December 16, 2016
Five Reasons Why You Should Want WordPress
In 2003, WordPress was created by two developers after a popular blogging software was discontinued. From its beginnings as a blogging platform to its current status as the fastest-growing and most popular CMS, or content management system, in the world, WordPress has undergone a series of transformations. Always evolving, no matter what kind of website you need, WordPress has the tools to deliver.
Many of the websites we help design and develop at KDG are built using WordPress. For nonprofits, businesses, and even colleges and universities, WordPress offers the resources to easily and efficiently develop and design a user-friendly site. Our clients are not the only ones opting for WordPress when they begin a project with us. In fact, a large portion (nearly a quarter) of websites on the internet are powered by WordPress. The CMS has come a long way from its blogging origins.
From its simplicity and cost to its theme customizations and SEO plugins for ultimate web traffic, WordPress is the software everyone wants, even if they don’t know it yet. While the benefits to WordPress are numerous, there are five advantages the CMS offers that far outweigh the rest.
Free and Premium Themes
WordPress offers thousands of free themes to choose from. Even if you don’t have web development or design experience, you can create a site that looks intricate, yet is easy to use. Without any knowledge of code, you have complete control over the the theme’s colors and other settings, such as layout and default font. If you ever decide to give your site a makeover and change themes, you won’t have to worry about losing your content. A theme only changes the look of your website: the colors, the layout, etc. Your published content will stay the same.
Free themes are great for those with little web experience. Content and images can be inserted into the theme like puzzle pieces. However, WordPress also offers a premium plan. Although you must pay for this plan, you have more control over a chosen theme’s style, layout, and overall appearance. As with so much in WordPress, you do not need any knowledge of code. However, experience with CSS is highly recommended (Although WordPress does have a strong CSS support system. This is another reason why, as we note later, so many companies are choosing the platform to power their sites).
Those who are really experienced in tech can create their own themes using the WordPress API, either for their own site or for the benefit of others by sharing it in WordPress’s Theme Repository.
Currently, there are nearly 50,000 plugins available for WordPress users and that number continues to grow. From SEO and analytic plugins, to those that showcase photos and books, there is a plugin fit for every type of website. Downloading these plugins from the WordPress website is quick, simple, and free.
If you are concerned about your search engine rankings, WordPress’s SEO plugins may be among the best for boosting your online visibility. The plugins not only guide you as you craft your META titles, tags, and descriptions, but they also let you know when your content is keyword-rich, keyword-scarce, or overstuffed.
Other plugins include form builders for users to easily submit contact info or registration information. There are plugins for online entrepreneurs who use their site to sell products. There are also plugins for inserting tables, alerting newsletter subscribers, and even (what so many people online wish they could do) disabling comments.
If you think yourself a skilled developer, you can even create your own plugins and make them available to other WordPress users. As long as there are developers with great ideas who are willing to share, it does not appear that the growing number of plugins WordPress offers will subside any time soon.
Not only were WordPress’s plugins designed to help you improve SEO, but WordPress itself was designed with SEO in mind. The site follows Google’s index algorithms, which makes WordPress-powered sites more likely to show up in the higher rankings. One of the most popular SEO plugins on WordPress that web creators use to improve their search engine rankings is Yoast.
Yoast’s plugin will give you a step-by-step optimization analysis, letting you know how you can improve everything from your page title to your keyword density. It will let you know when your title is too long, whether your keyword appears too late in the META description, whether your slug contains stop words, when images don’t have a keyword alt attribute, and even the percentage of content that contains your keyword.
As long as you follow the guidelines that Yoast or any other SEO plugin prescribes, your page is sure to rank. WordPress not only lays a strong foundation for your SEO, but even gives you the tools you’ll need to make that ranking even better.
When a change needs to be made, it can be done in WordPress. Whether that change is a theme’s color, a headline’s size, or an image’s adjustment, the fix is quick and easy. You can log into WordPress, find the page or post that needs to be edited, and make the change. WordPress gives you the option to preview the change before updating the site so you can see your site through the eyes of your visitors. No developer is needed and no code must typed, which saves both time and money for nonprofits and small businesses who may not have the resources to devote to an intricate web project.
WordPress never forgot its origins as a blog space and continues to make it simple for writers to publish their work on the platform. WordPress’s page and post panels should look very similar to Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and other word processors.
Content writers simply add their content into the text box, make its justifications, and update the page. Thanks to WordPress’s simple themes, the font and colors are automatically incorporated into the text. Whether one word of content must be added or an entire page of content revised, writers can do so without worrying about impacting the entire site through one glitch in the post.
A Community of Support
The growing CMS has a support system to match. With support forums, developers and designers using WordPress around the world can offer suggestions, tips, and tricks. Whether you need help from the start by installing WordPress or you need help adding the latest plugin to your site, WordPress has an experienced community at the ready, willing to offer assistance.
WordPress also holds meetups for web creators in similar areas to gather and share information and suggestions. The site even hosts larger, international meetups called WordCamp. Held nearly every month in various countries, these conferences are where users of WordPress, both beginners and experts, gather to offer assistance and advice.
It is this community, freely sharing ideas and opinions, that has enabled WordPress to expand, grow, and improve from its humble beginnings as a blogging platform to the powerful tool behind a quarter of the web.
If you have been putting off creating a WordPress website, hesitate no longer. An ever-growing community of support is prepared to help.
How KDG Can Help
KDG makes up part of that impressive support community. We have created new websites using WordPress for nonprofits and businesses, and have experienced tremendous success with WordPress templates for higher education. From a college in need of a redeveloped site for increased engagement to a charity organization in need of new donations, a WordPress site will help any organization raise awareness, not only online, but offline as a result.
From higher ed web design to nonprofit web development, KDG can build a WordPress site from start to finish for your organization. Although WordPress is simple to use, KDG’s team of developers, designers, and IT support can help you create a site that attracts students, customers, donors, and everyone in-between.