Technology September 08, 2020

10 indisputable reasons why you should choose WordPress to build your website

By now you must have seen and realized that doing business the traditional way, that is without a website, simply cannot give you as much profit as you would make if you have a website for your business. Having a website can take your business to the target audience in the quickest and most effective way possible. It can be particularly beneficial if you’re just about to start your business and want people to hear about your product or service even before you launch it. Having said that, and this I stress for people who are independent professionals, freelance photographers, artists or even hobbyists and the like, WordPress is your go-to platform, especially if you were wishing you didn’t have to spend anything to build a website. But more about that later.

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 a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that started off 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 online stores. In case it may sound intimidating to the newbies out there, there’s absolutely no reason to be. All you need to do is download WordPress into your computer, which takes as little as five minutes and is equally simpler as explained on WordPress’s site, and you’re ready to go. You just need to take note here that although WordPress is a free website building platform, you would still have to do some spending to self-host your website over a hosting service provider. The monthly cost of hosting plans can start from as low as $3 and can go up to as much as $45, depending on your requirements.

Now that we have established the basics of WordPress and how to install it, I’d like to get down to explain why you should build your website on WordPress, backed by 10 compelling reasons. On the hindsight, 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 advantages of WordPress

  1. It is completely free

  2. It is very easy to manage and highly user friendly 

  3. It is multilingual 

  4. It is very reliable and therefore extremely popular 

  5. It supports multiple media file formats 

  6. It is very SEO friendly

  7. It offers a strong support system, with the biggest community of users around the world

  8. You will be in complete control of your website

  9. It is highly customizable

  10. Anyone can build and manage a WordPress website

Deep Diving into each of the point above

1. WordPress is as free as the air you breathe, and hopefully will always be. This means you can build your website over it without any investment at all, no matter what the purpose for the website. Whether you’re simply a blogger wishing to share your blogs, an artist who wants to promote your work or even a serious businessperson who wants to sell your products, it’s completely free to build your website on WordPress. The only investment you would have to make is on hosting services since wordpress.org is a self-hosting platform. This is where you should check out wordpress.com, which offers several hosting plans to suit your requirements. Both wordpress.org and wordpress.com are owned and run by the same co-founders. If you look at the plans that are offered, it is really nothing compared to how much you will gain 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 who are always connected with each other for support and information. The plans and the pricing have been carefully designed to meet every possible requirement as you can see below. 

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 got and turn your website into a veritable masterpiece. All you got to do is dig a little deep into some programming languages like CSS, PHP and JavaScript, put your learning abilities to the test and tweak your website to give it your desired look and functionality. 

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 about 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 post, editing it or just keeping a check on the statistics, these mobile apps will make your work life fairly easy.

3. WordPress is a multilingual platform. What this means is that the WordPress community has developed and continues to develop multilingual plugins that you can use to create a blog/post in the language of your preference, so long as there’s a plugin to support it. What you will need to do is simply 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, business, 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 free WordPress multilingual plugins come in. Three of the most popular WordPress multilingual plugins are TranslatePressWPML and Polylang and they come with some very impressive benefits. 

With over half a million active installations, Polylang is the most popular plugin from 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.

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 paid features like meta data translation, Yoast SEO compatibility, WooCommerce compatibility and live chat support that can be really helpful for those with more professional 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.

4. The biggest indicator of WordPress’s reliability and security is the sheer volume of its usage. According to a statistical survey by W3Techs on the percentage of WordPress users, it was revealed that 37.6% of all the websites in the world use WordPress, which is a whooping CMS market share of 63.6%, dwarfing all other platforms, including big players like Shopify, Joomla 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. Big names like NBC, CNN, CBS Radio and TechCrunch are patrons of WordPress.

In other words, 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 some comprehensive security plugins that will ensure you are protected with an extra layer of security and firewall system. And just as all 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 Security: Sucuri 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 free for all WordPress users. 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.
  • Wordfence Security: Another 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:

5. WordPress supports a whole list of media types, including 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. So, whether it’s just a blog site that you have or a professional website that is a window to your work as an artist, a photographer or an art connoisseur, this feature can be a huge advantage, one that you simply cannot ignore. 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 that you desire. 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 feel like the image doesn’t fit perfectly into your post or page, you can easily resize it, crop it and scale it to the size you want.

  • Now this one is particularly interesting. On WordPress you can showcase your images as a slideshow or in a gallery, which is pretty impressive for something that’s for free. 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. In case you didn’t know, there are a lot of websites that offer copyright-free content, which include images, that you can use (mostly with the condition that you give credit to the owner) for your website. WordPress will offer suggestions on where you can find copyleft images without any hassles.

With your free 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 free 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 a paid plan like Personal, Premium, Business or eCommerce, 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 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 site 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.

Besides that, WordPress can boast of the Yoast SEO Plugin, which is not just free but can optimize your website to rank higher on search engines. With active installations of over 5 million, Yoast SEO has been helping websites rank high since 2008. Here are some of the amazing features that make Yoast SEO so popular among a growing number of website owners:

  • 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 extensions 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.

7. Being an open-source platform WordPress plays host to users who may not necessarily be professional developers or possess certain skill level 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.

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 a ticketed conference that is known as WordCamp all around the world that you can attend and meet up with just about anyone from professional developers to casual users to share your thoughts and ideas with. And just to let you know about the popularity of these WordCamps, here’s a little statistics of 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. With WordPress you will be in complete control of your website and all its content. You will have full ownership of all the data and files for your website and will be at 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 of your own website and its content. Thankfully, if you build your website on 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.

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 where you can customize almost anything from colors, fonts, logos, menus and themes to even widgets and codes. 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. Now, isn’t that just amazing?

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 an expert in coding or developing 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 like 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.

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. However, things have changed drastically 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, since they will be starting off with a fully loaded CMS that is just waiting to be customized with the help of all the free and powerful plugins and themes. 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.

Verdict 

WordPress is the most chosen CMS and website building platform, as you will have seen in the statistics of its user count. Whether you are a total beginner when it comes to getting your own website or someone who had a brush with website development in the past, there shouldn’t be any doubt by now why you should choose WordPress to build your website. WordPress is not just any CMS platform, it is a CMS platform on steroids that can do wonders for your website building project, no matter how simple or fancy you want it to be.

Manab J Kharkataray

09/08/2020

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