Every day more and more people make the wise decision to take their businesses online in order to meet the needs and requirements of an ever-growing number of internet users. Today the majority of people research brands on the internet before visiting their brick and mortar stores and an increasing number of people buy the majority of their products and services online too. This shows just how important it is for companies to have their own websites.
Whilst making the decision to take your business online is a pretty simple one, choosing the right platform is often a little trickier. We can however make it a lot easier for you by telling you that WordPress is the only web platform you need consider. Why? Well we’ll get to that a bit later. First let’s explain what WordPress is and how it has grown to become the biggest and most popular content management system on the planet today.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems on the planet. It is used to power everything from small blogs to large corporate websites.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an online, open source web platform that has been written in PHP. For non-technical users, a better explanation of WordPress is that it is the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system available today.
Businesses of all sizes and from all over the world use this popular content management system to power their websites. WordPress can be downloaded for free from www.wordpress.org and installed to create the backbone of your entire website.
History of WordPress
WordPress was first released in 2003 as a basic blogging platform. It was born out of the desire of two developers, Matthew Mullenweg and Mike Little, to create an elegant and well-built personal publishing system. The developers built WordPress on PHP and MYSQL, licensing it under the GPL. It was based on a system called b2/Cafelog, previously used by Mullenweg.
Together, the designers aimed to build a platform that improved web standards, enhanced user experience and provided something different from the other blogging platforms out there. It is fair to say that the creators of WordPress far exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Over the years, WordPress has grown to become a fully functional and highly customisable website creation tool that is used by millions of businesses, individuals and organisations all over the world.
Eleven years on and it is used to power everything from personal blogs to some of the world’s biggest company websites including Google, Facebook, Sony, Disney, The New York Times and CNN. We bet the developers could not have predicted that when they first started building the platform!
One of the main reasons why WordPress has become so popular is the fact it is very flexible and easy to use. It can be used to build just about any type of website.
The latest figures show that WordPress currently powers around 22.5% of all websites.
Why choose WordPress?
At the start of this article we made the bold statement that WordPress is the only web platform you need consider. Don’t worry we wouldn’t make such a statement without the facts to back it up! Just check out the reasons to choose WordPress below and we are sure by the end you will be certain that it is the right platform to build your business website on.
Free and open source
WordPress is completely free to download and install. There are no limitations on the types of websites you can use it to create, so whether you want to build a site to generate leads for your business or want to actually sell products directly on the platform, WordPress is capable of meeting your needs and requirements.
Something that also works in the platform’s favour is the fact it is open source. This is a type of license that means users can access WordPress’ code and files for free,
customising and enhancing it to their own specifications. Again this means you will have the opportunity to build any sort of site.
Of course, if you do not have any web development experience, you are likely going to need to outsource the work to someone who has. Luckily for you, Online Media Direct has a team of talented and experienced WordPress web developers ready to help you build a unique and professional website for your business.
WordPress is maintained and supported by an avid community of WordPress developers, consultants and enthusiasts located all over the world.
Maintained by an avid community
Being an open source platform, means that a large community of volunteers maintains WordPress, rather than a select group of individuals employed by the company. Many of the volunteers that help to maintain WordPress actually work as WordPress developers and consultants. The great thing about having such an avid community behind the platform is that if you have any queries, you will find it very easy to get the help and support you require. Anyone, anywhere can contribute to WordPress by creating patches, answering support queries, writing plugins, designing themes and updating the platform’s documentation.
You can learn a lot about the WordPress platform by visiting the support forums and engaging with other users. In time, you may find that your knowledge of the platform and experience using the platform is so great that you will actually be able to give back to the community by answering support queries yourself.
Check out the video below for more information about the WordPress community and why it so great.
Thousands of free and paid plugins
Whilst WordPress is already a highly functional website platform out of the box, there are still opportunities for you to further extend and enhance it to offer your site visitors an even better user experience. One of the ways you can do this is by downloading and installing WordPress plugins.
As it currently stands there are over thirty one thousand WordPress plugins available, giving you plenty of choice when it comes to increasing the functionality of your website. These WordPress plugins allow you to build a better user experience for your site visitors. The better user experience you provide, the more likely they are to convert and return to use your site in the future.
WordPress plugins can be downloaded straight from the WordPress Plugin Directory, but there are also multiple external websites where they are available to download too. It is worth bearing in mind that anyone with web development experience can build a WordPress plugin, so you should always check their ratings and reviews, as well as the support provided before choosing to download one.
You will also find that as well as premium (paid for) WordPress plugins, there are thousands of free plugins available. If you are a small business on a tight budget, it is definitely worth checking out the free plugins available, as you could make significant cost savings.
Whether you are looking to simply integrate your website with your social media channels or do something more complex, like turn it into an ecommerce store where you can sell your products, you will find that there are WordPress plugins that can do just about anything. Click here for more information about the different types of WordPress Plugins available.
Find out how to install WordPress plugins on your website by watching the step by step video below.
There are thousands of free and paid for plugins and themes for you to use to improve the look and functionality of your WordPress website.
Customise your site with thousands of WordPress themes
WordPress is one of the most customisable web platforms on the internet, with over two thousand, six hundred themes to choose from. These include both free and premium (paid for) themes that can be downloaded from the WordPress Theme Directory as well as multiple external sites like ThemeForest.
The great thing about there being so many different WordPress themes available is that there is one to suit every type of business. Whether you are looking to set up a portfolio website for your photography, an ecommerce store for your products or a membership site for your organisation, finding the perfect theme will be easy.
Today you will also find that the majority of new WordPress themes are responsive. This means that they are optimised for viewing on tablets and smartphones, as well as traditional desktop screens and laptops. If you are thinking of investing in a new theme for your WordPress website, Online Media Direct would always recommend a responsive theme. For more information about responsive WordPress themes, head on over to our page featuring 8 great responsive themes.
Something that is also worth mentioning is the fact that the majority of WordPress themes come with their own option panels. This makes them extremely easy to customise. From the option panel you will be able to change the colours of the theme, as well as the fonts and backgrounds. You will also be able to upload your own logos and images and create sliders that promote your most important pages and posts. The great thing about using a theme with an options panel is that you will be able to customise your site to make it consistent with your branding, without having to write or edit any code.
Did you know that WordPress is already one of the most SEO friendly web platforms? There are also a number of plugins you can use to make your site even more appealing to search engines.
In order to get your site noticed and ranked by search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, it needs to be search engine friendly. Luckily for you, WordPress is already a very SEO friendly platform as it is. One of the reasons for this is the fact it has been built with high quality code that complies with the latest industry standards. It also produces semantic mark up to make sites more attractive and visible to search engines and makes use of search engine friendly link structures.
Of course, there is always room for improvement, so if you are looking to make your WordPress website even more search engine friendly, you will be able to make use of the many SEO WordPress plugins available. These plugins are designed to make SEO easy for beginners and will also save busy site owners a lot of time when it comes to optimising their websites to appear higher in search listings.
WordPress is so easy to use that there will be nothing stopping you creating fabulous content for your website.
Easy to use
WordPress is one of the easiest content management systems to use. Even if you do not have a lot of experience managing websites, you will find it very straightforward to create, edit, remove and maintain website content using WordPress.
The content management system has a very user-friendly dashboard and the publishing tool looks a lot like Microsoft Word. Trust us, you will be able to pick it up within minutes.
One of the great things about WordPress being so easy to use is that it means webmasters can take complete control of their websites, which is very empowering. Rather than having to contact their web designer and wait for them to respond every time they need to change their website content, they can do it themselves, from any device, at any time of day or night.
Being able to create and update your own website content will help you to make significant cost savings on outsourcing. There is no need to worry about your website’s code, as every time you create a new page or blog post, it will automatically take on the form of your existing WordPress theme.
WordPress has been designed and developed with security in mind and is constantly being updated by the community developers. With so many members of the community online, any bugs, errors or holes in the platform are quickly fixed, giving you the peace of mind that your website is running on a secure and reliable platform.
Simple to update
Updating any software, app or platform is essential in order to keep it safe from bugs, errors and security breaches. We have already mentioned that the WordPress community regularly updates the platform and write patches, but what we haven’t mentioned is just how easy it is to install these updates.
Every time a new update is available, you will receive a notification in your WordPress dashboard. You simply have to click install and it will do all of the hard work for you. We told you it was easy!
Able to handle different media types
WordPress is not just for creating written website content and blog posts, it also supports a wide range of other media types including images, audio and video content. This means you can embed YouTube videos, Tweets, Pinterest boards and Instagram photos by simply pasting the URLs into your post. Utilising different types of content on your WordPress pages will improve your site’s overall user experience by making your content more attractive and interesting to visitors.
Whether you are looking to build an information site or an ecommerce website, WordPress is a platform you can 100% rely on.
Platform you can rely on
The fact that some of the world’s biggest companies use WordPress to power their websites is a testament to its quality and reliability. If you want the peace of mind that you are choosing a web platform that is constantly being improved and benefits from exceptional community support, there is no better choice than WordPress.
Who can use WordPress?
WordPress is so flexible and versatile that it can be used in so many different ways, by so many different types of businesses. Whether you are looking to set up your first business website or migrate from another platform, WordPress will make the perfect choice. It doesn’t matter if your business is big or small or what industry you are part of, you will find that the possibilities for creating professional, functional and attractive websites using WordPress are endless.
Below we have bullet pointed some of the different types of websites you could build using WordPress.
Blog – business or personal
Portfolio – freelancers, agencies etc.
Ecommerce store – using WooCommerce
Membership site – Clubs, organisations, etc.
Gallery – photographers, artists, creative types
WordPress is not a platform that is limited to the use of big businesses. Small businesses can greatly benefit from using it as their web platform too. Just watch the video below to see why.
How to run WordPress
In order to run WordPress you will need to invest in a domain name and web hosting. Your domain name is the URL used to find your website online e.g. ‘www.onlinemediadirect.co.uk’. You can buy domains from a number of different websites including GoDaddy and 123 Reg.
Buying a domain for your WordPress website
The process of buying a domain is pretty straightforward. You simply need to visit one of the websites mentioned above (or another domain supplier of your choice) and type in the domain name you would like to purchase. If the domain name is available for your WordPress website, you can go ahead and make the purchase. There will be an explanation of how to set up your domain on the website, but if you need any assistance, feel free to get in touch with a member of the Online Media Direct team.
WordPress hosting considerations
Web hosting is also essential for all WordPress websites. Again, there are a number of different web hosts to choose from, but Bluehost and SiteGround generally offer some of the best packages, as they often provide discounted domains, as well as hosting. No matter which web host you decide to go with, it is important to make sure that they are capable of meeting your needs and requirements. Check that they have experience hosting WordPress websites and that they have a dedicated support team on hand to answer your queries.
Downloading and installing WordPress
WordPress can be downloaded from www.wordpress.org and is fairly straightforward to install. There are numerous YouTube videos you can watch if you want to have a go at doing it yourself. If you have any problems you can always contact your webhost provider or the team here at Online Media Direct.
WordPress design and development services
We have already mentioned that there are thousands of great themes and plugins for WordPress out there, but what happens if you can’t find exactly what you are looking for?
To answer your question, you simply get in touch with Online Media Direct! Our team of WordPress web designers and developers are experienced in creating bespoke themes and plugins for all types of businesses. We will tailor your custom WordPress design or development to both your business and budget, providing a first class service, no matter how big or small the project.
All of the custom WordPress themes we build are completely responsive. This means that they are optimised for all devices from traditional desktop computers to the latest smartphone technology. We can also build retina-ready themes that provide Apple device users with extra sharp and clear imagery.
Our team of WordPress web designers can build bespoke responsive themes that will give your business website a competitive edge.
WordPress SEO and content creation services
We understand that not everyone has the time to spend on improving their WordPress website’s SEO and creating quality content, despite both being crucial to the success of your business. This is why Online Media Direct provides fully outsourced WordPress SEO and content creation services. Our team of experienced SEO managers and copywriters will work together to tailor a unique strategy that improves your online visibility, increases engagement with your target audience and enhances your WordPress website’s rankings in relevant searches.
Using ethical SEO techniques like link building, blogging and guest blogging, we will produce valuable, measurable and long lasting results for your business.
We hope that we have answered some of your questions about WordPress and why it is the best choice for your business website in this article. If you would like any more information or are interested in any of our WordPress services. Contact us here