By Ben Neale, Director at Atticus 7. Ben Neale of Atticus 7 has been building commercially successful websites for 15 years.
OK. Let’s picture a few scenarios. You’ve just started your business, and you need to get a website up and running as quickly as possible, but there are just so many options out there, so you are feeling overwhelmed. Or maybe you’ve been running a business for several years, and your website has been left to gather dust, or has just become old hat in the inevitable march of time.
I’ve been building websites professionally for 15 years, and I’ve used many different approaches. Of course the web has moved on a great deal since I built my first site – it’s almost unrecognisable from the late nineties. I began using WordPress about 7 or 8 years ago, and – as its capabilities increased and my knowledge improved, I’ve grown into a staunch advocate for the platform. These days, I build just about everything in WordPress – unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise – which is very unusual.
What is WordPress and why should I use it?
Put simply, WordPress is a framework for building websites which includes a sophisticated, with a user-friendly content management system for running your site, once it’s launched.
I’ve put together 11 great reasons why you should switch to WordPress for your next website
1) It’s established and trusted
WordPress isn’t the latest thing. It’s just over 10 years old. It started life as a simple blogging system, but has evolved into a robust, sophisticated and flexible framework for developing websites of all kinds.
2) It’s easy to use
When it comes to managing your website, it really is straightforward to use. If you can use MS Word, the chances are you’ll find WordPress very easy indeed.
3) Huge numbers of websites use WordPress
- 22% of all new websites run WordPress
- 15% of the top 1 million visited sites use WordPress
4) Important sites run WordPress
High profile institutions including CNN and the Wall Street Journal and the NHS run WordPress sites as part of the arsenal.
5) It’s cost effective
It’s open source – so you can download and install WordPress for free
6) You can extend it
WordPress includes the basics out of the box, but if you require more functionality, there are a vast array of plugins – at present count 26,770 – available to download and install. And if there isn’t a plugin that does what want it to do, you can hire a developer to build one for you.
Your website can look exactly how you want it to look. There are a huge number of third party themes for you to choose from, or you can hire a WordPress designer to create a unique theme for your site.
Your WordPress site can pretty much be anything you want it to be: a personal or corporate blog, an online shop – ( I recommend using e-commerce plugin Woocommerce) – a lead generator (have a look at one of my sites Find a London Office) , a paid membership site, all of these at the same time, and countless other possibilities…
8) Your site is future proofed
The number of huge number of WordPress developers on the planet means that if you fall out with your current developer, you’ll easily be able to find another one, who’ll be able to pickup your site and run without any difficulty. Try WP Hired for available WordPress experts
9) Search Engine Optimised
WordPress isn’t especially search engine friendly out of the box. But with a couple of plugins – I recommend Yoast’s WordPress SEO (which is free) and Scribe (which is subscription-based), and then refer to Moz’s excellent webinar on setting up WordPress for SEO
10) Search Engine Optimised
Speed up your site with caching plugins WP-Total Cache and ensure that your site is always downloaded from a server as close as possible to your visitor using a Content Delivery Network(CDN) such as CloudFlare, using CloudFlare’s free WordPress plugin
11) WordPress is Mobile Friendly
Responsive WordPress themes – which adapt according to screen size and aspect ratio are now widely available. Dedicated mobile sites can be achieved easily (without code) using plugins such WP Touch Pro And when it comes to managing your site’s content, apps are available for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) and Android, as well as other platforms and browsers. Here’s a complete list WordPress Apps
So there you have it: a compelling list of reasons why you should be choosing WordPress for you next website.