WordPress is known as a free content management system or website builder. There are 2 “flavors” of WordPress – WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Although they use the same content management system, they are very different.
These are websites created at WordPress.com. They are limited to using the themes and plugins allowed at WordPress.com. No themes or plugins can be added to WordPress that the company does not make available. There are options to pay for certain things, like a shopping cart plugin. If you are not tech-savvy and want to set it up yourself, this is the way to go. Just be sure they offer everything you will need before you start. Another good thing about WordPress.com websites is that they are future-proof. If you want something not shown in the future, you can migrate these to WordPress.org and add anything you want.
WordPress.org is quite different. This is the WordPress software installed on your hosting account. When the software is installed on your hosting, you can add ANY theme and ANY plugins that you need for your website. Many themes and plugins are free, and some are paid. Some of the free ones have paid upgrades as well. If you need something super-specialized, there are WordPress plugin developers that you can hire to create precisely what you need.
Why WordPress over all the other options?
When I started Premium Websites over 17 years ago, I hand-coded every website. As website builders became more available, I tried many of them. Some were impossible for the average person to use. WordPress uses the same editor as Word, which most people already know how to use.
Business owners would come to me with the complaint that their websites were not getting found in the search engines. I often moved what they had into WordPress (without making changes), and the same content would rank higher once in WordPress. I could then optimize the existing content and get it to rank even better.
This told me a few things:
- Search engines like the behind-the-scenes coding that WordPress offers
- Search engines like the built-in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that WordPress or a WordPress plugin offers
- Search engines did not like many of the other web-building platforms
Once I realized these things, WordPress was the only platform I used to create client websites. I want my clients to succeed, so I set them up for success.
Is WordPress still the best option?
What I mentioned above was many years ago. Some of the other platforms were Flash-based, and these have been completely redone not to use Flash anymore. Many of them have evolved over the years to be better than they were for usability and search engine optimization.
- There are developers all over the world that work to improve WordPress.
- There are WordPress plugins that will do almost anything you need for your website. Many of the other platforms have a limited offering for bells and whistles.
- There are very professional themes that have been created for WordPress. Thousands to choose from. Many are well supported and keep up with technology as it evolves.
- If your website designer “disappears, ” there are many other designers can help you. You are not stuck.
- Search engines still love WordPress over other platforms – I am not sure why, but it is true.
- There are now What You See Is What You Get editors, making it easy for small business owners to make changes on their WordPress websites.
If you have questions about WordPress or websites in general, feel free to give Dotty a call at 360-607-4767.