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What is WordPress & Why You Should Be Using It

What is WordPress & Why You Should Be Using It

What Is WordPress?

WordPress (WP) is a free tool used to design and create dynamic websites. WP is a CMS or Content Management System which basically means you manage your content. You decide what you want displayed to the world when you want it. All at the push of a “Publish” button. WordPress is designed in a way so most non-technical people can create, maintain, and publish websites easily. For the technical people it allows us to easily customize and add endless functionality to our designs.

WordPress was originally created for blogging websites. What’s a blog you ask? A blog is a website or a special section of a website dedicated to different topics that are normally updated on a regular basis. Basically, a blog is what you’re reading right now.

According to Forbes “Today WordPress powers one of every 6 websites on the Internet, nearly 60 million in all, with 100,000 more popping up each day.” What’s really remarkable is the fact that WordPress is somewhat relatively new on the scene. It was released in 2003 and now many well-known websites which probably includes some of your personal favorites are designed with WordPress. This list includes the New Yorker, the New York Times, Best Buy, Beyonce, The Walking Dead, and the Dallas Mavericks just to name a few.

A misconception I’ve heard regarding WordPress sites is that some people feel they are more susceptible to security breaches or hack attacks. But the actual fact is all websites are subjected to this same potential threat. Websites coded in HTML, CSS, PHP, Java, Javascript, etc. all can be potentially be hacked. The way to counter these threats is to ensure your themes and plugins are from respectable providers and to also make sure they’re always up-to-date.

Why You Should Be Using WordPress

The Benefits of WordPress are endless but I will cover only what I feel is most important in this article. The main benefits of using WordPress are it’s free, easy to install, easy to maintain, easy to update, its flexibility (themes & plugins), and support. Let’s discuss each of these topics.

It’s Free

You’ve heard the old saying “the best things in life are free” and this is true with WordPress. Yes, WordPress is free to download, install, and use. But of course you will need to purchase a domain name along with web hosting in order to publish your website online. A2 Hosting, which I highly recommend can provide both domain name and hosting for your website. So basically, there are no extra costs in using WordPress as opposed to other methods in designing websites.

Easy To Install

Easy installs. Most WordPress Hosting Providers have what’s called a one-click install. A2 Hosting who I recommend provides this. You add a few pertinent details about your site including the name of the site, your email address (to receive the admin login details via email), click install and then wallah. You now have yourself a WordPress website. That’s less than 5 minutes of your time.

Easy To Maintain & Easy To Update

WordPress is used by millions of people worldwide. It’s one of the easiest web building tools for those with little to no coding experience. There is tons of information available to explain how to use this tool. Updating these sites require basically no coding, you just add the content in a GUI interface similar to Microsoft Word.

Flexibility

To me the greatest thing about WordPress is its endless capabilities. To start off you will need to find a theme. Some themes are designed to fit a specific industry. For instance, you may find a theme specific for Photography, News, Business, etc. But no matter the particular theme, they can all be customized to fit your specific needs. There are Premium WordPress themes that can range anywhere from $19 – $100. There are also free themes that can be used for your website. But of course there are advantages and disadvantages for both. Personally I prefer Premium themes, because they are typically coded better than the free themes and provide better security from those hackers and website attackers. To add more functionality to your site you need plugins and WordPress plugins are endless. Similarly to WP themes plugins come as free and paid. Plugins can be used make your website a chat room, message board, social website, online community, online store, etc. As you can see the possibilities are endless.

Support

WordPress is what’s called open source software. That means it’s available to anyone free of charge. It also means you can modify or play around with the code as much as you like. There is also tons of information about downloading, installing, and customizing WP around the web. There are YouTube videos, online message boards, support forums, online blogs, all dedicated to all things WordPress. You should never feel like you can’t get answers to your questions. Just a simple Google search “WordPress Help” will return over 387 million results. There’s bound to be some good info and answers in that search. Initially, it’s probably best to find a couple of resources you can depend on for support. My favorite starting out was YouTube videos. Being a visual person, I was able to see exactly what they were doing which gave me a better understanding. I think YouTube would be a good starting point for WordPress novices.

Conclusion

WordPress is the best platform for novices who want to build a website. The benefits definitely out weigh the negatives. You don’t have to know a lot about coding, the functionality can be expanded using themes and plugins, and there is a large amount of online communities that provide support when your stuck. And lastly it costs you nothing to give it a try.

I hope this article provided a basic understanding of WordPress and its capabilities. Feel free to add your comments below.

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