Getting beautiful websites online used to be the prerogative of highly technical developers. Knowledge of HTML and CSS was a must and kept a lot of people at bay. Fortunately, those days are long gone. Developing a website has gotten a lot easier. A lot of credit has to be given to WordPress, the content management system (CMS) introduced by Matt Mullenweg in 2003. At that time, WordPress was little less than an easy way to start a blog. Anno 2018, WordPress is a powerhouse that is used by developers across the globe, running over 70 million websites. 30,2% of all sites on the web use this technology as their backbone, making it market leader by a couple of miles (source: W3techs).
In terms of CMS market share, the numbers are overwhelming:
- WordPress: 60,2%
- Joomla: 6,3%
- Drupal: 4,3%
- Magento: 2,3%
- Shopify: 2,0%
Now what is WordPress exactly?
WordPress is a system that enables you to easily build, manage, modify and maintain a website. It is so easy because you don’t need to have any knowledge about HTML, CSS, PHP or some other programming language. Of course, these skills could come in handy if you are looking for more customization when striving for that perfect site.
WordPress can be managed through the web browser, a big advantage as you can manage your website basically anywhere you have access to the internet.
Why is WordPress so popular? Here are the 5 main benefits of this CMS.
- WordPress is user-friendly
The biggest benefit of WordPress is its simplicity: it is super easy to manage the content of your website. This is mainly due to the straightforward and structured interface, which resembles a text editor.
You don’t need any programming experience for writing new messages, uploading photos or making additional menus.
- WordPress is open-source technology
WordPress is an open-source content management system. There is a large community of enthusiasts that is constantly updating the core components of the CMS. As a result, security vulnerabilities are patched very fast and the pace innovation is high.
- WordPress comes with high quality templates and plugins
Being an open source CMS, anyone can design a template and contribute it to the community. There are thousands of them, with varying goals and complexity. The more options available, the more likely you will have to pay (a small amount) to use them. However, there is a huge number of free templates that will get you very far.
Plugins are small pieces of functionality that can separately be coupled to a website, e.g. contact forms, anti-spam technology, photo sliders, social media links, … Easy to download and activate, and most of the time completely free!
- WordPress is SEO-friendly
Still extremely important: your site needs to be found easily in the search engine. WordPress is known for being a very SEO-friendly CMS. Working with a couple of very specific plugins can even improve your site’s SEO even more. One of the most popular SEO plugins is Yoast.
- WordPress serves many purposes
Whether it is a blog, a website or a webshop, WordPress has you covered with its wide variety of templates and plugins.
Is it all pros? Of course not. WordPress has such a huge amount of templates and plugins on offer, it is often hard to find exactly what you are looking for. Moreover, installing too many plugins could slow down your site speed, something to be avoided at all cost (SEO!). Due to the frequent updating of the technology, every site needs maintenance every once in a while. This is not without downtime risk and should be done with great care.
In our opinion, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. WordPress is a great tool for building awesome websites.
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