Almost everyone who has been interested in building a website or just interested in world wide web have probably at least once heard about WordPress from a friend or read about it in a blog post. So what is WordPress, why and how it became so popular ? What are the main reasons that drive developers as well as business people to choose this platform? A deep dive into all the reasons in this blog post will cover all the questions you are interested in.
For you to imagine how popular WordPress is, it will be enough to mention just one fact: WordPress quietly powers 29% of all the websites in the world and 60% of the CMS (content management system) market. Yes, WordPress is the most popular content management system.
If you are a novice in this sphere, there are most likely a number of questions you might need to get answered; for ex.: what is CMS, what other choices you have besides WordPress and what is the difference between WordPress and other systems. First of all, you should know that content management systems are web-based applications for creating and managing the content of a website. They allow anyone, with no coding skills, to easily create, edit, organize and publish web content via graphical user interface.
When looking for a solution to create a website you will come across content management systems like Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Shopify, Squarespace, etc. So which one to choose? The answer is simple: it depends on both your needs and technical skills. For instance, Shopify and Magento are ideal for creating ecommerce websites, but you may find these platforms not so effective for other types of websites (blogs, portfolios, personal websites, galleries, forums, etc.). As for Joomla and Drupal, our company has a long standing experience of working with these two content management systems. They are both very good in terms of security and flexibility, however they are probably not the right choice for those who are just getting started since they are both very complicated for a beginner. Another disadvantage of using Joomla or Drupal is that part of the companies which were developing Joomla Extensions or Drupal Modules as well as their users have reoriented their activities to WordPress or to other platforms and, in my deep conviction, this trend will accelerate in near future. Some of them have even stopped providing support and updates for their extensions or modules. Squarespace is focused mainly on website design and provides elegant and beautiful templates but even their fans admit that there is a shortage of tools that are responsible for certain functionality (plugins). Probably the most talked-about website builder among users is Wix. However, despite the fact that it has been well-promoted, it powers only 0.5% of all websites and doesn’t provide the freedom that you’ll have with WordPress. For example, Wix ads come with free subscription, there is no native blogging app and what is the most annoying thing for wix users is that once you choose a template you can’t change it anymore.
The fact that WordPress is the largest CMS is not enough to make a decision to start with it. Now let me explain why you should use WordPress over all others:
1. WordPress is Absolutely Free to Use
Probably this point is one of the main reasons why people prefer WordPress as no matter if you are a blogger or a business owner this fact is extremely beneficial. It’s totally free to use and what is more interesting, it is available for anyone to view or modify its main source code (it’s an open-source project). The last mentioned fact should not interest you if you are just getting started, but if you are familiar with coding it surely is worth mentioning, as unlike some of the CMS mentioned above (Wix, Squarespace), here you have full control of the features even offered in premium versions. That means that you’ll technically have full ownership of your site and content with the possibility of adjusting code to your needs.
Although WordPress itself is free, it doesn’t mean you will not spend money at all. You probably know that in order to start a website you also need a domain name and a web hosting. Fortunately, their total price in the market starts from 3-4$ per month. The latter are the cheap shared servers and if you want a dedicated server with high speed and performance you will have to fork out another hundred dollars.
2. Free Themes and Plugins
What makes WordPress really powerful and super-easy to use are it’s themes and plugins. Again, you have probably wondered what are themes and plugins ? Let me explain it to you in a simple and clear way.
Themes are one of the biggest advantages of any CMS, allowing the users to set the layout and design of the website with just a single click. Even if you are new in web-design, you can create a beautiful website with the help of the wordpress themes. No matter what category website you want to create: business, portfolio, ecommerce, membership, personal or blog, there are more than 1.5K free specialized themes to cover your needs. You will only have to add your posts, images, change the logo and make some color changes.
Themes can have some simple functionality integrated into them, however if you want to add a website element with more advanced functionality you will have to install a separate plugin. Moreover, most of the free themes in wordpress directory are of limited functionality and if you want to build a unique website with a pleasing design, you should purchase a premium theme, prices of which start from $50 USD/year. You can check out the prices of the best selling responsive themes in Themeforest:
When you enter a website you can find different elements in it with specific functionality, like contact forms where you type your info and submit your message, beautiful image slideshow with some awesome effects and navigation buttons, a gallery with pop-up window to view its images in full mode and much more. In order to add extra features and more functionality to your WordPress website, you will need to install some plugins. There are more than 50,000 free plugins (already more than 1.4 billion downloads) in WordPress plugin directory, which serve for wide range of purposes, covering any functionality you want. Very often you will need an advanced functionality of the plugin or a better customer service, which will be available with premium/paid version. The prices of the plugins may vary from $10 up to hundred dollars or more. Depending on a plugin it could be a one time payment or a monthly subscription.
To sum it up, you can easily create practically any type of website and fully control it with the help of WordPress free plugins and themes. However if you are looking for more advanced functionality and a fascinating design, you will need to purchase premium themes and plugins and put more effort on customizing your website. Anyway,you can always keep these costs to minimum and pay only for hosting.
3. Powerful and Multipurpose Plugins
When you start setting up your new WordPress website you will come across some essential plugins which should be installed in order to optimize your website speed, to make it secure, to set up scheduled backups in order not to lose any data or optimize your content for search engines. What makes WordPress really fabulous, is that it is not just a software, it is a large community. Thousands of contributors make WordPress better every day either by contributing new plugins/themes or just a solution for a problem. This led to the fact that now you can find several plugins for the same purpose. For example, if you search for a security plugin in WordPress plugin directory you’ll end up with a long list of security plugins and the same for the other must-have plugins.
But you can argue that the quantity of the plugins doesn’t mean quality. And you will be absolutely right. Not all the plugins in the directory are of great quality, however WordPress community (the users of the platform) again comes to the rescue here. You can easily understand which plugin is good and which one is not by just having a look at the number of its downloads, average review rating and responses in plugin support forum.
Basically the best contributors of the plugins take care of their average rating in word press directory and are very responsive in support forums. If you have already installed WordPress, installing a plugin will take just a few minutes. However, if you don’t want to install it, you can just check its features and screenshots or even its demo page if available.
4. All-in-one Solutions
WordPress has originally evolved as a blogging platform but with the power of its plugins, themes and continuously growing community it has long been ceased to be simply meant for blogging. Every day more and more solutions are appearing for WordPress users. The last is true not only for new plugins, themes or add-ons but also for the diversity of offers from plugins or themes development companies.
When I started to list all the plugins that you need to install, you have probably guessed how difficult it will be to find all plugins one by one, install and set them up. In fact, though installing the plugins is an easy task, finding the one that will perfectly fit to all your needs will take some time. Moreover, depending on your needs, it will turn out that you need to buy some of them. If we add to this the fact that you will have to buy a theme (if you want a beautiful one with high quality), a web hosting and in some extreme situations even hire a developer who will set it up for you, it will become really problematic and expensive for you. Do not believe to the blog posts which tell you that you can create a WordPress website absolutely free. From some point, you will have to pay, the only question is how much.
Starting from 2003, WordPress community evolved a lot and today there is a number of all in one solutions which offer web hosting, several dozens of plugins and themes, as well as high quality customer support for а low monthly/yearly subscription fee. Imagine a one stop shop where everything what I have mentioned is just for 120$ per year. Sounds good right? That’s what our company offers now (except hosting which will be available soon). We want to provide our customers everything they need for creating a WordPress website with high quality, an affordable price and what is the most important for us – high quality support as we take care of our each customer. If you deeply plunge into the world of WordPress you will understand what a big value our company provides for its customers. We have great competitors like WPMUDev and ManageWP which offer all in one solutions too, however if you compare prices and the quality of plugins and services of the 3 companies, you will most likely choose 10Web.
5. WordPress is Easy to Use
After installing WordPress you will be navigated to its dashboard. In my deepest conviction, even a dummy user will figure out how it works after playing around with it for some 10-20 minutes. The philosophy of WordPress is that it puts the content of the pages or posts in the first place as it started as a blogging website platform. Despite the fact that it had long gone beyond the scope of its initial purpose, the philosophy is still the same and this is the key to its success since it’s damn easy to fill in the content of your website.
If you have not figured out something, no problem, just Google “how to ….” and you will find several hundred answers to your question. If you have not found an answer to your question in this way, which is almost impossible, you can write your question in wordpress forum and you will get an answer shortly (https://wordpress.org/support/).
The fact that WordPress is open source and is not just a software but also a community, makes it one of the most discussed and resource-rich platforms on the web. There is an unlimited number of blogs, online courses, seminars, webinars, forums, video manuals, documentations and books about WordPress. In my opinion the best sources to look for WordPress related knowledge are:
For more detailed info about online places where you can learn WordPress you can check out this blog post.
Moreover, as I have already mentioned plugin and theme contributors provide support for their products. For example, below you can see the support forum of Photo Gallery plugin in wordpress.org.
Hence, no matter you need a quick solution to your problem related to WordPress, a separate plugin or looking for an online course to get a good understanding how WordPress works,the web covers it all. Even if you are neither businessman nor blogger but a developer who creates websites for his clients, WordPress is the right solution for you too. After setting up everything you can freely hand over the site management to your clients since WordPress provides great role management built in tool and is so easy to use.
6. WordPress is SEO Friendly
WordPress is structured in a way that it complies with all search engine standards. When you create a new page or a post, WordPress generates an XML (Extensible Markup Language) sitemap and an option to setup permalink type that allow search engine bots easily crawl the data. It means that your website built on WordPress platform will be indexed by search engines and more likely be ranked higher.
Except the basic functionality of WordPress that ensures SEO-friendliness of your website , there are a lot of powerful SEO plugins that will help you write better content, setup the keywords, create meta tags and meta descriptions for posts and pages, fix crawl errors and much more to have a fully SEO optimized WordPress website which will rank even higher.
7. WordPress is Mobile Friendly
Nowadays, the smartphones and tablets became an inseparable part of our reality. Therefore, the fact that WordPress has mobile applications which allow you to manage your WordPress website on the go is undoubtedly a huge plus. It is available both for Android and iOS allowing you to write posts, upload photos, edit pages, and manage comments on your blog.
If for any reason you don’t want to download the app, no problem, WordPress dashboard itself is absolutely responsive i.e. you can open the dashboard right from your smartphone browser. You can take a look at the screenshots of WordPress dashboard on Google Pixel phone here (5.0’’ display size):
Moreover, some plugins even make their plugin’s backend responsive as well so in some cases you can freely manage plugins in your smartphone or tablet as well.
8. WordPress is in Your Language
According to WordPress.org, with the help of its big community now it has been translated fully into 52 locales (including top 10 most spoken languages) and more than 90% into 30 locales. It means that 82 local languages out of 172 have already been almost fully translated (47.6% of total).
Some of the plugin contributors translate the plugins as well hence you may find the plugin you need in your language as well. You can check in WordPress.org if the plugin you are interested in has the language pack you want. Below is the example of Photo Gallery plugin translation page where you can check which languages the plugin supports.
9. Statistics are Stubborn
Before starting to use something, it is always a good idea to seek for a feedback from those who already use it. In this case, we can have a look at WordPress users survey data for 2017. The survey has been taken from both WordPress professionals, who have many years of experience in WordPress, and new users, who are just getting started with it. As the readers of this post are more likely to be those who are getting started with WordPress, we have highlighted their responses only(about 5K respondents). According to the survey, most of the newbies in WordPress are running a personal blog or creating a website for their company. It was very impressive to find, that for around the quarter of respondents WordPress is just a hobby. Maybe it is because running a website on WordPress is so easy and fun.
As I have already mentioned in this post, installing WordPress and setting it up is very easy. In support of this you can see that almost 75% of the respondents have installed it themselves(Graph A). Another question that worries the users is how much work they’ll have to do to create a website they need (Graph B). According to the survey almost half of the respondents have changed only theme and added some plugins. It means that not so much work is needed if you want to have a simple website representing your company or in case you run a blog.
So what’s the best thing for the users who have already used WordPress(Graph C)? The answers tell the story- the best thing of WordPress is that it is simple, user-friendly and fully customizable. Finally, what the users think about WordPress after using it for some time (Graph D) ? Do they think that WordPress is as good as other CMS or better ? The answer is definitely YES ! About 81% of the respondents think so.
10. Brands Trust WordPress
And last but not the least, what type of websites you can build with WordPress ? Are there any famous websites created with it ? Yes, there surely are. Below you can find the showcase of some famous stunning websites created with WordPress. I will show them in categories so as it will be easier for you to find the website of your website category:
Hopefully, I have answered to all your questions regarding WordPress and why you should use it. If I am missing something here, you don’t agree with some points or just have a question please let me know in the comments below ! And thank you for taking the time to read my post up to the end ! 🙂