Whether you are starting a new website or migrating an old outdated website you may have come across WordPress and are considering using it for your website. In this article we will go over 6 Reasons To Use WordPress as your CMS. CMS is an acronym for Content Management System; in short a CMS allows you to edit your own content without having to touch any code. There is a lot more to know about Content Management Systems and if you have any further questions about them keep an eye out for our article, dedicated to this topic, coming soon “Content Management System – What and Why?”
So we know what a CMS is , we know we are building a new website so now comes the great question; Why use WordPress?
Now first a disclaimer; WordPress may not be a perfect fit for you depending on what your needs are. WordPress is a very powerful platform and there are a lot of great features included in it but please treat this article as simply formative and don’t base your decision entirely off of reading this one article. If you are struggling to decide on what your next steps are feel free to contact us for a consultation so we can better assess your situation.
With that out of the way let’s get into it; 6 Reasons To Use WordPress as your CMS. WordPress is a popular website framework traditionally used for blogging which is kind of what I am using it for right now as you read these. Editing and publishing posts for your online audience to see. Over the years though the WordPress community has built on those early day functions and has now built an extendable, user friendly and versatile CMS framework and whilst there are many competing CMS frameworks out there here are 6 Reasons To Use WordPress as your CMS.
An Open Source software project is free to use as you please. This means free which is pretty great when you think about what you get for it. Now to be clear this does not mean you only need to click a few buttons and have a perfect shiny website for free. There are many expenses to consider when building a website and WordPress just takes the licensing cost off your plate.
There are still expenses in running the server your website will live on, the domain name that will allow your customers to find you and the SSL to ensure that your site maintains authenticity and stays secure (don’t stress if you haven’t crossed those terms yet).
In short, your framework is not your only expense when building a site, at a bare minimum you need to pay for hosting, domain name and SSL and the expense you will never evade is your own time to not only do the work for the site but to learn the ins and outs of WordPress.
Plugins = Extendable
WordPress utilises a functionality called “Plugins”, plugins are excellent for building your site the way you want to. For example; an e-commerce site is going to use a different set of plugins to a booking site or a traditional blogging site.
The beauty of plugins is you can have as many or as little as you like. Every plugin will slightly change your site and this can affect security, performance and ease of use. This extendable nature of WordPress means that we can go as heavy or as light as we need with our site. Out of the box you get a pretty good skeleton to work with and if you don’t need all the extras. You don’t have to use them. If you do need all the extras, WordPress makes it too easy to go and install them all!
Now use caution when installing plugins. There truly is a plugin for everything however we have found that sometimes newcomers to WordPress will get a bit trigger happy on the install button in the plugins section. The problem is down the track you end up with a plugin management chaos. You forget what plugin does what and you have 10-15 plugins all out of date by 10-20 versions which not only causes security problems but also issues with breaking components when you do eventually update them.
A few tips to avoid this chaotic state I talk about are:
- Update your plugins regularly
- Only use one plugin per task/feature
- Delete old plugins if you replace or delete the feature they support
If you do find yourself in plugin chaos, reach out to us and we can see what we can do for your site.
Abundance of Learning Materials and Resources
Building and Editing your new website will inevitably come with some challenges just like every new skill you learn. Something we love about WordPress is the abundance of Learning Materials and Resources. Being a very popular framework there are many content creators that cover everything from the basic functionality of WordPress to Site Settings all the way through to code and technical concepts (hooks, actions, etc).
For the everyday business owner wanting to change some of the wording on their site though, a quick google search will get you really far when it comes to finding answers to those problems you get stuck on and just couldn’t figure out without some help.
If you do find yourself completely stuck though we can consult and contract to help get you through the little hiccups you run into and walk you through the harder concepts.
Third party Support
Businesses are here to make money, in order to do that we want our products to reach as many people as possible and that encompasses my fourth reason for loving WordPress. A lot of the websites you see on the internet are running WordPress in the background so it is only natural that the big players in online products you might already be using support WordPress or a plugin of WordPress.
For example a plugin that requires a payment gateway will nearly always have the option for you to connect PayPal, Stripe or Square to the platform because it only makes sense to build off one another and give the end user the most flexibility when setting up their website, blog, e-commerce store or booking site.
The market of plugins and integrations is huge with WordPress which means, for a bit of coin you should be able to find just about anything to fit your business model without having to touch any code at all.
As annoying as updates might be they are a a crucial part of keeping your website safe and secure. Being an open source community with strong developer support WordPress is constantly being updated to keep up with security holes and performance issues that all web based applications run into with the ever changing scope of the internet applying pressure to innovate.
Sometimes I struggle to keep up with the WordPress versions, as of writing this we are up to version 8 and it feels like I only started a project on version 7 yesterday. Updates are good though and your WordPress site will usually automatically update for you. It is important though to keep an eye on this combined with the quality of plugins you are installing because you don’t want an update to WordPress to break a plugin you installed three years ago that hasn’t been refactored to keep up with the current changes.
Easy To Use
I will start off by saying yes, your right, this is subjective. Not everyone will find it easy and that’s okay! However, in comparison to other CMS platforms I have come across a benefit of WordPress is that it is relatively easy to learn and adapt to.
There are plenty of plugins out there that can make the experience even easier (and some that can make it even harder). A lot of it comes down to what works for you but I think the reason this last point stands is because with WordPress you can choose!
The problem with monetized licensed frameworks is that a developer can’t just pop the hood and start changing things as they please. The company issuing the license has the codebase under lock and key and it’s purpose is to be profitable (nothing wrong with that). But with WordPress if your sat thinking “there has to be a better way”, chances are there is a dev somewhere, sometime that has thought the same thing. So they have gone and built it.
So there you have it! 6 Reasons To Use WordPress as your CMS. These were all the benefits we have found of WordPress. There are certainly some downsides as well, let us know if you would like to see an article on that! If you have gotten this far thank you very much for reading and if there are any questions on any of the topics covered today feel free to contact us!