These days it would be hard to imagine someone saying they’ve never heard of the operating system, Windows. WordPress isn’t an operating system, but it’s arguably one of the biggest tools for building websites and publishing content to the web that we have today.
It began in May 2003 as a simple blogging platform but over a decade later, it’s become so much more. Thousands of websites, blogs, intranet systems and e-commerce sites are created using WordPress; from small business sites right up to major university intranet systems and websites for large international corporations. In fact, it’s thought around a fifth of ALL websites use WordPress, including big name examples such as Sony Music, BB America, Usain Bolt’s website, The New Yorker and even the intranet for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
Here at Pollywiggle, we’ve been offering clients the opportunity to have WordPress websites for several years now, and we continue to be impressed with how much you can do with it.
So, why WordPress?
Well, one of the main reasons web designers opt to use WordPress is that it’s open-source software, which means it’s free to download and use and is supported by a helpful community of developers, willing to share their knowledge. This can ultimately mean beautiful websites at a reduced cost.
Rather than using HTML code to design and build a bespoke website from scratch, which can take a long time deliver, WordPress provides designers with a series of pre-constructed tools that they can then work with and extend.
A useful analogy might be that instead of building a car from scratch. WordPress gives web designers the basic engine and allows for many different customisation options.
The WordPress ‘plug-in’ system gives web designers access to literally thousands of different additional features (the ‘plug-ins’). Again, these are created and shared by a large community of developers. The plug-ins may be useful or specific to the nature of the site they’re building. The car’s personalised specification, if you will.
A WordPress website can be big and complex or simple with just a few pages. The beauty of using WordPress is that it can easily grow and adapt as a business evolves.
Finally, one of the main advantages is the built-in CMS (content management system) which makes it easy to regularly update content, from any PC, laptop or tablet with an Internet connection. So, for example; if you have a restaurant business, your restaurant manager can easily update your menu from a tablet in the restaurant – rather than relying on the web designer who built the site to use the same PC or computer the HTML code was written on to make simple content changes.
The explosive growth of smartphones, tablets and mobiles is changing how we use the internet. Successful companies must now provide websites that are mobile-friendly and responsive. Even Google recently recommended responsive websites as best-industry practice.
WordPress offers a range of different options for optimising websites for mobile devices and is well placed for the march towards mobile and apps.
And finally, here’s the way WordPress describes itself:
a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability.
So, now you know.