WordPress has been around for a while now, but for those of you that don’t know too much about it here’s a quick rundown. Created by Matt Mullenweg, it began life as a blogging tool in 2003, and since then has grown into publishing platform used all over the world. A recent statistic revealed that in August 2011, almost a quarter of all new websites used the WordPress platform.
While people still use WordPress as a way to publish their blog, more and more individuals, companies, organizations, and government departments are using the WordPress platform to create websites. It has now become a proven and popular system to use for constructing websites, for a variety of good reasons.
The WordPress platform can be quickly downloaded from their official website, and installation is just as easy. Once it has been installed on your domain, creating the website can be done through its user-friendly dashboard. What’s more, it is completely free of charge to download and use, so it will cut the costs of developing your website. Once WordPress is installed all changes and additions to your website can be done by simply logging into your WordPress admin page, instead of using a File Transfer Protocol client.
Functional and user-friendly interface
You don’t have to know anything about HTML, CSS, PHP, or any other coding languages to use WordPress. Not to say that having knowledge of these is not an advantage when using WordPress, but it just isn’t essential. The dashboard can be navigated easily, and just a few hours of playing around with the system are enough to get started on making your website.
One of the main reasons why WordPress is widely used is because of the ease in customizing it into a content management system (CMS). It is extremely easy to update site content, including text, photos, video, and audio. You can type directly into text boxes, the same as you would in a word processor program, and the words will appear on the page in your website.
Themes, plug-ins and widgets
Changing the appearance of your website is simple when using WordPress themes. There are thousands of free themes to choose from, and they can be downloaded directly from your WordPress dashboard. Additionally, WordPress developers are constantly creating unique and professional themes to meet every taste and need. These are not always free, but paying $20 or $30 for a theme that fulfills all the criteria you want your website to meet, while also having a great appearance, should not be a big deal.
Widgets allow you to customize what appears on your pages. By adding a widget, you can provide a scroll of your latest twitter posts, a menu of links to other sites, or perhaps a selection of thumbnails from your Flickr account. There are thousands of widgets that can be added to your website with the minimum of effort.
Plug-ins allow you to do all sorts of things to improve your site, and the the different things possible with plug-ins is growing every day. If there is one particular function that you want your website to have, but your theme doesn’t allow it, there will no doubt be a plug-in for it. For example, with plug-ins you can add twitter tools, commenting via Facebook, and tag clouds, to name just a few.
Current releases of WordPress have been designed with search engine optimization (SEO) as an integral part of the platform. This means that tweaking your websites metadata and making sure relevant keywords are used to your websites advantage is simple. From the dashboard you can access an area that controls the SEO functionality of your website, and it’s plain sailing from there. If there is anything that hasn’t been covered here, there will be a plugin to help.
What’s more, integrating your website with your social media accounts is made hassle-free too. Using social media to build traffic to your website is recognized as one of the most successful methods to increase visitors.
Secure system with automatic updates
WordPress is gaining in popularity, which means that more hackers may start to target sites that use the platform. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the developers at WordPress work very hard to keep the platform they provide safe and secure for users, and there are plugins available to enhance the security of your website. Additionally, your version of WordPress will be automatically updated whenever a newer version is released, so your website will always be operating with its most stable release.