WordPress is an easy-to-use platform for beginners and has proven to be used by more than 455 million websites worldwide. This means, if you want to create a website, whatever its type, WordPress can be the best choice. Well, if you want to get to know WordPress before deciding to use it, this is the right article for you.
In this article, we will discuss what WordPress is, its benefits, and its advantages and disadvantages.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) which was launched by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2004.
As a CMS, WordPress can help you create and manage websites without coding. You can easily customize the appearance, add features, and create content on your website. So, it is suitable even for beginners.
Not only that, you can also use WordPress for free because it is open-source.
However, before using it to build a website, you need to first choose between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
What is WordPress.com? This is a service for creating websites with the WordPress platform. This service already provides you with hosting and domains, both free and paid versions. You don’t have to spend money to buy your own domain.
Unfortunately, the WordPress.com service has many limitations, from features to resources.
WordPress.org is a website that provides the WordPress platform for free. You can download, then install it. To do so, you need to buy hosting and a domain first.
This is the most widely used method because it gives you the freedom to manage your website better.
This article will focus on WordPress as a platform. So, let’s get to know the functions of WordPress first.
What are the Functions of WordPress?
After knowing what WordPress is, you’ll want to know what it does?
Initially, the function of WordPress was to display posts on a simple website. However, WordPress has grown and supports a wide variety of websites.
Here are the WordPress functions:
1. Create a Company Website
If you want to make your company website look professional, you can make it happen with WordPress. This CMS provides many facilities that are suitable for this type of website.
One of them is a wide selection of themes for business websites. These themes are also easy to set up, so you can get the look you want with just a few clicks.
2. Build a Portfolio Website
Do you want to showcase your work in a portfolio? Just create a portfolio website with WordPress. That way, your work will be seen by many people!
A portfolio website is suitable for various professions. Both those in creative fields such as web designers or illustrators, to professionals in general.
Later, you can add various features, such as a gallery whose appearance you can easily adjust.
3. Create a Forum Website
The next function of WordPress is to create a community website. Thus, you can use the CMS to build online forums.
WordPress allows you to easily add various typical features of a forum website. For example, you can allow visitors to create accounts, add posts, and comment on other visitors’ posts.
4. Create an Online Store
To sell online, you can indeed use the marketplace. However, the website provides more convenience in terms of setting, branding and promotion.
Well, another function of WordPress is to create an online store. So, this platform is the right choice to create an online store website that displays all the products you sell.
This CMS offers various features typical of an online store. Among other things, setting payment methods, calculating shipping costs automatically, and managing orders.
5. Build Blogs and News Websites
The most common function of WordPress is to create blogs and news websites. The reason is that WordPress was originally a blogging platform, so there’s no need to doubt its blog features.
For example, the WordPress editor page is not just for inserting text and visual media. You can also use it to insert content from other platforms like YouTube. As a result, you are more free to determine the content of blog posts or news.
WordPress also has a content category feature. So you can group content more easily. For example, opinions, reviews, and tips and tricks. It’s easier for blog visitors to find what they’re looking for, right?
What Are the Advantages of WordPress?
Besides already supporting various types of websites, there are many advantages of WordPress, namely:
1. Save Cost
You can use WordPress for free, so you don’t have to worry about licensing fees anymore. You can create a website at a low cost according to the type of website being built.
2. Easy Installation
Still unfamiliar with WordPress? No problem. After all, you will not encounter any difficulties when installing WordPress. It only takes a few steps to do the installation yourself.
Interestingly, some hosting providers even offer the convenience of installing WordPress with just one click.
3. Practical Updates
WordPress always comes with good security and speed as well as more advanced features. Each latest version of WordPress offers improvements on these three factors.
In fact, major updates such as WordPress 5.9 provide the latest features from the ease of styling the appearance of the website.
Most importantly, how to update WordPress is hassle-free. You just click the update button on the main WordPress page.
If you want it even easier, choose a hosting provider that offers an automatic WordPress update feature. That way, you don’t have to worry about your WordPress version being out of date.
4. Rich in Additional Features of the Plugin
WordPress has thousands of plugins that will help you create a variety of functional websites. Plugins are additional software that you can install on WordPress.
Each plugin has its own function, such as adding features to the website and helping improve website performance.
You can get free plugins from WordPress’ repository. Or, you can also use a paid plugin that provides more complete features than the free version provided.
5. Easy to Change and Set Up Views
Setting the appearance of a website in WordPress is easy. You just have to choose and install a theme that matches the type of website.
Similar to plugins, themes for WordPress are also available for free and paid. Free themes already provide the basic functions of display settings such as layout, fonts, and other visual elements. If it’s a paid theme, the settings offered are much more and more flexible.
6. Search Engine Optimization Friendly
You definitely want your website to be visited by many people, right? For that, your website must be at the top of Google search rankings. How, by doing search engine optimization or SEO.
Well, WordPress is an easy-to-optimize CMS for SEO. For example, you can change the permalink and alt text to include search keywords. It is one of the search engine optimization techniques.
Apart from that, there is a large selection of SEO plugins that will allow you to perform other optimization techniques. One of them is Yoast SEO.
7. Mobile Device Friendly
A website that looks neat and loads quickly on a mobile browser has become a must. Luckily, WordPress automatically takes care of that for you. Because all the themes are mobile-friendly.
In addition, the display settings in WordPress allow you to check how your website is loading on mobile devices. That way, you can easily make your website more mobile-friendly.
In terms of speed, WordPress also offers the best. You can also make this CMS even faster by doing speed optimization.
8. Can be Connected with Various Third Party Services
WordPress offers many features through its plugins. If it’s still not enough, you can also connect the CMS with various third-party services.
For example, email marketing services like Mailchimp. Or, Google Analytics to read data regarding visitors on your website.
Each of the tools and services that can be linked to WordPress provides a user guide. So, you can easily take advantage of it.
9. Help Is Easy To Get
With so many WordPress users, it’s no wonder you’ll easily find help with this CMS.
Just try to search on Google, there must be lots of forums, websites, and blogs that offer tips and tricks about WordPress.
If you want to learn from the basics, below is a download link for a free ebook on how to create a website with WordPress. In addition to learning to use WordPress, you will be invited to do website optimization tips.
What Are the Disadvantages of WordPress?
Despite the many advantages it has to offer, WordPress is not without its drawbacks. The following are some of the shortcomings of WordPress and how to overcome them:
1. Need Manual Installation
The first drawback of WordPress is the need for manual installation, especially for those using self-hosting. For some ordinary users, this can be a challenge. In fact, the process is actually not too technical.
This can actually be overcome by using a beginner-friendly WordPress service such as Simple WordPress hosting.
In the Simple WordPress hosting service, the WordPress platform is already installed and ready to use. So, you just need to continue with the website management steps.
2. Still a Hacker Target
The popularity of WordPress is the reason why hackers still often target it. The proof, 94 percent of hacker attacks launched against WordPress.
This lack of WordPress makes WordPress developers have to regularly improve the security of their CMS. That’s why you also need to play an active role to minimize the risk of your website being hacked by hackers. One way, of course, is to always update.
Don’t worry, keeping WordPress secure is not as complicated as you might think.
3. Must be observant in choosing quality plugins and themes
There are thousands of plugins and themes that you can use for WordPress. Unfortunately, not all of them are of high quality. Especially, if the plugins and themes are poorly coded or never get updates.
That’s why you should always be careful in choosing plugins and themes. Pay attention to ratings, reviews, and when was the last time a plugin or theme was updated.
To stay up-to-date with the latest information on plugin and theme security, also follow news blogs about WordPress.
4. Speed Decreases With Use
WordPress actually has optimal speed. However, there are many things that can make it slow with use.
For example, you put too many images on the website, or install unneeded plugins.
However, there are also triggers for slow WordPress which are more technical in nature, so further checking is needed. For that, you can check it with Pingdom, a website that provides a free speed test tool.