What Is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source online publication tool created in the early 2000′s. In the past, WordPress has been used almost exclusively as a blogging platform. It allowed writers to publish their own content on the web, whether they knew how to read and write web programming code or not. In recent years, the developer community behind WordPress has grown exponentially and has create some truly unique features that allow users to create not only online blogs, but full websites. With these new features, WordPress can be, and is, used as a CMS (Content Management System). It allows you to create pages of content, not just posts and articles. You can specify a layout for each individual page within your site, and although blogs are very useful online, you no longer need one to run WordPress.
20 Reasons to Use WordPress
1. One of the biggest reasons to run WordPress on your site is to easily write, publish, and manage your content without the knowledge of code. The writing area of WordPress is very similar to any word processing program. For example, to bold a section of text you simply highlight the words and press the bold button. If you are more familiar with HTML, there is the option to switch back and forth from a HTML editor window and the Visual editor.
2. Because the WordPress software is installed on the web hosting server, you can log in to your site from any desktop, laptop, or tablet computer on earth as long as there is an internet connection. This allows you to manage your site without having to install any editing software on your computers. You can even make changes or publish new content while on vacation!
3. With a CMS structure to your site, you do not need to waste time editing files on your server to input content. All of your copy is actually stored within a database, and is much faster than static websites. Because WordPress takes over all of the heavy lifting, you can focus on your content and push it out to your audience immediately. Just like sending an email, posting copy, videos, audio clips, images, etc. is immediately available to your visitors.
4. WordPress utilizes the concept of templates. Once your site is created, the header/footer/sidebars/content areas will be consistent across your entire website. Images will display the same on every page, headers will always look like you wanted it to, and your user’s experience on the site will be completely consistent!
5. The publish capability within WordPress not only allows you to publish content immediately, but gives you the ability to schedule your articles for an hour, three days, two months, or even years from now! You can bust out an entire months worth of articles in one weekend and set them to publish at specific dates and times.
6. A user’s experience on your site can be controlled when you know who they are. Giving your visitors the ability to create their own accounts within your WordPress website can go a long way. You can allow guest bloggers to write articles for you, and allow only registered members to see your VIP sections. The WordPress membership functionalities would take months to build into other websites.
7. If you write new content, wouldn’t you like your friends and followers to know about it? You can post links to your site using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. without needing to log into each service every time. Set it to automatically post and tweet your links, and forget about it completely. Let the WordPress site do everything for you.
8. Although most of the content on your website will most likely be text, WordPress allows you to easily add images, video, audio, podcasts and more to your site. Media is a big part of WordPress, and you can even upload it from the browser. By selecting your images or video clips from a selection box, you let the website take over. It uploads the files to the server, puts it in a safe location, and embeds it into your posts or pages. It’s easier than 1-2-3!
9. Your content isn’t very useful if no one knows where it is. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of getting your website ranked well on popular search engines, and is easily automated through WordPress. The CMS generates meta descriptions, title tags, and rss feeds which act like basic sitemaps for blog posts. There are also many, many additional plugins that let you increase the SEO power of your website.
10. Sometimes, you don’t know what you want your website to be like in 6-months, or a year down the road. WordPress is flexible enough to throw up a single page now, and easily add as much or as little as you want later. This allows for easy growth potential.
11. As the single largest CMS out there, the developer community behind WordPress has the ability to continually look for improvements. With millions of websites running this software, the desire for hackers to find loopholes or backdoors increases. However, the creators of WordPress look for these security risks and fix them. There are regular upgrades that eliminate risks and add new features.
12. Comments are a big part of online communities. Luckily there is a very strong comment engine behind WordPress that allows visitors to respond to your content. It even helps you crack down on spam comments while increasing the two way communication with your visitors online.
13. Allowing visitors to comment on your content is one thing, but a bonus to this is seeing what people are saying and commenting on. You can identify the hot topics that your readers are interested in, and focus your attention on those trending areas.
14. One last high note about the comments area: the ability to filter what your readers can say. You don’t want some PETA activists starting a virtual riot on your pet store website, right? The ability to flag certain key words is helpful.
15. RDF Site Summaries help regular readers keep up to date on new content on your site. Luckily, WordPress automatically generates the XML files that visitors can add to their RSS readers.
16. Often times, there isn’t just one person working on your website. It would be a terrible idea to give all of those people the same login credentials, so WordPress allows multiple members. You can give some basic content writers an author status, and their managers could be set to editor. This grants people access to what they need but restricts the settings where they could cause harm.
17. With the growth of tablet computers, and mobile internet ready devices, not everyone will view your site on a desktop or laptop computer. WordPress has several solutions for mobile websites that are both quick and easy.
18. Possibly one of the most unique things about WordPress is the large repository of plugins. These scripts made by thousands of developers worldwide are available to install and modify the default behavior of your site. There are even some outstanding plugins that are available for a reasonable premium fee.
19. Equally unique is the library of themes that are available for the general layout of your site. From expert designers to industry experts, these site templates are completely customizable and quick to install.
20. From pages to posts, the content can be displayed a number of ways. The feature to specify a layout on individual pages is a must have for your sites.