Websites for corporations like Network Solutions, TechCrunch, OnStar and Best Buy all have one thing in common – they are run by WordPress. Although WordPress began as a blogging platform in 2003, it’s grown into a flexible, powerful content management system for websites in all industries and for many sizes of companies, from a small start-up to a Fortune 500 conglomerate.
One reason for WordPress popularity is the stability of the platform. Many content management systems (or CMS as they are known in the tech world) are expensive, difficult to install or are full of bugs. WordPress is stable and continuously updated, so it’s safe, secure and can adapt to a growing web presence.
WordPress is famous for its easy install – touted as the “5-minute install” by the WordPress team. Out of the box, without customization, WordPress can install in less than 20 minutes. Although WordPress.org has in-depth instructions for installation, many hosting companies, like BlueHost and GoDaddy, have “one click” installations that set up your site without technical knowledge.
Flexibility & Control
WordPress has two primary content types: pages, which are static pages on your website that typically stay in a navigation or sidebar menu and don’t change – thinking About or Contact pages; and posts, which are the standard, always-changing blog posts or articles. Pages allow for nesting – or parent/child relationships between different pages – to structure a traditional website. Posts can be added to specific categories for a collection of information. What’s this mean for a business website? You can use WordPress to create a static site, a dynamic blog, or a hybrid of the two without having to purchase additional software or do more programming for your site.
WordPress developers, as well as talented developers in the community, are adding plugins daily to add to WordPress sites. Plugins are like apps for a WordPress site. Each plugin has a different function – from adding social buttons like Twitter or Facebook to checking for broken links to making your website SEO ready – and can be installed with a click of a mouse. Many of these plugins are free, and can be easily removed if you decide you no longer need them. Using Plugins, website managers can create a highly engaging and dynamic site without the need to know programming.
Ease of use
A WordPress dashboard is a WordPress dashboard no matter where it’s hosted, so if you are accustomed to your own, you’ll be able to use any. This is a great benefit for companies with multiple users or sites under an umbrella site, contributor blogs or agencies with multiple clients. Creating content is as easy as using Microsoft Word, and contains the same features (bold, italics, and colors), as well as other easy-to-use styles, like headings and block quotes – which eliminates the need for knowing HTML or CSS. Anyone who knows how to use a computer can write and edit content for a WordPress-powered site or blog.
The main structure of a WordPress site is its theme. WordPress has hundreds of free and low-cost themes that let you completely customize your web presence. Additionally, WordPress is a virtual playground for designers, who can use the framework to design a site that can wow your audience (for a nominal fee, of course.) Besides design, WordPress lets you customize your CSS, so you can control every aspect of your site, right down to the shadows on your photos. These elements can help you make a unique design without much effort or HTML knowledge.