Introduction to WordPress

There is a wide variety of types of websites that could be made. Even more tools out there to help with building those sites. If you are building a blog, or a personal website, you may consider a Content Management System (CMS). These could include WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, which are among the most popular. However these tools are not exactly optimized to get an online store site up and running to sell your products. Of these, WordPress is one of the most popular CMS options available.  Many developers and website creators are able to extend it’s capabilities since it has such an extensive documentation available from their codex. Whatever your need is, it is most likely able to be met by using a theme or plugin and is extremely popular among small businesses, individuals, nonprofits and website owners.

 

What Is WordPress?

WordPress is an online and opensource website builder that is written in PHP programming language.  It was originally designed to make data-driven blogging websites, and has since grown to be used by millions of websites across the internet.  It’s designed to be very user friendly, allowing even those without any formal website design or development experience to create responsive websites for their needs.  By using prebuilt themes that are widely, and often freely, available across the internet, an aspiring website owner can create a site that looks how they want, and even make it look less like a blog and more like a standard website.

 

Why Should I Choose WordPress?

WordPress is universally praised for being very user-friendly, which allows people with very little to no formal training in website development or management to make their own websites without hassle.  The user interface is very clean and descriptive, allowing users to quickly find the settings or options they wish to change, and provides plenty of feedback to allow them to make what changes to their website they desire.

In addition to this, WordPress allows the installation of various Plugins to add any functionality that is lacking from the base installation.  Many of these plugins have been developed over many iterations of WordPress, evolving and becoming more useful, more easily managed, or more resource-friendly.  This includes Plugins that can assist with blog posts, contact forms, caching, analytics, or data management. 

Two of the most popular WordPress plugins are Yoast SEO and WooCommerce.  Yoast SEO is a search engine optimization tool that provides feedback regarding pages and posts made by users on their WordPress site to make their content more search engine friendly.  WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin that allows people to start their own online businesses, including the ability to set pricing variables for products, services, shipping, and a multitude of payment options.

So many companies, businesses, and individuals use WordPress that a whole community has grown around WordPress and their user-base.  This includes sites like WPBeginner which provides tutorials and guides on developing and troubleshooting WordPress sites and popular plugins, or WordPress.org which provides themes, plugins, and support for WordPress.  This means that there is no shortage of tutorials to answer any questions regarding WordPress and its plugins, and means that there are plenty of people experienced with WordPress who can help your site grow and flourish.

 

Why Would I Not Choose WordPress?

WordPress is used by millions of users and developers, but there are some drawbacks.  The first is that trying to make any manual changes to website files that the WordPress system or its plugins do not support can be very difficult or at times impossible.  WordPress has very little customization options outside of installing different themes or plugins, and as such can be very limiting to those who desire full control over their site layouts or programming.  Editing any WordPress core files is highly discouraged unless these can be preserved in future updates to your application. In the same vein, many plugins use different and sometimes conflicting programming.  As such, two plugins that would work amazingly on their own may cause severe issues with your website if used simultaneously.

Another major issue with WordPress is the overall speed of WordPress websites.  While there are methods to increase website speed, the more more plugins there are on a site using WordPress means the longer it will take that website to respond to users.  Since WordPress and their plugins are often designed for many different types of websites, that means they all have code that is often not used at all in the visible website, but still requires resources from your server to process.  A common problem with shared hosting environments is that at a certain point, WordPress websites start hitting the resource limits imposed, and the only way to troubleshoot resource issues is by disabling, updating, or outright removing WordPress plugins until the site is responding more efficiently.

One of the biggest problems with WordPress, however, is its open source nature.  While on one hand this means that anyone can develop plugins for WordPress to add new features, this also means that anyone can develop plugins for WordPress.  As such, there’s very little oversight for ensuring plugins are secure and safe from any malicious hackers or malware or viruses on the internet.  If a plugin becomes compromised or has a security breach, bots and malicious programs can search the internet for any other WordPress websites with those same compromised plugins, and apply the same hacks to them all.  Whats worse is having a compromised plugin that the developer refuses to update, either because they do not know how or have stopped working on that plugin.  In such a case, it means you would have to remove the plugin and any of its features or functions from your site altogether after removing any malware or viruses.

 

Conclusion

WordPress is widely used across the internet, by organizations such as BBC America, Variety, the Swedish Government, Mercedez-Benz, and even The Walt Disney Company.  With its easy-to-learn user interface, and a wide variety of plugins and themes, a dedicated and passionate site owner could create a truly amazing website with WordPress that stands out and generates traffic and revenue for their business.  However, WordPress is a double-edged sword, and with the amazing variety of plugins comes a strong lack of flexibility and customization options outside of those plugins.  And the way the plugins are designed means that on shared hosting services, you may often run into resource problems that slow down or crash your website if you’re not careful.

If WordPress seems like it’s the choice for you, feel free to view our guide on How to Install WordPress via Softaculous.

If you think WordPress might not be the best fit for you, take a look at other options like Magento, Joomla, or Drupal or any of the applications available in Softaculous.


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