Why use WordPress for your website? WordPress is a popular content management system recommended by some of the biggest names in the blogging industry. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user, WordPress allows you to create either a simple weblog (blog) or you can use WordPress as a comprehensive CMS for advanced high-volume websites and all kinds of purposes with comparative ease.
If you've never used WordPress, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. This is especially true if you're getting ready to build your first website or if a client is interested in using this CMS. You could use a free blogging platform as well as another CMS or an all-in-one site builder, so why use WordPress? That's what we're going to cover in this post. Let's get started digging into why WordPress is the most popular CMS.
What is WordPress?
Before we get into the Why use WordPress section of this post, let's go over what WordPress is and who uses it. WordPress is what's known as a “content management system”. The technical definition says it's “a web-based application that allows multiple users to manage content, data and other information”. However, it more or less provides an easy way for anyone to build a website without needing to start entirely from scratch.
WordPress is what's known as an “open-source platform”. We'll get into why that's beneficial later, but it basically means its code is available to anyone. This means anyone can make and add whatever they want to the platform. This partially is why WordPress is so popular and used by 29% of all websites on the web while having a CMS market share of around 60%. These are pretty impressive numbers.
It's also why there are over 53,000 free WordPress plugins in the WordPress plugin repository as well as thousands of free themes in the theme repository. That's not even including all of the places you can find themes and plugins outside of WordPress.org. A small handful of products are released by the WordPress core team themselves, but the majority of them are produced by individual developers or development teams. Again, we'll go over why all of this is beneficial in our Why use WordPress section.
Who uses WordPress?
If you're wondering if WordPress is the right platform for you, you may be wondering who uses it. The short answer is simple. Everybody uses it, but that's not descriptive enough. Some platforms are only suited for web designers while others are meant for people who don't know how to code to the point where the platform is too restrictive for web designers. WordPress users, on the other hand, come in all different shapes and sizes. Here's a simple list of those who can build a business with a WordPress site:
- Small businesses to enterprise level
- Schools and non-profit organizations
Developers and bloggers are self-explanatory, but what about businesses? What type of business website can you build with WordPress? Any kind, really, whether you want to build a genuine online business or find a way to take your brick-and-mortar business online. You can build a fully-fledged business website, ecommerce websites, online publications, membership sites and more. You can even implement things like forums, knowledge bases, courses and support portals. The possibilities to build a website with WordPress are endless.
This is why we published this article. We want to talk about the benefits of WordPress and why you should use the most popular CMS to build your website. Our focus is on the positives of the platform in this article, so we won't be debating the pros and cons of WordPress in our Why Use WordPress section. Let's get into it.
Why use WordPress – Reasons to use this popular CMS
There are a lot of reasons to use WordPress, but we're going to focus on these:
Why use WordPress when all-in-one platforms are so much simpler? WordPress is an open-source platform, which gives you access to an entire world of freedom and possibilities. For starters, all-in-one platforms come with hosting included. This means you aren't able to move your website to a new host and still manage it in the same way if your site experiences slow speeds or excessive downtime. WordPress hosting, on the other hand, is available from a long list of hosting services, including Bluehost, SiteGround and Kinsta.
This rule applies to site functionality as well. Anyone can create and release a plugin, theme or custom code for WordPress. This gives you a seemingly endless library of WordPress plugins and themes to choose from. Want to make sure you're optimizing every post for SEO? Install a plugin called Yoast SEO. Want to start adding courses to your site rather than hosting them on a third-party platform? Install a learning management system. Want a minimalist design on your site? How about a flat style? With WordPress, the possibilities are endless.
This one ties into our last point. Any web hosting company can support WordPress since it's an open-source platform. This gives you a lot more freedom and control over your website than folks who use all-in-one platforms. There are many reasons why people choose to switch web hosts, but here are a few possible reasons why you may find yourself jumping ship at some point down the line:
- Your site becomes slow and you've narrowed it down to server quality.
- The host you use is not protecting you from hackers or DDoS attacks.
- Your host is not staying up to date with server technology.
- The host you use has poor support quality.
- Your host raises their rates to a level you don't agree with.
All you need to do is switch hosts if any of these happen to you while you're hosting a WordPress site. WordPress and plenty of quality hosts make it possible to migrate a site without experiencing any downtime. All-in-one platforms control every aspect of your site, which means you'll need to completely redesign it with another platform if you want to move. Moving your existing site from a closed platform can be an expensive endeavor.
Easy to use for beginners
WordPress is an easy to use, user friendly platform for developers and average bloggers alike. It gives you a nice base to start with, and where you choose to go from there is just as easy. You can choose “starter themes” if you want to learn how to develop your own WordPress theme and site design (and maybe even start a WordPress business), or you can choose from one of thousands of ready-to-use WordPress themes.
There are even tools like drag-and-drop page builders, widgets and the live theme customizer that make creating your own design and styles without code as simple as can be. Managing a WordPress site is easy as well.
Built-in blogging platform
Why use WordPress when other platforms offer blogging capabilities as well? The popularity of WordPress stems from its history as a blogging platform. WordPress has been one of the most popular blogging platforms on the web for the last 14+ years, and it's always kept this platform built into its CMS no matter how advanced it's become.
What does that mean for you? It means you can build nearly any type of website and still add a blog to it. It also means powerful blogging capabilities, such as the ability to optimize your posts for SEO with plugins like Yoast SEO or organize your content with parent categories, child categories and tags.
Secure code and regular updates
WordPress has multiple layers of security. WordPress core, the base version of WordPress that doesn't have any themes or plugins, is very secure. Plus, the WordPress core team is quick to release updates to fix security bugs and flaws whenever new security threats emerge.
If you want more security, you can enlist the help of security plugins and services designed for WordPress. These resources typically allow you to implement a firewall for your website, similar to the one on your computer, to block malicious attacks. You can even limit login attempts or have a service remove malware from your site if it ever gets infected. You can also host your site with a managed WordPress host, which typically takes care of security for you.
Search engines love WordPress. It has clean code, and the base version of it, complete with its default theme, is extremely fast. Of course, there's a lot that goes into an SEO friendly site, so using WordPress alone will not make your site rank, but there are a lot of WordPress-related products you can use to do so.
The first is obviously an SEO plugin, such as Yoast SEO. This plugin allows you to add meta titles and descriptions to your blog posts. These affect how they appear in search results. It also comes with tools that allow you to index your site, set up a sitemap and see how individual posts rank for specific keywords.
Site speed is another important aspect of SEO. When you start adding WordPress themes, plugins and content to your site, you may notice it slowing down. Fortunately, there are a number of different free and premium plugins that fix this issue for you in multiple ways. These include caching plugins, image optimization plugins, code minifying plugins and more. WordPress has all you need to run a fast and SEO-optimized website.
Variety of WordPress themes & plugins
Again, why use WordPress when all-in-one site builders exist? It's simple. All-in-one platforms are severely limited, only giving you access to a small library of themes and only allowing you to add specific functionalities to your site. WordPress, on the other hand, has thousands of free WordPress themes available for it, and tens of thousands of plugins. In addition you'll find countless of premium products for WordPress with advanced functionality.
This broad selection of WordPress themes also gives you the ability to decide how you build your website. If you're a developer, you can start with a starter theme or a basic framework and develop your own code. If you're not experienced in code, you can use a ready-to-use theme and customize a few styles or create your own design with a drag-and-drop page builder. The possibilities are endless and the choice is yours.
Affordable for anyone
WordPress is one of the most affordable platforms in the industry. Sure, you'll need to pay for hosting, but its open source nature gives you freedom of choice in that area, as explained before. WordPress itself, on the other hand, is free to install. Plus, you can get away with using free WordPress themes and plugins for quite some time.
It's also worth mentioning that free != cheap. Just because WordPress is free doesn't mean that it's lower quality than paid software solutions. That's the beauty of open-source, you get high-quality software that is well-maintained without the price tag that usually comes with commercial products.
If there's one benefit that comes with using a CMS that powers 29% of the Internet's websites, that's community. The WordPress community is one of the largest on the web. It features a wide range of individuals, from first-time bloggers to experienced developers. No matter who you are or what you do, you're welcome in this awesome community.
This is beneficial for two reasons. First, you have a large community to rely on when you need help figuring this platform out. The fact that you're reading this is proof enough. There are tutorials you can read, courses you can purchase and even forums you can post on to get help. You can even spend a little and hire a developer or a WordPress maintenance service.
The second reason ties into our first two reasons for using WordPress. This large community only makes WordPress' open-source nature that much grander. It's why there are dozens of places for you to purchase premium themes and plugins from. It's also why there are thousands of WordPress themes and even more plugins available for the CMS. Open source and community are meant to go hand in hand, and WordPress is a wonderful example of that.
Why use WordPress – Final thoughts
The numbers speak for themselves. WordPress has been growing at a phenomenal rate since its inception way back in 2003. Not only is WordPress under-the-hood of almost a 3rd of all websites that exist on the internet today, it is the choice of content management system for a staggering two-thirds of every CMS-based website. WordPress is being used by large and leading media companies around the world.
We hope this article gave you enough insight into what WordPress is, why it's a great platform to use to build any type of website and why so many bloggers and businesses choose to use it. What are your reasons for using WordPress? Why did you start using it in the first place, and if you're new to the platform, why are you interested in using it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!