This free guide is designed to help you understand the world of WordPress. You’ll learn what WordPress is and why you should use it for blogging or building a website to finally get your business online.
What is WordPress
WordPress is a content management system that is free and open source. This means that you can use it for your website at no cost and because it is open source, other programmers can easily develop add ons to enhance WordPress without cost as well.
WordPress was originally just used as a blogging platform but it has since evolved into a total website solution. You can run entire websites on WordPress including e-commerce sites.
WordPress isn’t just for little sites either. Huge, name worthy businesses use WordPress too.
Check out this list from WP Beginner of some of the most notable sites using WordPress:
- The New Yorker
- BBC America
- Bloomberg Professional
- The Official Star Wars Blog
- Sony Music
- MTV News
If you want to start a website or an online business chances are in your research you have heard about WordPress. WordPress is a popular website platform that powers 35% of the top 10,000 websites on the internet.
Not to confuse you, but there are actually two versions of WordPress. There is WordPress.com, which is owned by Automattic, that uses WordPress.org’s open-source platform to run its blogging service. WordPress.org is owned by The WordPress Foundation and is a free open source content management system that is used for websites all over the world.
By using WordPress to build your website you’ll be joining some large corporations, universities, celebrities, and many thousands of small businesses who already know how fabulous WordPress is.
It wasn’t too long ago that WordPress was mainly known as a blog publishing platform. Over the years, with the explosive growth of the WordPress community, themes, and plugins it has grown to be the standard for any type of website, not just blogs.
WordPress makes starting a website simple. Once installed all you have to do is pick a theme to create the look you desire. You can also install additional plugins to incorporate added features such as tables or forms. To use WordPress you don’t need to know anything about HTML or creating web pages, but learning a little on those subjects will be greatly beneficial especially if you plan to be a developer or want to achieve more advanced design for your website.
The trick is getting the right theme and using the right combination of plugins to create the look and feel of the site that you want. You can browse free themes and plugins at the WordPress.org site and also find numerous premium, or paid, themes and plugins online.
The free themes I recommend are Ocean WP, or Astra since they are SEO friendly, fast-loading, come with minimal styles which is great if you plan to use a page builder such as Elementor (my personal favorite). In fact Hello elementor was created especially for the Elementor Page Builder. So if you would really like to create custom themes, it allows you to customize every aspect of your website.
Because WordPress is so very popular and the community just continues to grow, you can find free and paid WordPress help easily. WordPress.org has a free support forum and there are numerous free WordPress help groups on Facebook. If you need paid support, you can contact me and I will be happy to answer your questions and lend the support you may need.
One reason so many love WordPress is because it is also extremely search engine friendly. Many people even say that Google loves WordPress. It’s set up in such a way that even a novice, with the right plugins, can put in SEO features such as meta tags, image tags, keywords, and coding without knowing how to code at all. With WordPress, you can easily incorporate a blog right into your website which also increases the search engine love you will receive.
Regardless if you want to start a blog or an online business with e-commerce features, WordPress can meet your needs as a low-cost, high-value platform.
Why Should You Use WordPress?
1. It’s Free – The top of the line content management system for free? Oh, yea! You can’t beat that. Of course, you will still have to pay for web hosting, but you will have that payment no matter what system you use.
2. Completely Customizable – The beautiful part of using open source software is that you and others have access to add-on features to WordPress via plugins and themes and most of these are free too. Over the years developers have created almost any type of extended capabilities you might need through the use of plugins.
3. Support and Community – Since WordPress is extremely popular there are numerous support groups online. You can find groups on Facebook, Slack, StackExchange, and almost anywhere else online where people gather. Of course, WordPress.org has a forum as well where you can ask questions.
4. Mobile Friendly – If you have a website it has to look good on mobile devices. Most current WordPress themes come mobile-friendly out of the book. And if the theme you want to use doesn’t, there are plugins you can use to help make your site mobile friendly.
5. Full Control – By using the free open source version of WordPress, you have complete and full control of your website. You decide when updates are applied, what plugins are used, who has access to what. You are not limited by what features you can and cannot use that a hosted solution such as Wix might do.
6. Easy E-Commerce – With plugins like WooCommerce, Exchange, and Digital Product Downloads it is super easy and fast to get an e-commerce site up and running. If you want to create an online store, WordPress is one of the easiest ways to go.
There is a reason why WordPress is so popular and is used by so many large corporations. It just works and it can work for your website too!