Why we love WordPress
When it comes down to content management systems (CMS), WordPress is likely one of the first names that comes to mind for most of us. WordPress is used by individuals as well as businesses, and although more recent platforms such as Wix and SquareSpace offer out-of-the-box website solutions that are increasing in popularity, WordPress remains a staple among developers due to its simplicity and compatibility with other software and integrations.
Some notable companies and organisations which have used WordPress for their websites include:
A common misconception conflates WordPress's usability and simplicity with being basic, yet many of the world’s biggest websites are powered by WordPress, equalling nearly 40 percent of the internet, or 75 million sites. So, what is that makes WordPress such a powerful tool?
Since the platform launched in 2003, Mackman has been using WordPress to grow businesses. WordPress’s modular design and vast range of plugins offer simple solutions to actions that often prove complicated or time-consuming, allowing developers to augment your website rather than starting again from the ground up. Whether you have identified a business need to set up an integrated ecommerce system, a booking system, or need a calendar of events added to your site, there are over 55,000 free plugins available that can be ‘bolted on’ to your existing website. This allows you to get the most value from your investment in your website, and ensures that specialist developers like the digital team at Mackman can work with you to scale your site and achieve your business goals.
It is open source
The most commonly used form of WordPress is WordPress.org, which is open-source; users are granted ample freedom over the product, including the freedom to alter the source code and redistribute the software. This makes WordPress incredibly versatile, as you can work without the limits of proprietary software such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop, where only the creator or business behind them can control or modify the source code. Crucially, you can also switch website design companies while maintaining the look of your website with WordPress, as opposed to closed source solutions.
WordPress.com is another variation of the software which works on a for-profit, paid basis and is powered by the WordPress.org software. It remains simple to use, however, you do lose much of the flexibility of self-hosting.
It has its own community
Due to its versatility, WordPress is incredibly popular, with a large community behind it. With this comes a vast collection of information and support, which can provide excellent help when you're starting something new, or happen to find a bug. Through a simple Google search, you are almost certain to find someone else in the WordPress community who has experienced the same problem and can offer a solution.
Additionally, while WordPress is secure, should there be any security issues discovered, the WordPress community are quick to identify and solve the issue. It is also common for information on the fault's cause to be shared among this community.
It is great for SEO
WordPress is built to make your website appeal to search engines straight away. It allows you to set up search engine-friendly URLs such as /contact-us/, provides an XML sitemap, lets you add image alt text, and offers a range of heading options for your copy. There are also plugins you can install to help improve your SEO, which we will go into more later.
It is easy to use
Whether you are training up new members of your team, getting clients up to speed, or just want to start your own personal blog or website, WordPress offers an easy-to-learn experience. WordPress employs a great user interface with a block-based content structure, meaning that it doesn't require any technical skills, such as an understanding of CSS, compliance standards, or HTML coding. Not everyone has knowledge of HTML, CSS, JS or PHP – or even knows what they stand for. While WordPress does enable experienced users to operate at a high level, it also offers features for beginners, allowing anyone to get started quickly and easily, without any of the specialist knowledge. While proficiency in HTML may help with the deeper customisation of elements, plugins are there to make creating and selling functional websites accessible to the average user.
This also makes it easy to learn, making it an excellent option for businesses with a number of content creators. From our point of view, as frequent employers of interns, we have been able to train them to use WordPress effectively within a day - a testament to the simplicity and user-friendly nature of the software. Our digital team offers training in WordPress to ensure that clients are comfortable with taking ownership of their website’s content.
It is perfect for blog-writing
WordPress began its life as blogging software, and remains especially suited for it. Its blogging setup is the best of any software out there and is very easy to manage. With the choice to assign posts to different categories, attach tags, and add featured images, the platform is highly compatible with social posting. As well as allowing you to write thought leadership pieces or update customers with relevant news, the addition of a blog is an invaluable way of creating a continual flow of content to your site - a ranking factor for search engines, as it is a clear indicator that your site remains active and up to date.
It offers more functionality than its competition
While it still holds the throne as the most successful CMS in the world, WordPress does face competition. However, although its two closest competitors (Joomla and Drupal) are both free to download, and offer similar services, add-ons, and specialised functionality, they require a certain level of technical ability not demanded by WordPress. On the contrary, WordPress allows users to customise their website at a more technical level if they prefer, but also provides ample features for beginners.
WordPress plugins can make it easier to grow your business, offering simple, usable solutions to actions that would otherwise prove complicated or time-consuming. Whether you are looking to set up an eCommerce system, a booking system, or a calendar of events, there's a way to do it with WordPress. If you are looking for plugins to help you improve your copy and appeal to search engines, we recommend the following two plugins.
Since 2008, Yoast SEO has been helping millions of websites across the world to improve their search engine optimisation. It comes with a variety of useful features to help improve your rankings in search results, and also includes a built-in content analysis functionality to help you write clearer, more readable content.
Semrush SEO Writing Assistant provides instant recommendations for content optimisation based upon the qualities of Google's top 10 ranking pages for your given location. It is perfect for content professionals, bloggers, and marketing experts, as you can check to see if your content meets Semrush's various content-quality requirements in just a few clicks.
As mentioned above, there are a great variety of plugins out there to choose from. While Yoast and Semrush are the two we would recommend from first-hand experience, other names such as MonsterInsights, All in one SEO, Constant Contact, and OptinMonster are also popular plugins to consider.
The Future of WordPress
When WordPress was first released in 2003, many were sceptical about how it would develop in the future. Now powering around 40% of websites across the internet, WordPress still receives frequent updates and is constantly improving. These updates are developing key areas such as ecommerce capability, accessibility, and security, three areas which will prove vital as WordPress continues to grow.
Why we use WordPress
In this article we covered just some of the reasons why we love WordPress here at Mackman. It is our website platform of choice, and suits the vast majority of our digital needs, from content production to web design. The comprehensive support it offers is especially valuable when training both internally and externally for clients, allowing even the least tech-savvy to gain a quick understanding of the software. In summary, WordPress is the perfect online platform for supporting your business’s growth, and by partnering with a WordPress specialist agency such as Mackman, you can be sure that your website is powered by a robust foundation that offers virtually unlimited possibilities for lead generation and capture.