If you have a website, you’ve probably heard of WordPress. It powers almost 33% of all of the websites around the world. That’s 75 million websites that use WordPress!
Perhaps the main reason behind its massive success is its ability to provide a simple, Word doc-like content management system (CMS). You or a WordPress web designer can customize these stunning themes. The greatest attribute of WordPress web designs, though, are that they can be maintained without the need to know HTML. Like a Word doc, the editor in WordPress is WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). It’s a simple editing interface that allows you to bold, italicize, and style your content much like you would do in a Word doc.
Why WordPress is the Leading Website Platform
By combining the ever-impressive and unending list of plugins and themes, you get the most foolproof formula for a successful and easy-to-maintain website.
This legendary movement began in 2003 and its architecture empowered others, through open source, to improve upon its foundation. With so many contributors, WordPress was soon able to expand far beyond its original purpose as a simple blogging platform.
WordPress is Open Source
WordPress’ two branches, WordPress.org and WordPress.com, are easily accessible. With WordPress.org, you have the advantage of using more advanced plugins (functionality) due to it being a self-hosted version. WordPress.com, on the other hand, is the better option for complete beginners and less ideal for businesses who aim for greater revenues. In short, the one real difference between the two platforms is that WordPress.com hosts your website whereas you need to find your own hosting provider if you use a WordPress.org theme.
On WordPress.org, you can customize a website for as little as $35 for the first year and then $50 for each subsequent year. WordPress.com, who hosts your site, allows you to set up a website for free (exclusive of domain costs). The disadvantages, though, are that you’re forced to use a sub-domain (mysite.wordpress.com), are not allowed to remove WordPress ads from your site, are not allowed to install plugins, can’t monetize the site, and are only allotted 3Gb of disk space. It’s really best used as a blogging tool.
Because WordPress is open source, thousands of coders have tapped into its code and developed themes of their own. These themes, or websites, are marketed through platforms such as Envato Market, Athemes, Elegant Themes, Template Monster, and many more.
The key to choosing the right customized theme is not just design-related. Make sure that the author (coder) updates and maintains the theme at least on an annual basis. If you see that updates were 1 ½ years ago or further back, stay away from it. You’ll run into security and patch issues eventually.
WordPress is Compatible with Myriad File Types
WordPress accepts a large number of file types. The primary categories from those include:
You will rarely come across a file type that WP does not support. Hence, you have the ability to upload a wide variety of common files, including:
You may have a somewhat challenging time when trying to upload file formats like SVGs, but even for those, there are available solutions. WordPress usually makes uploading video, gifs, and photos a very easy process.
What Is a WordPress Plugin?
A WordPress plugin is code that gets injected into your WordPress website (theme). It provides functionality that’s not included in your WordPress website out-of-the-box.
Some example of WordPress plugins, or added functionality, that you may need now or in the future as your website and business scale to new heights:
Ninja Forms – contact form
Yoast or All in One SEO – gives you the ability to add title tags, meta description tags, and canonical tags
WooCommerce – if you want to sell products on your website and need an online store, you’ll want this eCommerce/shopping cart plugin to be added. Over 5 million WordPress websites use it
Mailchimp or Constant Contact – integrating your signup or contact forms into Mailchimp or Constant Contact allows for uninterrupted depositing of customer acquisition data from your site directly and seamlessly into these email hosting providers
WPML – an essential plugin if you want to offer your website in other languages. In short, use WPML if you want to create a multilingual website
Lancer Media has been designing WordPress websites for well over a decade. WordPress themes, out-of-the-box, are as creative and contemporary as the author’s imagination. There are themes dedicated to online stores, architecture, medical offices, spas and salons, real estate, and so many more categories.
WordPress.com does offer free websites but our recommendation is to pay a nominal fee of $49-$79 for one developed by one of the thousands of WordPress theme authors out there. Once downloaded, you will mostly need the assistance of a WordPress website designer and developer to download, install, and configure your new website. The designer can also help customize the theme for you.
A WordPress theme is similar to purchasing a home. You’re not building the home from scratch. It’s already been built but you can customize the house to your liking, within certain parameters. While you can’t move the front door or recreate the foundation, you can add a deck or pool, expand the size of your kitchen or bedroom. You can paint the walls a different color, tear down and rebuild cabinetry, and so on. This is pretty much how to view the purchase of a WordPress website. With the help of a WordPress web designer, you can customize its look and feel.
The benefit to you is that, once the WordPress website is built, you can edit text, images, and video on your own.