Why Choose WordPress for Your Website?
If you’re considering getting a website built for your business, one of the first things you’ll have to decide is what type of website you want.
The truth is that there is no right answer; it really depends on your needs as to which type of website or CMS you choose. In this post we’ll look at the different types of website solutions: static websites, proprietary CMS, and open source CMS.
However, we’re not going to pretend this article is completely unbiased. We’ll outline the pros and cons to each system solution, but overall (and especially with small businesses) we prefer to work with WordPress—and we think you will too. Read on to find out why.
What is a static website?
A static website is a brochure type site, where there are few pages and the content changes rarely or not at all. Any updates to a static website usually must be done by a web developer with knowledge of HTML or XHTML.
- Static websites have low start-up costs and can be built quickly.
- Good for microsites that require minimal functionality and few changes.
- Less functional and less user interactivity than websites using CMS.
- Business owners who do not have knowledge of HTML will need to pay a web developer to make changes or updates to their website, which can rack up costs in the long term and make it a more expensive option than a CMS.
- Static sites are worse off in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO) due to the low number of pages and lack of regular updates.
What is a proprietary CMS?
A proprietary CMS is a content management system that is often developed, owned and promoted by a single company. Websites that use these systems are usually hosted by the company that owns the CMS, and they are required to pay a license fee of some sort. Unlike an open source CMS (like WordPress) proprietary systems do not usually allow access to the source code.
- A proprietary CMS will offer an all-inclusive, full-service hosting plan. So though there may be higher ongoing fees, you’ll find that web hosting, support, upgrades and maintenance should be included in that price.
- Proprietary systems generally offer good support, as they employ a team of people who know the code and are solely focused on developing and maintaining the system.
- Proprietary systems have a smaller user base than open source solutions, and therefore are seen to have better security from viruses (although, it should be noted that as the source code is not available to the public, it is hard to determine the security and reliability of a system with certainty.)
- Often a proprietary system can be customised to work with your in-house systems in ways that open source CMS might not be able to.
- You should make sure you are comfortable with the company that owns the proprietary CMS. Do they have the size and expertise to keep your website running? Will they invest in the continued development of their CMS? Can the company keep their platform compatible with the latest web standards? If the answer is no to any of these questions, your online presence and business could suffer long-term.
- You have to pay licensing and/or set-up fees. The additional support you receive with a proprietary CMS will come at a cost.
- As you are setting up your website with a pre-built system, there may be a lack of system and feature customisation options.
- It’s hard to migrate to another CMS and you’re dependent on the proprietary developer. If you choose to change to another developer or CMS, you may struggle to find someone who can learn and manage the code.
What type of CMS is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source CMS. This means that the source code is free to the public, and the system is built and maintained by groups of interested developers all over the world. While there is a controlling body, the system belongs to no one person. Though originally built as a blogging tool, WordPress has developed over the years and is now capable of acting as the framework for all sorts of websites. It is even used by large companies such as Samsung.
Pros and cons of using an open source CMS:
- Open source CMS websites can be hosted anywhere.
- The software itself is free (though customisation, design and hosting is not.)
- There is a large developer base, which means there are more frequent enhancements and updates, and there is greater functionality. The developers often use WordPress themselves, so they are invested in improving and maintaining the system.
- Greater flexibility and ease of customisation.
- Despite the perception that there is an increased security risk with open source CMS, as the platform is worked on by many developers there are frequent releases of security updates and feature to ensure security and stability.
- Easy to update content and make changes, which will make your website more SEO-friendly.
- There is no direct support, unless you hire a developer who has experience with your CMS. However, there are usually many community forums available to help troubleshoot issues.
- With the number and variety of plugins available, it’s best to be aware that some don’t mesh well together. This means you need to assess the compatibility of these features before getting them installed on your website.
- With open source systems, it’s important to choose a CMS that is popular and stable (WordPress is the most popular open source CMS). Otherwise there is the potential for the developer community to move on, and the CMS they’ve been developing may be stalled or abandoned completely.
So why should you choose WordPress?
You should choose WordPress as the CMS for your website for the same reasons that we, and many other leading web marketing agencies, do. It is the most respected and popular open source CMS, and it is rapidly become the default standard for websites.
But beyond its popularity, there are specific advantages to WordPress as an open source CMS. Here we’ve listed just a handful of reasons why we like WordPress over other content management systems:
- There is a huge and active support community. If you have any issues, there are many third-party forums, on top of dedicated WordPress support resources.
- WordPress has a great user interface and is easy to use, even for people who don’t consider themselves tech savvy.
- You can perform and manage simple actions, like uploading or editing content, without requiring the help of a developer.
- There are thousands of great WordPress themes freely available, and even more premium themes that are available to purchase.
- There is an ever-growing list of (well over 18,000!) free and premium plugins for WordPress that can be easily installed on your website to increase ease-of-use and functionality.
- WordPress is regularly updated due to its popularity as an open source CMS. This means the system is always improving.
- It is easy to monetise with ads, using widgets and eCommerce plugins.
- WordPress is SEO-friendly, and this can be further enhanced through use of specific SEO plugins.
So there you have it! We’re biased towards using WordPress, and, we think, for good reasons. As a content management system, WordPress is intuitive and easy to use without sacrificing functionality and interactivity. Basically, you can get a website that looks high quality and complex for your visitors and potential leads, but which won’t do your head in when it comes to managing content.
Want to know more about WordPress? Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!