WordPress is software that creates and manages websites. Here’s a short list of features if you’re just looking for a quick fix:
- Cloud based: there’s nothing to install on your computer. The software resides on a server online. This also makes for easy multi-user management.
- Open source: it’s free to use, modify and tweak. There’s never going to be a price increase, contracts, or extortion. ;-)
- Regularly updated: just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s not being worked on. A full-time team of programmers is constantly upgrading, improving, and fixing WordPress.
- Expandability: WordPress is the core or the foundation that you can build on top of. The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination (and, well, budget). Think of the iPhone (or an Android phone): that’s just the device, then there are a zillion apps!
With WordPress, you can build a simple “brochure site,” a complex members-only site, or even a high-end e-commerce site. It’s up to you, WordPress is just the core, the tool you’re going to use to get started.
If you don’t want to read any more and just want to hear quickly why to use WordPress, here’s one statistic:
More than 20% of all new websites created today use WordPress.
If you only think about the support community that’s out there to help maintain, update, and improve all of those new sites, you can feel confident that there’s someone out there who will be able to help you now and in the future.
Speaking of the future, here’s another telling note: in our website design business in the past many years, we always get new clients who come to us because the site they had built was “custom.” It was custom HTML (or Flash etc.) and now no one knows how to update or fix it. Well, sure, someone could probably fix it, but they’d need to see how it was built, see if it was worth fixing, then dig in and see how to solve it. If it was built to certain standards, great, hopefully an easier job. If it was someone’s spaghetti code, it’s going to get ugly–and time consuming and expensive. Oh, it’ll probably also be a Band Aid fix and then you’ll just have to get it fixed again when those fixes need fixing. Following me so far?
Let’s move again to analogies. Let’s call WordPress a car. A website in general is transportation (more on this in the Why a Website? installment). You need transportation. You could choose a truck, a motorcycle, or a bicycle. I’m going to recommend a car (WordPress), but it’s not the only transportation you use, you can also use the truck (a retail store) and a bicycle (flyers handed out on a street corner). But your main transportation is going to be your car–your website.
- Website –> Transportation
- WordPress –> Car
A car is reliable, fairly easy to maintain (although not as easy as a bike), and efficient and you can trick it out–think 18” wheels and a spoiler … cool, huh? But it might be a Volvo wagon a Ferrari convertible or a 57 Chevy. “Which car should I choose? There are so many!” I know, I know, it’s going to be a difficult decision. I’m here to help.
Why WordPress is one part of a series that’s going to bring us from website to WordPress to which theme company to which theme. More to come!