WordPress is a content management system (CMS), which means it’s designed to help you organize and display the content on your site.
#1: WordPress is free
Free is good when you’re operating on a small-business budget. You’ll still have to pay for web hosting, and you may want to buy a theme instead of using a free one to change the way your site looks (more about that in a moment), but the WordPress CMS costs nothing to download.
#2: WordPress is easy to use.
WordPress prides itself on its five-minute installation and support guides to walk you through the process.
I’m not a technical savant but I’ve set up several WordPress sites, and it really is that easy to get a basic site running and looking respectable. Doing something complex may require some reading and conversations in the support forums, but for most new site owners, going from zero to website in a few minutes is more than enough.
The topic of support forums brings us to the next thing WordPress has going for it.
Thirty percent of all websites run on WordPress, and it has a 60% share of the CMS market. The number of people using WordPress means that if you have a problem or a question, odds are there’s an answer waiting for you in one of the WordPress support or developer forums.
It also means that if you ever want to outsource your site maintenance, content, or design, there are plenty of developers, writers, editors, and designers who know how your site’s CMS works.
#4: It’s easy to make your WordPress site look unique.
Because WordPress’s code is open source, hobby and professional developers are always finding ways to improve it. There are thousands of free and paid themes you can choose from to make your site look the way you want it to.
Think of your theme as similar to the interior decor of a brick-and-mortar store. Your theme will take care of your virtual color scheme, signage, and the details of your site layout. You can search by keyword to find themes that fit your business best, and if you ever get tired of your theme, it’s usually pretty easy to switch to a new theme, although there are some steps you’ll want to take first to keep your site working the way you want after the switch.
#5: Create your dream functionality with WordPress plugins.
Once you’ve chosen a web host and a theme and set up your basic site, there are thousands of plugins you can use to make the site work exactly the way you want it to. Whether you want it to load faster, backup automatically, or optimize your blog posts for search results, there’s a plugin (or five) for that.
And because WordPress supports multimedia content, you’re not limited to blog posts and photos. You can embed videos, podcasts, and slideshows on your site with the right plugins.
#6: WordPress takes security seriously.
WordPress also makes it easy to keep your site’s software up to date, which is critical to keeping hackers and data thieves out of your site. Some WordPress software updates are automatic, to prevent security vulnerabilities, and you can choose whether you want your plugins to update automatically or whether you’ll handle those updates yourself.
To update plugins and themes, all you have to do is click the checkboxes next to the items you want to update and then hit the update button. The trick is remembering to check for updates, which is why the auto-update option is so useful.
#7: WordPress plays well with others.
Even the coolest looking website needs to interact seamlessly with other platforms and with people, so you can get found and make sales.
First, getting found: WordPress is structured to be easy for search engine crawlers to navigate, which means your site will perform better in search results, especially if you add an SEO plugin like Yoast. WordPress also plays well with Google’s new criteria for mobile-friendly websites. You can make your site easier for mobile users to navigate by choosing a mobile-optimized or responsive theme from the start, or by installing a plugin to make your site work better on mobile devices.
As for making sales, if you intend to sell directly from your site, WordPress plugin Woo Commerce makes it easy to sell products, digital downloads, subscriptions, and membership access to your site.
And if you ever want to change web hosting services, you can migrate your entire WordPress site to a new host easily, with fewer steps and in less time than it would take you to migrate a free site builder-hosted site.