If you are a small or medium sized business owner, having a website and online presence is extremely important for promoting your services and generating increased revenue. If you are looking for a versatile, user friendly platform that you can mostly manage yourself, WordPress is a superb choice. In fact, we think it is simply the best there is.
This post focus on what we call a self-hosted version of WordPress from wordpress.org. For clarification on the other version at wordpress.com go here WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
There’s not to say it hasn’t its problems, in the interest of clarification we will list some of the pros and cons.
Cons of WordPress
The cons of WordPress are far outweighed by the pros and there are no other CMSs (content management systems) or website building tools that come near it, in combining ease of use with features.
There can sometimes be security vulnerabilities associated with poorly developed plugins, or by not using decent security protocols. Issues can be resolved by ensuring that you use strong passwords and by strengthening server or PC security.
There are also plugins that have been created that will help you identify potential threats. The good news is that because WordPress is open source and has comprehensively reviewed source code, any breaches are discovered and fixed promptly.
The vast majority of hacked WordPress sites happen due to poor management, some examples are:
- WordPress, plugins and themes are not up to date
- Weak passwords
- Using themes and plugins from untrusted sources
- Poor quality hosting provider
WordPress is updated very regularly and subsequently, some plugins may not work correctly and have compatibility issues. As plugins are written by independent programmers, you may need to wait for them to update their plugin, so that it works correctly again.
Pros of WordPress
The pros of WordPress are the reason it naturally became the choice for so many people worldwide.
You are in control of your content
If you want to own your own data and easily update your web content, then WordPress is a good platform to use. Updating content on a WordPress site isn’t difficult, especially if you are already familiar with Microsoft Word. You can add blog posts, web pages, products and images with ease.
Most widely used platform
WordPress powers over 20% of the web and has the largest community of all the content management systems that are available, including Joomla and Drupal. This means that there is a great deal of community support out there, including a support forum on WordPress.org.
The added bonus is that should you require any development to your website, there are plenty of professionals on tap who will be able to assist you. You will not be tied to a specific company such as with a bespoke solution.
Plugins provide additional functionality off the shelf
One of the best features of using WordPress are plugins that can extend the functionality of your site. There are thousands of ready made plugins available, including Google Analytics, forums, contact forms, blog expansion, SEO and security to name but a few. Let’s not also forget the large amount of impressive themes that are out there as well, so you can change the appearance, look and feel and layout of your site very easily.
Open source – means free to use and modify
As WordPress is open source and updated by a community of developers, there are no fees involved and it can be downloaded and upgraded free of charge. Many of the plugins and themes also won’t cost you a penny.
There are a variety of marketplaces where you can get premium themes that convert WordPress into an ecommerce site or just about any other kind of specialised website, from news, real estate, affiliate marketing, voucher code, etc.
WordPress was originally a blogging platform but has evolved into a fully fledged CMS on par with its closest rivals, Joomla and Drupal and even Magento, while preserving the ease of use and feature availability balance.
The dashboard that WordPress uses is very intuitive. Whether you are technically minded or not, you will be able to create a professional looking website quickly, and without a steep learning curve. When WordPress is updated, new software is implemented with backwards compatibility in mind.
Great for SEO
Again not just great, greater than anything else around, whether it is open source or custom developed. We would know as we have been delivering great SEO and WordPress solutions for well over half a decade.
The vast majority of the top sites and blogs in the SEO community run on WordPress and this means the number of SEO specific plugins and knowledge available is unmatchable by any other solution.
The benefits of using WordPress far outweigh the very few disadvantages. For SME businesses, WordPress is a terrific way to get your website online quickly and be in control of your web presence, with less reliance on help and support than any other system.