You've probably read or heard that WordPress is the most popular system for building and maintaining websitesbut is it the right choice for you? Unlike competing solutions such as Wix, Weebly or other commercial scripts, WordPress is a software available completely free of charge. Therefore, looking for reviews about it you will often come across blogs, whose authors praise other solutions, which is usually due to the fact that they simply receive commissions for recommending one or another tool. Yes, many of them are interesting suggestions, and I'm not one of those people who criticize a good job just because I use something else in my work, but I'll admit honestly that I had a hard time finding a meaningful description about WordPress. Usually the articles I come across boil down to statements like "WordPress is great, free, scalable and highly recommended", but why?
In order to help you make the right business decision about choosing WordPress as the platform for your site, I've decided to give you the pros and cons. This is like any review a subjective point of view despite a sincere desire to objectively approach the topic, but let's not fool ourselves, there is no such thing as objectivity in this case. Everyone has different experiences that determine the optics of the issue at hand. One can only try to be objective, which I hope to achieve to a large extent in this text.
What is WordPress?
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, it is the world's most popular system for building websites. In practice it already powers over 37% of all websites operating on the Internet, and as a CMS system has developed 63% of the market. Below is W3Techs July 2020 data.
Note the massive gap between WordPress and the second system on the podium Shopify - 63% to 4.4%. That's a real gulf. Not to mention others like Wix mentioned at the beginning with 2.4%.
What I will be describing in this article is WordPress hosted versionIt is worth knowing that there is also a blogging platform WordPress.com. It is good to distinguish between these two things. Therefore, when using the name WordPress in this text, I will mean the free software available on WordPress.org. What does Free Software mean? In simple terms, it means that you are free to use it for any purpose and free to adapt it to your needs. End of story.
WordPress course which I have prepared for you will allow you to master this system and use its incredible potential. You are cordially invited.
What kind of sites can you create on WordPress?
WordPress is an extremely flexible tool and very convenient in daily work, which is one of the reasons why it is so eagerly chosen as software for building websites. Hence, such statistics as those presented above.
You can use WordPress to run a blog, create a small or larger website for your business, you can use it to run an online shop, auction systems, industry directories, etc...You can use it to create and maintain almost any type of website.
No matter what idea you have for a website, chances are you'll find the right plugins to make it work. If it were otherwise, however, you can easily find specialists who can write such extensions for you. It is thanks to its popularity that there are thousands of programmers all over the world who specialise in creating dedicated solutions for this particular system.
What are the most common types of sites created on WordPress?
Content in WordPress
All the text data you enter into WordPress is stored in the database, while multimedia or other files are stored in dedicated folders inside the directory tree structure of the system on the server. Content is entered using the convenient WYSWYG editorand now you have a choice of two. Soon, since version 5.0, the default editor will be replaced by a new one called Gutenberg. In the standard editor, you have basic text formatting tools similar to what you may be familiar with from other text editors. You can also switch to the HTML view, and if you know a little bit of HTML syntax, you can also make formatting changes to your text this way. The standard editor does not have any drag and drop functionality, which makes it very easy to use, but also does not allow for a comfortable and visually appealing text layout. Something for something.
The new editor introduces a lot of changes and novelties, allowing you to compose the content of articles in a much more flexible way using blocks, columns and the possibility of their individual configuration. The new one also gives you the possibility to work with the drag and drop method, which for many is certainly a very desirable feature, allowing you to quickly and visually attractively arrange the content on the page.
For me personally, Gutenberg is not yet refined enough to be based on it and if you follow my blog you know that I effectively replace it in my daily work with a plugin Elementor. And that's just another feature of WordPress. You are not condemned to the only right way to manage your website content!
Managing website design
WordPress uses a powerful mechanism to manage so-called themes, or if you prefer website appearance templates. This allows developers and graphic designers to create often beautiful and functional layouts for websites. You can find literally thousands of themes for WordPress and this applies both to free resources and those for which you have to withdraw 100 or 200 PLN from your wallet.
Each theme contains a set of styles and template files responsible for displaying and presenting each section of the site. In many of their you can make various modifications such as changing colours, header and footer layouts, or the presentation of certain pages such as portfolios, article lists, individual articles, etc... If you have the means and your needs are very specific and you don't like to compromise, you can always hire a graphic designer and programmer to create a theme tailored to your requirements.
You can also use the already mentioned Elementor or other drag and drop editor. In Elementor it has recently been possible not only to arrange the content of individual subpages. Now, without the knowledge of coding you can create your own themes with it. For information on this topic, see the article "Elementor Pro 2.0 - No more searching for templates for WordPress“.
Extending WordPress functionality
Over the years, WordPress has become a platform that allows developers to write so-called 'WordPress' for it. plugsExtensions are small (sometimes bigger) scripts adding additional functionality to the website. Because of the huge popularity of the system, you will find thousands of extensions - just like themes - on the web. If you can think of an idea that you would like to implement on your website, there is a good chance that somewhere on the web there is a plug-in that will enhance your website with exactly what you want. All you have to do is search, and you can find both a free WordPress repository as well as many platforms and independent companies that sell their solutions - usually at very attractive prices.
I could compare the plug-ins a bit to phone apps. You have a smartphone with iOS or Android, you miss some functionality, you go to the application database, download and install. Here it looks analogous, and the process of downloading and installing a plugin or theme is exactly as convenient as with an app on your phone.
Some plugins are very simple and add one small functionality, such as the ability to display buttons to share an article in social networks. Others, on the other hand, are powerful plugins that allow you to implement many advanced functionalities such as an online shop, advanced booking systems, auctions, etc ... Such plugins can be compared to a separate platform, but created specifically for WordPress.
A few plugins I recommend are e.g:
What are the pros and cons of WordPress
Like any software and with no exceptions, WordPress also has its advantages and disadvantages. In our world, there are no perfect things, we are always left with a choice of solutions that in one case or another will be as optimal as possible, which does not mean perfect.
Advantages of using WordPress
In fact, I should prepare a completely separate article about the advantages of WordPress, because there are many aspects related to the use of this software that have a positive impact on various areas of online activity. In the meantime, I will list a few that in my opinion are probably the most important.
Disadvantages of using WordPress
As I mentioned before, there are no perfect things and the same applies to WordPress. Therefore, it is good for you to be aware of these features as well before making a decision.
Who should use WordPress
What I love about WordPressi'e is that it adapts to my needs. You decide everything and you have a real influence on everything. You can create something simple or sophisticated and very complex. As you have total control over your own site, you also have control over the expenses associated with it, so managing your site can be much more efficient and beneficial to your business.
Is WordPress for you? Checklist
If you ticked at least one of the above list items it means WordPress is right for you.
Who would I advise against WordPress?
Although in my opinion WordPress is software for anyone who wants to create their own website, I realise that there are some people who do not need this tool for their projects.
How to get started with WordPress?
Find a good hosting, register your domain, download the installation files from WordPress.org, install and go. On my blog you will find a lot of information that will surely be helpful and make your start easier. You can also click on the button below to open the description of the full procedure starting from hosting account activation to WordPress installation. Don't forget about the complete the WordPress course for instructions on this how to set up an online shop on this system or how to start a blog. Good luck!
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