I recently received a question from a client about why so many of my service offerings revolve around WordPress. I had to stop and think about it for a minute, because, while that is a true statement, it never occurred to me that WordPress had become so prolific in my work. It was just a natural progression that happened without me even thinking about it.
While I certainly know how to code in HTML and CSS, and have been doing so since the mid-1990’s, the majority of the projects I do these days for clients does involve WordPress. On reflection, I would have to say that the main reason is because it’s what the vast majority of my clients are asking for. And for good reason.
The benefits of using WordPress for my clients include:
- Easy light updates to portions of their website that they can do themselves.
- The great built in blogging capabilities of WordPress (and let’s face it content is king these days).
- The cost of deployment of a WordPress site to the client versus a fully hand-coded HTML or Bootstrap site.
- The fact that a WordPress site is scaleable and can grow with their business easily.
Many people still have a mindset that WordPress is only for blogging, but that’s simply not the case anymore. I have even built sites on WordPress where the client wanted no blogging capabilities at all.
Many large and well-known companies now use WordPress for their websites including TechCrunch, The New Yorker, Sony Music, Best Buy, and The New York Times, among thousands of other names you would easily recognize.
WordPress actually now powers over 26 percent of the web globally, and the number is rising every year. And, this is for websites in general. For CMS specific websites WordPress carries over 53% of the web, far surpassing other CMS systems like Joomla! and Drupal.
1.) Ability to Make Quick Changes As Needed
Back in the “old days,” when you had a website built by a web developer, if you needed to make changes to your site, such as a phone number change or some minor text editing, you had to go back to the developer and request those changes be made.
Most lay people didn’t have the knowledge or skillset required to go into the code and make those changes themselves. So, they had to rely on someone else to do it for them. This took time, as you had to get into the website developer’s order queue, and it took money, because they weren’t doing it for free – no matter how minor the client may have thought the change was.
Many website professionals even had “minimums” on their time, to make changes. You would have had to wait until you had quite a few small changes built up, to make it worth your while to request a change from a developer, since they would bill with a one-hour minimum charge.
This could be tough on busy people who saw a change that need to be made, but they had no control over how quickly it would get made. Many often wished they could just go in and make that change and be done with it themselves. But, because of the technology of their website, they couldn’t do it.
To this day, I still have some clients on old HTML sites from 15 years ago, who need to request minor changes from me from time to time. These are changes they could easily make themselves in five minutes, if they were willing to upgrade their site to WordPress.
With WordPress, it can be fairly easy to figure out how to go into sections of your own website and make minor text and copy changes as needed. You no longer have to rely on someone who knows how to “code” to make them for you.
2.) Blogging and Content Marketing Capabilities Built-In
Let’s face it, when it comes to content and inbound marketing, having a solid CMS (Content Management System) is essential. That’s what WordPress is by nature! It started off as one of the best blogging systems out there, and has quickly evolved to the point where it is now not just a blogging platform, but also can be used as a full feature-packed website.
And, in order to compete these days, businesses must be actively updating their website, adding keywords for SEO and keeping their clients and customers informed. The best way to do this is by blogging or publishing articles, tutorials, videos, and all kinds of other content that website visitors are looking for.
If you put up a website and just kind of leave it there, never updating it, never throwing out useful information for potential clients and customers, it is really not doing your business much good. People are hungry for information and they tend to do business with people they trust. It’s up to you to build that trust with your content marketing.
WordPress websites make this easy for people that don’t have a “computer-based background” to do just this. If you can use Word, you can use WordPress for blogging with minimal training. And, as a bonus, keep in mind that WordPress tends to be very SEO-friendly.
3.) WordPress Sites Cost Less to Build
Deploying a website on WordPress takes less time than a fully custom site built in a different technology. A fully custom site can easily be double or triple the price of a WordPress-based site to develop.
So, while you may pay $2500 for a site that is based on WordPress, but still customized to match your branding, a similar site built in Bootstrap or HTML could easily run $5000 to $10,000, depending on the capabilities and feature set you want your site to have.
Frankly, it just takes longer to program, build and develop a non-WordPress site and time is money.
4.) WordPress Sites Can Grow With You
Some critics will argue that for a “smaller” site WordPress is overkill. And, while I can see that argument to a certain extent, keep in mind that a platform like WordPress also gives the smaller site plenty of room to grow with the company.
So, instead of having to build a new custom site every two to three years to add new features or update the aesthetics of the site, businesses can “build on” to the WordPress site they already have in place. This can save them a lot of money in the long run on updates and changes, since the developer doesn’t have to start from scratch.
WordPress is an open-source platform and, because of this, there are essentially hundreds of thousands of developers creating plugins. These plugins can add features to your website that would cost thousands of dollars to have programmed by hand.
The pro version of a plugin to add a much needed function to a site may cost $69 for a one site license, whereas a programmer creating the same functionality for a site from scratch could easily charge $1000+ for his time.
Keep in mind, there are plenty of free quality plugins available too!
So, as you can see, WordPress has many advantages from both a designer/developer perspective, as well as for the client in terms of ease of use and budgeting. Yes, there are caveats to using WordPress that must be taking into consideration, and I will get into them in a later article. But overall, WordPress is a solid choice for most people who are looking to build a website.