9 Reasons Why You Should Use WordPress (and When You Shouldn’t)

WordPress is by far the most popular website publishing platform in the world, and there are many reasons you should consider using it for your next website. Powering 32% of the world’s websites, WordPress’ dominance is a result of its adaptability, and the fact it can serve as the backend for standard blogs, ecommerce websites, and even static web pages.

WordPress is free, open source software that anyone can download and use. It provides the bare bones for any kind of website you can dream up – but is WordPress right for you? If you host your own website, then it probably is.

WordPress is not particularly difficult to manage, but should something go wrong, novices may experience confusion when it comes to taking care of the platform’s constituent parts. Those who are already familiar with managing their own site, however, will be just fine.

For experienced site owners, here are 9 reasons why WordPress should be the engine that powers your next online project.

  1. WordPress is widely supported
  2. You can choose your own web host
  3. Plugins add functionality and enhancements
  4. WordPress is built For SEO
  5. Customizable themes
  6. WordPress is free
  7. Most web hosts offer one-click installs
  8. Multiple users can contribute to your blog
  9. The cool kids use it
Good to know: For absolute novices who are interested in WordPress, we’d recommend trying WordPress.com first. This service lets you create a WordPress site for free, without dealing with any of the site management issues that are sure to come up.
1

WordPress Is Widely Supported

If you’re having a problem with WordPress, chances are someone else has dealt with the same issue. There are plenty of places to turn to for support when you need help, including both the official forum and WordPress help site, which is full of useful information. There are also tons of blogs, YouTube videos, and businesses providing custom support to help you on your WordPress journey.

Many web hosts also have helpful WordPress support pages, which include specific tips about dealing with the parts of WordPress that interact with the web host’s infrastructure.

2

You Can Choose a Web Host

As you’ve probably figured out by now, WordPress allows you to host your own site. This is an important advantage for advanced users who don’t want the restrictions of WordPress.com, which limits site customizations.

Choosing your own host also means you can shift providers and/or hosting plans as the traffic and storage demands on your site increase.

While any web hosting plan will do to start, many of the major web hosts offer tailored plans for WordPress sites. These plans usually have features such as automated WordPress updates, and sometimes extra features such as email marketing. If you want a WordPress hosting plan, it pays to shop around.

We recommend Bluehost for websites built using WordPress. It came out top in our research for its WordPress hosting plans, and is actually recommended by WordPress itself. A2 Hosting and HostGator are also great options.

More information

Take a look at our web hosting comparison chart to discover our top-rated hosting providers.

Want to find out more about Bluehost hosting for WordPress? Check out our Bluehost review for the lowdown on all its pros and cons.

3

Plugins Add Functionality and Enhancements

The jewel in WordPress’ crown is the wealth of plugins it offers, which enhance the functionality of users’ sites. Most WordPress installs come with an anti-comment spam plugin already installed, while you can add features such as Jetpack for website performance and statistics.

Other favorites include plugins to add user registration (for sites that want to include visitor memberships), ecommerce support in order to sell items online, VaultPress for automated backups, and MailChimp for adding a newsletter subscription form to your site. There are thousands of free and freemium WordPress plugins, as well as paid plugins from private companies and independent developers.

most popular wordpress plugins
You can browse WordPress plugins by popularity, and view their user rating and how many times they've been installed.
4

WordPress Is Built for SEO

WordPress is already primed for search engine optimization (SEO). Plugins, however, can further enhance your site’s search engine chances. A popular choice is Yoast, which can analyze a new post’s SEO and help you improve the likelihood of better results from Google and other search engines. Yoast even has an extensive guide on its website, guiding you through the process of improving your entire WordPress site’s SEO.

There are also many other plugins you can use besides Yoast to up your SEO game. Google XML Sitemaps, for example, creates a sitemap in the XML markup language to make your site more readable by Google.

5

Customizable Themes

A new WordPress installation will begin with a bare site design. It features a simple site title, a sample blog post, a comments section, a post archive section, and a few other parts. Suffice to say, very few people leave their WordPress site as is, because it’s too generic.

That’s where themes come in. Themes are one-click solutions that completely overhaul the look of your site. They are also customizable, meaning you can personalize your chosen theme to separate it from the hordes of other users who liked the same design.

There are numerous free themes, and a fresh WordPress install comes with a few basic choices. WordPress also features a theme marketplace right inside the CMS, while numerous web designers will offer their services to create a custom theme that’s to your specifications.

themeforest popular wordpress themes
WordPress theme libraries, such as ThemeForest, allow you to buy, download and completely customize WordPress themes without any restrictions.
6

WordPress Is Free

WordPress offers tons of support options, more customizability than you could hope for, and heaps of website tools via plugins. It’s an incredible system, and the basic platform is one hundred percent free in two very important ways.

First, WordPress is open source software, meaning anyone can look at its source code. In fact, anyone who has the knowledge and ability could also modify it if they wished, and redistribute the source code on their own. While most people won’t even bother to look at the code, the fact that anyone can read and discover flaws helps make WordPress more secure, and encourages the platform to add new features.

On top of that, WordPress won’t cost you a penny, with no one-time or monthly fees required to install the platform. You just download it, and it’s yours.

7

Most Web Hosts Offer One-Click Installs

Most web hosts (such as Bluehost and HostGator) offer one-click installs, making it very easy to get started with your new site. You’ll still need to spend time tweaking your theme and installing plugins, but getting up and running is relatively quick and easy.

You can find one-click WordPress installs on most major web hosts, as well as specialized VPS providers such as Digital Ocean. However, before you sign up, make sure that a one-click WordPress install is available. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck prepping your own LAMP stack, as well as setting up your own MySQL database.

8

Multiple Users Can Contribute to a Website

If you want multiple users updating a website, adding new users is easy as pie. You just open up the WordPress CMS, go to the Users section, and add a new user. These people then get their own username and password, which administrators can suspend or delete if necessary. You can also assign users specific roles, such as Contributor, Author, Editor, or Administrator.

For most people, Contributor is probably the best option to use. It allows others to contribute their own posts, but they cannot delete them, nor can they publish them. That will mean extra work for the administrator or editor, but it’s better than giving people permissions they don’t need.

9

The Cool Kids Use It

WordPress isn’t just for people trying to start up a fanfic website or an Etsy side business. It’s also a popular choice for celebs – superstars including Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, and Chris Brown are all rocking WordPress sites, while if music stars aren’t your thing, chess legend Garry Kasparov is also a fan.

Seriously, though. Copying superstars is not a reason to opt for WordPress, but it does show that even people with major audiences are happy to use it.

walt disney wordpress site
It's not just celebrities who like WordPress; huge companies, such as Walt Disney, also use WordPress to design and build their websites.

The Disadvantages of WordPress

WordPress is pretty great, but it’s not perfect by any stretch. Here are some downsides to running WordPress.

It’s a Big Target

WordPress has a huge user base, which is important for support, finding third-party plugins, and themes. But it also means that WordPress is a big target for hackers. If a bad guy finds an unknown vulnerability, a massive number of sites are exposed. For that reason, WordPress gets regular updates, and you have to stay on top of them to ensure your site stays as protected as possible.

In addition, most websites running WordPress are using a version of Linux such as Ubuntu as their underlying operating system. You’ll need to stay on top of those updates as well, which requires a few minutes on the command line now and then.

Some web hosts will take care of updates for you, depending on the type of plan you have.

Originality Will Cost You

WordPress is free, and there are many pre-built themes you can get for free – but if you want something that looks original, it’ll cost you. That may mean purchasing a paid theme that few people are using, or hiring a designer to come up with an original look. If you have some coding skills, you may be able to do this yourself – but if you don’t have the right eye for design, it may not work out.

Plugins and Extras Require a Fine Balance

WordPress plugins are helpful, but installing too many can impact your website’s performance. The last thing you want is visitors having to wait for your latest blog post to load because of plugins toiling away in the background. This is not an insurmountable problem, but it requires testing to add the plugins you need and decide which ones you can do without.

There Are Alternatives

If WordPress doesn’t sound right for you, there are alternatives available. For example, website builders are tools that let you design a website by simply changing and editing elements with your mouse (without needing to do any manual coding). Website builders are incredibly easy to use, allowing you to create and publish a website in a matter of hours. Two of the biggest names in this space are Squarespace and Wix.

squarespace website builder
Website builders, like Squarespace, allow you to create a website quickly and easily, without needing any tech know-how.

More information

Check out our website builder comparison chart and our rundown of the best website builders to find which builders we recommend.

Interested in using Squarespace to build your website? Take a look at our Squarespace review to find out if it’s the right website builder for you.

Want the lowdown on Wix? Have a read of our Wix review to discover what we really think of it.

Why Use WordPress: Roundup

Sure, there are some downsides, but overall, WordPress is a great tool for creating your next website. It’s an incredibly useful tool, and it makes the publishing part of your web experience easy. You will have some work to do before you can show your website to the world, but for advanced users, this shouldn’t be a problem.

To summarize, here’s why we love WordPress:

  1. WordPress is widely supported
  2. You can choose your own web host
  3. Plugins add functionality and enhancements
  4. WordPress is built For SEO
  5. Customizable themes
  6. WordPress is free
  7. Most web hosts offer one-click installs
  8. Multiple users can contribute to your blog
  9. The cool kids use it

Just remember that if you can’t deal with regular updates, can’t solve performance issues, or don’t have the ability (or funds) to design a website, then a better alternative might be a website builder such as Squarespace or Wix.

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