save time, money, and create dynamic content for the web, and comes strongly recommended by the web development community at large.
If you’re looking to build a WordPress site and would like assistance, please feel free to get in contact with the OSE WordPress development team for a confidential discussion.