Ever wondered what makes WordPress the driving force behind nearly half of all websites on the internet? Curious about the world of free WordPress themes and plugins and why WordPress stands out as the preferred choice for publishing blog posts? We’ll delve into these questions and more in this article.
But before we dive in, let’s quickly clarify that WordPress is a free and open-source content management system capable of constructing virtually any kind of website you desire. It exists in two primary forms: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
In this article, we’ll focus on WordPress.org, which represents the self-hosted variant of this software. Unlike WordPress.com, which provides an all-in-one hosting solution, self-hosted WordPress websites require you to arrange your hosting independently. However, this autonomy comes with a more comprehensive set of features and capabilities, making it the superior choice.
Let’s explore why.
Why WordPress is the best option to use for websites and blogs
Primary reasons to use WordPress:
1. It’s free
When setting up your website, it’s important to note that while you’ll need to invest in a hosting plan, there won’t be any additional charges specifically for WordPress.
This is because WordPress is inherently free. It operates as a content management system (CMS) that you, or in many cases, your hosting provider, can seamlessly install on your server without the requirement of purchasing a license or creating an account through WordPress.org.
Furthermore, you have the option to manually download a copy of WordPress and perform the installation yourself.
Therefore, even though you may incur expenses for hosting and perhaps opt for premium WordPress themes and plugins (though numerous free alternatives are available!), you can be confident that WordPress itself will always remain cost-free.
2. WordPress Empowers Over 40% of All Websites
By opting for WordPress, you’ll become part of the 43.1% of websites worldwide that harness the capabilities of this CMS.
Comparatively, other prominent CMSs like Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace hold market shares of 3.9%, 2.5%, and 2.1%, respectively.
We’ll delve deeper into this aspect later on, but embracing one of the most widely utilized CMSs on the internet ensures you almost always have access to a vast array of integrations with third-party tools. These tools can enhance your website with features like web analytics, email marketing, forms, and more.
Additionally, it signifies that WordPress boasts a larger community of third-party developers, hosting options, themes, and plugins to choose from.
3. You can use WordPress to create any type of website
Versatile Website Creation with WordPress While renowned as a potent blogging platform, WordPress transcends its origins, offering the flexibility to build a wide array of websites.
WordPress empowers you to craft membership sites with tiered pricing models, granting access to exclusive premium content.
You can also fashion online forum communities or social networks to foster online interactions.
For those with educational aspirations, WordPress facilitates the creation of online schools replete with engaging free and premium courses.
Moreover, you can take advantage of WooCommerce, a leading ecommerce plugin, to establish a sophisticated and professional online store, making it the ultimate choice for diverse web development needs.
4. WordPress: Flexibility Without Constraints
WordPress operates as a versatile content management system (CMS). This unique trait ensures that your content—be it the text within your blog posts and pages, your imagery, or your menus—remains intact even if you decide to relocate your website to a different hosting provider or alter your WordPress theme.
This inherent flexibility sets WordPress apart from all-in-one solutions such as Wix and Squarespace. With WordPress, you possess the freedom to take action:
- Effortless Migration: In case your current web host isn’t meeting your speed requirements, you can seamlessly transfer your entire website to a new hosting platform.
- Redesign Flexibility: When the time comes to refresh your website’s design, you can change your theme without forfeiting your existing content.
- Platform Independence: Conversely, if you’re dissatisfied with your current all-in-one solution, you’re often left with the arduous task of reconstructing your entire site on a different platform. While some platforms allow content imports, you’ll often find yourself manually recreating most elements.
In essence, WordPress empowers you with the liberty to adapt and evolve your website without being confined to a single platform, making it a preferred choice for those seeking true flexibility in their online endeavors.
5. WordPress is easy to learn
A notable advantage of WordPress’s widespread popularity is the abundance of tutorials available, offering guidance on using the platform and simplifying various tasks.
This wealth of instructional resources makes WordPress exceptionally user-friendly, positioning it as one of the easiest platforms to master. Moreover, its inherent intuitiveness, coupled with the continuous efforts of the CMS’s development team to enhance usability, ensures that WordPress remains among the most user-friendly platforms available.
6. It’s great for SEO
WordPress offers valuable assistance in optimizing your website for search engines, employing a variety of strategies. Here’s how it contributes to improving your site’s SEO:
Automatic Search Engine Visibility: WordPress automatically includes code that makes your site visible to search engines, ensuring that it can be indexed. You have the option to disable this feature if you prefer your site not to appear in search results.
SEO-Friendly Permalinks: Right from the start, WordPress enables you to create SEO-friendly permalinks, which contribute to better search engine rankings.
Lightweight Code: The CMS is constructed with lightweight code, ensuring that it doesn’t negatively impact your website’s overall performance.
SEO Plugins: You can extend its SEO capabilities further by installing plugins like SEOPress, which simplifies the process of creating SEO-friendly titles and descriptions for your posts and pages without requiring manual coding.
Search Engine Favoritism: Search engines favor WordPress due to its well-structured nature, which facilitates easier crawling of WordPress-powered pages by search engine bots.
In essence, WordPress serves as a comprehensive SEO ally, ensuring your website is well-prepared for improved search engine rankings and visibility.
7. WordPress is secure
WordPress Core is inherently stable and secure, regularly fortified with updates that introduce advanced security features.
Furthermore, you have the capacity to bolster the security of your WordPress sites through various means. If you prefer a hands-off approach to updates, you can opt for automated updates or enlist your hosting provider’s assistance in this regard.
Certain WordPress hosts, particularly managed WordPress hosting services, proactively manage security by conducting malware scans and implementing CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) and firewalls.
For those who wish to assume direct control over security, WordPress offers an array of security plugins at your disposal, empowering you as a WordPress user to enhance and customize your site’s security measures.
8. WordPress is stable and has a strong community
WordPress, established in 2003, remains the driving force behind over 40% of all global websites today. To put this in perspective, consider that GeoCities, one of the most prominent web hosting services of the 90s and early 2000s, closed its servers in 2009, resulting in the disappearance of millions of the internet’s pioneering web pages.
Although WordPress.org isn’t a hosting service per se, the websites built on it would face significant challenges if WordPress were to cease its operations. Fortunately, WordPress not only continuously receives substantial updates from its dedicated development team but also benefits from a thriving and engaged user community. This combined effort ensures the platform’s longevity and ongoing support.
9. WordPress has a huge ecommerce market share
Based on statistics from BuiltWith, WooCommerce, the leading ecommerce plugin for WordPress, is utilized by 24% of the top 1 million ecommerce websites globally. In comparison, 24% opt for Shopify or Shopify Plus, while 7% opt for Magento.
WooCommerce, as a plugin, offers a comprehensive range of features. It allows you to create products with varying prices and attributes, set shipping fees, process online orders, and much more, making it a versatile and powerful choice for ecommerce websites.
10. WordPress has a huge selection of themes and plugins
The WordPress community has given rise to a vast collection of both free and premium themes and plugins. While some are maintained directly by WordPress, the majority are crafted by third-party developers. These add-ons play a pivotal role in elevating WordPress as a CMS, setting it apart from other options.
This extensive array of themes provides you with countless avenues for constructing your WordPress site, each offering unique design possibilities and choices to explore.
Simultaneously, the wealth of free and premium plugins empowers you to fashion any type of website you desire without delving into code development. The versatility they offer is unmatched.
Furthermore, the beauty of WordPress lies in the availability of numerous free themes and plugins that deliver practical functionality without the need for a premium expenditure.
11. WordPress is well supported
As we briefly discussed earlier, the significance of this topic merits its dedicated section.
WordPress’s immense popularity translates into robust support from third-party applications. Consequently, you can expect to discover WordPress integrations for virtually every tool you intend to incorporate into your website.
Even applications not specifically designed as WordPress plugins often offer comprehensive integrations with the CMS, extending far beyond a simple code snippet to insert into a web page.
In contrast, other platforms often fall short in providing such extensive options for integrating third-party apps.
12. Managed WordPress hosting
Because WordPress is open-source software that can be freely downloaded, it’s compatible with any server equipped with the necessary WordPress prerequisites. This broad compatibility results in a lengthy list of hosting providers that can accommodate WordPress, some of which go the extra mile by offering managed WordPress hosting services.
Known as “managed WordPress hosts,” these providers not only furnish you with private server space already preconfigured with WordPress but also handle various crucial facets of WordPress hosting. These encompass security, caching, routine server maintenance, CDN (Content Delivery Network) integration, and automation of updates for WordPress itself, as well as your themes and plugins.
In the past, WordPress often entailed a relatively technical approach to website development. However, managed hosts have played a pivotal role in simplifying the more intricate aspects of creating websites with WordPress.
13. More choices in web hosting
The flexibility of WordPress in terms of hosting brings yet another significant advantage to WordPress users.
The extensive array of hosting options provides you with the freedom to select a host that aligns with your specific requirements and budget. Moreover, it empowers you to scale your website seamlessly without the need for a complete rebuild. All that’s necessary is to export and migrate your site to a more robust server if your current one can’t handle your current traffic load.
In contrast, many of WordPress’s primary competitors offer exclusive hosting solutions, which results in a lack of diversity in hosting choices.
Additional benefits of using WordPress:
14. Enhanced Control Over Your Site’s Performance
When a website built on platforms like Wix or Squarespace experiences performance issues, there’s often limited room for improvement, as these platforms are designed to provide minimal control over your site.
WordPress, on the other hand, distinguishes itself in this aspect.
The flexibility inherent to WordPress offers a multitude of avenues to enhance your site’s performance. Beyond seeking a superior hosting provider, you can:
- Choose a more optimized theme
- Install caching plugins
- Incorporate plugins specializing in file optimization
- Implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Employ lazy loading for images
- Optimize and compress your images, among other options.
Additionally, certain hosting providers specialize in handling various performance aspects on your behalf, further expanding your control over your site’s performance.
15. You have more control over your site’s design
While many platforms offer the ability to modify your site’s appearance through various templates, color schemes, and font choices, few provide the level of design control that WordPress does.
This goes beyond the vast selection of available themes.
To begin with, there’s the WordPress customizer—an intuitive frontend editor that empowers you to make quick and easy adjustments to elements such as colors, fonts, logos, and more with just a few clicks.
The remainder of your customization options hinges on your selections of themes and plugins.
Certain theme-building tools and plugins, such as Kadence, Elementor, Thrive Theme Builder, GeneratePress, and Divi, grant you complete control over your theme’s every facet. This encompasses elements like your header, footer, blog layout, 404 page, and more, allowing for comprehensive customization.
Furthermore, you have access to page builder plugins such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Thrive Architect. These empower you to craft landing pages entirely from scratch or import pre-designed templates, providing unparalleled design flexibility.
16. WordPress has more options for creating an engaging website
An optimized website excels in garnering user engagement, whether that manifests through online transactions, survey participation, email subscriptions, or other forms of interaction.
One compelling reason that reinforces WordPress as the top choice for website development is its compatibility with a wide array of third-party apps. Unlike less popular platforms, which often lack seamless integration with these apps, WordPress offers a multitude of pathways to encourage audience engagement. It presents you with a diverse toolkit for fostering interactions and provides numerous avenues to achieve this goal.
You can add any type of opt-in form to your site as you want, host surveys and quizzes, launch giveaways, accept online orders, teach online courses, and more.
Best of all, there are plugins that let you add most of these features to your website quite easily.
17. You don’t need a developer
This underscores the rationale for adopting a Content Management System (CMS) in general.
A well-crafted custom website, created by a skilled developer, often comes with a substantial four to five-digit price tag.
However, with a CMS like WordPress, you can construct your own website without requiring developer expertise or coding skills. Instead, you can utilize intuitive drag-and-drop and point-and-click actions for website creation.
Moreover, contemporary WordPress themes frequently offer “premade templates”—fully-designed pages that you can effortlessly import into your site, simplifying the design process even further.
18. Simultaneously, a Wealth of Specialized WordPress Developers Exist
Although not mandatory, having a dedicated developer can be a valuable asset if it aligns with your budget. These professionals can craft a tailor-made theme for your website and often excel in enhancing site functionality through the creation of custom plugins.
This approach offers unparalleled flexibility in WordPress site development, but it’s worth noting that it tends to be on the higher end of the cost spectrum.
19. The WordPress dashboard is the same for every website
One advantageous aspect of a CMS like WordPress is that as you grow increasingly acquainted with the backend dashboard of your site, you won’t need to start from scratch if you opt to construct another WordPress site.
This consistency arises from the fact that all WordPress sites utilize the same dashboard framework. While themes and plugins may introduce supplementary menu options, the core structure of the dashboard remains consistent across sites. Consequently, no matter which site you’re working on, the dashboard retains its familiar layout and functionality.
This uniformity also simplifies the process of learning the dashboard through tutorials, as the fundamental interface remains constant.
20. WordPress’ category system makes for a more structured blog
The WordPress taxonomy system significantly contributes to the prowess of this CMS as a robust blogging platform.
Within WordPress, categories and tags often remain an underutilized resource, despite their potential to greatly enhance content organization and maintain a specific niche focus.
With categories, you have the ability to arrange blog posts hierarchically, creating a structured framework that includes parent categories, child categories, and even grandchild categories.
Additionally, tags provide a means to identify common topics that may not warrant a dedicated category but are still relevant to your content.
While primarily serving as tools for internal content organization, both categories and tags can also be harnessed on the frontend of your website, allowing your audience to explore your blog content more comprehensively through menu navigation.
21. WordPress is always evolving
While changes in WordPress have occasionally sparked debate within the community, one constant remains: the unwavering commitment of both the CMS’s core team and the third-party development community to adapt to evolving web design standards.
WordPress’s transition to the block editor within its core exemplifies this adaptability, and it serves as a testament to its ongoing evolution.
This steadfast dedication assures users that WordPress, as a platform, is unlikely to meet the same fate as non-adaptive software like GeoCities. Its capacity to embrace change ensures its resilience in an ever-evolving digital landscape.
Numerous compelling reasons underline the choice of WordPress, but they all converge into a singular primary justification: WordPress stands as a potent Content Management System (CMS) capable of constructing websites of virtually any kind, tailored precisely to your preferences.
With WordPress, you enjoy unparalleled freedom to shape every facet of your website, granting you unparalleled control.
Crucially, WordPress refrains from constraining your website within its ecosystem. It operates as a versatile software that can be seamlessly installed on any server. Consequently, you retain the freedom to migrate from one hosting provider to another without the need for a ground-up website reconstruction.
This inherent flexibility results in WordPress websites that are not only faster but also inherently scalable, ensuring adaptability as your needs evolve.
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