I’m sure you’ve heard that before, especially if you are having a website of your own.
It’s the most popular Content Management System (CMS) in the world.
It runs more than one-third of all the websites in the world.
Still, if you are reasonable man, you’re probably wondering if WordPress is right for you?
Because, WordPress, like everything else, has both a good side and a bad side, the question is which face will it show you depending on the features and specifications you need.
And that’s why I’m here, to show you both of these sides so you can make the right decision for you.
What is WordPress?
Simply put, WordPress is a platform that enables you to build a website without any knowledge in programming required.
In the beginning WordPress started as a blogging platform where people could start a blog and write posts.
However, over the years it has evolved a lot, nowadays you can build almost any kind of website you want.
I should mention that there are two kinds of WordPress (or however you want to call them), WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
I will be talking about the later one today (WordPress.org), and whenever I mention WordPress know that I’m talking about WordPress.org
Basically, the difference is that the WordPress.org is a free, open-source Content Management System, while WordPress.com is a hosting service.
Why use WordPress?
WordPress is the most robust CMS available right now, so every reasonable man should think if using WordPress will benefit him.
You can make almost any kind of website, it’s free and more than 30% of all websites use it.
However, there are also cases where there is a better solution than WordPress (even though they are rare).
Take a look at the infographic below to understand why is WordPress a valid solution for building websites.
How does WordPress work?
Contrary to other website builders, WordPress operates by having the content, design and functionality completely separated by each other.
This means that you can edit each one of them, without interrupting the other two which is pretty handy, don’t you think?
Basically, it enables you to change the design of the website whenever you like without loosing all the content that we have written until then.
Or, it enables you to add a new functionality to your website without having any impact on your design.
Content in WordPress
I already said that in it’s early beginning, WordPress was a blogging platform, so it’s easy to understand that WordPress is great for writing content.
Even though it has come a long way since than, it’s still easy to write and add content into WordPress, it’s just like editing a Word file.
I should mention that WordPress doesn’t have some fancy drag and drop editor, however it’s easy to get a hang on it’s editor and start writing in no time.
I’m not going to go into detail about how to add a post in WordPress now, there are a lot of tutorials for that on the internet.
However, I think it will come in handy for you knowing how WordPress stores the content you write, and it’s pretty simple.
It stores all the written content in a database, while the images are simply saved in a folder.
Design in WordPress
The design of a website in WordPress is managed by it’s theme.
Basically, WordPress contains an enormous directory of themes (both free and paid) that you can apply to your website in order to change it’s appearance.
Now, you may think that by using themes your website will look exactly like someone else’s, or that somebody might steal your design.
Don’t worry, every theme is highly customizable and enables you to change the colors, layout, sections, menus and a lot more of the website.
This way, every website built with WordPress is authentic and has it’s own charm (or ugliness if designed poorly).
Add-ons in WordPress (WordPress Plugins)
The last part of the WordPress system is it’s functionality.
We add functionalities to our websites by using add-ons which in WordPress are called plugins.
WordPress, as of writing this post has 56,747 plugins in it’s directory.
And these are only the free plugins, all the paid plugins are plus.
The point I’m trying to make is that if you have an idea for a feature you want your website to have, there is probably a plugin already made for it.
This is what makes WordPress so good, the fact that you have such a big pool of selection to make when building your website.
Warning: Be careful with the number of plugins you use, they will slow down your website if you use too many.
Is WordPress free? Costs of running a WordPress website
WordPress.org is not only free, but it is also open-source.
This means that not only can you use WordPress for free, but you can also make changes to it, modify it and even sell it without needing to ask for permission.
This is why there is such a large number of plugins and themes available, everyone can make them and list them.
This is also why you haven’t probably seen a lot of WordPress reviews, the fact that it’s free means that the bloggers can’t earn commission if they don’t have what to sell you.
However, there are still some costs involved with running WordPress (which are the same as for running any kind of website) for which we will talk about later.
Pros and Cons of WordPress
If you are going to read one section of this article, this better be it.
Basically, after reading this you can decide for yourself it it is the right choice for you or not.
Pros of using WordPress
1. It’s free
I already said that it’s free and explained it, however there are still some costs for running it.
Unlike the other CMS that require a fee in order to use them, WordPress is free and you can install it without paying anything.
However, you will still need to choose a hosting provider (they range from couple of pounds per month to couple of hundred).
If you’re just starting out, a hosting of under 10 pounds will do it’s job for you.
Also, you will need to pay for a domain name, and those range from 5-20 pounds per year, depending on the TLD (is it .com/.org/ etc.)
You will also pay for this things when using other CMSs, but they come in package with the software.
Still, the price for using WordPress is a lot smaller than for other CMSs.
2. You own your website
When using WordPress, you own your website and you don’t depend on anyone.
If you aren’t happy with your current hosting provider, you can change it.
If you want to change your website, you can do so, basically you are your own boss.
You don’t have to worry the service you are using will go down, as you would have to when using Wix, SquareSpace or Shopify.
If the hosting company you are using closes, you can again choose a new one.
3. There are a lot of customisation options
Even though there are limited number of themes for WordPress (which is pretty high), each theme also has it’s own customisation options.
This gives you a lot of options to make your website unique and appealing.
The plugins are only a plus – with them you add more functionalities with which you make your WordPress site stand even more from the crowd.
Not a single CMS comes even close to WordPress when it comes to customisation options.
4. It’s fast
There is a misbelieve that WordPress is slow.
A lot of our clients ask us that, isn’t WordPress slow?
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
When properly build, WordPress website can load blazing fast.
However, one of the most important things when building your WordPress website is choosing a light, regularly updated theme.
When using a good theme, combined with some speed optimization techniques, a WordPress website will be as fast as light.
5. Great SEO support
Another great thing about WordPress is that it supports SEO.
There are a lot of plugins (yes, I said that again) and a good fraction of them are made to help me and you in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
The best plugin for this job is Yoast SEO, which comes in both free and paid versions.
You can easily change the URL structure, add meta tags, alt attributes, keyphrase density etc.
A lot of the other CMSs on the other hand (Wix for example), make it a lot harder to optimise your content.
Even some of the SEO agencies don’t want to accept jobs on some of the CMS (WordPress is not in that list, don’t worry).
6. Almost all third-party tools have integrations available for WordPress
Even though third-party tools aren’t always necessary, a lot of the times while running a website you will run into a need to use on them.
Whether you want to capture your visitors email address or send them SMS whenever you post a new article on your blog, the easiest and most convenient way to do it is by using third-party tools.
And no single CMS or platform of any kind comes even close to WordPress when we talk about third-party tools integration.
Cons of using WordPress
1. If not properly set up, website’s security can become an issue
WordPress is used by more than 30% of the websites (I said it again, I know).
The fact that it is used in such a large number, makes it a very sweet target for hackers.
They try and because of the open-source nature find loops in the code from which they can on some way hurt your website.
Now, it’s not like these loops are common, however they happen, and if not the proper measures are taken beforehand, you can easily become a victim of one of these attacks.
2. It takes time to get familiar with the basics
I have said countless times that WordPress offers a lot of options, and it’s not always easy to choose the right one when the choice is so big.
Sometimes, the option you want may not be straightforward to set up, or it may require some technical knowledge.
However, the WordPress community is big and usually you can find an answer on a forum no matter how specific you are.
It will still steal a lot of your time though.
But, once you learn the basics of WordPress, it definitely becomes easier.
Is it worth to learn the ins and outs for simply making a single website? Decide for yourself.
3. Some features may need custom coding
Even with the HUGE library of plugins and themes, some features can be really specific.
So, sometimes a custom coding is required in order to get what you want.
The problem is you probably don’t know coding, and it’s not something terrible.
Even though this is a con, it’s a fact that the features that you would have to code on WordPress, aren’t available on the other CMS anyway.
We are coming to the end of the article.
I think this is enough info to make the right decision for using WordPress.
Now, I want you to know that WordPress is not the right solution for everyone.
However, it is the best solution for serious businesses who want to show the proper online presence without spending hundreds of thousands of pounds. for fully custom coded website.
I am interested to hear your thoughts on this subject, what do you think is the best CMS platforms available, that is suitable to the most of the businesses?
Let me know in the comments.
Until next time, stay safe.