WordPress is free, community-based, software for building websites. It is very widely used, currently powering about a quarter of all new websites.
We use it on Very Simple Sites for your site.
The biggest use of WordPress is by a company called Automattic who use it to run WordPress.com where you can set up a website in minutes – with prices starting at free.
While Wordpress.com offers a great starting point it does have its limitations and so for most of our small business sites, we use the freely available version of the WordPress software from WordPress.org so you can do whatever you want from the outset.
We don’t just use WordPress because it’s popular; plenty of popular stuff is rubbish. We use it because it is the most appropriate tool for building your site.
- It’s free
The core software is free and you can access thousands of themes and plugins for free too. That means you can set up a website for simply the cost of hosting (less than £5 per month) and a domain name (£10 a year). Although we caution against a DIY approach, WordPress offers a straightforward and low cost way to build your own site.
- Community based
It’s open-source so there are no restrictions on how or where you can use it. Being open-source also means that it is developed and scrutinized by a very large community which ensures quality and keeps it relevant to real users needs – now and into the future.
- It’s easy to customise
- Plugins – There are over 44,000 free plugins available From galleries & image sliders, to contact forms and mailing lists, to video players, to class bookings and shopping carts – you name it, it’s probably there. (There are thousands of more premium plugins too)
- Themes – You can make it look any way you want and there are thousands of ‘off-the-shelf’ themes available – over 2500 free and hundreds more you can buy.
- WordPress can be used for different types of site Most VSS clients will want a basic business site with blog but as your site grows WordPress enables you to run any kind of site you may need: news site, e-commerce, membership, directory. It can even be turned into a multi-site blogging network from within one installation (which is what Wordpress.com is)
- Established and very, very popular We’ve already mentioned popularity. It’s also been around for over 10 years so is stable and mature. If any of your peers have websites, some will be using WordPress and you will almost certainly be able to find help within your own community. There are tons of excellent resources & services – free and paid – and developers really like it too, so you can always find a professional to help you run or build your site.
- You’re in control It’s your website and your content. No-one can take it away from you by shutting down their website or service (so long as you keep backups!) Because it is so widely supported you can easily move your site to a new host and find a new developer to take over a WordPress project if you need to. Once you have a WordPress site, the chances are you will never need to switch to any other content management system, which will keep your costs down in the future. Control remains firmly in your hands
- It is kept current and updated often The web changes quickly and so WordPress needs to adapt to meet users needs and expectations. It gets new version updates 3 times a year with minor updates in between. Each new version brings improvements that most users find beneficial and it is now easily used on mobiles and tablets.
- Easy to update content It’s simple to use – if you can write an email or use MS Word, you can edit your website in WordPress through a web browser from any internet connected computer, tablet or smart phone. It’s easy to learn and, as already mentioned, there is an amazing amount of support available. However, it is well worth weighing up what you should and shouldn’t do yourself to make sure you stay focussed on what is most important.
- It’s secure Assuming you take the proper precautions and follow best practice (which we do on VSS) then you can keep your site safe from the hackers who do attempt to get into WordPress sites everywhere (yes, including yours) to spread spam and viruses
- It’s makes SEO easy WordPress is well coded out-of-the-box but when you add a good seo plugin it makes it really easy to optimise your site for the search engines. (It’s not magic though – you will still need to do a lot of work to get your site to rank highly!)
Interested in building your site with WordPress?