What is WordPress?
Wondering whether to build your website with WordPress?
You may have heard a lot about WordPress; It is the most popular content management system after all. However, you may still be wondering if making a website is the best option.
In this WordPress review, we’ll go over what WordPress is, sharing the pros and cons of using WordPress to build a website.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows you to easily create and manage key features of your website without needing to know anything about coding or programming. In simpler terms, WordPress is a website builder that makes it easy for beginners to start a website.
WordPress is free and open source software, which means it’s free for anyone to download and you can use the software for any purpose you want. Does this mean it’s completely free to create a website with WordPress? Not exactly, you still need to have a domain name and web hosting to make a WordPress website. But we’ll get to that later.
It is also important to know that there is a difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. While WordPress.org is self-hosted software, WordPress.com is a freemium website hosting service. With WordPress.org, you have full control and ownership of your site. Also, you can access all WordPress features directly out of the box. But there are many limitations and restrictions with WordPress.com.
For more details, see our article on WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Is one better than the other?
In this article, we will review WordPress.org, where we recommend choosing WordPress.com to create a website. So, whenever we say we are talking about WordPress, we are referring to WordPress.org.
Now that you know what WordPress is, let’s take a look at how popular it is.
How popular is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. In fact, it powers 34% of the entire internet. This percentage puts it ahead of other content management systems like Joomla, Drupal, Shopify, and Squarespace.
This statistic alone is enough to show how many people use and trust WordPress to build their website.
Not convinced about the popularity of WordPress? Check out these other interesting WordPress statistics:
- 14.7% of the top 100 Websites are powered by WordPress.
- The share of WordPress in the global content management market is 60.2%.
- More than 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power their website or blog.
- As of 2014, tens of thousands of new WordPress.com sites are created every day.
Usually, there is security with numbers. If so many people use WordPress, it’s a safe bet that WordPress is a good choice for you too.
What Kinds of Websites Can You Build With WordPress?
WordPress started in 2003 as a simple blogging platform. However, while WordPress is best known for blogs, it has evolved since then. The types of websites you can create with WordPress are endless.
WordPress offers thousands of free and paid themes and plugins that allow you to fully customize your website for your exact needs. This allows a wide variety of business types to use WordPress to build their websites. For example, the popular restaurant group Momofuku uses WordPress for their website.
As you can see, WordPress isn’t just for creating simple blogs. In fact, check out all the different websites you can create with WordPress:
- Blog or personal website
- business website
- E-commerce site
- non-profit website
- Online communities
- portfolio websites
- job board
- And more
Therefore, WordPress is powerful enough to create any type of website you want.
What are the Pros and Cons of WordPress?
As with any website builder, there are pros and cons that you should take a close look at to help determine if it’s right for you.
So, let’s examine the pros and cons of using WordPress to make a website.
Pros of using WordPress:
- Free – WordPress software is free to download and use. All you need to do is a domain name and web hosting.
- Freedom and Ownership – With WordPress you have 100% ownership of your website. You can also choose your own web hosting and migrate your site whenever you want.
- Complete Customization – WordPress offers thousands of free, beautifully designed WordPress themes. This means you can customize the look of your website exactly to your needs and preferences.
- Unlimited Plugins – WordPress also offers thousands of plugins, plugins and extensions to add extra power and features to your website.
- Easy Integration – Since WordPress is so popular, you can still use your favorite tools on your WordPress site. Most tools and apps integrate easily with WordPress such as email marketing tools, CRM software, payment gateways like PayPal, and much more.
- Community – Another benefit of WordPress’ popularity is its community. The WordPress community is so large that there are online forums, tutorials, and websites where you can learn everything you need about the software.
Cons of Using WordPress:
- No Direct Support – While there are many resources online to help you fix WordPress issues, they do not offer direct support like email, phone, or live chat support.
- Lightweight Learning Curve – WordPress is pretty easy to use overall. However, there is a slight learning curve in getting used to and comfortable using the software due to the lack of a drag and drop builder. Fortunately, you can use WordPress page builder drag and drop to make it easy .
- Maintenance and Security – When using WordPress, you are responsible for the maintenance and security of your website, other website builders will take care of it for you. This means you need to update WordPress regularly and use WordPress security plugins to keep your site safe .
How to Use WordPress to Create a Website
Now that you know a little more about what WordPress is, let’s take a closer look at some WordPress features that allow you to easily make a website.
WordPress has 3 main elements:
WordPress is designed in such a way that you can create, manage and edit each element individually without affecting the rest of your website. For example, if you change the design of your website, all your content will remain the same and your plugins will still work.
Let’s go through each of these elements to create a WordPress website.
1. Customizing Your Website Appearance with WordPress
When making a website with WordPress, you have access to thousands of free WordPress themes that can instantly give your website a professional look. Just browse through WordPress themes to find one that fits your brand and your site will be converted in 1 click.
Most WordPress themes are also highly customizable. Of course, you can edit the theme text and add your own images and logo. But many themes also let you change theme colors, layouts, fonts, and more.
There are also many third-party premium WordPress themes available in the market. So if you want a higher quality theme that not everyone can get, you have this option too.
Alternatively, you can use a drag and drop page builder like Beaver Builder to create your own custom theme.
2. Adding Content to Your WordPress Website
You can then easily add content to your WordPress website, such as web pages and blog posts, using the WordPress post editor.
When creating a page or post, the WordPress editor looks the same. You can use the visual editor like the image below, or you can use the text editor that allows you to format your texts by adding HTML.
The screenshot above shows the classic WordPress content editor, but the Gutenberg block editor was recently released in WordPress 5.0. Here’s what the new block editor looks like:
WordPress’ Gutenberg block editor differs from the classic editor in that you add blocks of content items to create a content layout.
For example, you can add blocks for headings, paragraphs, images, lists, columns, buttons, and more.
By default, Gutenberg starts you off with a heading and a paragraph block. But to add a new block, just click the add new block button. Add new block buttons appear in the top left corner of the editor, to the left of a block, or below an existing block.
Each block also has its own toolbar and formatting settings. For example, with a paragraph block, you have options such as bold, italic, text alignment, and more.
So, does WordPress have a drag and drop builder? As we mentioned earlier, WordPress does not have a drag and drop builder. But adding images, videos, bulleted lists, and more is as easy as 1 click of a button.
If you still prefer to use a drag and drop builder for content creation, you can install a drag and drop builder plugin like Beaver Builder, Divi or Elementor .
3. Using WordPress Plugins
Finally, you can take your website to the next level with WordPress plugins. WordPress offers thousands of free plugins that you can use to add extra features to your website. And with over 55,000 plugins at the time of writing this article, almost anything you can think of will be available in a plugin form.
Also, the plugins are very easy to download and use. They are just like the apps you add to your mobile phone. Simply download the plugin and betrayal, you have something new for your website.
There are numerous must-have WordPress plugins for any website, including:
- Yoast SEO – Increase your website’s online presence and get more traffic.
- WPForms – Generate leads and connect with customers with a contact form on your website.
- Optinmonst is – grow your email list and more customers with pop- nominated create.
- MonsterInsights – Monitor your website traffic and other analytics directly from your WordPress dashboard.
- Shared Counts – Increase engagement and shares on social media.
- WP Rocket – Speed up your website.
- UpdraftPlus – Back up your website.
WordPress also has plugins that allow you to turn a regular website into a powerful one. For example, if you want to create an online store, you can use an e-commerce plugin like WooCommerce , which is the most popular e-commerce solution for WordPress . Or, you can create a membership site where members must pay monthly for access using a plugin like MemberPress.
The sky is the limit when it comes to WordPress plugins.
Is WordPress Free?
As we mentioned earlier, WordPress is free to download and use. However, to create a live website on the internet for others to see, you need to register a domain name and choose web hosting.
Web hosting is where your site lives on the internet. This area on the internet is where your website files and content are stored. When a user enters your website address in their browser, they will be directed to your website that you have set up with the web hosting service provider.
Typically, a domain name costs around $14.99/year and web hosting costs around $7.99/month. This can be a bit costly for some people, especially if you’re just starting out.
WordPress Review: Is It The Best Website Builder For You?
WordPress is the most popular website builder on the market for a reason. With WordPress you have full control over your website and can customize it however you choose.
If you want to create a professional looking website without spending a lot of money or start a blog and make money online, consider using WordPress. If you don’t want to start a website just for fun and monetize that money, you can choose a free website builder or blogging platform.
Also, consider ease of use before making a decision. If you can follow online tutorials to learn the basics, go with WordPress. In a jiffy, creating a website is simple. However, if you are not interested in watching and learning tutorials, you might be better off choosing another website builder.
We hope this WordPress review helped you decide if WordPress is the best choice for you. Although WordPress is our top recommendation for making a website or blog, we know it’s not right for everyone.