What is WordPress For & Is It Right For Me?
If this is the first time you have heard about WordPress, you might be wondering what is WordPress used for?
WordPress has gained popularity as one of the most popular and easiest to use Content Management systems (CMS). CMS in a nutshell allows you to create and update content on the website easily. Static websites, on the other hand, has more limitation and not user-friendly. WordPress has been popular as a blogging tool, landing page and, website builder. It has also been widely used to build e-commerce stores, directories, forums, and more.
It is worth knowing that WordPress was initially started as a blog platform before it evolved and grow into a more powerful CMS. It was written in PHP scripting language and uses MySQL database. (Read Where are posts and pages are stored to learn more how WordPress manages the content and data)
Compared to 10 years ago, WordPress has evolved by leaps and bounds to what it is today. It has become a more powerful and user-friendly CMS preferred by many people.
Today, over 35% of websites on the globe are powered by WordPress. This includes websites of Multi-National companies, and multi-billions corporations are trusting WordPress.
Why Use WordPress
There are so many platforms and tools out there in the market, why is WordPress a preferred choice?
Below are the main factors and I believed the main “secret weapons” are (1) Free and (2) Plugins & Themes, which I will elaborate on shortly.
- Tons of WordPress Plugins and Themes
- Easy To Customize – Developers Easily Available
It's FREE. Well, nothing beats free, right? There are a lot of platforms out there that cost anywhere from $9.95 to $997 per month. As a free tool, WordPress has enabled anyone to set up their own site with very minimum start-up cost (i.e hosting + domain)
WordPress itself is free. You just have to pay for hosting and domain name, which is cost very minimal and are the foundation to set up a website or business online. (Learn the pros and cons of WordPress)
A good, reliable hosting usually can cost anywhere from $6 – $15/month onwards, and sometimes it could be even cheaper if you sign up and pay upfront for 1 year.
A domain typically costs around $10/year and that represents your branding online eg yourbrandname.com. Unless you decide to purchase paid plugins, it probably costs a little bit more. Otherwise, you can expect anywhere around $80/year for a good hosting plus domain. Having said that, some hosting even give away free domain when you purchase hosting from them, that's a bonus!
Well. It's approximate $6/mth to reach out global audience and build global exposure. It's a steal if you ask me.
It is also simple to use, and there are tens of thousands of WordPress Plugins (as well as Themes) are available in the market ready to be installed, both free and paid plugins and themes. Plugins are basically additional scripts that can be connected with WordPress to extend its functionality. For example, the SEO plugin makes optimizing the WordPress site simpler. The WordPress themes, on the other hand, change the cosmetic of the website in a flash.
Furthermore, it is easier to customize and there is a lot of developers who are specialized and familiar with WordPress, ready to be hired to help you customize your site if need to.
The whole thing makes WordPress almost perfect, if not perfect. Its flexibility makes it the preferred CMS platform nowadays.
The Differences Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
WordPress.org – This is a self-hosted WordPress Solution
WordPress.com – This is a hosted solution
With WordPress.org, you are provided with the downloaded copy of the script which you can install in your hosting. You need your own hosting to set up the script and everything runs on your server.
Nowadays, most hosting providers already have the script autoinstall feature. To install WordPress, you just need to click a few buttons and fill in simple info and your WordPress will be installed in no time.
Types of Websites You Can Create with WordPress
Blog – It's a powerful blogging tool. Create personal or business blogs with ease.
Business Or Personal Website – Create either a simple 1-page website or a complex corporate website.
You can also create pretty much any types of website you can imagine such as a photography website, auction website, online learning website, online appointment, online booking, music showcase website, personal profile site, and more.
E-Commerce Store – Turn WordPress into an e-commerce store with a Woocommerce plugin.
The e-commerce website has all the functions you find in the paid platform like Shopify.
The offers even more functions which again can be added using plugins.
Sales Funnel – Create high-converting sales funnels with upsells, downsells, and more.
Forget about the Sales Funnel platform such as ClickFunnel or Kartra that costs you almost $100/month just to get started. That's overpriced!
Online Catalogue – Want to showcase your products online but would like to close sales offline via phone, in person? Yes, WordPress can do that too.
In essence, the type of websites that can be built with WordPress is limited by your imagination. WordPress is easily customizable by developers and the most commonly used features or functions are already available via plugins.
With great plugins made available for WordPress such as Elementor, Brizy, Divi, and more, editing and updating the content on your website is a piece of cake.
Gone are the days where you have to be a coder or know how to write code to create a great website. With page builders plugins, any change of content can be done on the fly by logging in to your WordPress backend (i.e Admin Panel).
Page builders are easy to use. Most page builders allow you to drag and drop the website elements from the list of available elements to the canvas. For example, to insert an image, all you have to do is to select the image element and drag then drop it on the canvas where you want to show it. A canvas is just a working space for you to build your website.
WordPress Themes – Change Website Look and Feel In Mere Minutes With Beautiful Layouts and Designs
There are a plethora of website themes available in the WordPress Themes Depository.
In layman terms, WordPress theme is the “face” of your website, it controls how your website looks like, in other words, the design of the website.
It is the easiest, fastest, and newbie-friendly way to change the look of your website. Can you change how your website looks without changing the theme? Yes, possible but that involves a lot of work customizing CSS and HTML files which most of us try to avoid if possible.
What is WordPress Plugin?
WordPress Plugin “Transform An Ordinary Human To Super Human”.
For real? …Don't take that seriously. 🙂
WordPress Plugins are the booster that is so powerful that they can transform a site to perform something extraordinary.
The plugins are basically extending the WordPress original functionality. A good explanation could be to use smartphones as an example. An iPhone or Android phones are pretty limited in function to phone call or perhaps texting without the App. The App allows the phone to do more, i.e by extending the phone's original functionality. So the App in this case is equivalent to Plugins.
There are tons of free and paid plugins available in the WordPress repository, and the number is growing every day with new plugins by developers.
There are plugins for e-commerce, contact form, SEO, images, security, breadcrumb, and more. There are also plugins that allow WordPress sites to connect with Facebook, Mailing software (like Mailchimp, GetResponse, MailerLite, etc). With the availability of plugins, site owners can do pretty much anything they can imagine with their WordPress site.
Developers see the huge potential of WordPress and many have come on board to create awesome plugins for the community. Some plugins are absolutely free while some provide free features with the option to unlock premium features at a fee.