If you’re planning to launch a new website, you should choose an appropriate content management system (CMS). While it’s possible to build a website using an external “site builder” – or even Notepad – a CMS streamlines many processes associated with creating and maintaining a site. Using a CMS< you can add new content, update existing content, and implement new features all from a convenient web-based interface.
Of course, there are dozens of CMS options from which to choose, including Drupal, Joomla, Magneto, ExpressionEngine, and Blogger, each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, most professional web designers and digital marketers will agree that WordPress is the best for most users for the following reasons:
It’s Popular, Very Popular
More websites run WordPress than any other CMS. According to W3Techs report, roughly 27.5% of the world’s top 10 million sites use the platform
With so many websites running WordPress, you shouldn’t have any problem finding professional designers and coders, such as Glexia, with whom to work. Nearly every professional in the website development industry is familiar with WordPress. In comparison, choosing a lesser-known CMS like ExpresionEngine may make it difficult to find help.
While other CMSs cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, WordPress is completely free. The software is open source and licensed under GPLv3 from the Free Software Foundation. This means you’ll never have to pay a dime to download, use, modify, or distribute WordPress.
It Supports Multiple Authors
A benefit of using WordPress that’s often overlooked is support for multiple authors. If you want other users to create new posts, for instance, you are able to give them unique usernames instead of sharing your own administrative account.
Furthermore, WordPress allows you to choose “roles” for these other users, limiting what they access and do on your site. The “Author” role allows the user to publish and edit their own posts but not posts made by others. The “Contributor” role allows the user to create and edit their own posts, but they cannot publish them. The “Subscriber” role gives the user the least amount of privilege; they can only create and manage their profile.
You Can Instantly Change the Design
Normally, changing a website’s design requires a substantial amount of work. You must go through and edit the HTML of each page, all while checking to make sure these changes od not break any of the site’s functionality. WordPress simplifies the otherwise tedious process by using interchangeable designs known as “themes.” If you want to change the look and feel of your site, you can download and activate a new theme. Once activated, all your site’s pages will immediately reflect the new design.
There are hundreds of thousands of WordPress themes. Each of these themes is customizable if it does not fit your needs.
In full disclosure, other CMS offer theme-driven designs as well; however, WordPress has the largest amount and strongest community.
You Can Customize Themes
While yo9u can download and use WordPress themes right out of the metaphorical box, you are also able to customize them.
A custom design is important when building a website. If your site features a unique, custom design, it strengthens your brand by helping visitors remember who you are. Conversely, using the same generic design found on hundreds of other sites dilutes your brand.
Depending on the specific theme, you can customize your site’s design by editing the theme’s files or creating a separate child theme. By editing your site’s theme, you can customize the header, footer, sidebar, text, and other elements.
Add Features with Plugins
In addition to themes, WordPress supports interchangeable plugins. Plugins are arguably one of the strongest features of WordPress. Plugins are designed to add new features or modify existing features on a site. Instead of hard-coding a feature directly into your site, you can simply download and activate a plugin for it.
There are more than 100,000 free WordPress plugins available in the repository, as well as thousands of other premium plugins. So, what can these plugins do exactly? They can filter spam comments, add social media sharing buttons, create contact forms, enable browser caching, create photo galleries, support discussion boards, integrate a client billing portal, and more.
It’s Search Engine-Friendly
If you want your website to rank high in the search engines, you should build it with WordPress. Out of the box, it has several powerful search engine optimization (SEO) features, including permalinks, custom page titles, meta descriptions, and clean code.
You can also download and use SEO plugins to further optimize your WordPress site for higher search rankings. Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins available for the platform. It introduces a wide range of optimization features, including readability check, breadcrumb navigation links, keyword optimization, duplicate content check, redirect manager, robots meta configuration, canonical URLs, XML sitemaps, RSS enhancements, and more. All of these features help you optimize your WordPress site for higher search rankings.
Easy to Install
WordPress is arguably one of the easiest CMSs to install and set up. You can follow the “Famous 5-Minute Install” to have your site up and running in just a few minutes. Alternatively, you can perform a one-click install if supported by your web hosting control panel.
Many web hosts have a back-end control panel, such as cPanel or Plesk, which allows webmasters to configure their sites and analyze metrics. cPanel, through Fantastico, and other website control panels also support one-click installs of common scripts and CMSs, including WordPress. This feature streamlines the process of setting up new WordPress sites.
WordPress allows visitors to comment on posts and pages. You do not have to modify or make changes to your site. By default, all new WordPress sites support visitor comments. This is a great way to encourage visitor engagement while filling your site with fresh, new content in the process. Several plugins are also available to encourage visitor comments and add support for single sign on through multiple social media networks.
WordPres is Fairly Secure
Granted, no CMS is 100% safe from hackers. If you can access your site, there’s a possibility that someone else can as well. WordPress, however, emphasizes security to reduce the risk of hacking and unauthorized access by nefarious individuals.
When a security vulnerability is detected in WordPress, developers are quick to release a fix. In 2016, the platform was updated nearly two dozen times. Some of these updates are designed to add functionality, but others enhance security by fixing exploitable vulnerabilities. WordPress will automatically update itself to correct critical security findings.
Several plugins are also available to harden WordPress. A great review of various 2 Factor Authentication Plugins is available at Hongkiat. Changing your administrative login page is also helpful. There are several plugins that provide this functionality.
A CMS is a versatile tool that webmasters can use to streamline the development of their sites. Of all the CMSs currently available, WordPress remains one of the undisputed leaders for the aforementioned reasons.