If you’re looking to create a new website and you’re researching your options, you’ll quickly come across the term ‘WordPress website’, but what is a WordPress website?
In this guide, we’ll explain what a WordPress website is and we’ll cover the advantages and disadvantages of using it.
So, what is it?
WordPress is a piece of software known as a ‘Content Management System’.
Hold on, what’s a Content Management System?
A Content Management System (often shortened to ‘CMS’) is website software which allows the owner of a website to easily create, edit, organise, and publishing content using an admin control panel.
WordPress is open source software which means it’s created by a community of developers and is then freely available and may be redistributed and modified. It’s not owned by one person or company. This has helped it to become very popular.
How popular are WordPress websites?
As of 2019, WordPress websites accounted for 35% of all websites on the web.
It’s become a favourite for small and medium sized businesses, but it’s not just software for smaller businesses, it powers 14.7% of the top 100 websites in the world.
Lots of celebrities have WordPress websites, including:
- Katy Perry, Usain Bolt, Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Webber, Tom Jones, Jay-Z and many more.
Lots of big brands have WordPress websites, including:
- Amazon Alexa, The Walt Disney Company, TechCrunch, Sony Music, Toyota (Brazil), New York Post, Metro Newspaper and many more.
And lots of big brands use WordPress for blog/news sections of their website, including:
- Mercedes-Benz Blog, Flickr Blog, Facebook Newsroom Blog, Ford (Canada) Blog, Blackberry Blog and many more.
What are the Advantages?
WordPress was developed and is continually supported and updated by a community of developers. You can download the latest WordPress updates for free. This means you can continue to keep your website running the very latest versions which make it very secure and future proofs your website.
WordPress allows you to add ‘Plugins’ on to your website. A plugin is an additional piece of software which adds additional functionality to your website. For example, contact forms, maps, booking systems, online shops and member areas.
The WordPress plugin directory has over 50,000 plugins which have been created by a community of developers and can be added to your website for free. This allows you to create a powerful website for a fraction of the cost compared to developing it from scratch.
As it’s so widely used, it doesn’t tie you down to one web designer or web design agency. Almost all web designers will have experience with WordPress and this means you can move your website between designers/agencies.
What are the disadvantages?
Old WordPress websites are vulnerable
WordPress is constantly updated to keep the software as secure as possible, but if your website isn’t updated, then it can become vulnerable. This isn’t a problem that’s unique to just WordPress websites, but it’s something you should consider. If your version of WordPress is out of date, speak to your web designer and ask them to update your website. You can update the WordPress software yourself, but be sure to take a full back-up first as this can be a risky process if something goes wrong. If in doubt, always speak to your web designer.
It’s not always the right option when creating a new website
WordPress is perfect for small and medium sized businesses and lots of big businesses use it too, so it’s perfect for them too, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best option when creating a new website. Speak to your web designer, explain the functionality you require and they will let you know if WordPress is suitable or if there is a more suitable or cost effective option.
In short, WordPress is a great way to create a very powerful website which is well supported, very secure and gives your website the best chance of being future proof.
It’s often a very cost-effective way of creating a website.
There’s so much to say about WordPress and we could have written an essay on each point, but we hope you’ve found this article interesting. If you have any questions, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.