If you’ve never built a website before, you may not know about WordPress. The system was primarily introduced and marketed for blogging, but over time it has become an open source CMS (Content Management System) platform. What is content management? It’s just a fancy term to describe creating a site, adding content, deleting content, or creating updates. In other words, your CMS is going to be what helps you to keep your site updated and interesting. Small businesses and non-profit organizations have a particularly strong need for a good, user friendly CMS platform for a number of reasons.
- Most smaller organizations, both for and non-profit, don’t have the talent, tools, or time to manage their websites any other way.
- CMS platforms make for more readily available updates to a website, which users and search engines both pay attention to.
- CMS platforms, and particularly WordPress, make use of easily added “Themes” and add-ons that can add new looks and functionality with very few errors if at all in the process.
A Quick Look at the Numbers
A sizable portion of the most popular websites in the world make use of WordPress:
- 16% of all websites run on WordPress.
- WordPress has a market share of 53.8% of Content Management Systems
- WordPress has been localized into 73 different languages or more
By now, you may be realizing two things: One, WordPress is easy to use, and two, WordPress is popular. They’re definitely related; WordPress’s marketability is based in its ease of use. Nearly anyone who knows how to use a computer can use the streamlined user-interface that WordPress has to offer. There are nearly 20,000 different plugins and add-ons that can be used with WordPress as well, so if you want to streamline your experience even further, there’s probably a plugin that’s perfect for you.
The Beauty of Open Source
For those who may have dabbled with other, licensed content management systems and webpage creators, the switch to using an open source platform may seem too good to be true. Entire communities of WordPress developers are creating new plugins and bug fixes for the platform every single day, and releasing them free of charge. The WordPress code itself is also free to the public. It can be downloaded and added to your servers for absolutely no charge at all, and the same is true of a vast majority of plugins that are available.
This is part of what makes WordPress the CMS of choice for smaller businesses and non-profit organizations. Larger CMS systems are necessary in any situation where you are handling extremely technical or demanding coding. Extremely busy online commerce sites, for example, or entire social networks are something you need a much larger, and much more expensive, CMS to properly manage. For company websites, blogs, online resumes, non-profit promotion, podcasts, artists, start ups, town and city governments, travel companies, and many more, WordPress is the ideal solution. It is both practical to use and easy to learn. Most importantly, it will be the single lowest cost item of your marketing budget, because it is, as mentioned, free.
WordPress and Promotion
A term you should become familiar with, if you aren’t already, is SEO. Search engine optimization will be the primary driver of traffic to your website. Search engines, primarily Google and Bing, drive as much as 70 to 80% of all traffic on the internet to web destinations. Search engine optimization is the technique or approach of making your site more attractive to search engine result pages based on the criteria that search engines use to determine rankings. A better ranking is better visibility; if you’re a bakery, and someone searches for cakes in your city, you want to be at or near the top to get their attention and their business.
For smaller companies, SEO can be a large part of the online marketing budget, but WordPress has a lot of plugins which are specifically aimed at improving your SEO on your own. Some plugins can help you to identify different parts of your WordPress site which should be improved, and others can allow you to track your site through Google Analytics. Some will even add features to your site that Google has openly stated it prefers for its search engine results, like responsive themes and better mobile website functionality.
Optimizing your site through WordPress is incredibly simple, thanks to both the plugins that are available and the familiarity that many professionals have with the platform. If you ever want or need outside assistance, you can easily optimize your site within a day’s time in most cases. For many small business owners and non-profit organizations, all of these benefits combine to make what can undoubtedly be called the single best solution for website creation and management.