What is WordPress?
WordPress is a free way for people to build websites. The tool is normally used for blogging, but it can be used for any type of website. It is also an open source tool, which means users are given the right to use, copy, change, and improve the design through access to its source code. WordPress is basically used as a content management system (CMS). A good CMS, such as WordPress, will allow you to:
- Manage your own website
- Optimize for search engines
- Allow multiple users to edit the site
- Adjust the layout of the site to meet your goals (blogging, marketing, etc.)
- Let a large number of people contribute to your website while you control the content
Currently, WordPress is one of the most popular CMS programs in use on the internet. It is used to build a significant percentage of all new websites. Since WordPress first appeared in 2003, it has received recognition on several occasions. For example, WordPress won the Pact Open Source CMS Award in 2007 and 2009. At the Critters, it was honored in 2011 with the Open Source Web App of the Year Award.
Why Use WordPress as a CMS?
There are a number of reasons for using WordPress as a CMS. Of course, everyone’s favorite reason is that you don’t have to have loads of money to use it. According to iThemes.com, having a small custom website created with only six pages and a “few bells and whistles, could easily cost you $3,000 dollars,” then the price goes up with every feature you add. It is much cheaper to use a template design. With WordPress, the software and many of the design templates are free. Those that are not are almost always under $100.
Another reason why people use WordPress is that it is easy. It has a learning curve, but most features are pretty straight forward and not much more difficult to learn than email. It is designed for non-techies, so you don’t have to hire any professions to keep up your webpage or wait on a programmer to fix every tiny error. You can just take care of it yourself, saving time and money.
WordPress admin is also online, so it can be accessed by multiple users (you can set different levels of access). This means that you are not the only one who can fix something. It also means that you have access to it from anywhere that you have access to the internet, even if you’re vacationing somewhere, and will not have to install any software.
The search engine optimization (SEO) advantages WordPress offers are sometimes overstated, but they are very real. With WordPress, there are many SEO plugins that help optimize your site for both on-page and off-page SEO factors. After all, doing better in search results and attracting more visitors is what it is all about.
It’s not just for blogging
Remember that WordPress has grown far beyond being a blogging platform and now works will for virtually any type of website. Those interested in using it for affiliate marketing should take a look at WordPress affiliate website.
What features does WordPress as a CMS have?
WordPress has a number of features that make it a good choice for a business website. Some of the features include integrated link management, search friendly, a flexible permalink structure, and support for tagging posts and articles. There are also automatic filters included, and it supports pingback and trackback standards for showing links to other websites. Other features, which make using WordPress as a CMS a good idea, include:
Themes – WordPress themes allow the users to change the function and look of their website. Users can install and quickly switch between themes without altering the content.
Plugins – WordPress’ rich plugin architecture is one of the most popular features of the site. It extends the users’ ability beyond the programs basic features. WordPress’ database has tens of thousands of plugins with a large range of purposes.
Widgets – Widgets can be used for drag-and-drop content placement or for implementing a plugin’s extended ability. They can also be rearranged without editing PHP or HTML code.
Mobile access – WordPress mobile devices is very easy with apps to include those for Android, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows. These offer access to many features in the admin panel of WordPress and make editing on the go possible. Other plugins and themes optimize WordPress sites for visitors using mobile devices.
Are there reasons for not using WordPress as a CMS?
According to FusionDojo.com, WordPress is very easy to hack. It is open source so it has security weaknesses and loopholes. Hacking has always been a problem for the CMS, and it requires constant updating. It doesn’t take long to do this, but it can be a pain. Sometimes when updating the site users have compatibility issues with plugins becoming outdated and even themes can stop working.
WordPress security covers the steps that should be taken and the plugins that need to be installed to keep WordPress secure.
People like WordPress for the most part, but it does have its limitations. Since it is a free, there is no set support. There is no official development team and no phone number to call. If a website breaks, sometimes errors are hard to diagnose. When this happens, you pretty much have to use forums (with the popularity of WordPress, there are an extensive number of them) in the hope that someone can help you solve the issues and do a fair amount of work on it yourself.
Tips on Using WordPress as a CMS
Follow these tips to get the optimal results when using WordPress:
Simplicity is good – In website design, less is better. Don’t choose busy themes. Don’t overuse color. Keep thing visually clean and appealing.
Keep it quick – With all the websites out there, you don’t have much time to catch someone’s eye, so you have to make it great at first glance. Furthermore, if you have too much information on your front page, it will take a long time to load. An excessive number of plugins will make your site slower as well.
Use plugins – You might not want to use too many plugins, but you do want to use them. When it comes to SEO and ways to make your site more user-friendly, plug-ins can be a big help. There is a plugin for just about anything, so take a look and see what’s out there.
Use keywords – Use keyword research tools before creating content and not as an afterthought. It will make the whole process a lot more efficient.