Q: What links the websites of The Rolling Stones, the White House, Microsoft, The New Yorker and Forbes?
In fact, over 80 million websites on the internet (including the Hunter & Scribe website) are powered by WordPress. For context, that’s three times the population of Australia.
Which then begs the question…
What is WordPress and why is it so popular?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that lets you build and manage websites without any knowledge of code. As an open-source platform, it’ll always be free to use and you’re allowed to modify it to your heart’s content.
To make things slightly more confusing, WordPress comes in two forms:
WordPress.com is a website builder and hosting service that prioritises ease of use at the expense of sophisticated functionality.
WordPress.org is the whole caboodle – an extremely flexible and powerful CMS that gives you complete control over every aspect of your website. As you need to be technically proficient to use WordPress.org, we’ll focus on WordPress.com for the rest of this blog.
Why WordPress is a great platform for your small business
With WordPress you can create any type of website you want – from ecommerce stores to blogs, portfolios, membership sites and more. It can pretty much do everything. This is down to the large amount of WordPress plugins and themes available.
- Themes are pre-made bits of software that you can download to change the way your site looks.
- Plug-ins let you add features and functionality to your site. For example, if you want an ecommerce cart or to optimise your content for SEO marketing, then a plugin makes that possible.
There are thousands of free themes and plugins, as well as paid versions, available.
Finally, creating content on WordPress is a breeze thanks to its background as a blogging platform. It has a beginner-friendly editor that’ll get you adding, editing and publishing pages and posts in minutes.
Why you might still need a developer
WordPress.com is easy to use. However, there are some limitations to what you can do on it – especially if you want a completely custom site or don’t want their hosting packages.
In those cases, WordPress.org is your friend and – as mentioned before – that requires coding knowledge.