In a July 2013 talk at WordCamp, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg said that 18.9 percent of the web now runs WordPress. The popular web survey site W3Tech backs up Mullenweg’s numbers, finding that among the top 10 million most trafficked websites, almost one in five was created using WordPress.
Businesses big and small like it: the online homes of such heavy hitters as Van Heusen, Best Buy, and the GOP are WordPress based. Celebrities like it too: Jay-Z, William Shatner, Katy Perry, and Usain Bolt all reach their fans using WordPress-built websites.
. . . So what’s behind such widespread appeal?
The main draw is independence. With WordPress, site owners no longer need to call on a “techie” or webmaster to update or expand on their content.
A professionally designed WordPress site looks great on the outside, while behind the scenes, the easy-to-use “dashboard” lets you (or staff) edit words, images, and new web pages without knowing a thing about coding.
If for no other reason than that — the cash you save on webmaster services — a WordPress site should be the choice for your small business or association. But there are other advantages to choosing WordPress small businesses should know about.
Communicate more rapidly.
Being able to skip the services of a webmaster not only saves you money. It also means you’re not tied to their schedule. In fact, with WordPress, you can update your site quickly from any computer with a web connection, or from your cell phone.This speed and versatility can come in handy when posting time-sensitive information such as special offers for customers or press announcements that tie into industry news.
Collaborate more easily.
As a content management system, WordPress allows you to control administrative access among employees, contractors and other associates.
Hiring someone to write an article for your site? Just give them their own “contributor” password to your WordPress dashboard. They’ll be able to edit and submit their work, but only you can publish it. Administrators, editors, authors, contributors, and subscribers all have varying permissions.
Compare that to the old HTML way — when you had to channel all new content through your webmaster, and pay them to format and post it.
Easily add to your site’s functionality.
There’s a saying in the WordPress community: “there’s a plugin for that.” And installation is typically as easy as a couple of clicks.
Stay on the leading edge of technology.
WordPress is constantly being updated to add new functions and new conveniences for content managers. As a platform, it’s adaptable and “future proof” — but that’s only half the story.
As importantly, when you start with a professionally built WordPress theme, you can be certain that the code accounts for the technical quirks of the web browsers your visitors use. Whether it’s Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, new or outdated versions, your site will look good and function well. The reputation of the foundry that developed your theme depends on it.
Change the look of your site in the future.
Should you ever tire of your site’s design, WordPress themes make changing it as easy as changing your clothes. Since your content lives in a database entirely separate from its presentation, changing the presentation (the “theme”) can be accomplished in a few clicks. And there’s an endless choice of themes available, from popular theme “foundries” all over the internet.
Work with web developers more easily.
Using a standardized platform like WordPress means that any web developer you hire in the future will know their way around your site and its code. Not having to start from scratch or unravel another developer’s code saves time and money.
Consult abundant support resources.
The main appeal of WordPress lies in its ease-of-use for even technophobes. However, should you decide that you want to tinker “under the hood,” free support is at your fingertips.
The WordPress online user community is broad and bustling. Virtually any question you may have has likely been answered someplace on the web in one of the many blogs and forums devoted to the platform. If not, you can always bring your question to the official WordPress community forum at wordpress.org/support.
In short, modularity, versatility, ease-of-use, support, plus compatibility with the all the latest web technologies are core advantages of choosing WordPress. Small businesses can “hit the ground running” with an attractive, professional site, then easily build on the design as their needs grow.