It’s well known throughout the design community that WordPress isn’t just for blogs, even though it’s the greatest blogging software that ever was. Huge sites are now being build on WordPress, some with and some without blogs. Here are some of the main advantages that WordPress has over building a site in HTML, Flash (but that’s a whole ‘nother post) or any other CMS (client management system) platform.
Your Own Domain Name
1. You can install WordPress on any domain name, and many servers now offer a 1-click install of the latest version of WordPress. It’s a completely seamless way of using the software, you just download the software from WordPress.org and they have instructions as to how to install it to your own domain name. Sha-boomy!
Saves you Money
2. Once your site is done being set up, designed and configured, you never have to pay anyone to make changes to it. Ever. Unless you want a new design or enhanced functionality, you can pretty much manage your site on your own and quit paying someone by the hour to add photos, change dates, and update your content.
3. The software to build the site is free and open source. That means that the code is available for anyone to update and improve upon, which usually means a superior product. WordPress is available online, both to use for your site as well as to maintain it. So you don’t need to purchase anything and install it.
4. You can access it from anywhere, any computer, and even make updates from your smart phone, if you wish.
5. Updates to the software versions are free, and you never need to update unless you want to. So you’re not paying for that, either!
6. Many attractive WordPress themes are free, but the professional ones are gorgeous and more flexible, I find. You probably need to pay a designer to completely customize the theme to exactly what you want, but it’s relatively easy to put together a beautiful site and pay less than $ 100 for a theme (but the design work and configuration will cost extra, I’m sure). My favorite places to get themes currently include Woo Themes , which has excellent support for when you can’t figure out how to get something just right and ThemeForest , which has amazing, feature-rich themes for very reasonable prices.
7. Themes come with built in CSS – which means that no matter what you do to the posts and pages you’re messing with, the titles and fonts will always look the same. So if you run a site with several contributors, you can be guaranteed a streamlines, professional look no matter who’s updating. (I recently had a client who was using FrontPage, and all the pages were in different fonts depending on the contributor’s preference. Bleah.)
8. WordPress has about a billion plugins, making your site unique and user-friendly. Some of the plugins I’ve installed for clients recently have included:
- functionality for users to print pages
- ability for users to make the text bigger or smaller on pages (for older audiences)
- the ability to choose which language they prefer to read the site in
- showcase of featured video in a sidebar
- eBay store functionality
- Facebook “Like” button
- Constant Contact and MailChimp forms on the sidebar so people can sign up for email newsletters
- Flickr photo galleries
- moving slideshow galleries (such as the one used in my portfolio.)
- Google Analytics trackers so you can see your site traffic when you login
And on and on! WordPress has so many, pretty much anything you’d ever want to do with your site is available and ready to be configured.
9. I wouldn’t be a good social media consultant if I did not tout the need and downright demand of today’s sites to have Facebook “like” functionality as well as integration with all your social media channels. People visiting your site should easily be able to see all your social media channels – YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, all of it. There are literally tons of ways to integrate these things into WordPress, making your site THE place to connect with your organization.
10. We all want to be at the top of that Google foodchain. With WordPress’ text-centric platform, it’s very search engine friendly and many themes and plugins can enhance your site even moreso. The WordPress platform is easily crawled by search engine spiders, making your site quicker to find than your competition. WordPress encourages link building and tracking back to your site easily from other sites, and allows you to create sitemaps easily.