“WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and content management system (CMS) powered by PHP and MySQL. It has many features including a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by over 14.7% of Alexa Internet’s “top 1 million” websites and as of August 2011 powers 22% of all new websites. WordPress is currently the most popular CMS in use on the Internet.” Courtesy of Wikipedia
A WordPress site User has access to 100’s of themes, and those themes can be switched out at anytime without altering the existing content. WordPress offers a drag and drop widget system for the sidebars, footers and sometimes headers. Users can rearrange these widgets without editing the PHP or HTML code.
Before we get too far into the benefits of WordPress, let me explain the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org. When you are using the wordpress.com platform, your website is absolutely free. However, you do not own it – WordPress does. In fact WordPress has the right to advertise at your website, and they have the right to shut it down.
If you are using a hosted WordPress.org site, in other words you bought hosting at Godaddy and then uploaded the WordPress contact management system (CMS), then you own the content and WordPress cannot advertise on it, or shut your site down.
One very popular feature of WordPress.org is the plugin architecture which allows users and developers to set up a website with all the bells and whistles without the cost of hiring a web designer. WordPress has a database of over 17,000 plugins with purposes ranging from SEO to Forums, Membership Sites and Shopping Carts. There is even a plugin that converts your PC website into a Mobile website automatically.
Other WordPress Features of Note:
- Integrated link management
- A search enginge-friendly, clean permalink structure
- The ability to assign nested, multiple categories to articles
- Support for tagging of posts and articles
- Supports the Trackback andPingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or article
- That being said, there are several advantages to using the WordPress CMS.
- You belong to the WordPress community, and traffic comes to your door just because you are part of that community.
- The WordPress dashboard is easy to use, almost like an email. You just add the content and images and publish.
- The WordPress CMS is already ‘search engine friendly’ with the categories, tags, and sidebar widgets that highlight the content.
- Hundreds of user friendly templates that make personalizing your website an easy task.
- If you are using the hosted version the plugins take ‘search engine friendly’ to another level.
- As of today, WordPress is the ‘standard’, so much so that 12% of the top rated websites use the wordpress CMS.
When to use WordPress!
- If you don’t have a website, then NOW is the time to set one up.
- If you don’t have the money, NOW is an especially good time to set up a WordPress.com website and get your marketing message out on the internet for FREE.
- If you just need a place to house a landing page, set up a WordPress.com NOW.
- If you do have a website up, but you don’t have a blog attached to it, NOW is a good time to add a blog to your internet marketing arsenal.
You can sign up today at WordPress.com and set up a couple pages today. I recommend setting up an “About” and a “Contact”. You can scroll down to the Settings tab and click on Reading. Here you can choose to set up the “About” page as the first page people see as opposed to a Blog. And, within an hour you have a web presence and a way for people to contact you.
However, my favorite WordPress platform is the .org version. You have to choose a host; Godaddy, HostGator.com, Register.com, etc., then upload the WordPress.org Content Management System (CMS), then get started.
The backend of the WordPress.com look almost identical to the WordPress.org, you just have more control and more functionality with the .org version. However, you can learn at WordPress.com, then upload your content to a .org site.