Who needs a website?
By now you must have realized that doing business the traditional way, i.e. without a website, simply cannot yield the kind of profits that you would make if you had a website. A website can take your business to a broader audience in the quickest and most effective way available today.
It can be particularly beneficial if you’re about to start your business and want to promote your products or services even before you launch them. Building a website means you are going to need a content management system (CMS), a platform through which you’ll have full control of your website.
As things go, choosing a CMS can be the deciding factor for your business and you can’t make mistakes with that. And to that end, I’d like to tune in to the benefits of WordPress to show you how it can be a great CMS for your business.
What is WordPress?
At the onset, let’s begin by explaining to you what WordPress really is and what it can do for you. Launched in 2003 by web developers and co-founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS). It was introduced as a blog publishing platform but soon matured into a powerful tool to build any kind of website, including membership sites, media galleries and even eCommerce stores.
Before we begin with the more detailed explanations, you should first know the difference between wordpress.org and wordpress.com. The former is where you can download WordPress the open source website/blog/app builder into your own server and self-host your website, while the latter is where you get a paid hosting service powered by the same builder.
To self-host, you’d spend between $2.95/month to $5.45/month with the Bluehost installation and between $2.59/month to $27.50/month with the DreamHost installation. There’s also the managed multiple site hosting option where plans start from $25/month and tops it with a custom plan for a custom amount designed to meet specific needs. SiteGround is another managed WordPress hosting option over which plans range from $6.99/month to $14.99/month.
Image source: bluehost.com
Which one is right for me - wordpress.org or wordpress.com?
Downloading the software from wordpress.org is typically for those who know what they are doing and are hands-on with the intricacies of website building. Since it is a self-hosted and self-managed option, it means you have complete control over everything, including setting your own domain, installing custom plugins and themes and configuring website security.
Now, if you think managing all these is too much for you and you’d rather want someone to do it for you, then managed services through wordpress.com should be your choice. Right from server support to buying and managing your domain, everything will be served to you. Of course, you can customize your website by choosing from thousands of themes and plugins available with premium plans.
How to get and use WordPress
The first step to begin your WordPress journey is to choose a plan that best suits your needs. Since we’ve already covered that part, it would be safe to assume that you’ve made your choice from the available options. The next step would be setting up a domain name and choosing a hosting method/provider.
Creating a custom domain name is possible in both cases, except with wordpress.com the flexibility expands a lot more. As for hosting, you can choose from an extensive list of the best WordPress hosting service providers that works best for you.
After choosing the hosting provider and a domain name of your choice if it’s available (of course you can use permutations and combinations), you will be required to complete the billing and purchase. Once you have completed these steps, you will now have access to your dashboard through which you can install WordPress.
Here’s how you can download and install WordPress, and it’s so simple that you’ll be done in a matter of minutes. For beginners and folks who’re not so familiar with WordPress, I’d like to talk about a piece of important detail that you’ll find really helpful. Despite the fact that WordPress is a fairly simple platform that anybody can manage, logging into their admin dashboard is an exercise that can sometimes stump beginners.
WordPress login grants you access to the control panel through which you manage everything. Without it, you literally can’t do anything. So where is the login and how can you jump directly to the login URL using your domain, subdomain or subdirectory?
There are three simple steps to jumping to your login page directly:
- /login/ - Just add /login/ at the end of your website’s URL like so: www.mywebsite.com/login/
- /admin/ - Same step as the first. Use /admin/ at the end of your website URL. For example: www.mywebsite.com/admin/
- wp-login.php - The third step can be used if the first two steps fail. Just add wp-login.php at the end of your website URL. For example: www.mywebsite.com/wp-login.php
Once the installation is complete, followed by some domain related queries to be answered, all you need to do is wait for your website to be integrated to the hosting account you created, which takes a day at the most. This is followed by the setup of your Primary Domain or site address, which visitors will see on their web browser’s address bar. Here’s more on setting up a primary address.
Selecting your themes and templates is in your next order of tasks, and WordPress with its huge and ever-growing collection of themes simply won’t disappoint. There are literally thousands of themes to choose from. So we’re going to make it easy for you and tease you with some of the most popular WordPress themes of 2020 here.
Now, if you’ve selected a theme that you think will go with your vision, start customization of your website. This is where you’ll choose whether you want static pages or dynamic pages. For individuals, dynamic pages make sense since they’ll constantly update old material with new ones. Firms and enterprises should, however, stick to static pages since they won’t move pages around being as they are informational in nature.
How many pages you want to add to your website, how many categories you want to add, how many navigation menus you want, etc. are all elements that you can customize through your dashboard. Check out the WordPress developer resources page to fiddle around with your freedom to build your website.
One of the things that makes WordPress so very special and popular is the collection of useful plugins that it offers. From editing plugins to security plugins, SEO plugins to CRM plugins, WordPress has you covered. For curious minds, you can even create your own plugins using the WordPress plugin handbook. Also, here’s a list of the most popular WordPress plugins of 2020 to give you an idea.
Why you should choose WordPress
Now that we have established the basics of WordPress and how to install it, I’d like to get down to why you should build your website on WordPress for your business, backed by 10 compelling reasons. On the sidelines, 2020 should really be the year for WordPress website projects, what with economies shaken to the core by the onslaught of Coronavirus across the world.
After all, minimal investment on your business directly translates to maximum cost cutting and that’s what the novelty of WordPress is all about. Here’s a closer look at the reasons why WordPress can be the perfect platform for your business website:
- It is completely free
- It is very easy to manage and is highly user-friendly
- It is multilingual
- It is very reliable and therefore extremely popular
- It supports multiple media file formats
- It is very SEO friendly
- It offers a strong support system, with the largest community of users around the world
- You will be in complete control of your website
- It is highly customizable
- Anyone can build and manage a WordPress website
1. WordPress is free, but immensely powerful too
WordPress is an open source platform that has the capacity to power up websites for any business category. Whether you’re a designer with your own line, an artist who wants to promote your work or an enterprise offering a long list of niche products/services, WordPress is bundled with enough features despite it being a free platform.
When you look at the plans that are being offered, it is really a small price compared to the gains it will bring if you manage to create an impressive website. Which you will, since WordPress is the meeting place of the largest community of users all over the world. From $4 a month for personal users to $45 a month for eCommerce stores with further customization, there’s a plan for everybody.
Image Source: wordpress.com
2. WordPress is extremely user-friendly and very easy to manage
Firstly, you don’t have to be a developer or programmer to install or even run it. Navigation has been made quite simple with a very easy-to-follow point-and-click system.
As simple as it sounds however, WordPress is an extremely powerful tool that is capable enough to power up any kind of website, taking customizability to a whole new level. If you are a fast learner with a knack for creativity, this is the perfect platform to unleash all you’ve got and turn your website into a veritable masterpiece.
Once you have downloaded and installed WordPress you will be behind the driver’s wheel of a content management system that allows you to update plugins and themes through your admin dashboard. The WordPress theme directory has an extensive list of themes (more than 7000) for you to choose from.
You can even further modify the theme to your liking by editing its code and style sheets. Just like themes, plugins can also be installed from the plugin directory and can be further customized as desired.
As an admin of your WordPress CMS, you just need to make sure that the server you are using is stable and that you run backups regularly to secure your data. As of now, WordPress’s BackItUp plugin is used by a staggering 30,000 websites every day, which is more than we can say for its reliability.
What's more, you can do everything that you usually do even while you’re on the move with WordPress mobile apps. Whether you feel like writing a new blog/website content, editing it or just keeping a check on the statistics, these mobile apps will make your work life fairly easy.
Image Source: wordpress.org
3. WordPress is a multilingual platform
This literally means that the WordPress community has developed and continues to develop multilingual plugins that can be used to create a blog/post in the language of your preference, so long as there’s a plugin to support it. You just need to install the language files that most plugins will require you to do manually.
Here’s a lowdown on how you can install the WordPress multilingual plugins. With this feature WordPress makes it possible for you to connect to a global audience in their language with the same post, thus rendering a clear advantage for what you’re promoting, whether it’s your work, product or service.
Now, some of you may be thinking that creating a multilingual website can be possible even without the help of these plugins. In which case, your foremost task would be to initiate a manual translation of your entire web content into the languages of your preference with the help of translators that you would have to hire.
Alternatively, you would even consider using auto-translation features such as Google translate to translate your content into different languages. Sadly though, new accounts are not supported by Google translate anymore, while other translation services would be paid services and not perfect either.
That's where the WordPress multilingual plugins come in. Three of the most popular WordPress multilingual plugins are TranslatePress, WPML and Polylang and they come with some very impressive benefits.
With over half a million active installations, Polylang is the most popular plugin for WordPress. It supports 39 languages and allows you to translate everything from posts, tags, media, pages to even categories and widgets.
And it’s just as simple to use. Just create posts, tags, categories and pages like you normally do and then set the preferred language for them. Language is set by either the content or by its code for the URL, which by the way will be completely SEO friendly.
Image Source: wordpress.org
Translate WordPress with GTranslate plugin comes close on the heels of Polylang with over 200,000 active installations. This plugin uses Google Translate automatic translation service for the translation of your WordPress website.
Boasting a collection of 103 languages, this language plugin lends its support to more than half a million multilingual websites all over the world. Some of the features of this plugin include free Google automatic machine translation, Google analytics integration, theme and plugin translation, post and page translation, menu and widget translation and a multilingual interface.
There are, of course, some premium features like meta data translation, Yoast SEO compatibility, WooCommerce compatibility and live chat support that can be really helpful for those with more specific requirements. If your interest has been piqued already, go check out more details on Translate WordPress.
Alternately, I would suggest that you browse through the complete list of WordPress multilingual plugins and go through other available options to find out which one best suits your needs.
With the multilingual nature of WordPress you can be sure that your business can truly go global, reaching out to international markets to reap bigger profits.
4. WordPress is highly reliable and secure
A statistical survey by W3Techs on the percentage of WordPress users revealed that 38.8% of all the websites in the world use WordPress. Now THAT, is a whooping CMS market share of 63.6%, dwarfing all other platforms, including big players like Shopify, Joomla, Wix and Drupal.
According to statistics collected by WordPress.com, every month 70 million new posts are produced by WordPress users, consequently generating 77 million new comments to them. As for the number of readers on WordPress sites, over 20 billion pages are read by more than 409 million people each month.
Needless to say, WordPress can easily be considered the safest platform to build your website since it is trusted by such a staggering number of users across the world. But even with the tightest of security systems, nothing is certain, and danger lurks around the corner at all times.
That's why WordPress takes no chances and offers comprehensive security plugins that will ensure you're protected with an extra layer of security and firewall system. And just as all the other plugins, these security plugins have also been created by WordPress contributors who are experts in the field of online security technology and are quite simple in their usage.
Here are some of the most popular security plugins that are very popular among WordPress users.
Sucuri SecuritySucuri Inc. is a highly trusted and well-known name in the world of website security with over 700,000 active installations so far. It gives particular emphasis on WordPress Security and is designed to offer website security to businesses of all sizes, with round the clock professional help to boot.
Some of the security features of Sucuri include auditing of your security activity, remote malware scanning, file integrity monitoring, blacklist monitoring, security hardening and regular security notifications. Check the pricing plans by Sucuri, which also include custom solutions for coverage on multiple sites.
Image Source: wordpress.org
Wordfence SecurityAnother popular security plugin that is similar to Sucuri and is quite comprehensive in its character is Wordfence Security. The biggest selling point of Wordfence is its endpoint firewall and malware scanner, which were built from scratch to offer protection for your WordPress website.
These scanners are constantly updated with malware signatures and malicious IP addresses to make you feel really safe. No wonder there are more than 3 million active installations of Wordfence Security, which says a lot about its reliability. Some of its features include:
(I) Web Application Firewall (WAF) that looks out for malicious traffic and blocks it even before you can be hit by it via a real time threat intelligence feature.
(II) An integrated malware scanner that identifies and blocks malicious code or content filled requests.
(III) A malware scanner that monitors core files, plugins and themes for malware, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects and code injections.
(IV) Monitoring of your WordPress website for security vulnerabilities, which is followed by an alert to any possible issues.
There are, just like Sucuri offers, Wordfence Security premium features that conduct more advanced security tasks, which makes sense if you have a lot riding on your website. Someone who has an online store could definitely benefit from the premium features of Wordfence.
Image Source: wordfence.com
This includes image files, document files, audio files and video files, making WordPress a versatile platform on which everyone can build a website for their work. And I’m not going to just make a claim and leave it at that. I’m going to show you exactly how advantageous this can be and simple at the same time.
Let’s start with image files. As I’ve already said, WordPress supports several image files. These file extensions include JPG, JPEG, PNG and GIF and you can upload images in these file formats to your WordPress website like a cinch.
And it just gets better from here because adding images is not the only thing you will be able to do. On WordPress you will be able to edit, manage and arrange the images the way you want to, so you can enhance your website to give it the look you envision. Here are some of the things that you can do besides uploading your images:
- You can add titles and captions to your images, which can include information like the size and dimension of the image, the file format of the image, and even the permanent link to it.
- If you think the image doesn’t fit perfectly into your post or page, you can easily resize, crop and scale it to the size you want.
- On WordPress you can showcase your images as a slideshow or in a gallery. Also, there are instances of people managing to upload images of sizes up to 1GB, although I’m pretty sure that must have been a very slow process.
I would recommend you keep image size to minimal while making sure that you’re not compromising with the quality. Remember, web pages with low sized images will load faster than those with big sized images, and you wouldn’t want your visitors to go away because they had to wait too long for the page to load.
- WordPress also offers troubleshooting in case you are having trouble loading your images.
- If you want to upload images that are taken off the internet and not your original work, but not sure which images to select because most of them are copyrighted, leave it to WordPress to make life easier for you. WordPress will offer suggestions on where you can find copyleft images without any hassles.
With your chosen WordPress plan you will be able to upload document files including PDF, MS Word (.doc and .docx), PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX, PPS, PPSX), OpenDocument (ODT) and MS Excel (XLS and XLSX) to your website.
If you purchase either of the Personal, Premium or Business plan, you can further upload Apple Keynote Presentation (.key) and Zip files. You can refer here for more information on uploading documents on WordPress.
Your WordPress plan will let you upload audio files that include MP3, M4A (this format may not function on all web browsers), WAV and Ogg. With the Personal, Premium, Business and eCommerce plans, you can go a step further and upload zip files.
For video uploads, you will be allowed to upload all these files for free, while a Premium, Business or eCommerce plan will let you upload all of these plus MPEG-4, Mov (QuickTime), WMV, AVI, MPG, Ogg, 3GPP and 3GPP2 files. However, make sure that you either own these files or are legally allowed to distribute them with the consent of the copyright holders.
6. WordPress is very SEO friendly
WordPress has been designed with high quality codes so it can be quite SEO friendly out-of-the-box, which should be great news because the whole game of page ranking actually depends on SEO. With WordPress you will be at the disposal of some built-in tools that will tell you if your content is SEO friendly enough.
Image Source: yoast.com
Yoast SEO, with more than 12 million active installations worldwide, is a top WordPress SEO plugin that has been designed to ensure more visitors over Google and Bing and improve search engine ranking. Here are some of the amazing features that make Yoast SEO so popular among a growing number of website owners today:
- Enhanced branding of your website by templating title and meta descriptions
- High-quality schema markup for your website so search engines can fetch maximum information and relay it forward to users.
- Strong XML sitemaps so search engines can find all your web pages in one place.
- Breadcrumbs (which are basically links that help users navigate their way from the page they are viewing to the homepage) can show up on Google search results, which is why you need to have very well-structured breadcrumbs and Yoast can help you achieve that.
- Addition of canonical URLs so you don’t end up having the same content on different pages on your website.
With your €89 premium Yoast SEO subscription you get all these and more, including 24/7 support and WordPress plugins like News SEO, Video SEO, Local SEO and WooCommerce SEO. Here’s a complete rundown on what you get with your Yoast SEO Premium subscription.
Video Source: yoast.com
7. Strong community support
Being an open-source platform WordPress plays host to users who may not necessarily be professional developers or possess certain skill levels but are pure amateurs, albeit with the willingness to learn. One look at the WordPress forum and you’ll see what I mean.
There are hundreds of users all over the world that come together to form an enormous and strong community to discuss on this incredibly popular CMS that is WordPress.
Image Source: wordpress.org
This incredible community is a good place to start if you are a fresher and want to learn more from the experienced members on how to use WordPress to amplify your website to the maximum. There are heaps of resources to utilize in your learning phase and get quick answers for any questions that you might have.
Besides these guides, forums and tutorials, WordPress organizes an annual ticketed conference that is known as WordCamp all around the world. It’s a great event to attend and meet up with just about anyone from professional developers to casual users and share your thoughts and ideas with them.
And just to let you know about the popularity of these WordCamps, here’s a little statistics on how it went down in the 2019 European WordCamp, better known as WCEU 2019. This event had a record sale of 3,260 tickets to attendees from 97 countries. Of these, 2734 attended in Berlin, 1722 of them being first-timers.
There were 60 speakers who shared their knowledge with the attendees across three talk and workshop tracks each. In other words, this was a roaring success and clearly the biggest WordCamp ever. Find out more about upcoming WordCamps and their schedules to see if there’s one coming near you.
8. WordPress grants you complete control of your website and all its content
You will have full ownership of all the data and files for your website and with the freedom to migrate to any hosting service provider or even plan at any point of time.
Closed source platforms such as Shopify, Wix and Squarespace will restrict your control over the features that they offer. Typically, this implies that you won’t have the freedom of scalability in terms of using plugins.
Moreover, some of these platforms will not offer the ability to edit the coding language, leaving you with the only option to hire a professional developer for any changes that you might want. But what's really crushing is the fact that you might even lose all your data and files if you skip your payments, since you won’t have complete ownership over your own website and its content.
With WordPress you will have complete ownership over your site and all the content, which you can control through what is known as the WordPress Admin Dashboard.
Image Source: wordpress.org
The WordPress Admin Dashboard, quite simply stylized as WP admin or WP admin panel, acts as the control center for your WordPress website. This is the control panel that will give you access to everything and let you create and manage your content and all other files, implement plugins and themes, make necessary changes to them and much more.
9. WordPress is a fully customizable platform
You can customize almost anything from colors, fonts, logos, menus and themes to even widgets and codes on WordPress. The Appearance tab on your admin dashboard is the control panel where you will be able to do all the customization that you want.
For those who dread the idea of coding, there’s even the option of a drag-and-drop editor that you can install to customize without the need to do any coding. How impressive is that?
Image Source: wordpress.org
WordPress has an extensive list of plugins for all your customization purposes, such as SiteOrigin CSS, Theme My Login, Custom Product Tabs for WooCommerce, Login Logo, Absolutely Glamorous Custom Admin, Customizer Reset, Custom Login and Styles. These plugins are powerful tools that will be your Man Friday to constantly strive towards optimizing your website and offering an effective user experience.
10. You don’t have to be a coder or developer to build your own website and manage it
In their own words, wordpress.org claim that WordPress is a software, which is simple and predictable. So just about anybody can easily get started and make the most of their powerful features for growth and success.
Making the task of building and managing a WordPress site easier is a burgeoning community of users and contributors that support this mission wholeheartedly. As a CMS, WordPress is quite easy to learn, even as you make your way around to get the hang of its point-and-click interface in more of a DIY technique.
And the best way to nail it is to understand its fundamentals at the onset, its purpose and then move on to the features on offer.
Image Source: wordpress.org
Prior to the emergence of WordPress, building a website was a task that was pretty much left to the able hands of professionals, including programmers, designers and developers who had clear knowledge of HTML and CSS. Things got pretty much fired up after WordPress showed up in the market.
Even a beginner with basic computer skills can build a website without the need to go to the drawing board. That’s because they can now start off with a fully loaded CMS that is just waiting to be customized with the help of all the powerful plugins and themes made available.
The point-and-click interface of WordPress makes it very easy to manage the website and tweak your website as you want, which means there is no end to scalability and customization as you progress.
Leading global enterprises use WordPress CMS
Ever since WordPress has stepped out of its erstwhile identity as just a blogging platform and armed itself with some powerful features, some of the leading digital enterprises came knocking on its doors to become loyal patrons.
Worth mentioning among its high-profile clientele are names like Walt Disney, Microsoft, The New Yorker, New York Post, Variety, CNN, Dow Jones, Capgemini, Spotify and many more. Read what some of these enterprise leaders have to say about the contribution that WordPress made to their business.
Two of the biggest advantages that WordPress has over its rivals are scalability and customizability, primary reasons why such elite enterprises chose it over other platforms. When it comes to running billion dollar business empires, time is money and waste of time literally translates to losing money.
WordPress lets users scale to major updates without the need to go back to redesign or develop the entire website. No more rolling back to building a fresh website to accommodate a big update, no more losing precious time and money. No wonder WordPress is the most used CMS in today’s time.
WordPress is better than a proprietary CMS
It’s noteworthy to mention here that some of the WordPress clients have migrated from proprietary CMSs, which they had been using for a while. The open source CMS vs proprietary CMS debate is one that still rages on with staunch followers on both sides presenting what they believe are stronger advantages as reason for their endorsement.
Concerns that are associated with the use of open source CMSs include safety risks, insufficient / no support and reliability issues. Since designs and source codes are made public in open source platforms, it can be modified by a community member or worse still, fall prey to hackers.
Moreover, 24/7 support isn’t a privilege that open source CMS users can boast of. WordPress, despite being an open source platform, possesses everything that you usually don’t find in one.
With thousands of WordPress plugins and themes to fulfil customizability, security and usability requirements, WordPress packs enough features to power up the simplest of blogs to the most complex of websites. And with the largest community of contributors, newer tools are constantly being rolled out if you ever feel like switching based on your needs.
WordPress is the most chosen CMS and website building platform, as you will have seen in the statistics of its user count. It is not just any CMS platform, it is a CMS platform on steroids that can give you the perfect launchpad for your business, no matter how simple or fancy you want the website to be.
0707 Inc offers comprehensive WordPress consulting, starting from project planning to strategy buildup so you can have the best WordPress solutions for your digital enterprise. Connect with us today for a fresh perspective on growth.