What is WordPress?
WordPress is what is known as a Content Management System (CMS), a software program that helps users create, manage and update the content on their websites.
Building a website from scratch requires a great deal of technical knowledge, including the ability to write code, work with databases and create custom functionality – skills that most business owners don’t have. WordPress takes care of the technical side of your website, allowing the everyday person to create and manage a website without the need for any specialist skills or knowledge.
Why is WordPress so Popular for Business Owners?
WordPress powers over 35% of websites currently online making it the most popular content management system out there. To put this in perspective, the second most popular CMS Joomla is used in just 3% of website builds worldwide.
So, why is so WordPress so popular?
- WordPress is free and the core software can be downloaded online by anyone.
- WordPress works with themes (creating the design of your website) and plugins (to extend the functionality of the basic WordPress software). At present there are estimated to be over 30,000 themes available and over 50,000 plugins, including both free and premium options.
- WordPress is open source, meaning there is a worldwide community that work with and contribute to the building and running of WordPress and its related features. This also means there are an extensive number of free resources, support forums, groups and WordPress developers to help you out with the building and maintenance of your site.
- While it started as a blogging platform, WordPress has the functionality to run almost any kind of website including ecommerce, online booking systems, portfolios and business sites of all sizes.
- WordPress is accessible, flexible and user friendly. There’s a free app that can be used to manage your content on the go, as well as the ability to login from any web browser.
- WordPress is constantly being updated with new features so your website stays up to date with the latest technology.
What is the Difference Between wordpress.com and wordpress.org?
WordPress offer two different platform options. While this may sound a little confusing, there is one clear winner for business websites.
WordPress.com is a hosted service that allows a user to create a basic blog or website. This option requires you to sign up for a wordpress.com account. The websites you can create on wordpress.com are quite restricted, with far less options and flexibility and are best suited to a hobby blogger or personal site. Some additional options are available but require upgrading to a paid plan.
WordPress.org is a self-hosted option. The full WordPress software can be downloaded for free from wordpress.org but you do require your own separate web hosting and domain name. This version of WordPress is what we are referring to in this article, a highly flexible and customisable option that gives you full control over your site.
How do I get Started on my WordPress Business Website?
A Domain Name
In simple terms, your domain name is the URL of your website. There are several domain name providers available in Australia and registration can be completed quickly and easily online. Registration prices vary depending on the domain name you choose, the provider you register with and the length of time you register for but are generally inexpensive.
A Web Developer
Technically you could download WordPress for free from wordpress.org, install it via your hosting cPanel, then add and customise your own themes and plugins – if this is something you are comfortable doing then go for it! In reality, business owners are not also web developers on the side (and with your focus on successfully running your business, why should you be?).
In most cases hiring a professional web development team is the safest and easiest option.
Your web team can use their years of experience to help you choose the best structure, design and functionality for your site, then build it to your specifications. They can also assist in registering your domain and setting up hosting, as well as supporting you in uploading your content and providing training in how to manage your website once it’s live.
Once your initial build is completed, WordPress makes the management of your business website an easy task. The admin section is clear and simple to navigate, the inbuilt media library makes managing your images and files a breeze and your customers can interact with you directly via inbuilt contact forms. It’s optimised to be search engine friendly out of the box and can be linked in with Google Analytics, Google Ads, social media and mailing lists so it’s a great tool to support your marketing campaign.
Your WordPress site can also continue to be built upon with new features and functionality as your needs expand so it grows with your business, becoming an investment for years to come.