When it comes to building a website, there are tons of different platforms to build on, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, just to name a few. That doesn’t include the number of custom solutions that web developers may be able to offer. So why do I use WordPress for small business websites? Here are a few reasons:
In this post and all of my WordPress posts, I am referring to wordpress.org, not wordpress.com. This post explains the difference between the two platforms.
WordPress allows me to custom code when need be. There are a ton of great options for WordPress themes, both free and paid, but for a developer like me, I can custom code a theme that allows me to do anything I want. However, for the user or business owner, the admin is simple to use, without knowing any code.
Open source is a popular term in the web world, but many outside don’t know what it means. Basically it means that the software is free to use and takes contributions. The main WordPress files are free to download and manipulate. Additionally, developers can submit recommendations to WordPress for changes to the files. In this way, it is a multiple heads are better than just one situation.
With other website builders, you are limited to what the developers for that platform have allowed you to do and this functionality may not meet your needs.
There is no cost to use WordPress. While you do have to pay for hosting and a domain, there are a number of options at a number of different price points, which allows you to choose the right plan for your needs and budget. Other platforms have limited options.
Cost also works in another way, if you want to extend the functionality of your site, premium plugins can help with that. Although there is an added cost, it can greatly increase the value of your site with options that aren’t available through website builders.
Over a quarter of websites on the internet today are powered by WordPress. Both small sites for individuals and small businesses as well as large sites such as Forbes1 and even Sweden’s official website. It’s popularity means that it isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Additionally, for people who have updated other websites, they may recognize the “back-end” of WordPress, which makes updating even easier.
There are thousands of different theme options ensuring that websites don’t look the same, even if they are using a commercially available theme. Some website builders only have a few hundred options so websites can start to look similar. Due to the open source nature of WordPress, developers can make their own themes and release them (either free or paid) to the public creating thousands of options for consumers. You are no longer constrained to the time limits and creativity of the people behind the website builders.
Options extend beyond just themes, but into plugins that can extend the usefulness of your site. Plugins range from expanding design, adding security and improving SEO. The plugin shop allows you to see reviews and number of users so that you can choose the right plugin for your site.
Website builders can change their features at anytime and while this is true of WordPress too, 99% of the time, a feature will be able to be adjusted back by a developer with WordPress. Website builders will lock you in to features changes, which can be frustrating for users.
Due to the popularity of WordPress, almost any question a user might have, can be answered with a quick Google search. There can be a bit of a learning curve with WordPress but when you work with a developer on your site, they should provide training on your site (make sure before you sign a contract). If you buy a premium theme, make sure you buy one with documentation or a tutorial. These resources create a large WordPress knowledge base and help the average user become a master user.
By buying your own hosting, domain, and using WordPress, you are in control of your own content. Many website builders say that they can use your content without your consent to promote their platform. Additionally, if the website builder shuts down, you may lose access to your site. While this is unlikely to happen, it is a consideration. Due to the large open-source community of WordPress, it is unlikely it will ever shut down and if it did, you still have control of your content to move to a new platform. You own your website and have control over it.
Website builders can be a great option for some, especially when just starting out. Some like Squarespace have gained popularity for their visual appeal and ease of use. However, in my opinion, WordPress offers so many benefits that it is the only thing I use for my customers.