Chances are, if you’ve looked into creating a website, you’ve heard of WordPress. The control management system (CMS) powers over 30% of websites on the web, including BBC America, NASA, CNN Blogs, Time Magazine, Vogue, Mercedes Benz International, and even the Official White House website.
So, What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source platform that has been around since 2003. It was created as a solution to the more expensive, closed source content management systemswordp and it’s proven its worth in the last decade.
There are two types of WordPress websites – hosted and self-hosted.
- Hosted sites are hosted on the WordPress.com servers, which means that you don’t need to worry about installation or updates because they’re taken care of by their team. Core WordPress is free to use, but you’ll face limitations of what you can do with this type of hosting.
- Self-hosted websites – this is when you host the WordPress software yourself, or you host with a web host like Excite Creative Studios. You have complete flexibility with a fully-customizable website, and you don’t have to worry about having technical knowledge to install Worpdress, maintain it, or update it. We handle all of that for you.
Features and Functionality of WordPress
The CMS is highly customizable and easy to use with a ton of features for both beginners or experts. Some of those features include:
- Basic blog posts with the option for multiple authors
- Photo galleries, slideshows, pages and posts in addition to standard blogging functions like comments/trackbacks
- Customizable WordPress themes and plugins that are easy to install, update and manage
- Internationalization support – 24 languages (so far)
- Taxonomy features that help you organize your content into categories or tags as needed. These are especially helpful when working with large sites containing tens of thousands of posts.
Types of Websites that Use WordPress
WordPress is typically used for personal blogs, business websites, and magazine/news publishing platforms, but the customization options are endless. Take a look three of our clients, and how they’ve eached used WordPress to meet their business goals.
Women’s Business Daily (WBD) is a membership community for millennial entrepreneur and career-driven females. The site serves as a personal mentor, career coach, financial advisor, entrepreneurship expert and style maven — all rolled into one. The site hosts a plethora of articles and an online store, but it’s main feature is a paid membership community, which offers online courses, goal tracking, forums, a private social media network, downloadables – and much much more. All of this is run fully off of WordPress.
Ascenum is a network providing private business owners a path to their optimal future — and most notably, an endgame of true prosperity. The site offers a paid membership platform that helps members make informed decisions and take control of their company’s future with content, tools, and access to trusted specialists. Run a business valuation on your company, network with other private business owners through community forums, learn best practices through an extensive learning center, and find trusted service providers that match your needs. All of the above is run off a WordPress foundation with custom solutions developed and integated to create an easy-to-use, engaging user experience.
Benefits to Using WordPress
The WordPress community is a thriving one. It’s estimated that over 64 million websites are currently using a WordPress site. Over 400 million people visit WordPress websites every month, and more than 660 new WordPress websites go live every day. Not to mention there are over 50,000 plugins available to enhance your website.
Plugins are one of the most significant benefits to using WordPress. If you need custom functionality, chances are there is a plugin that does what you need or does a large chunk of what you need.
While ultilizing plugins does help to lower your development cost, they rarely work perfectly out of the box. They’ll likely need to be customized and configured to work with your site’s specifications, but that aside, they are an excellent resource for WordPress users who don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel.
WordPress themes are another major draw for the platform. Themes allow you to customize your site with a design that is specific to your brand and content. You can hire a WordPress developer agency (like us!) to create a customized theme for you, or you can take advantage of pre-made themes to lessen your development cost.
Like plugins, themes rarely work and look perfect out of the box. They will also need to be customized and configured to work with your site’s specifications, but once set up – they can be a wonderful cost-saving solution.
We’re not going to dive to deep into this topic, as there’s a lot that goes into SEO ( like research, content, on-page SEO, and the technical optimization of your website). But WordPress creates a strong foundation to start with. Whether you’re doing SEO yourself or you’re hiring an agency (like Excite!) to do it for you, WordPress gives you a great set of building blocks to start with.
If you’ve been asking yourself, what is WordPress? And should you use it for your brand’s website? We hope that this article has provided you with some additional clarity.
If you have questions about WordPress or would like to talk about how your business could use WordPress, please reach out to us for a free consultation!