WordPress is without a doubt one of the most popular open source web applications on the Internet. It’s used by websites big and small from countries all over the world. Current stats suggest that 75 million websites are using WordPress; it’s a case of if you’re not using it, then why aren’t you?
I appreciate that under some circumstances it may have been deemed more efficient to use a custom built application, but with the flexibility that WordPress offers, you can now achieve the same, but for significantly less (and for free in many cases). I’ve put together five points that highlight why I think you should change your site over to WordPress if you haven’t already.
See your website rise in the search engines
Search engines are one of the main sources of organic traffic for websites. So much so that SEO has been spawned as its own industry, with websites vying for the positions on the first page of results for vital keywords and topics. WordPress comes with a number of enhancements for SEO that you are unlikely to have considered when creating your website: it is very easy to setup search engine-friendly permalinks and URLs, whilst many plugins (which I’ll discuss after this) are designed to further optimise your site for higher rankings. As organic traffic can form up to 64% of total traffic, taking notice of SEO and how the structure of your website affects it can really pay dividends.
Add functionality in a flash
WordPress makes it easy to add extra functionality to your website. Along with an extensive API that comes with all the details and documentation you’ll want to make your own plugins, an extensive community of third-party developers committed to plugin development has arisen. WordPress.org is the home of the third-party plugin repository and given that many of them are open source, you can expect that you’ll be able to find something that will meet your requirements without having to spend a penny. Plugins are easy to install too. If you browse the plugin library from your WordPress admin interface then the download and installation can be done through your browser. Alternatively if you wish to browse the library directly, it’s a simple case of downloading the plugins that you’d like to use and then uploading them to your web space using methods such as FTP or a control panel-based File Manager.
Have your pages delivered to your visitors faster
It is fair to say that speed is built into the core of WordPress. A recent survey discovered that 30% of respondents said that they’d abandon a website if a page took longer than a second to load (3); this figure suggests that failing to respond to a slow website could seriously harm your bottom line. WordPress is a dynamic application that can assure fast loading times and response rates whether you receive one visitor a day or 1 million. Small and medium-sized sites can stand to benefit from hosting environments optimised specifically for WordPress hosting, whilst large enterprises have the benefit of WordPress supporting hosting in a clustered environment.
Regular updates keep you protected
Although a CMS developed in-house may have the benefit of being custom to the needs of your organisation, more often than not thorough testing isn’t undertaken to establish the weaknesses of the code and potential vulnerabilities. With WordPress you can expect to use a tried and tested application that is used by large companies all over the world with examples including the NYTimes and Mashable. It can be argued that the popularity of one CMS will make it more prone to attack, but the counter argument is that with development being constant and consistent, the moment a potential vulnerability is discovered, you can expect a patch to be released in no time at all so the potential risk will always be minimal. The same principle applies to WordPress that applies to all types of application – to keep yourself protected, make sure that you are always applying the latest updates.
Easy to maintain
Your WordPress website can be managed through the web-based WordPress admin interface. This comes as part of a standard installation and provides you with an easy-to-use control panel that gives you all the options you need to manage your website on the move. The Posts and Pages sections let you add, modify, and delete content swiftly; it couldn’t be easier: there’s no need for any specialist knowledge or software, even the most novice of users would find it a breeze to add content. User accounts can be assigned different levels of access depending on the extent of the permissions that are needed. This can help to safeguard your site as limited access can then be granted to inexperienced users, whilst editors and other administrators can have the power to moderate content and change settings where necessary.
To conclude, converting your website to WordPress holds many advantages to your business. The best part of it all: it’s free. I’m sure that where you have a large website and CMS you’ve been building over many years, you might be reluctant to abandon these, but your content can be ported over and once you’ve seen the simplicity of WordPress, you’ll never want to go back.