One question I get asked by potential clients is: why do you use WordPress to build websites? There are 4 reasons I use WordPress to power your website.
#1 – WordPress has a large installed base
- There are over 40 Million websites using WordPress. In fact, 13% of the top websites in the world are built on WordPress. (these statistics come from WordPress.com)
- There are over 900 books listed in Amazon on WordPress, including WordPress for Dummies (a pretty good text for most users), Teach Yourself WordPress, Beginning WordPress, WordPress 24 hour trainer, and others geared for the beginner to the Uber-Geek.
- WordPress is open source and free to use. It has thousands of code warriors writing, testing, and documenting the latest updates.
- Even though WordPress does not generate any income for the developers (they make their money in other ways), they have spent many thousands of dollars on usability studies to make sure that the user interface is intuitive enough that novices can get comfortable with it rather quickly.
- Because it has been widely adopted and heavily documented, the number of people competent in providing ongoing support is huge. In other words: if I were to win the lottery (I don’t play, so no worries there) and immediately retire to a beach in the Carribean, you could easily find someone to come in and take over your WordPress website. (I’d probably head to New Zealand first because I’ve never been there but the pictures sure look nice)
#2: Search Results
Google loves to see fresh content. It also loves to see quality content (changing your banner image every week is not an SEO strategy). Google also loves to see order in websites, good tags, semantically written code, and a lot of other terms that make no sense to you. Just know this: WordPress delivers the code in a format that is Google (and Bing and Yahoo) friendly.
WordPress also allows you to create new, meaty content on a regular basis which gives the search engines a reason to come back on a regular basis. My other blog, Massage Therapy World, is indexed almost daily and my posts will show up in the top 2 search results less than 5 minutes after posting. A static site just won’t achieve those kinds of results.
One of the other reasons I chose WordPress: it allows the client to make updates and edits without needing to contact me. Over and over, I hear from clients that they can’t get their web designer to return their calls (thanks for all the new business, guys!) or that the firm is too busy to put up the client’s holiday specials and take them down.
What if the client could do that himself? No more $80 maintenance charges. No more scheduling your updates months in advance. Have a handful of last year’s product sitting in the back room you don’t want to inventory next week? Post a a quick blurb about a clearance sale that day, take it down next week. You can do that on your own without having to contact your web designer.
It’s not Rocket Surgery
It has always made me a little crazy when technical experts hold their secrets close to the vest so they can remain ‘the smartest person in the room’. This is usually a misguided attempt at getting job security or ego stroking. It’s your website and you should be able to update it on your own. At the same time, if the client breaks something, I’m here to put it back together. Or, if they’re are simply too busy, I provide the manpower to add new content.
And this brings us to item 4:
Because I’m not developing custom websites from scratch, and because I’m starting from a template or framework, I can shave months and thousands of dollars off of the average website project. We’re not staffed to do custom work; all of our time goes into quick, cheap websites for businesses on a tight budget.
While WordPress, or templated, sites is not the right solution for every business. For the micro-business, kitchen table business, pint sized business, solopreneur, or whatever you want to call your small business, it can be the best solution to getting your business on the web when you don’t have a big budget.
Irene Diamond, RT, "Tour Guide To Biz Success" says
Would you please let us know what the draw-backs of using WP are? I’ve heard they’re easy to get hacked…
Also, please briefly explain the advantages b’tween wp.org and wp.com
Appreciate it, and thanks for all your insight!
Hi Irene, thanks for your questions.
There is no solution that is fail proof or fool proof, especially when it comes to the internet. WordPress is included in that.
So, I’ll answer your second question first: what is the difference between .org and .com? The answer, from Wordpres, is this:
The advantage of the .com site is that Automattic takes care of keeping the latest version of WP installed, they take care of security, and it’s free. The disadvantage to the .com is: you can only install the themes they have available, you are limited in which plugins you can install. (Plugins are like tiny apps that run in the background and do things like create my contact form, put the ‘tweet this’ button up, run automatic backups and such). This can limit how much functionality you get with your site.
The advantage of the .org is, you get the full set of features, themes, and plugins available to WP. The disadvantage is: you have to keep these things updated yourself, you have to know how to install the software (WP has great instructions or you can hire me, of course), and you have to resolve any issues caused by plugins that have bugs.
Now, on to the security and getting hacked. Frankly, any website can get hacked, and WP is no exception. I had someone call because their Joomla website got hacked (Joomla is another website software similar to WP). There are steps you can take to make it more difficult to hack your WP site: have a strong login password and a username other than “admin”, keep the WP and plugins updated (this is very easy to do via WP admin page), and a few other tricks that are a little too technical to explain here. You should also log into your hosting account and check your logs for unusual activity. I found a German site trying some crap on one of my websites, so I simply blocked that IP from being able to see the website.
I hope that helps. I expect I will have detailed posts in the future talking about security, so stay tuned!