I’m sure you’ve heard of WordPress if you have ever looked into web design and development, unless you live under a rock. But do you really understand what it is and why you might want to use it to redesign your website? If not, read on, and I’ll educate ya! WordPress can be an extremely powerful tool to use in any website redesign, because it leaves you with a gorgeous and effective site that is easy to update, add content and functionality without needing to know how to code. That is of course if your designer/developer develops a great theme for you.
What is WordPress?
In technical terms, WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and CMS (content management system) that is powered by the PHP Web programming language and MySQL database. In layman’s terms, WordPress is a Web platform that gives you tons of features and functionality without requiring a high level of expertise in Web programming after the site is developed. There are three major parts to a WordPress installation, other than the basic WordPress code itself: themes, plugins, and widgets.
Themes drive the look and feel of your site. They define what the pages look like without altering the content within those pages. If you’re already using WordPress, you can make your website look dramatically different in just a few easy steps by changing themes, while all of your content stays the same. You can purchase pre-made themes or create your own custom theme. Pre-made themes are good for businesses starting out who just need a quick cheap website up. Custom themes are for businesses who are already somewhat established and are ready to generate leads, sales, and gain credibility online.
Plugins allow you to extend the functionality of your website beyond the features that are included with the basic WordPress installation. For example, a plugin could be used to add a music player to your pages without requiring you to do any Web programming to make it happen. Other plugins can add eCommerce functionality to your pages or just about anything else you can think of.
Widgets give you drag-and-drop sidebar content placement, as well as helping you implement some of the extended capabilities of your plugins. Widgets can be used to highlight the last few blog articles you posted, for example, or to embed your Twitter feed into your Web page.
Why should I use WordPress for my website redesign?
There are a number of compelling reasons to use WordPress when you’re revamping your website. Here are just a few of them, so look over these reasons and then decide for yourself if WordPress is right for your redesign.
1. It’s easy to set up, easy to manage, and easy to update. WordPress is so easy to use that almost anybody can do it. You don’t need to be a Web developer or Internet expert to use WordPress, as long as you have an Internet connection and a web browser to edit your content. That means that if you’re reading this, you probably already have everything you need. Once the site is developed properly by your designer/developer, your ready to rock.
2. Editing is so easy my Grandmom can do it. Before WordPress came along, editing the content on a business website usually required a Web developer to make the changes. With WordPress, however, you can edit all of your content in an easy-to-use interface. In fact, if you’re familiar with any popular word processing programs, the editing page within WordPress is going to look very familiar to you. This eliminates the need for hiring a Web programmer just to change the content of your pages. Oh and really, my grandmom edits her site.
3. WordPress is great for blogs and websites alike. Even though WordPress started out as a blogging platform, it has evolved into a full-fledged Web content management system over the years with all of the features you need. 60% of businesses use WordPress to manage their entire website, not just their blog. If the feature you want isn’t already included in the basic WordPress software, it’s relatively simple to find a plugin that provides that functionality. Which brings us to…
4. Plugins give you complex business features without any programming. If you need a contact form or a full-featured eCommerce system, or just about any other functionality you can imagine, there is probably already a plugin that you can install to provide it. Just like you can say “their is an app for that” you can also say “there is a plugin for that.” Thousands of plugins are available to add functionality to WordPress, and new features are added almost daily.
5. WordPress is Google-friendly. Matt Cutts, a Google Engineer, points out that “WordPress automatically solves a ton of SEO issues.” The CMS is designed to be Google-friendly, and SEO plugins available for free can make your site rise even higher in search engine rankings. Some of the reasons that Google loves WordPress so much include:
• Google prefers text-based websites, and WordPress is text-based.
• Google loves SEO, and WordPress gives you the power to manage your SEO with ease.
• Google loves it when a website has a logical architecture, and WordPress features a very logical design.
• Google loves blogs, and WordPress was originally designed with bloggers in mind.
6. WordPress is mobile-ready. Google is putting more and more emphasis on pages being mobile-friendly or responsive because a growing majority of users spend more of their time surfing the Web on their smartphones than on their computers. Anabolic Technology’s WordPress themes are designed to be responsive, so your website will automatically look just as good on smartphones as it does on PCs.
7. WordPress is a mature platform. During the past decade since WordPress was first released, it has been tested, refined and enhanced many times over. Through its evolution, WordPress has become a world-class Web publishing platform suitable for almost any website’s needs.
8. WordPress evolves easily. When you are setting up a new website or redesigning an existing one, you want to make sure it will continue to work for you many years down the line. WordPress boasts that it can handle up to about 10,000 pages, and is continually updated to be compatible with the latest generation of Web browsers. This means WordPress evolves with the times, rather than standing still and getting outdated. This is critical for ranking on the first page of google.
9. WordPress is open source. Almost all DIY website building tools such as Wix and Square Space to name a few come with commercial restrictions and limitations on what you can and can’t do. That’s not the case with WordPress, because it is an open source software package. This means you can use it in any way you choose, hosting your website anywhere you want, without worrying that a change in someone else’s business model might cripple one of your most important assets.
10. Bonus Round: You’re on a WordPress site right now! That’s right, the website you are reading this article on is running WordPress, because we stand by the platform strongly enough to use it ourselves. Take a look at our website using your smartphone, and see what responsive web design means!
Did this article help you understand WordPress and why it might be a good fit for you during your next website redesign? I will always redesign my website with WordPress, will you? If not, please ask your questions in the comments below. If so, share with a business owner or entrepreneur you believe can benefit!