If you are reading up in this particular topic, most articles start with something like, ‘WordPress starting as a humble blogging platform and is now a fully feature rich CMS system, used by small businesses to large corporations’. Sound familiar? Yes, but what does this mean you say? Now that’s a better question! It basically means that WordPress is a successful website building tool, capable of handling almost all requirements thrown it’s way. That is of course with the help of qualified developers! Currently around 20 – 25% of all websites are built with WordPress.
WordPress’s success is due to 2 things in my opinion, firstly it’s super user friendly. I like to stay if you can do a Facebook post or work with something like Microsoft Word, then you will be able to pick WordPress up with little effort. Secondly, it has a huge community of users and contributors. The users are great for generating questions and answers and ‘how to’ video guides teaching you how to wrangle the system. The contributors are excellent at creating plugins and at adding extra functionality to the platform. Some are free and others are freemium or premium.
Is it right for my needs?
This is a tricky one to answer without a bit of context, but if you say yes to any of these 3 questions then we would say absolutely!
- Are you a non-web developer and have the need to update the content on your site?
- Do you want a flexible website that will grow with your business or initiative over time?
- Does the thought of not being tied to a particular developer or agency excite you?
When is it not right for my needs?
There are a few occasions where we would recommend to go with another solution, these include:
- If you only need a quick, small landing page that won’t really change over time, like a coming soon page or lead capture form. This may be best served by some simple HTML. It will load super fast, won’t need updating and will be a set and forget scenario.
- You need a huge e-commerce website, like 1,500+ huge. There are better platforms to facilitate this type of online store.
- You or your team have a heap of skill and experience in another CMS. The reasons to move to WordPress would need to be significant in this case.
Other than this, WordPress is pretty flexible to a variety of needs.
How does it work?
WordPress is a series of files and a database that work together to build websites. Think of it like a piece of software for example. Just like Microsoft Word is a tool used to create documents, WordPress is tool used to create websites.
Where it is different to a HTML or static websites is in the database structure. The data base holds the contents that the site will display, where as the files determine how this content will be displayed, in very simple terms. This means that once the site is created, updates are very easy with no coding knowledge being required for most tasks.
How much does it cost?
Actually WordPress is free. It is maintained by a large community of developers who continually refine the core code to increase safety/compatibility and to enhance its core features. A WordPress website only costs money if you look to employ a developer or designer to help you or you purchase premium themes (how the website looks) or plugins (how the website works) to achieve your desired look, feel and functionality. Pretty cool huh?
How do I start?
Of course we would recommend that you get a referral from a trusted colleague or peer for a good web development or design agency (*shameless plug*) but you could also give it a shot yourself. We recommend looking for a Managed WordPress hosting company that will be able to setup your site and get you started. Or if you use an industry professional, they will take care of everything from the start.