I’ve been using WordPress since 2010 when I started my first blog. At the time I was using WordPress.com which is a blogging platform similar to blogger. I’m not sure why I chose to use WordPress other than that it was the first thing that came up in a search result about creating a blog.
I soon discovered that to really turn a blog into something big, the best plan of action for me would to be to purchase web hosting and install a self-hosted version WordPress onto the hosting site and hook it up to a purchased domain name. I did that only a few short months after starting my first blog and I haven’t looked back.
There are a lot of different opinions on which website platform to use and this article is my own opinion based on my experience and on research.
I think WordPress is an extremely versatile platform and it’s used by a massive percentage of people (over 26% of all the websites on the entire internet…think about how huge that percentage is for a second). There is a reason such a large number of websites are based in WordPress.
Here are my reasons for choosing to use WordPress for my own website and to develop all client websites on WordPress:
It’s incredible easy to use. Creating and managing content is all one click away.
WordPress is a content management system, which means that if you produce content, it manages that content. If you have a blog or a podcast or you create videos, you post it all in your blog feed and keep your website relevant. I wrote about a few of the benefits of blogging in this post.
It may take a few days or a week or so to learn to navigate around it, but if your website’s theme is set up properly, it’s no different than using Microsoft Word or any text editing software on your computer. You click “add new post” and then you’re lead to a text editing page where you can write your post, choose title, edit the URL (if you want to get fancy), add a featured image, etc.
If you want to add static pages to your website it’s only one click away.
If you want to edit which items and links are in your website’s menu, again it’s only a click away.
You can do it all yourself, easily, without having to her someone to go and edit some source code behind the scenes like in the olden days.
Other website platforms are also quite user friendly – like Squarespace, for example. You can easily add pages, posts or edit your menu without hiring someone to do it for you. So why, if Squarespace is so easy, do I still prefer WordPress?
It’s Yours. You own it.
The biggest reason is because with WordPress you own your own website. WordPress is free open source files that you install on your hosting server. It’s not owned or paid for. That means that when it’s installed, you own your website.
Squarespace and other platforms are the hosting server, meaning that you pay them a monthly fee to host your website on their software. Technically you don’t own your website. You’re dependant on Squarespace and if Squarespace goes out of business, you’re going to have to move your website to a completely different platform that may not be compatible.
I’m not saying Squarespace is going to go out of business, but personally I think that a website is your store front, your business asset, and it’s more advantageous of you to own it rather than rent it out.
Your hosting server or domain name provider can also go out of business but since your website is comprised of WordPress files and WordPress is free software, you can easily move your website to another hosting server or move your domain name without even blinking – with zero downtime in your business. WordPress files can be installed anywhere.
You can add any functionality to your website. The sky is the limit.
There are way more options for website software and plugins with WordPress meaning that you can make your website do anything for you. If you want to install interactive quiz software, you have hundreds of options. If you want to create a membership website, or an insanely custom form (like the one I created for a client here), or even an events calendar or a list of where your bands tour performances will be and how to get tickets…or even if you’re a hotel and need to book rooms. There is software for everything that’s made for WordPress configuration. Seriously. Anything.
This has to be the number one reason to go WordPress. The functionality is in my opinion to most advanced functionality of any Website platform available. The sky is the limit.
You can easily customize the layout (to absolutely anything) without touching code.
It’s based on themes and the amazing customizing feature of some premium themes is unmatchable.
I’ve used other platforms to build websites, but unless I custom code (which I do), I can’t get the same level of layout customization that I can in WordPress with no coding.
Personally this one isn’t a biggie for me because I use custom coding in every single website I create, but when I no longer manage my clients website, or if they want to produce a new page with a custom layout, they can do it easily without touching any code.
There’s so much more to say about the benefits of choosing WordPress and about why I personally only develop on WordPress because that has my client’s best interest at hand.
The reasons above are my top reasons but others have also written about the topic so I’ll leave you with some additional reading: