WordPress is an extraordinarily popular Content Management System (CMS). As a result, numerous web hosting services provide it to their subscribers. Sometimes it’s complimentary as part of the hosting service, sometimes it’s an additional fee. If you’re exploring the various web hosting options before you right now, you might be wondering if WordPress is even “right” for your website. The answer to that is the answer to so many other questions in information technology: it depends. To understand if you need it, it’s important to understand what WordPress can deliver to your website, should you choose to adopt it.
Benefits of Using WordPress
WordPress Distinguishes Content from Design
WordPress is, first of all, software that enables you to separate the design of your web site from its content.
This means that if you have opted to have pretty flowers as a background for your website one day, and then decide that you don’t like those pretty flowers on another day and you would like to replace them with ugly dragons, you can do so without affecting anything you have posted to that website. The look and feel will change from flowers to dragons, but all of your content will still be there.
Incidentally, the design in WordPress software is usually called the “theme”. There are zillion themes available for your website, and many of them are free. They are also very easy to install, and that’s the second thing you need to know about WordPress.
Themes are easily installed and easily replaceable. Adding a cool-looking theme to your website is as easy as a few points and clicks. Another thing to know about WordPress: themes are customizable. You may come across a theme that you think is really cool, but you don’t like the location of one design element, or the font used in the title of each post. That’s no problem, you can modify it. In some cases, you may need to understand a little PHP to get the work done, but it is definitely doable.
Easy Content Management
Finally, WordPress makes adding posts easy. The software features a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, which enables you to produce rich content for your website without knowing anything about all that pesky HTML markup. You’ll find this a big time-saver.
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Is WordPress for You?
Now, back to the original question: Is WordPress for you? Well, if your website calls for rapid production of numerous blog-like posts over a short period of time, then it’s almost a foregone conclusion that you’ll love WordPress.
With WordPress, you’ll be able to quickly deploy original content that, in most themes, is automatically searchable. You’ll be able to quickly categorize that content and add tags for Search Engine Optimization. You’ll be able to include images, uploading them from your hard drive, and even save those images in such a way that you can reference them later. In this case, WordPress is a huge productivity boost.
On the other hand, if you have a relatively static website, with little in the way of new content on a regular basis, you might find that you don’t need WordPress at all. Although WordPress certainly can handle that type of website, you’d probably end up ignoring most of its features.
Also, if you have a very specific design in mind for your website, it’s likely that WordPress is not for you. WordPress themes are certainly adaptable, but you’ll find it easier to start with a clean plate rather than trying to redesign a WordPress theme to your desired look and feel.
Another type of website that should probably avoid WordPress;: e-Commerce. There are numerous other frameworks better suited to handling cataloging and payment processing much better than WordPress.
The simple truth is this: WordPress is best suited to very dynamic sites, such as news reporting sites or blogs. Sites that are more static in nature, especially with sophisticated, professional designs, probably won’t need it.
Chris Tillman is a professional blogger who provides advice and information on affordable web hosting for companies and individuals. He writes for Web Hosting Basics, highly recognized as one of the best business web hosting services.