I’m going to just say it, “WordPress is a great Content Management System (CMS) for modern websites.” The question is “Why choose a WordPress website as a CMS platform vs a custom developed HTML website?” In 2018 WordPress hit a benchmark of an estimated 30% of all websites being run from the platform. This includes WordPress.com and privately hosted WordPress sites. This figure has been growing steadily and in a 2020 survey, WordPress websites are estimated to power between 35% to 37% of all websites and 60% of all CMS sites. These numbers are equally high for the number of E-Commerce enabled sites on the Internet using WordPress. WooCommerce is an excellent full-featured online store – a very effective solution. (Read these articles for more statistics: https://hostingtribunal.com/blog/wordpress-statistics/ and https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_management).
I decided to move to WordPress CMS websites after years of designing custom websites for clients. The long-term cost to my clients is less than custom-developed websites and breaks the dependency of always having to get a website developer in to make changes. I have seen too many clients trapped in a continuous technical development cycle that ends up costing way more than the benefit, especially when their need is marketing. WordPress helps eliminate this problem if managed professionally.
The blogging or content management functionality is easy to learn and allows changes, extensions and content marketing to be handled with ease. In a world where websites have to move away from static brochures to engagement platforms with your audience, WordPress offers a solid platform to build on. The plugin architecture and seamless integration to E-Commerce facilities including full-featured digital stores, educational sites, membership management or subscription sites make it a great platform to get up and running quickly.
The only negative issues I have heard of (not experienced) have mostly to do with situations where poor hosting was used, untested themes or excessive plugins were active – some untested or unproven. This is technically not a WordPress issue, but rather a poor approach to managing a professional website. I only use plugins that I know work. I also put strict security and quality control measures in place. The number of hacking attempts on all websites is profound, and I pay close attention to updating the environment and monitoring firewall intrusion attempts. I also manage the web hosting for my clients using trusted hosting providers.
I have found that using WordPress, where I host, set up and configure the sites for my clients and then help with the initial or ongoing content management, allows us more time to focus on the message, content and marketing of my client’s brands. I only use professional licensed WordPress Themes that I know offer great caching, responsive design and sufficient features for my clients. Don’t get caught in a custom theme development cycle unless your business demands it. Most small to medium-sized businesses and even larger corporations can get all they need from proven themes and plugins.
4 Key benefits of using WordPress for your public website:
- WordPress offers a rapid deployment platform, focussed on content and management.
- WordPress is a mature and stable content management and delivery solution with proven capability and stability.
- I have found WordPress to be more cost-effective in the long term (Total Cost of Ownership) for my clients than if I had to custom develop their website. The exception is for highly functional, specialised web applications, which fall into the category of Application Development and not your typical public marketing website.
- With the plugin framework and custom themes, WordPress is dynamic in capability and functionality. You can use WordPress for Blogging, Online Stores, Download Management, Learning Management Solutions, Subscription-based business models, Directory based models, Landing Pages, Portfolios, News sites, portals, the list goes on. Some big brands use WordPress in their organisations, including Sony Music, Walt Disney, Bloomberg and BBC America.
7 Keys to a successful WordPress Website Installation:
- Pay for professional hosting with adequate resources. Many hosting providers offer really low-cost starter packages that are so limited in resources and escalate quickly in cost if more resources are required. I offer managed hosting and handle the technical and security details for you.
- Establish a professional installation and configuration, especially security management. Don’t let security be an afterthought.
- Use a professional modern theme that is proven.
- Plan in advance, the content and requirements, including look, feel, copywriting and images.
- Only use proven plugins and try to limit these and any coding customisation to a minimum.
- Budget for training yourself and your team to write articles, optimise images, and manage the website.
- Have an offsite backup plan.
If you are needing a website or looking to revamp your existing one, please feel free to contact me. You can read about my Professional WordPress Website Design and Hosting services here.
I would love to hear your opinion or about your website experience. Let me know on my Facebook page in the comments on this article or email me.