Why Your New Website Should Be Developed Using WordPress.
If your company is thinking about a new website, you’ll need to decide on a content management system (CMS) or website builder. It’s an important decision that can make a big difference in how you use your website after it launches. We think it should be designed using WordPress, but there are lots of options.
The most popular are free, open source systems that include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Well known subscription based options include Shopify and Squarespace. There are free website building tools like Wix and Weebly. And lastly, you may even run into some proprietary CMS systems created by the web design companies themselves. Choosing between these options can be difficult, especially when each company claims that their preferred CMS is the best choice for you.
At Main Street Creative™, we specialize in WordPress. We think it’s the best content management system on the planet. Period. Full stop. End of story. Here are some of the main reasons we use WordPress that we think should factor into your decision. And of course, we’d love the opportunity to show you why first hand. But first, a brief explanation.
What is a Content Management System?
Before you choose a CMS, it’s important to know what they are, what they do, and why it matters. As the name implies, a CMS is the software that controls the content on your website. Most CMS software will store your website’s content in a database and handle all the functions needed by the website to retrieve that content and display it for your visitor. They will also provide tools for you to edit the content stored in the database.
Some systems have really robust interfaces that make editing your website info a drag and drop process. This is known as a “What You See Is What You Get” or WYSIWYG (“wiz-ee-wig”) interface. These make it easy to create attractive looking webpages with little to no coding abilities or experience. Other systems have really basic interfaces that require you to know some basic HTML. Each system has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, so choosing one that fits your needs can make or break the way you use your internet.
Why You Should Choose WordPress
When a web designer builds a website using WordPress, they are actually developing a separate piece of software known as a theme. WordPress then retrieves the content from a database and passes it to the theme, which adds formatting and controls how it displays to your visitor. By separating the content and the presentation this way, a CMS makes it easier for users.
I think it’s fair to say most web design companies in Kelowna use WordPress—and for good reason. In fact, here are eight great reasons why you should consider WordPress for your website:
1. WordPress is a Big Deal
WordPress is the biggest content management system in the world. It is such a big deal that it powers over 25% of the entire internet (yes, you read that correctly). But this doesn’t mean that it’s too big for you. WordPress itself is actually quite small. It’s core software package is under 10mb—and it’s very fast out of the box.
2. WordPress is Open Source
Some web designers boast about their own platforms but proprietary content management systems are usually a bad idea. First, proprietary software may not run properly with other web hosting providers. This can prevent you from switching hosting companies down the road. Secondly, even the largest studios cannot duplicate the real world testing of a major open source package such as WordPress. This can result in security problems or bugs that that can cost you money and time. Finally, the development of a proprietary system costs a lot of money. When you buy one, you’re essentially paying someone to reinvent the wheel rather than to build something for you.
3. WordPress is SEO Friendly
Combined with a properly developed custom theme, WordPress will do a fantastic job of making your content available to search engines. It’s misleading to suggest that any CMS is search engine optimized, but WordPress is definitely search engine friendly—meaning it’s a great platform to facilitate your future search engine optimization efforts. There are great plugins available that help with optimization tasks such as writing page titles and meta descriptions and analyzing your content.
4. WordPress is Community-Driven
As one of the most popular choices around, there is a huge community of WordPress developers from around the world dedicated to improving and extending the platform. This means there are plenty of free tutorials, demos, plugins, extensions, and tools available to help you get the most out of your website. Need a new shopping cart? There’s free plugins for that. Need a unique gallery? There plugins for that. Need a chat box to speak with clients online? There’s a plugin for that too.
5. WordPress is Powerful
Importing, exporting, commenting, subscribing, sharing, selling, and more. WordPress is powerful. Those free plugins make WordPress akin to a custom order Swiss Army Knife. There is very little that WordPress can’t do and it’s an awesome tool for small businesses, online retailers, bloggers, and more. It’s powerful enough to handle the likes of CNN, The New York Times, and even government websites.
6. WordPress is Secure
Choosing a smaller platform because it attracts less attention from hackers is like turning your front lights off and hoping burglars don’t see that your front door is open. Yes, WordPress is huge and gets a lot of attention from nefarious folks. But it’s also well known for pushing frequent updates to fix any bugs or security holes that are found. These updates take a few mouse clicks to install and they’re always free.
7. WordPress is Easy To Use
WordPress’s interface is straightforward and intuitive. You don’t need to be a tech guru to update pages and add new posts and a well-developed custom theme will take care of all the formatting and layout. We always provide an orientation for clients and it’s always refreshing to see how easily they pick up the basics. The value here is that you should have control of your new website and not be hooked into additional fees for minor changes down the road.
8. WordPress is Social
The people who created WordPress have provided a number of useful tools for connecting with Social Networks. It’s easy to connect your website to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Path, and Google+, so that your new posts get pushed to your audience automatically. It also does a great job of providing sharing links to your posts and pages so your visitors can share your content.
Aftermarket Themes vs. Custom Websites
If you shop around, you’re bound to get competing quotes from companies that use WordPress. This should make it easier for you to decide, but it also introduces a handful of questions you need to ask early in the process.
The most important, is what you’re actually getting for your money. Surprisingly, a lot of web design companies do not actually build the websites they sell. They are merely re-purposing an aftermarket theme that they’ve licensed (usually for around $50 from a designer in India, China, or Romania). The result may be a great looking website, but it won’t perform like a custom website will.
Aftermarket themes are also used on thousands of other websites around the world. Some studios even use the same theme for every website they sell. This begs the question, do they purchase an additional license each time they use the theme? If not, they’re effectively selling you a website, written by another developer, and used without proper permissions and authorization. It’s no different than using a photo without the photographer’s approval.
Admittedly, I used aftermarket themes when I started freelancing years ago. I quickly realized that aftermarket themes were slower and couldn’t match the performance of a custom theme. As my coding skills improved, I started providing clients with completely custom themes built specifically for their business. The results were amazing and clients found that our custom websites were easier to use and resulted in far more leads, sales, and visitors.
You won’t find a better CMS than WordPress. We think it’s the right choice for bloggers and small businesses and should be the foundation of your next website. If you still don’t believe me, here’s what other people are saying:
- Why WordPress is the CMS of choice for top internet marketers from WP Engine, a company dedicated exclusively to WordPress websites.
- Why The Washington Post uses WordPress from Yuri Victor, Director of User Experience and Product Development at Washington Post
- Straight from Google: What You Need to Know from Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web spam team.