Choosing a platform is one of the first and most crucial decisions you’ll make for your new website. Your Content Management System (CMS) will help determine how well your site runs, along with the number of tools and customization options available to you. With all the potential choices out there, however, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.
Fortunately, there’s one option that’s a safe bet in almost any circumstance: WordPress. This free, open-source CMS is the perfect framework for building anything from a simple blog to a thriving e-commerce site. It’s easy to use, yet powerful and flexible enough to accommodate your unique requirements.
If you’re still not convinced, read on – we’ll give you six solid reasons why WordPress is our CMS of choice, so you can make a more informed decision. Let’s check them out!
1. WordPress Is Free and Open-Source
One of WordPress’ biggest selling points is that the core platform is entirely free. This means you can check it out without paying for the privilege, and over the long term, there will be one less ongoing cost to worry about. If you want to make use of the advanced features offered by themes, plugins, and other tools, there are tons of free and low-cost options to choose from.
WordPress is free because it’s an open-source project. Using an open-source CMS that’s been around as long as WordPress comes with its own unique set of benefits. The platform is frequently updated, easy to customize, and extensively tested – and there’s a huge community offering an unrivaled depth of support. When you use WordPress for your website, in other words, you’re choosing a flexible and time-tested solution that won’t break your budget.
2. WordPress Is a Beginner-Friendly CMS
Using new software of any type can be intimidating, and if you’re creating your first website, you probably won’t have experience with content management systems. Fortunately, it’s easy to get started with WordPress, even if you’re a complete beginner; you won’t need any coding knowledge to create a perfectly functional site. Furthermore, the admin dashboard is simple to understand and navigate, whether you’re writing content, customizing settings, or installing themes and plugins.
However, if you’re not a beginner, don’t let WordPress’ ostensible simplicity turn you away. It is hugely powerful ‘under the hood’, and enables you to customize every aspect of your site as you see fit, should you have the technical chops.
3. WordPress Themes and Plugins Give You Unparalleled Power and Flexibility
WordPress core offers a number of key features, but many sites require additional functionality. That’s where themes and plugins come in, as these tools make it possible to customize your site’s design and functionality with ease. There are thousands of options out there that are simple to find, and many are completely free (or surprisingly affordable).
Themes = Easy Design
Unlike other platforms, with WordPress your site design is really only limited by your imagination. You can find themes for specific types of websites, packed with all the design elements you’re after. These niche-specific options cover everything including photography themes, ecommerce WordPress themes, personal blogs, and just about anything else.
Not sure exactly what you’re looking for? No problem – this is where multipurpose themes shine! Multipurpose themes or theme frameworks offer tons of features, design elements and usually sample demos to give you more inspiration and options to create your site. Often touted as the best options for business site they really are a fantastic option for any type of site. A few of our favorites are the Total theme, Divi and Avada.
Plugins = Powerful Features
The same is true for plugins – there’s a tool out there for almost any feature you could want. Whether it’s a contact form, free forum, or social media integration. Just try not to get too carried away.
While plugins are awesome you probably only need a few to get your site where you want it. Only install plugins you need and do your best to avoid duplicate functionality. For example, only install WooCommerce if you plan on adding a store to your site. Or if you want to use a WordPress page builder, choose one and stick with it. Duplicate plugins (like trying to use two page builders) can lead to conflicts which can in turn break your site. Everything in moderation!
4. WordPress Security Features Provide Peace of Mind
Whether you’re running a personal blog or a large e-commerce website, you’ll want to make sure your site is secure. WordPress core is designed with security in mind, so it will help protect your information and content straight out of the box. In addition, security updates are released regularly to address the latest issues and concerns.
If that isn’t enough, you can choose to download one of the top security plugins to make your site even more safe. There are plenty of excellent free options that will protect your site with little effort on your part, such as Wordfence Security. Of course, it’s always smart to be hands-on about protecting your work. Most security breaches are a result of human error rather than the fault of your CMS, so be sure to take some simple precautions to improve WordPress security on your site.
5. WordPress Helps You Rank High in Search Engines
If you choose to build a website, chances are you want as many people to visit it as possible. One of the best ways to do this (besides simply creating awesome content) is to practice effective Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short. In simple terms, this means ‘tweaking’ your site so search engines like Google can easily find and display it in relevant search results.
Just as with security, WordPress core is well-optimized for search engines straight out of the box. For example, both website speed and responsiveness for mobile devices are key to proper SEO, and WordPress has both bases covered. For even more options, you can check out an SEO plugin. We’d recommend Yoast SEO, based on its ease of use and breadth of features. For further advice, a simple Google search will net you tons of guides for improving WordPress SEO.
6. WordPress Offers Unparalleled Support
Even with the help of an intuitive CMS like WordPress, creating a website is still a big job. This is particularly true if you’ve never done it before. Fortunately, as we mentioned earlier, WordPress has a large and thriving community of users at all skill levels. Finding help in the form of guides, advice, or even direct assistance is rarely difficult.
Here are just a few of the many ways to get support with your WordPress site:
- The official WordPress information database and support forums
- Online WordPress tutorials and courses (both free and premium)
- Support forums for individual themes and plugins (for example, Yoast SEO has its own forum)
- WordPress blogs like ours (here are 40+ blogs we love)!
No matter what you’re struggling with or want to learn how to do, a quick Google search or forum browse should reveal someone with just the answer you’re looking for.
WordPress has been around for over a decade, and none of that time has gone to waste. This open-source CMS has attracted a thriving, passionate community that ensures it stays as secure, flexible, functional, and up-to-date as possible. Between the key features of WordPress core and the thousands of themes and plugins available to extend the platform, there isn’t much you can’t do with it.
Do you have any questions about how to get started with WordPress? Let us know in the comments section below!