WordPress. What Is It? And Why We Like It.
Many of our sites talk about being a ”Wordpress Website’ but what on earth is that?
What is WordPress?
WordPress is what is known as a content management system (CMS). What these content management systems allow you to do is be able to add, edit and delete any content that you want on your website. This then allows you to be able to build the content for your website and edit it whenever you like. You do not have to ask us or anyone else to go into your website and edit it for you. You can do it all yourself!
This isn’t the only content management system around and there are others including Joomla! and Drupal just to name a couple of alternatives. While we did consider the alternatives, there were a number of reasons why we preferred WordPress to the alternatives.
Usability is important for any user editing their own content. It’s got to be easy to edit the content you want to edit. If it’s not than you might as well not use a content management system. WordPress allows you to be able to edit your content easily. You just login to your admin area- go to your pages section – click the page you want to edit – change the content of the page in the text box and click update. Simple as that! While WordPress has added more and more features over the years making it more and more powerful, they haven’t sacrificed the usability.
There are thousands of designs that you can use for your WordPress site. These themes are from people all over the world contributing to make more and more choice available for users regarding what they want their design to look like. Some of these themes cost money, but there are also hundreds of free themes as well. If you do want your site to look really special though, you do usually have to pay a small amount of money. However, for a cost of £25-£40, you can get some really special, interesting themes. Do be careful to check reviews on themes you buy or download for your site, we’ve had a number of problems with poor coding, errors and incompatibilities with some of the themes we’ve used in the past, as a result we’ve now opted to recode all out themes ensuring any theme bought through us is 100% reliable and error free.
On first impression of looking at a WordPress site, you may think that there are features it lacks such as Ecommerce. However, plugins allow you to be able overcome the limitations of the default WordPress site. For instance, by adding the WooCommerce plugin, you can then add Ecommerce to your website and start selling products. It allows people who want more complex functionality on their website to add plugins to do this without getting in the way of people who want a simpler website. Some of these plugins do cost extra however most web design companies should provide these items within the quoted cost for the website.
WordPress is used by 22% of the top ten million most visited websites. So almost a quarter of 10 million websites use WordPress. That’s impressive especially compared to content management systems. For instance, only 3.1% of the same 10 million websites use Joomla! which isn’t bad but its nothing compared to WordPress.
With so many websites using WordPress, it benefits future WordPress users. Firstly, users can get help if they are struggling to work out how to use it. Secondly, it means loads of people have been able to test WordPress and been able to find problems with it and then improve it. Finally, it has meant that a whole industry has now been built around WordPress with lot of people offering themes and plugins for a set price. This means users get so much more choice regarding what they want their site to look like and the functionality of the site, plus of course its allowed companies like us to exist creating even more interesting, powerful and complex sites but with a solid tested groundwork to build on.
Some readers may already know of WordPress.com which allows users to make their own blogs that is then hosted on WordPress.com. This makes it a lot easier to get started than using WordPress.org. However, this does come with a lot of limitations.
The first and most obvious one is the URL you are given. If Digital Medium was using WordPress.com as opposed to WordPress.org, you would probably be reading this blog on http://digital-medium.wordpress.com as opposed to http://digital-medium.co.uk which is not a great URL for people to remember.
In addition, you are much more limited in terms of the plugins and themes you can use. Premium themes are now allowed by WordPress and you can only select from their repository which contains some good themes but not many.
We’ll be happy to answer any further questions you have, feel free to get in touch.