Snappy | University Partners | Testimonials | Customer Service
By Taylor Hawes, Marketing Director
These days, building a website doesn’t require that you launch Dreamweaver and spend hours poring over the raw HTML code that’ll ultimately form your website. Instead, beginning and advanced webmasters alike can take advantage of a whole host of tools designed to make website creation and management as easy as possible – including everything from web host-specific site building tools to third-party content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
If you’re in the process of choosing between all these different site design options, one platform to consider is the popular WordPress system. Although WordPress was once a simple blogging platform, it has very much become a one-stop shop for building virtually all types of websites. To see how exactly this system can benefit webmasters, check out all of the following reasons to power your website with WordPress:
HostGator provides a “one-click” installation of WordPress via QuickInstall, which takes roughly one minute to complete. From there, everything from adding content to customizing the look and feel of your site can be done by even the greenest of webmasters – making WordPress a good solution for beginning and advanced site owners to manage.
One common complaint from webmasters whose sites are built on dated platforms or raw HTML code is how difficult it can be to make even minor changes to their sites. In the worst cases, changing a single website sentence represents an undertaking that requires expensive service calls to marketing agencies and/or independent web developers.
WordPress, on the other hand, can be easily managed and updated. Because the program has its roots in the blogging industry, WordPress posts and pages can be modified using an intuative interface that even non-technical staff members can navigate easily (though more technical modifications can be made to the site and theme code if desired).
It’s widely known that optimizing your site for discovery and indexing by the search engines is a top priority for webmasters. While standard HTML sites require extensive modifications in order to highlight the information search engine robots want to see, WordPress comes pre-built with many of these same features.
In addition, webmasters who want to go beyond the default WordPress SEO offerings will find a number of valuable plugins that serve to maximize natural search exposure. These comprehensive SEO packages – including the popular All-in-One SEO Pack and Yoast SEO plugins – take your site’s SEO to the next level with the inclusion of features that would otherwise require significant effort to code into standard HTML sites.
If several different people within your organization will be updating your website, there’s no need to worry about granting access to your full site to all contributors within WordPress. This popular CMS program comes with five built-in user roles – administrator, editor, author, contributor and subscriber – that enable you to dole out access rights according to different security levels, minimizing the risk to your main site.
One of the beautiful things about CMS systems in general is that your content is stored separately from your site’s design. Tired of your site’s current look, but don’t want to pay a developer thousands of dollars to come up with something new? Simply swap out your existing theme with a new one!
In this area, in particular, WordPress shines. Because of the platform’s open source nature, thousands of different developers have created a huge range of WordPress design themes – including everything from simple-yet-effective site templates to more complex web destination designs. Best of all, the fees associated with WordPress themes are quite modest, making design changes accessible to just about everyone running a site using this platform.
In addition to the number of WordPress themes that are available, WordPress plugins – small code snippets that add extra functionality to your site’s operation – are widely created and distributed as well. Using plugins, you can take your site from simple blog to fully-fledged e-commerce provider with just a few mouse clicks (and for a much more reasonable fee than crafting your own custom shopping cart).
Of course, it’s worth noting that using too many of these plugins can bog down your site’s operation. Before installing any plugin, ask yourself whether you really need the feature you’re about to add, as well as whether or not the same feature could be coded into your site’s theme in order to keep your load times low.
Mobile browsing is huge, with mobile internet usage expected to outpace desktop internet access as early as 2014. Long story short – if your website isn’t mobile-optimized, you stand to lose a serious percentage of your traffic to competitors who have taken this necessary step.
Unfortunately, creating a mobile website version for standard HTML sites can be both complicated and expensive. WordPress, on the other hand, makes the process easy through the deployment of responsive site themes (which automatically adjust display parameters to suit digital devices) and plugins like WP Touch, which create mobile website versions on the fly.
Have a question about your WordPress site? Never fear – the internet is here!
From WordPress user forums to developers who work exclusively with this platform, there are tons of different resources out there that can give you the support you need to both get your site up-and-running and to keep it performing at peak efficiency over time.
Running a company blog can be a great way to connect with consumers, but finding the time to write and upload new posts can be challenging, given the packed-full days and overstuffed “to do” lists that many of us maintain.
For this reason, one of the WordPress features that users love most is the ability to schedule website updates in the future and then have them go live at specified times. This feature alone can be a life-saver, allowing busy webmasters to sit down, write out a few posts at once and then have them deploy at given times over the next weeks or months.
While you might wind up paying a small fee for professional themes or plugins (or a much larger fee, should you hire out for a custom WordPress theme), the basic WordPress installation is free to use – making this specific site design platform a great option for webmasters who are just beginning the process of creating their companies’ online presence.
Of course, WordPress isn’t right for everyone. The system does have its limitations, and there are certain situations that require more advanced developments that WordPress can provide (as in the case of major e-commerce outlets and some online training courses).
However, for a large number of people, WordPress represents a quick and easy way to get a professional website created and uploaded with the smallest amount of hassle possible. If the benefits described above appeal to you and your unique situation, go ahead and give this innovative and highly accessible platform a try!
(This article originally appeared in Gator Crossing, The Official HostGator Blog.)