Being a professional WordPress developer, I get bombarded with lots and lots of questions. While a majority of my clients already understand and appreciate the advantages using a WordPress CMS, I have been surprised by the question….Why should I choose WordPress for my website?
Why Should You Choose WordPress For Your Website?
That questions frankly surprised all of us at WebTegrity. So we started asking our existing clients just what is WordPress. It turns out, most people outside of our industry don’t have a great understanding of just what WordPress and a CMS really is. Hopefully this article will explain everything you need to know just what WordPress is.
What is WordPress
WordPress is an open source CMS. In plain English, that means WordPress is a free and open way for everyone to easily edit and manage their website without a lot of technical knowledge. There are also other CMSs like Drupal etc.
WordPress was started in 2003 by some geeks at a company called Automatic that wanted to have a better way of blogging. So, they created the basic or “core” software and then gifted it to the world in the form of WordPress. Sweet!
What can you do with WordPress
Frankly, everything. From the very beginning, WordPress was designed to keep you from having to know CSS, HTML, PHP, etc Because it’s so easy to use, even amateurs can create some really awesome sites for free. Now, if you know all that nerd code stuff and know the difference between a DIV tag and an HREF, WordPress software gives you the power to create just about any type of website imaginable with an ease.
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Nearly 1/4 of sites on the net including businesses, restaurants, and even e-commerce sites. That’s over 60 million sites!
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Why is WordPress so special?
There are a few reasons why WordPress is special. Here’s just a few…
Templates – Templates are premade themes that make it super easy for you to radically change the look of your website in a fraction of the time it used to take. This is like having Velcro body panels on your car so it can look like a sports car on Monday and a dump truck on Tuesday
Plug-ins – these are little bits of code that you can literally just plug into your site to add on things like bulletin boards, picture galleries, and shopping carts.
Some of the other stuff – Responsive design which is the ability to autoconfigure your site when someone views it on a cell phone or iPad with ease. SEO – you can also build it from the ground up so it’s optimized for search engines using awesome plugins like Yoast. That and about a gazillion other things are just plain easier on WordPress.
Why Should I Use WordPress On My Site
Ease of Use – You really can’t beat WordPress when it comes to ease of use. It’s dead simple to add and remove pages once the site is built. Many of my clients, once the site is built, do nearly all the further development on their own site. They find that they don’t need to have a full blown developer on staff or on call to do the normal day to day things your site requires.
Development Speed – For the quality of the site, it’s hard to beat how quickly you can build out a WordPress site. Using templates, we’ve seen relatively decent sized sites built in a few days. In fact, the hardest part is writing the content or the actual words that go into the webpages themselves. Doing a fully custom WordPress site can be done in just two or three weeks if the developer really knows what they are doing. That means money in your pocket since you aren’t having to pay development costs and your site is up and running and generating leads for you much faster.
Robustness – Given the millions of sites using WordPress, there are thousands of people worldwide that are developing things for WordPress. There are people that specialize in security, building forms, building every sort of niche plugin that mean you can do just about everything.
Expandability – WordPress works really well up to about 10,000 pages. That is a HUGE site.
Why You Want To Hire A Professional Web Developer
Sure, WordPress is super easy to use. If an amateur has enough time, they can build a website that both looks and functions really well. That’s the glory of WordPress and premade themes. However, most organizations don’t have the time and resources to devote to building a truly great website. There are a lot of things like SEO, content production and overall graphic design that a professional can do so much better than an amateur.
I like to compare it to taxes. Sure, you can do your taxes yourself by hand. You can also buy some pretty darn powerful software that will help you file your taxes. However, if you go beyond the basics, it really does help to have a professional that really knows the ins and outs of taxes to do the yeoman’s labor.
Hiring a professional developer can also mean that you cut months off of your development time. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had business people literally come in crying because their website is seriously broken or worse yet, never actually got published since they tried to do it themselves.
How Do You Choose A Developer
Sadly, another thing that frequently happens that burns us up is people come to us having paid a lot of really good money to get a crappy broken website. Sadly, there is a lot of snake oil being sold when it comes to the web development industry. But how do you choose a legitimate web developer?
Like most things, research research research. Referrals are a great start. Ask friends you know (especially who have a website you like) about their experience. Google is also your friend finding someone as are more traditional services like the BBB.
But, you ask, what should I look for?
Great Portfolio – Their portfolio should reflect their best work. If their portfolio is spotty, then probably so is their design. Also, look at the developers site. Is it responsive? Is it good looking? Does it make you want to do business with them?
Creativity – While an artist can give you a gorgeous site, a designer can give you a site that works. Ideally, a designer will talk about ROI, SEO, social media, etc.but will be able to explain exactly what those are in a language you can understand. An artist will usually only talk about how it will look with words like “clean, modern, etc”. If the designer describes the looks and never the functionality, then you need to consider someone else.
Understanding Your Needs – A funky, hip gourmet donut shop has very different needs from a steak house. So, why would would you go to someone that doesn’t take the time to truly understand your needs and the unique business environment you operate in. Templates are nice but one size rarely fits all.
Technical Expertise – Do they just buy a cheap, pre-made theme online and then “customize” it for you? Or, do they build you a site from the ground up that is specifically designed to match your businesses needs? It does cost more to build from the ground up however it will be custom tailored to meet all your needs without a lot of bells and whistles you don’t need.
Can You Meet Their Team – This is a big one that people always seem to forget. While there are plenty of competent designers that offshore or farm out the actual development work, it doesn’t always make sense to do it that way. If you go to a restaurant, do you want them to run across the street to McDonald’s and put it on a fancy plate?
Measurable Results – Can they tell you from the get go exactly how they will measure results of how well your site is working?
There are quite a few great resources out there. For the do it yourselfer or professional developer, I highly recommend checking out this link to a WebTegrity blog that lists a TON of learning resources from beginner to expert as well as online and in person classes.
So, we talked about what is WordPress, why is it special, why you should choose it for your website, and how to choose a developer. If you have any questions about choosing the right developer, call click or come by today.