Why Build Your Website in WordPress
If you're looking to start a website, build it in WordPress!
We occasionally get asked why it is that we only build websites in WordPress. The following is some additional information about WordPress as a content management system (CMS) and why you should build your website using WordPress, or if you are not doing it yourself, why you should hire a website developer who will build a website in WordPress for you.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source project, which means it is free for use on any website from a small personal blog to a large, high-traffic professional website. Originally started as just a blogging system, WordPress has evolved to be used as full content management system and so much more through thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes. WordPress is limited only by your imagination.
WordPress is not just for bloggers.
WordPress is a content management system, or CMS. That, very basically, means WordPress is a system for organizing, accessing, and editing your information. WordPress can be used to build a blog, but you do not have to use that feature of WordPress — you can build a website using WordPress or a blog, or you can combine the two. The benefit of using Word Press as a CMS is that it is very user friendly; after the initial site build, you will be able to edit and change most things on your website on your own without hiring someone to do it (exceptions being things like the stylesheet (a.k.a. overall theme) and some forms which may require coding knowledge). Not only will having a website in WordPress save you money on website editing fees, but it will also help you from a marketing standpoint as it has many features which help with search engine optimization settings.
Is the WordPress CMS the same as WordPress.com?
No! WordPress as a content management system (available on wordpress.org) is not the same as free blogs/websites obtained through wordpress.com. WordPress CMS is designed to be installed on your own web server, or shared hosting account, which gives you complete control over your blog or website. Unlike with the free hosted version available at wordpress.com, when the full version of WordPress is installed on your own hosting account you can be sure of being able to access and modify everything related to your site, in case you need to. WordPress.org software has infinitely more features and customizations available than you will find with wordpress.com blogs.
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Key Features of WordPress
- User management:WordPress uses user-levels to control user-access to different features, so you can restrict the ability of individual users to create or modify content in your website, by changing their user-level. This is especially useful for larger groups or businesses that want to have multiple people generating/editing content but want to be able to limit those users’ ability to edit the design/set-up/layout of the website.
- User profiles:Each user on your weblog can define a profile, with details such as their email address, instant messaging aliases etc, if they want to. Users can also control the way in which their details are displayed on the weblog.
- Dynamic page generation:No rebuilding of all your pages each time you update your website, or any aspect of it. All pages are generated using the database and the templates each time a page from your website is requested by a viewer. This means that updating your site, or its design is as fast as possible, and required server storage space usage is minimal.
- Feeds: The RSS 1.0 (aka RDF), RSS 2.0 and ATOM specifications are fully supported by WordPress, and just about any page on your website has an associated feed that your readers can subscribe to. The more options your readers/customers have to keep track of different sections of your weblog, the easier it is for you to spread the word and market yourself around the world. WordPress also fully supports RSS 2.0 with enclosures, so adding mp3 files (such as podcasts) to your RSS feeds is a snap.
- Understandable Permalinks: The URLs for all the pages in your website can be made to conform to a standard system, and all the links are structured, sensible, and understandable to human and machines, and that includes search engines. Clean URLs are essential for search engine optimization and an improved user experience. (NO URLs like www.mywebsite.com/1234thwbsai)
- WYSIWYG Editing: Edit posts and pages on your website in a “what you see is what you get” editor, similar to creating a document in MSWord. No coding knowledge needed! That means after I set up the structure of your website, you can edit the content and pictures, and add or remove pages yourself.
- Post to the future: You can write a post today and have it appear on the weblog at a future date, automatically. That means that you do not have to post on your blog exactly when you have time to do so. WordPress works with your schedule.
- Live Preview: Before you press the “Publish” button, you can look at the preview for the article you just wrote to check if everything is the way you want it before you make it live to the world.
- Detailed Directions: WordPress maintains detailed directions with screenshots in their “Codex” found at http://codex.wordpress.org, so if you don’t know how to do something, the answer is just a click away. There are also discussion forums available for user-to-user support, and, of course, you can always email me your friendly website designer for support!
For additional information about WordPress, you can read more about WordPress’ Features or find a wealth of information in WordPress’ Beginner’s Guide. If you have specific questions about WordPress, please feel free to leave them in the comments! We’re happy to share any knowledge we can regarding this amazing website building platform.