Millions know about and use WordPress.com to create great looking free blogs. I think it’s safe to say that WordPress introduced web publishing to the masses. Before WordPress, the art of creating and maintaining a website took a lot of time and was difficult at best. Why WordPress? Today it's so simple that even a caveman can do it. It's easy to confuse WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is the free site. WordPress.org is where you get the self hosted version of the software. Bloggers, marketers, and even big brands create their websites using WordPress.org… and you should too. Here's why…
WordPress.com or .org?
The free WordPress.com platform is ideal for people who blog for personal reasons. Another plus is the support community is great. The ability to customize WordPress by using simple to install plug-ins is another plus. There’s just one thing… WordPress.com puts advertisements you don’t control on your site.
And there’s the rub. For people who are serious about building a website to promote their business, idea or cause using WordPress, ads from third parties are not acceptable. I talked about the concept of web estate in recent posts about domains and hosting. Your web estate is your own, self-hosted installation of the WordPress software. You control your website completely.
One of the main requirements of your web estate is that your website must be under your complete control. Anything less is not going to work. Even if you’re building on a budget, the only expense you’ll really need is a domain and hosting. The cost is only a few dollars per month. WordPress.org is free and there’s lots of free or very inexpensive themes out there.
The fact is, WordPress is the most widely used content management system (CMS}… period. Somewhere north of twenty percent of all websites being built today are powered by WordPress. There’s lots of good reasons why this is true. Let’s look at 7 of them.
- Simple and Easy to Use — WordPress is simple. It’s easy for a novice to learn and use the software. It’s completely possible to build your first website in less than a day. Many WordPress templates, or “themes” are available, You can customize it to match your requirements and not know any HTML or CSS. When you learn how to customize a theme, the sky is the limit.
- Search engines can find you — Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is built into each theme. Just fill in a few fields. It’s also possible to get even more effective plugins improve your SEO efforts automatically, all without you having to be a SEO Whiz Kid.
- Community Support — WordPress is an Open Source application. Additionally, an extremely active and valuable community has sprung up. Members are willing to help by sharing their knowledge for free. And if you need more help or, don’t want to build it yourself, there are many people that can be hired to assist you with your WordPress website.
- Excellent plug-ins — WordPress has little add-on’s called extensions or plugins. Plugins install simply, in only minutes, through your WP dashboard. They really help to customize the way your site works. Want to use shopping cart software or a calendar? It’s as simple as click-drag-and drop when you use a plugin. Adding fun stuff like a comments form, polls, ratings, social media icons, etc. becomes possible with just a few straightforward clicks. It’s almost like magic.
- King content — WordPress is much more than meets the eye. It is in fact, an entire content management system (CMS). We’ve all heard the phrase “Content is King” and after Google Hummingbird, this is especially true today. It would be even more accurate to say “Current Content is King”. WordPress let’s your content to be the primary focus of your website. It’s quick and easy to change the content on any page of your site without needing to know any code at all.
- Custom look and feel — Themes give you the basic look and feel for your blog or website. If you learn to use a little bit of CSS and HTML many themes become highly customizable. Even if you don’t know what CSS and HTML is, you can find out what you need to know quickly. With all the help available online and within an active community you will be able to customize any theme. You can have your own theme created for as little as $50.00. That’s pretty cheap when compared to old school Web Developer costs. And speaking of ‘old style’ webmasters…
- Free at last —Once you design and build your website, it’s super easy to modify things on your own. Even if you don’t want to work on your own site, you can find a Virtual Assistant who is an expert at working with WordPress. A VA can perform maintenance tasks for your website for way less money than a developer used to cost.
Why WordPress? When you use WordPress as your Blogging/CMS platform, it won’t be long until you find out how easy and convenient designing, building and maintaining your website with WordPress is. And it makes creating a blog or website more fun.
If you found this post helpful, please comment and/or share it with people this Rock Solid Info could help. Next… More about WordPress.
- Blog Image from iStockPhoto
- Cartoon Image courtesy DonkeyHotey via Flickr.com