As you browse the Internet, it’s easy to see that not all websites are created equal. Some are pleasant to look at while others aren’t all that pleasing to the eye. Some are easy to navigate while others are difficult. Some are simple, with just a few pages, while others are quite complex.
So, aside from content, what makes websites different from one another? Well, most of the time, it has to do with the platform on which it’s built. Indeed, there are a vast number of content management systems available, some more well-known than others, some that have been around for a while, and new ones that are constantly emerging.
Everyone has their favorite, but there’s one we love that powers nearly one-third of the world’s websites…WordPress. Emerging in 2003, it’s grown immensely popular over almost two decades and a quick look at it makes it clear why many have chosen WordPress from the start and why others are moving their websites to WordPress from another platform that just isn’t living up to their expectations.
Ease of use for users of all skill levels
Like other top site building platforms, WordPress is free to download and use. That’s great, but it’s obviously not the reason why most select it for use. We believe that, quite simply, it comes down to the fact that it isn’t at all difficult to use, even for someone with absolutely no site-building experience.
Consider, for example, Joomla, which is up there with the top three content management systems in use today. Joomla sites look great, but to use the platform you really need to have more than a basic level of technical prowess and some familiarity with HTML CSS and the programming language PHP. Most business owners have no idea what HTML or PHP are and why they’re important.
However, to use WordPress, there’s really no programming or coding knowledge required. That’s what makes it so user friendly. However, for those with technical know-how and the desire for something more complex, WordPress allows them to work at their level while remaining beginner-friendly.
High rankings for searches
WordPress offers a variety of tools and plugins that allow for constant optimization of content. This consistent updating means WordPress sites rank high for their keywords. Furthermore the code used by WordPress is clean and simple, which means it’s easy for search engines to read. The addition of meta tag keywords, images, description, and title also means that SEO can be very precise, making it more likely that your site will appear higher in the rankings in regard to particular searches when compared to other content management systems.
Pages vs posts
In WordPress, you have two ways to create content – a page or a post. Most beginners may not realize that there’s a difference between the two, but where you place your content really does make an impact.
A WordPress post has a published date that is displayed with the post. That allows viewers to note when something was posted and to see which content is up-to-date. So, if you write blogs weekly, they would be considered “posts”.
Pages, on the other hand, do not display a published date. Pages are used for static contact, such as an “about” page, which gives info on you or your business. This is content you always want visitors to see so it will always be there in the same place unless you move or change it.
As previously mentioned, a post can be assigned a category or tag. This makes it easier for readers to find the content they’re hoping to read. Posts can also have a public author, which allows you to show off your prowess in the topics of your choice.
Both are important and WordPress gives you the option to use either.
Free and inexpensive plug-ins
You may already know that a plug-in is a piece of software that contains a group of functions that can be added to your website. Plug-ins increase the functionality of your site or add new features. WordPress plug-ins are plentiful; it often seems there’s one for just about everything! Furthermore, they work seamlessly with your website, are easy to add, and are free or cost little.
Some of the most popular WordPress plug-ins include:
- Google Analytics
- Contact Form 7
- WP Forms
- And many more!
If you have a website that sells products or services, chances are you’ll be looking for a quick and reliable way for customers/clients to pay you. Payment processing should be simple, so that your customer doesn’t abandon their cart in the middle of a transaction.
Technically, you can choose a “payment processor” or “payment gateway”, which are two different things. (But that’s a story for another blog!) A payment gateway is a third-party tool that evaluates and processes customer payments. They exist to link the customer’s shopping cart to the processing network. It takes three things for this to happen – the website, the customer, and the company that provides the merchant account.
While that may demand a bit more of an explanation, the important thing to know, however, is that when building an eCommerce site on WordPress, you don’t have to build everything from scratch. There are WordPress payment gateway plug-ins available that integrate EVERY part of the eCommerce process. That’s good news for site builders and business owners!
There are so many more advantages to choosing WordPress over other popular and less popular platforms. Is your site on a platform that’s just not cutting it? Are you curious about what a WordPress site can offer you and how it can improve your business, increase your traffic, and convert more sales? Our experts at Watershed9 would be happy to discuss this with you further and tell you more about the benefits of WordPress. Call us at 604-337-1449 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.