I’ve been using WordPress for years now and it is the only platform I recommend for blogging and making websites. WordPress isn’t just a just a blogging platform but a CMS – a content management system. It can create any sort of website from an e-shop to a forum. I’ve seen it do just that and messed around with different ways of using the system. I’ve used it for every blog and site I’ve run for so long I can’t even remember. I don’t advise people to use WordPress because I’m being paid for it, or because it’s popular; I truly believe it is the best option for bloggers and website owners, beginners and old pros alike.
So here are a few of the reasons I think WordPress is the best choice for people to use for whatever type of blog you run.
WordPress itself is free. What costs money is the hosting. But if you’re serious and know this is going to be a long-term thing then going self-hosted from the start is definitely the way to go. It doesn’t cost the earth. I work 29 hours a week at minimum wage and manage it. Most hosts have basic packages that will be enough for what you need to get started. My current host costs a fiver a month and you get a free .uk or .co.uk domain.
That can be your only cost. Some people pay for themes, plugins and other things but there are free alternatives to almost everything.
WordPress.com is free too, but it doesn’t quite have the versatility of being self-hosted. It costs money to really customise the look of the site, there are fewer plugins and you have to pay to use your domain (as well as buy the domain). Also, you can’t monetise on the .com site unless you buy the business plan which I know many bloggers are keen to do.
So my advice is always to skip .com and go for .org. It saves a lot of hassle in the long term when you realise you need or want to go self-hosted after all.
Easy To Use
It’s a myth that WordPress is hard to use. I used to say it’s a steep learning curve, and maybe that is still true but it doesn’t have to be that way because everything you need to get started is really obvious. Set a basic theme up and get writing. Everything else will come over time and it’s all labelled and easy to find. Get started on that content it’s what your blog is about right?
It’s easy to install. WordPress has their famous five-minute install but if you choose a host who uses Softculous then it’s even easier.
I’ve used both and once you’ve done it once, you’ll know what you’re doing every time.
But, but, if you don’t know what you’re doing the help is out there. There are a lot of websites out there full of tips, tricks and tutorials for using WordPress. Basically with a search engine and some time you can learn anything and everything you need to know about it. There are books too though with how often the internet changes how WordPress evolves, books won’t be as reliable or as up to date.
There is also a huge support community on the WordPress site. You can answers to problems pretty quickly – often your question has been asked before and the answers are already there. But if you can’t find it, asking again results in the help you need.
Plus other bloggers are pretty helpful, if you’re a member of any blogging groups on facebook you’ll have noticed people asking for help with various things. There is always someone with an answer somewhere. There’s no need to be afraid.
When I advise people to chose WordPress over Blogger, one of the reasons is because when Google acquired Blogger they hardly did anything with it. They’ve done a few things – like integrating google plus – but mostly it’s been languishing in development purgatory. It’s a shame because it was a great service once but it could and should be better.
WordPress is always evolving to meet the new standards of the internet and new trends and technology. You know it’s always going to be the best it can be because it is always being worked on. They’re always fixing bugs and making it better.
There are So Many Themes.
You can have a different once for every day of the year for the rest of your life probably and still have some to spare. Plus most themes are customizable in terms of colour and structure. There are themes that cost money that may be worth your time certainly in the future but if you’re starting out then there are some really good themes out there for free. You can find them and install them via your own blog or search for specific ones online to get a better idea of how they look. For free themes I recommend ColorLib – they have their own themes and lists and lists of themes of every kind.
There is definitely something out there to suit your needs.
To make your blog the beautiful piece of the internet it deserves to be there are hundreds of plugins. Plugins make your blog do exactly what you want. From displaying your instagram feed to spam protection there is a plugin out there. There are several I reconmmend that I will post about at a later date. Some of them are invaluable (like the spam protection) while some of the ones that come with WordPress or WordPress thinks you should have are not necessary (jetpack)
Plugins are one of the things that makes WordPress so versatile.
There are more reasons than this to use WordPress. You can have multiple writers, make a forum, integrate it with services like MailChimp. I recommend it for so many reasons but mostly because it is good. It really is great for blogging, sites and more. You won’t go wrong with WordPress.
Keep an eye for more posts in the future.