Why WordPress?

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about why I’m such a WordPress fan. Here are a few reasons why I enjoy it so much:

  1. Easy to afford. WordPress is free! Keep in mind that there are two versions of WordPress you can take advantage of: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is an already-installed version that allows you to piggyback off the WordPress.com servers to host your own site. The problem with this is that you’re limited in your admin options. WordPress.org will give you the files to install your own version of WordPress for which you’ll have complete and total access and all admin options. I prefer using my own installation.
  2. Easy to create. If you’ve ever tried to build your own website, you know that it takes more than just a few clicks. In fact, the process is pretty intense. With WordPress, you can have a website up and running in a matter of seconds. The time it took for me to purchase my domain (spencerbean.com) through HostMonster and install WordPress was about five minutes. From there, it’s just a matter of tweaking and editing until you feel like you’re ready to add content and publicize to the world.
  3. Easy to modify. The user interface for WordPress is clean, organized, and easy to use. There are a lot of elements that comprise a WordPress site, so I’ll highlight a few:
    • Posts. When I want to create a new post for my blog, I go the posts section, click Add New, type in my content, and click Publish. That sends it live to my blog page and as content for my RSS feed.
    • Pages. The different tabs or links that you see on my site (Blog, Portfolio, About, Contact) are just pages. Creating a page is as easy as creating a post. Click Add New, give it some content, and click Publish.
    • Themes. Themes control the way your site looks. Things like layout, color scheme, and positioning are all determined by the theme. WordPress has a large directory of themes completely free to use and easy to install. With each theme comes a slew of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) that tell your content how to look. With your own installation of WordPress (not on WordPress.com) you have full access to both the CSS and PHP files that act as the building blocks for your site. If you’re code savvy, you can get under the hood and manually tweak a few things.
    • Widgets. Widgets are simply the items that appear in my sidebar. It’s a great way to display content through your entire site, even when you’re jumping from page to page. Currently, I choose to advertise things like my Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts, along with my post recent blog posts and even my live Twitter feed.
    • Plugins. I like to think of Plugins as iPhone apps–they increase the functionality of your site in some way or another. If you want to install Google Analytics, for example, there’s a plugin you can use to make it happen with minimal effort. If you’d like to add a contact page with a form for people to fill out, there’s a plugin you can use for that, too. Just like the themes, plugins are free to use, easy to install, and easy to use. You can search the plugin directory to find relevant and effective plugins for your site.
    • Media. Uploading and adding media (pictures, music, PDF documents) to your WordPress site is as easy as uploading pictures to Facebook. And once you’ve uploaded these items, you can easily access them through the Media Library. If you’ve created a PDF, for example, that you’d like to share with your visitors, you can upload the file, create a link to it in a page or post, and allow people to download and view it.
  4. Easy to hand off. Every now and then I get a call from a friend or colleague who needs a website. I’m more than happy to build a website, but I don’t have the time to keep it updated. And for someone who isn’t comfortable with HTML, PHP, or databases, it’s a steep learning curve if you want to do it yourself. However, if I build them a WordPress web site, all it takes is a few phone calls and perhaps some online training videos for that friend or colleague to be in complete control of their site, including their dynamic content.

This Post Has One Comment

Leave a Reply

Close Menu