Technically speaking, WordPress is an open-source content management system, but in layman’s terms it’s a really easy to use system to create and modify websites. With WordPress, you don’t need to be a coder to create a website, as there are loads of ready to use templates. Even web designers use WordPress as the base for their websites, as it gives users the opportunity to easily make modifications to the text and add content after they hand it over.
What is WordPress and why is it so great?
It started off as a blogging tool, but has evolved to be an amazing way to create any type of website. In fact, nearly half of all of the websites on the internet use WordPress (43.2%) up from 39.5% in 2021. This makes it the most popular content management system in the world!
Here’s why so many people choose it over the other options:
- WordPress makes it easy to create your website using a whole host of easily customisable and varied templates
- Templates are designed to be user-friendly and attractive so your website visitors will enjoy their browsing experience. Most themes are also optimized for mobile, so work just as well on a phone screen as on your desktop, which is crucial when most people browse away from their desks
- Even using a template your site can stand out from your competition as there are over 8,000 themes and 58,000 plugins, so it’s really easy to customise and be made to work perfectly whatever your business needs or corporate identity
- It has its own free e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce, which enables you to sell through your WordPress site
- Web developers like to use WordPress too, and this means that when they hand over your site, you can make changes yourself. Additionally, any other web designer or developer that takes it over will be able to make changes and manage it too. No more being held to ransom by custom-built sites!
- It’s easy to link your WordPress site to your social media channels
- They are great for ranking highly in Google as they are really SEO friendly
What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
WordPress.com offers not only the website builder and all the great themes and plugins, but it also offers a hosting account, a domain name and automatic site management. However, the free option offers fewer SEO tools and is limited when it comes to customization, monetization and scalability.
By contrast, WordPress.org is a repository and resource where you can download the WordPress source code as well as all the plugins and themes you may need. It is also where you will find support documentation and forums to help you with installation. However, it does require more technical knowledge and more manual maintenance. It also means you have to pay for your domain name and hosting separately.
Web designers will make use of .org, as they can create a unique site and of course are comfortable with the technical side of things such as downloading and installing the software on the server. They will also tend to have their own hosting, or preferred hosting supplier.
Whereas end users who don’t have much technical knowledge will prefer the .com option, as it’s an easy-to-use website builder and comes with hosting and technical support, enabling you to be up and running really quickly. However, you won’t be able to operate an online store without purchasing an ecommerce package.
There’s another difference with .org and .com and that’s the price. With WordPress.org it’s totally free as you’re just downloading their open-source software (although there are paid themes and plugins available) and of course, you will have to pay for the domain and the hosting separately. There’s a free .com option as well, but you’ll have to put up with the WordPress branding. There are various paid plans on WordPress.com depending on what you need the site to do e.g. Personal, Premium, Business and Ecommerce.
Please note that the .org option is designed for people who know what to do to keep their sites up to date and secure, so unlike the .com sites, they do not automatically update themes and plugins, so you need to be on the ball to make sure everything is up to date and working as it should.
WordPress and SEO
We all know that the internet is a highly competitive place, and you want to be on the first few pages of the search engines to be in with a chance of a visit and a sale. WordPress, alongside writing SEO friendly text and optimising your site gives you the best chance of being up near the top.
There’s a number of reasons why it’s such a great tool for SEO:
- There are lots of great SEO-friendly themes to choose from
- It allows you to optimise lots of elements of your content to enable you to input keywords. This includes your permalinks, SEO titles and metadata and images.
- The sites usually load really fast and they have great plugins to speed things up!
- They have some brilliant SEO plugins such as Yoast, Google XML Site Maps and Google Analytics. Using these plugins helps you to optimise your content, makes it easier for those spiders to come and crawl your site and you can check your performance and make improvements.
- WordPress makes it really easy to add new content as news items, so you can incorporate your keywords, have the site being regularly updated and create content for your social media channels
No wonder it’s the most popular website tool out there!
Are WordPress sites secure?
WordPress sites can be vulnerable to attack, because it is an open-source platform. Although the WordPress team work hard to make it as secure and stable as possible, the fact that we can customise nearly every element and install plugins and themes, we often open ourselves up to attack. However, if you create a really strong password, only use reputable plugins and themes, make use of security plugins and keep WordPress and your plugins regularly updated, you should be OK!
Should you try and create and maintain a WordPress site by yourself?
As you can see above, you can create a website on WordPress by yourself, using the .com platform. It has been designed with this in mind. However, you are restricted by what you can modify and you will end up with a generic template website at the end. If that’s OK with you, then WordPress.com offers support, hosting and domains, so especially if you upgrade to a paid plan, there will be lots of support available to get your company online.
However, in our experience, most business owners want their website to look as good as every other aspect of their corporate identity. They care that the look and feel reflects the company and they have a clear idea of what they want it to look like. If that’s the case with you, then we’d recommend you use website designers who specialise in creating WordPress websites.
They will have the experience and understanding of this platform to give you exactly the website you want, with all the functionality you need and a unique look and feel which reflects your corporate identity. They will also be able to work with you to choose a theme which is SEO friendly and customise that to suit you perfectly.
You then need to make a decision of where you want to host the site. Choosing the right one should not be done simply on price, but according to your technical knowledge, time and the importance you put on the website working perfectly at all times.
If you’re happy to be involved with updates and active in the routine maintenance that you need to do to keep your website running and secure, then the free hosting services are fine. However, of course they will not be able to offer much in the way of customer service and support and if your site goes down or there’s a problem their end, they are less likely to help you to a quick and satisfactory resolution.
Most of our clients preferred a managed Cpanel hosting option, so they can relax in the knowledge that their website is being hosted and looked after by WordPress experts such as ourselves. We take care of the security, we offer super-fast loading times, backup the site on a daily basis and offer expert support for if something goes wrong. We have a range of managed hosting options depending on your needs.
We also offer WordPress website care packages, which include support for all aspects of your website. This includes core upgrades and updates, as well as security and performance scanning, monitoring uptime and optimising your database. We track SEO keywords and undertake daily backups and offer free website restores. We have Standard, Premium and Elite options, depending on how hands on you are and how much webmaster assistance you require each month. What they all have in common is the peace of mind that you’ll have, knowing that we’re working hard to make sure your website is working as it should.
Why JUCRA and WordPress are a perfect combination?
We are a specialist WordPress service provider and can offer a wide range of services for WordPress sites, backed by over 20 years of experience and hundreds of happy customers. JUCRA provides WordPress web design, advanced WordPress development, WordPress website care plans and truly fast WordPress hosting. We love WordPress and it shows in our work! Contact us to find out how we can help you to make the most of this fantastic tool for your business.