Building a website from scratch might sound like a fun and creative task, but take it from me: if you’re not some kind of a mad genius who takes pleasure in performing repetitive tasks over and over again, don’t do it! I build websites for small businesses and personal sites, I NEVER suggest someone do it themselves. If you’ve never tried building a website from scratch, you should consider yourself lucky since the amount of work involved is TERRIFYING. Fortunately, the whole process of creating a new website becomes infinitely easier if you make use of WordPress. What used to take me days, I now do in hours. But what about the Free site builders they ask. (see my post on the ‘free’ sites) I tell them go give it a try. In two weeks they come back and tell me how much trouble they had, would I please set up a site for them? And in an afternoon I have what would have taken them two months.
WordPress is a Content Management System, you’ll see a lot of things about WordPress on this site, I use it exclusively. Content Management Systems use a database to allow anyone to manage the content. From words to pictures to video to audio, Content is king and WordPress lets YOU do it and maintain it. Yes it’s tedious, there is no romance in the content management world.
WordPress is THE MOST WIDELY USED platform on the internet, and by a huge margin. It has quite deservedly become a global phenomenon used by millions of websites, including some of the world’s most famous ones. This is why I’m posting this comprehensive info graphic from Skilled Company with plenty of interesting facts on all things WordPress. Make sure you keep the info graphic handy, there is no way to cover all these points in one post.
WordPress Popularity, Endless Options, There Is Money To Be Made and the downside of a big target, WordPress Security Breaches are all a part of this great info graphic from Skilled. Check it out:
Presented by Skilled.co
Who in the world would use WordPress? It’s free, so how could it be any good? Is it scalable? What happens if my company grows? Oh, it’s just a little blog thingy isn’t it? It can’t be secure? What about data I’m collecting? Oh, I want a big e-commerce site, WordPress can’t do THAT can it? Oh, I don’t know about that Open Source stuff, does it have any support?
I was going to write a piece on this, but it’s all over the internet already. Why would I plagiarize or rewrite something that’s been said a thousand times already. WordPress powers almost a quarter of the internet. Yes, 23% of the internet is powered by WordPress. It’s HUGE folks, it’s not just a little blog platform anymore. It is everywhere. Google and Bing love it. Why? It’s simple, it’s easy to use and it has major ROI. If you don’t know what ROI is, it’s Return On Investment. It has MASSIVE support. Far superior to anything Microsoft has and you have to PAY for Microsoft, WordPress support is free.
WordPress is what is known as a Content Management System or CMS. I’m a database guy; the basis of all content management systems is a database. Data driven software is a database guy’s dream. Everything the software uses is contained in the MySQL database. It allows the user interface to be simple and effective. I started using CMS systems back in the dark ages of the internet with CMS systems like Mambo, Joomla and Drupal. They were the ‘prototypes’ and they were sufficient, but hard to use for the regular guy. WordPress is elegant, simple and so easy ANYONE can use them to manage their content. And what drives the internet? Content.
So suffice it to say that until something better comes along, WordPress is the bomb. And the platform itself is completely free. You pay only for a domain, a hosting company and for me to install and configure it for you. You can maintain your own content if you like. Nothing compares, and I know, I have used them all and originally coded my own web sites in HTML, also back in the dark ages. Now I don’t have to do that and what used to take me weeks now takes me hours. How’s that for automation.
Anyway, without further ado, I’m going to send you to a link that tells it all. Then I’m going to list some of the major companies that use WordPress, but Freddy Muriuki, who lives in Nairobi has put together a pretty good story of The 20 Big Name Brands That Use WordPress (this is a link, click away), why to use WordPress and of what’s going on in the WordPress world so you can find out more there. But here’s the ‘Top Twenty’ list:
- Best Buy Local
- Digg Blog
- eBay Blog
- People Magazine
- Mozilla Firefox
- Reuter’s Blog
- NYTimes Blogs
- General Electronic (GE)
- Variety Mag
- Sony Music
What is WordPress? Well, it began as a simple blogging web site platform. It has grown to be the largest web site development platform on the internet. It is used by fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses all over the world. It’s known for it’s ease of use, a massive support base, a large number of both free and commercially available themes and templates, and a vast number of plugins and add-ons that allow users to do everything a web site could need or want.
In an afternoon, a simple multi-page website can be set up for just about any business. E-commerce is available for any size business from very large enterprises to small mom-and-pop stores. Starting with Blogging, the original purpose for WordPress, you can now create image galleries, forums, news aggregate sites, e-commerce as mentioned of course, job boards, booking systems (for hotels or ticket sales), support desks, real estate sites, YouTube lookalikes, classified pages (like newspapers) and real time graphics from data (like a stock exchange).
WordPress powers more than 23% of the web — a massive figure that rises every day. Everything from simple websites, to blogs, to complex portals and enterprise websites, and even applications, are built with WordPress. So unless you’re Apple, Microsoft or Elon Musk have lots of money and time to spend re-inventing the wheel; WordPress is your best choice, and we are the best ones to implement it for you. Some VERY elegant and beautiful websites are done with WordPress.
From the WordPress.org site; here are some of the features of WordPress:
- Simplicity – Simplicity makes it possible for you to get online and get publishing, quickly. Nothing should get in the way of you getting your website up and your content out there. WordPress is built to make that happen.
- Flexibility – With WordPress, you can create any type of website you want: a personal blog or website, a photoblog, a business website, a professional portfolio, a government website, a magazine or news website, an online community, even a network of websites. You can make your website beautiful with themes, and extend it with plugins. You can even build your very own application.
- Publish with Ease – If you’ve ever created a document, you’re already a whizz at creating content with WordPress. You can create Posts and Pages, format them easily, insert media, and with the click of a button your content is live and on the web.
- Publishing Tools – WordPress makes it easy for you to manage your content. Create drafts, schedule publication, and look at your post revisions. Make your content public or private, and secure posts and pages with a password.
- User Management – Not everyone requires the same access to your website. Administrators manage the site, editors work with content, authors and contributors write that content, and subscribers have a profile that they can manage. This lets you have a variety of contributors to your website, and let others simply be part of your community.
- Media Management – They say a picture says a thousand words, which is why it’s important for you to be able to quickly and easily upload images and media to WordPress. Drag and drop your media into the uploader to add it to your website. Add alt text, captions, and titles, and insert images and galleries into your content. We’ve even added a few image editing tools you can have fun with.
- Full Standards Compliance – Every piece of WordPress generated code is in full compliance with the standards set by the W3C. This means that your website will work in today’s browser, while maintaining forward compatibility with the next generation of browser. Your website is a beautiful thing, now and in the future.
- Easy Theme System – WordPress comes bundled with two default themes, but if they aren’t for you there’s a theme directory with thousands of themes for you to create a beautiful website. None of those to your taste? Upload your own theme with the click of a button. It only takes a few seconds for you to give your website a complete makeover.
- Plugins – WordPress comes packed full of features for every user, for every other feature there’s a plugin directory with thousands of plugins. Add complex galleries, social networking, forums, social media widgets, spam protection, calendars, fine-tune controls for search engine optimization, and forms.
- Built-in Comments – Your blog is your home, and comments provide a space for your friends and followers to engage with your content. WordPress’s comment tools give you everything you need to be a forum for discussion and to moderate that discussion.
- Search Engine Optimized – WordPress is optimized for search engines right out of the box. For more fine-grained SEO control, there are plenty of SEO plugins to take care of that for you.
- Multilingual – WordPress is available in more than 70 languages. If you or the person you’re building the website for would prefer to use WordPress in a language other than English, that’s easy to do.
- Easy Installation and Upgrades – WordPress has always been easy to install and upgrade. If you’re happy using an FTP program, you can create a database, upload WordPress using FTP, and run the installer. Not familiar with FTP? Plenty of web hosts offer one-click WordPress installers that let you install WordPress with, well, just one click!