WordPress is very popular, now hosting some 20% of all sites world-wide. And it’s free. But those aren’t strong enough reasons to choose WordPress for your site. In this issue of the Newsletter, I review several key considerations that should be important in your choice of a hosting vehicle for your site.
In fact, there are six important reasons for you to consider WordPress:
- It’s open source
- There’s a large, valuable community of support
- End users can edit their own content
- It’s secure if managed properly
- It’s scalable up to quite large
- It’s future-proof
I deeloped a number of sites with a great tool. It provided a lot of features, was easy to use, and was one of the most bug-free software products I’ve used. However, about a year ago, the company went away. When I moved to a new computer, my installation won’t work any more–I need a new install key. The company is gone, so there’s no way to get the key. I’m out of luck with all those sites, have to redevelop them.
Because the code is open source, even if the company that leads the writing of WordPress goes away, there are lots of developers to help keep it going. And since it’s open source, you have none of the licensing issues that we all face and despise.
If you need a customization of WordPress, there’s likely already a plugin to meet your needs. And if not, it’s not hard to write a new one, and not expensive to hire someone to write one.
Another advantage of open source is that there’s a huge community of developers who are contributing free and inexpensive software to extend WordPress. Just think of what you want to do and search for a plugin–you’re likely to face a rich array of choices at little to no cost.
In addition to developers, there is a much larger community of people who use WordPress to build sites, and provide other services around WordPress.
If you want a site developed, there are many professionals who can help you with WordPress. And if you need to change providers, there are always lots more to choose from. If all you need is advice, you can find a consultant who will advise you and let you do much of the work yourself.
You don’t want to hire a Webmaster every time you want to add content to a site. You’d rather have your employees who write the content simply edit it on the Web site itself. WordPress provides a simple-to-use WYSIWYG editor that editors can use to write their content right on the site, and insert images and videos as well.
Unfortunately, the Internet is a rough place these days! We all have security concerns, all the time, with our Web sites. The WordPress core code has been remarkably secure since WordPress’s inception.
However, there have been and continue to be security weaknesses in plugins. It’s important to keep plugins updated to the current version, since fixes are often intended to close security holes. In addition, use strong passwords. It’s sound as well to use two-factor authentication for users.
The best security enhancement for WordPress that I’ve found is the WordFence plugin, that lets you track and thwart attacks to your own site. In fact, I install the premium version of WordFence as part of Dave’s Super Hosting Service.
The New York Times, Microsoft and Facebook all run sites based on WordPress. If your site has hosting with appropriate capacity and scalability to large loads, and you’re careful to test your plugins and themes for performance, there’s no reason that the biggest companies can’t use WordPress.
WordPress has a commitment to backwards compatibility, so that they won’t break your site with a new release.
When Google announced that it was suddenly important for our sites to be mobile-friendly, WordPress was there–the standard WordPress themes are already mobile-friendly.
The large group of active developers as well as the backward compatibility commitment protect your investment in your site.
The Bottom Line
Use WordPress to build your site. Or when you rebuild your site. It’s the right choice for essentially everyone.