WordPress, Shopify, Joomla, oh my! With the overwhelming amount of website-building platforms that have popped up in recent years, it’s no wonder that you’re not sure which one to choose for your business needs.
Why use WordPress to build your business’s website over the numerous other CMS platforms on the market in 2023? Let’s break down the pros and cons of using WordPress.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS), which is a software that allows you to create and manage your website and manage its content from a central interface. It is the most popular CMS on the market, with over 60% of websites built via CMS using it as their platform.
WordPress was created by Matt Mullenweg in 2003 when he was attending the New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology (NMIMT) at age 19. WordPress started out as just an idea for an open-source blog tool that he coded in PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) while attending NMIMT for his final semester before graduating. He released his work under GPL – GNU Public License, Version 2, which means anyone can use it free, copy it, or modify it without paying any fees.
The first release of WordPress was on May 27th, 2003, and it quickly gained in popularity due to the ease of use and flexibility that it offered users. The second version of WordPress was released on December 11th, 2003 with a slew of new features and updates.
In 2005, after two years of development, WordPress released version two point oh, which included a new default theme (Kubrick) and many improvements to the administration panel. It was at this time that WordPress really started to take off in the commercial world, with more businesses and users gravitating towards it for its ease of use and customizability. And the rest, as they say, is history.
If you’re looking to build a website, you won’t be disappointed with WordPress. But, every platform has its pros and cons, so let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should use WordPress to build your website in 2023 – and some of the reasons why you might not want to.
The Pros of Using WordPress in 2023
There are plenty of reasons why you should consider using WordPress to build your website in 2023. Here are the top ten:
Free to Use and Open Source
WordPress is free to use – you don’t have to pay a dime to download it, install it, or use it. It is also an open-source platform, which means that the code that makes up WordPress is publicly available for anyone to view, edit, and improve.
This community of developers has created thousands of plugins and themes that you can use for your website, making WordPress a very customizable platform.
Massive Library of WordPress Plugins and Themes
As we mentioned before, the WordPress community has created thousands of plugins and WordPress themes that you can use for your website. This means that you can find pretty much any feature or design you want for your site – no matter how niche your business might be.
WordPress websites are pretty SEO-friendly if you know how to use the right tools and plugins. With the right setup, you can make sure that your website is crawled and indexed by search engines, helping it to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Easy to Use
WordPress is pretty easy to use, even for people who are not very tech-savvy. The user interface is simple and intuitive, and there are plenty of help articles and tutorials available online if you need them.
With over half of all web traffic now coming from mobile devices, it’s important that your website is responsive to these devices. It is generally easy to build a responsive WordPress site.
Constantly Updated and Improved
Another pro of using WordPress is that it is constantly updated and improved by the community of developers. This means that you can always rely on WordPress to be up-to-date and compliant with the latest web standards.
Great for Businesses of All Sizes
WordPress is a great platform for both smaller businesses that don’t need a lot of bells and whistles and larger businesses that require more robust features. There are plenty of themes and plugins available for both types of businesses.
Good for eCommerce Sites
If you’re looking to start an online store, WordPress is a great platform for that too. There are plenty of eCommerce plugins and themes available that will help you get your store up and running quickly and easily.
Countless Features and Designs to Choose From
As we mentioned before, WordPress is a very customizable platform. You can find just about every kind of feature or design you want for your website through plugins and themes, no matter how niche your business might be. Want to add an Instagram feed? There’s a plugin for that. Want to create a custom login page? There’s a plugin for that too.
Third-Party Tool Integration
WordPress also integrates well with third-party tools like Google Analytics, MailChimp, and Facebook. This allows you to track your website’s analytics, send out automated newsletters, and grow your Facebook following easily.
The Cons of Using WordPress in 2023
While there are many advantages to using WordPress, it is not perfect. Here are the top five cons:
Less Experienced Users Might Struggle
WordPress can be a little tricky to set up and use if you’re not familiar with website-building terminology or concepts. If you’re not familiar with HTML, CSS, or PHP (the languages that WordPress is built-in), you might find it difficult to make the changes you want to your website.
Plugins Can Be Costly
While WordPress itself is free, the premium plugins and themes are often not. This can add up quickly if you’re looking for a high-quality plugin or theme.
WordPress is not as secure as some of the other CMS platforms on the market. This is mainly due to its popularity – it is a common target for hackers. If you’re looking for a more secure platform, WordPress might not be right for you.
Lots of Updates
Since WordPress is open-source, it is constantly being updated by the community of developers who maintain it. This can be a good thing – but it also means that you need to frequently update your WordPress installation and plugins to make sure you’re taking advantage of the latest security fixes and features.
Poor Page Speed
Another downside of WordPress is that its page speed can be a bit slow, especially if you’re using a lot of plugins or themes. This might not be a problem for smaller websites, but it could be an issue for larger sites.
Getting Past the Downsides of WordPress
While the downsides of WordPress can be a bit daunting, they shouldn’t keep you from using this powerful CMS. With a little effort, you can get over the learning curve and take advantage of all that WordPress has to offer. And if you’re having trouble with something, there are plenty of helpful plugins to make your free WordPress website work just the way you want it to.
The bright side of WordPress’ pitfalls is that most of them can be solved with the right plugin. So if you’re having trouble with, say, security or page speed, there’s likely a plugin or third-party integration that can help.
Alternatives to WordPress
If you’re not sure whether WordPress is the right platform for you, or if you don’t like some of its cons, there are plenty of alternatives available. Here are a few:
WordPress vs Joomla
Joomla is another popular open-source CMS platform. It is very similar to WordPress, but has a slightly steeper learning curve. Both platforms are good options for users who want to build a website on their own.
Which CMS platform is right for you will depend on your experience with web development. If you’re not an expert, WordPress is more user-friendly and offers a good range of themes.
If, however, you have some programming background and want to spend time customizing design elements yourself, then Joomla might be the better choice.
Wix vs WordPress
Wix is a website builder platform that allows users to create a website without having to learn coding or design. You can choose from a library of templates and designs, or you can create your own. Wix also offers features like eCommerce, blogging, and social media integration.
There are pros and cons to using WordPress and Wix when building a business website. WordPress is more customizable and SEO-friendly, but can be more difficult to use for inexperienced users. Wix is simpler to use, but offers less flexibility than WordPress. Ultimately, the decision of which platform to use depends on your needs and preferences as a business owner.
WordPress vs Squarespace
Squarespace is another popular website builder platform that offers a wide range of templates and designs to choose from. It also has eCommerce and blogging features, as well as social media integration. Squarespace is slightly more expensive than Wix, but it offers better customer support and more features.
Again, the decision of which platform to use depends on your needs and preferences as a business owner. WordPress is more customizable and SEO-friendly, while Squarespace is simpler to use and offers more features.
WordPress vs Shopify
Shopify is a platform specifically designed for eCommerce businesses. It offers features like inventory management, payment processing, and order tracking. It also has a wide variety of templates and designs to choose from.
Like Squarespace, Shopify is more expensive than WordPress but offers better customer support and more features. WordPress does not have as many features specifically designed for eCommerce businesses, but it is more customizable and SEO-friendly.
Which platform you choose will depend on your specific needs as an eCommerce business owner. WordPress is a good option if you want to customize the design of your website, while Shopify is a better choice if you need more features for managing your eCommerce business.
Not Just a Blogging Platform
Though WordPress was originally built as a blogging platform, it has evolved into a full-fledged CMS. This means that you can use WordPress to build any type of website – from a simple website with a few pages to a complex eCommerce store.
The WordPress dashboard is also very user-friendly, making it easy to manage your website’s content and design. And if you ever need help, the WordPress community is always there to offer support. So whether you are looking for a platform to house your next blog post or to create your own site from scratch, WordPress is a great option.
If you’re not sure whether WordPress is the right platform for your website, do some research and compare it to the alternatives listed above. You might be surprised at how versatile WordPress really is.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
Now that we’ve gotten into the WordPress pros and cons, it’s important to distinguish between WordPress.com and WordPress.org – as they are two very different beasts.
WordPress.com is a hosted platform, which means that you don’t need to purchase or download any software in order to use it – everything is taken care of for you by WordPress. All you need to do is sign up, choose a template, and start creating content. The downside of this is that you’re limited in terms of what you can do with your website – for example, you can’t install any plugins.
WordPress.org, on the other hand, is a self-hosted platform. This means that you need to purchase web hosting and set up WordPress yourself. While this may seem daunting, it gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of what you can do with your website.
You can install plugins, change templates, and really make your site your own. The downside is that you need to be familiar with both web hosting and WordPress in order to use it – which not everyone is.
Frankly, the above is just the tip of the iceberg. With that in mind, we have decided to dedicate a whole blog post to the topic of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. Check it out!
Should You Use WordPress? Let’s Recap.
So, why use WordPress to build a website? The CMS you choose depends on your needs and preferences as a business owner. WordPress is a good option for users who want more flexibility and customization options, while Squarespace and Shopify are better choices for users who need more features. Joomla might be a good choice for users with programming experience, while Wix is a good option for inexperienced website builders. Ultimately, the right platform for you depends on what you need from your website and your level of experience with web development.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows users to create and manage their website without having to learn coding or design. It is free to use and has a wide range of plugins and themes available. WordPress is also SEO-friendly, making it a good choice for businesses who want to rank higher in search engine results pages.
Is WordPress easy to use?
WordPress is one of the easiest website builders to use. It has a simple, user-friendly interface that makes it easy for anyone to create a website. WordPress also offers a wide range of plugins and themes that allow you to customize your website’s design and functionality.
However, using WordPress can require some basic knowledge of coding and web development. If you’re not familiar with these concepts, it might take some time to learn how to use WordPress effectively.
Is WordPress secure?
WordPress is not as secure as some of the other website builder platforms available. There have been a number of malware and hacking attacks targeting WordPress websites in recent years. This could be a problem for businesses that need to keep their website data safe and secure.
However, there are a number of security plugins available for WordPress that can help you protect your website from these types of attacks. If you’re concerned about the security of your WordPress website, be sure to use one or more of these plugins.
Can I learn WordPress on my own?
Yes, you can learn WordPress on your own by reading one of the many online tutorials available. There are also a number of video courses and eBooks that teach you how to use WordPress effectively.
However, if you’re not familiar with coding or web development, it might take some time to learn how to use WordPress effectively. Many business owners outsource their WordPress website development to a professional web developer. This can be a good option if you want someone else to take care of all the website development work for you.
Digital Operating Solutions creates pristine, user-friendly websites for businesses that want to upgrade their online presence. We specialize in WordPress web design and have a team of experienced developers who can help you get the most out of this platform. Click here to learn more about our website design services.
Is GoDaddy WordPress the same as WordPress?
No, GoDaddy WordPress is a separate platform that allows you to create a website using WordPress. It is made by GoDaddy, one of the largest web host providers in the world.
GoDaddy WordPress is different from the standard WordPress software because it includes additional features like site templates, drag-and-drop builders, and eCommerce tools. It is also easier to use than the standard self-hosted WordPress platform, making it a good option for businesses who want to create a website without learning coding or design.
How to install WordPress?
There are a few different ways to install WordPress. The easiest way is to use the One-Click Install tool provided by your web host. This will allow you to install WordPress on your website in just a few clicks.
If you’re not using GoDaddy WordPress, you can also download the WordPress software and install it on your own server. This can be a bit more complicated, but there are plenty of online tutorials that can help you get started.
Why Use WordPress: The Bottom Line
In the end, WordPress is a great platform for businesses of all sizes. It’s user-friendly and customizable, and there are plenty of plugins and themes to choose from. If you’re not sure whether WordPress is right for you, take some time to research the other options available. There are plenty of good choices out there – you just need to find the one that’s right for you.