WordPress 101 – Top ten reasons I use wordpress for web development

First allow me to clarify something… I dont actually do any development myself. I either outsource or assign more advanced tasks to my design team. My level of wordpress knowledge starts and ends within the graphical interface.

However, I make thousands of dollars every month creating custom wordpress sites for businesses and professionals all over the country. The reality is… once the design is done and foundation is set… most of the work (like content editing) is handled within the dashboard.

Having said that, lets get to our top ten list (in reverse order):

#10 – Support and Community. There is a massive development community surrounding wordpress. According to wordpress.com there are over 66 million sites installed globally and I can tell you there are millions of people that need help, are willing to pay and professionals willing to do work. This is a massive community.

#9 – Blogging Power. WordPress started as a simple content management system for bloggers and evolved into a dominant web development platform. As Google continues to place greater emphasis on fresh and unique content, blogging becomes critical for anyone seeking more traffic. WordPress provides a simple user interface for anyone to use and it supports multiple users so various people in your company can author their own content.

#8 – Content Protection. WordPress provides the ability to password protect and make private certain areas of your site. And with membership plugins you can even create complex membership systems for free and paid content. Many online businesses use this as a way to monetize training materials and software. Unlike a traditional HTML site these features are a simple point-and-click operation that anyone can handle.

#7 – It is Free. Yes! The wordpress code itself is completely free which is why so many people use it. You can get a preinstalled and ready to go wordpress blog at wordpress.com… but it has many limitations. Which is why most designers and developers go with the self installation option from wordpress.org. However, unless your ready to become a wordpress guru.. wordpress is probably not going to be “free”. It takes years of experience to understand all the capabilities which is why many businesses just hire professionals to do the work. So it is free… but unless you have a ton of time on your hands.. it might be best to hire a wordpress expert.

#6 – Email Integration. An often overlooked marketing tool for webmasters is email. Far too many don’t provide visitors with a way to stay in touch with product updates, news or events. Email is the best way to stay in touch with your customers and prospects. This is one area where WordPress really shines. It integrates with nearly every major email auto-responder and newsletter system available. With widgetized forms and plugins it is very easy for anyone to add a subscription box to their WordPress website.

#5 – Social Media Engagement. Social Media continues to become a critical part of online advertising and branding. Much of social media engagement is driven by content and sharing. videos, images, products, coupons and articles are constantly shared and distributed. One of the challenges with this process is that you need to take your content and publish it to these various social platforms. One of the more powerful capabilities WordPress brings, with the proper social sharing plugins, is the ability to automatically distribute content to various social sites. SO all you have to do is publish once and WordPress handles the rest.

#4 – Mobile Ready. Most premium and newly created themes are mobile compatible “out of the box”. With the number of internet enabled mobile devices and tablets now surpassing traditional PCs, this is a critical feature. With various plugins you can even create custom mobile websites with click-to-call features, restaurant menus, maps and more. And mobile users tend to have slower connections with more specific needs like phone numbers or directions so it is important to make sure your mobile users are getting what they need.

#3 – SEO Friendly. Search Engine OPtimization is a fundamental requirement for any modern website. To be found in the top ten search results can mena the difference between success and failure for many online businesses. Fortunately WordPress has many built-in features that make any website SEO friendly. However, if you really want to maximize your search engine results then you probably need to select some proper SEO plugins for WordPress. There are quite a few and some are worthless. Which is why I will be sharing my top SEO plugins for WordPress in my next post.

#2 – WordPress Plugins. Much of the power and popularity of WordPress comes from its plugins. Any basic WordPress site can be instantly transformed with a few quality plugins. The hardest part is finding wordpress plugins that are worth using because there are so many and most are completely free. Everything from SEO to E-commerce can be quickly enabled with plugins. I can tell you from personal experience that paid plugins are often the best because they tend to have more features and are constantly updated.

#1 – WordPress Themes. Arguably the most appealing feature WordPress provides is the ability to “skin” or “theme” your WordPress site. Unlike a traditional html site that requires a complete rebuild, WordPress provides plugin-play themes. There are tens of thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available. And you can completely overhaul the look and feel of your site with a simple one-click installation. One word of warning though… as wordpress has evolved some older themes will not work with the latest versions of WordPress. This is particularly problematic for free WordPress themes. This provides yet another reason to consider paid or premium themes when installing a self-hosted version of WordPress.

There you have it. The Top 10 reasons I use WordPress for my personal sites and any client development.

[box type=”note” size=”large” style=”rounded”]If you found this post useful I would encourage you to share this article with others, bookmark, facebook or whatever you like. On my next wordpress post I will share my favorite SEO plugins and explain why each one is key to your SEO success when using WordPress.[/box]

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