When you’re ready to start your own website, you’ll need to use a software or platform to house and run it. To achieve this, there’s probably no better system you can employ than to use WordPress.
WordPress is an open source Content Management System that enables you to easily start a blog or other type of website. WordPress is incredibly popular, with an estimated 80 Million sites using the platform!
WordPress started about 12 years ago solely as a blogging solution but has evolved in to a full-blown content management system capable of fully functional websites (such as ecommerce) and mobile applications.
But for this post I want to focus on my 9 key reasons you should use WordPress for your blog, since I recommend blogging for building your brand as well as bringing in traffic.
Since WordPress is an open source software, it is free to upload, use and modify on your website…hence the popularity of the platform. How cool is that?
WordPress is easy to download and install on your web hosting account provided you know how to use FTP. Don’t know how? Many webhosts now have an easy click install right from your control panel. You can literally have your site up in 2 minutes!
As of this writing, over 80 million sites use WordPress to run their online presence, big and small. Yes, tons of individuals and hobby bloggers use it but big-time sites trust WordPress with their site needs: Variety, Sony Music, MTV News, Best Buy, Xerox, Fortune, Time, Inc., The Rolling Stones…just to name a few. So if it’s good enough for them, rest assured it’ll take care of your needs.
In addition to the sheer number of users, there are large communites all over the internet focused on WordPress implementation and modification. WordPress.org even has a great message forum for its users so you cam always find answers to your questions.
What is a WordPress plugin? Plugins are software modifications that can be uploaded to expand the functionality of your WordPress site. All you do is decide what plugin you want to install based on your needs and then simply upload it. This eliminates the need for custom code changes. Oh…and the vast majority of WordPress plugins (there are thousands) are free. 🙂
As I outlined above, WordPress can be used for much more than just a blog. Businesses and organizations such as Nasa, Harvard University, Boston University, Vogue, Van Heusen use WordPress for their content management, branding and ecommerce needs.
WordPress Themes are design files…much like plugins…you can upload to instantly change the visual look of your website. This eliminates the need for custom modifications to change how your site is displayed. So whereas plugins enhance functionality, themes direct and enhance the look.
There are literally thousands of free easy to use wordpress themes available online (as well as premium paid themes) you can use to change the look of your WordPress site. You literally find a theme you like, upload it and in minutes you’ve changed the look of your website.
A basic WordPress installation is set up to rank well the Search Engine Results (SERPS). Now, this doesn’t mean you’ll start ranking well for a bunch of popular keywords a week after you’ve started to use WordPress, but the software is set up to ‘please’ the search engines when they start seeing your site. And believe me, making a site search engine friendly is not an easy task from scratch!
Many of the newer WordPress themes are designed and optimized to automatically render and look great on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). This has become hugely important. As much as 60% of web traffic is viewed on mobile devices so it’s imperative that your theme have that capability. If it doesn’t, you can either upgrade to a newer theme or use a plugin called WP Touch to convert it to mobile.
The creators of WordPress consistently update their software not only for newer, more robust features but for security as well. This is vital with the hacking that happens online. NOTE: Always make sure you upgrade your installation when WP comes out with an update. Protect yourself.
This is really important. You want to use the self-hosted version of WordPress which can be found and downloaded (to your webserver) on WordPress.org. Wordpress.com is also a free blogging solution but it is hosted on their servers and has many limitations. And since it is on their ‘property’, you don’t really own it. Make sure you install the software on your web hosting account where YOU control and own it.
There are many other CMS platforms with Drupal and Joomla (and some even use Blogger) being two of the more popular ones. To be very honest I have not used either so I cannot comment on them. Wordpress’ sheer popularity makes it easy to modify and solves issues, so that’s why I stick with it, as does every other blogger and site owner I know.
Hope this helps you see why I use WordPress for all my website needs. If you have any questions feel free to comment below.
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