We use WordPress — and you should, too.
If you’re building a new website, you’ve probably realized that there is a lot to consider. One of those things is how you’re going to create and manage your site. Should you use a CMS (like WordPress)? A content management system can help in the management of your site. You could build a custom website without a CMS, but this often results in a website that’s hard to modify without the help of the original developer.
WordPress is a free, open-source content management system. A CMS is essentially a software for building websites. WordPress is simple for new users and uses basic programming language for the web, making it a popular option for a new site. To keep things simple and clean, we use WordPress for our website and our clients’ website — and we’re not the only one. Other notable names using the WordPress CMS include: The New Yorker, Bloomberg Professional, Time Inc., BBC America, TechCrunch and more. More than half the sites on the web are not on a publicly available CMS. Here’s a cool tool to check what CMS a site uses.
For the following reasons, you should consider creating your next website on WordPress, too:
WordPress is easy to use.
All WordPress sites have the same dashboard that allows you to access your site’s content (both pages and posts), manage plug-ins, edit navigation and more. The control panel is intuitive and well-organized. You can also create a staging environment within WordPress (WP) so you can test changes to your website without uploading them to the live site.
If you don’t have a developer or designer to build a custom WP site, there are thousands of free themes — check out the Theme Directory. You can alter the code of any theme. (At Magneti, we never use pre-built themes because some are sluggish, and we prefer a custom site, but they are available.) Many themes are already designed to be mobile responsive. Given the state of SEO — Google’s algorithm basically demands a responsive site so you don’t get heavily dinged — this is really important.
Then, there are thousands of free plug-ins at your disposal that don’t require a developer who codes. The plug-ins offer every special function you can imagine, from social sharing to image sliders. In order to keep your site running swiftly, it’s important to not install every plug-in out there — but using a select handful can be powerful for your site’s usability.
Just remember: a CMS doesn’t allow you to edit everything on your site. Based on the theme, you’ll probably have anywhere between 30 percent and 60 percent “editability” of the elements and content of your site. So don’t be surprised if you still need a web developer to make some of the changes you want.
WordPress is free and open source.
This means you can host your website on just about any shared hosting provider, and it’s free to use and edit. You’ll need to pay for your domain and for hosting, but both can be relatively inexpensive. Some hosts even give you a domain name for free with your hosting fees. We often host website on WP Engine, a capable host with fees starting at only $30 per month.
WordPress runs on a LAMP stack (Linux Apache MySQL PHP), which is one of the oldest, most common stacks on the web. Most shared hosting services use it. This makes your site transportable; if you needed, you can move your site from one host to another. If you have knowledge of a LAMP stack, you can download WP straight from WordPress.org — they say installation takes five minutes.
WordPress is the most popular CMS.
Globally, 27.5 percent of websites are built on WordPress — that’s over 75 million sites and 2.5 billion blog posts. Developers who can work in WP are abundant, so you won’t be stuck with a single developer for your website’s entire existence.
WordPress has the best blog functionality of any CMS.
WordPress was originally created as a blog publishing platform. So, if your website has a blog (which it should), you will have access to innumerable plug-ins specific to blogging. And, it’s best for your business and for SEO to have your blog and website on the same site, which you can do with WP.
It’s also easy to manage blog subscriptions. You can integrate WordPress blogs with major email providers: MailChimp, Constant Contact, Emma, etc. We use a HubSpot-integrated form for our blog subscription — check it out here!
You can create any type of website on WordPress.
No matter your industry, you can create your website with WordPress. We’ve created sites for everything from membership to nonprofits. Here’s a broader list of what you can build with WP:
- E-commerce / B2C
- Blog website
- Services / B2B
- Booking site (make appointments)
WordPress is optimized for SEO.
Out of the box, WP ranks relatively well in Google because of its easily crawl-able framework, fast site speeds and navigation. On top of that, there are SEO-specific plug-ins available — we recommend the Yoast SEO plugin — to further improve your search engine optimization. This particular plug-in gives suggestions and analyzes pages, inserts meta tags and link elements, creates a sitemap and allows you to choose a focus keyword for each page or post.