What is WordPress and why should I use it?

By Al  |  19 July 2015

The beauty of WordPress

You know that awesome feeling of something shiny and new? That’s what a new website should be. It should be you, or your business, being shown off to the world, whether it be selling a product, or posting videos of cats and people falling off scooters.

But like all things new and shiny, we want them to stay that way. We don’t want our new creation to tarnish and have bits fall off of it, especially in public. It needs to stay fabulous so we can show it off to the world, confident it will represent what it was created for.

This is why a Content Management System (CMS) becomes so important. A CMS will help you keep your website looking great and feeling fresh with little to no technical knowledge. Just like the day it was created.

This is why we use WordPress.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is the most commonly used CMS on the internet today. Latest estimates have at least one in every four of all the websites on the internet being run by WordPress (including this one). That is especially impressive considering another 57% of sites don’t use a CMS at all.

But what is a CMS?

There are many complicated ways to describe what a CMS does, such as this one from Wikipedia:

A content management system (CMS) is a computer application that allows publishing, editing, modifying, organizing, deleting, and maintaining content from a central interface. Such systems of content management provide procedures to manage workflow in a collaborative environment.

What does all of that mean? It means a CMS allows you to write and edit content easily without any programming knowledge. Want to write something that’s going to transform the world? Something that will convert your customers into super customers?

Type it into WordPress, just as you always have in Microsoft Word, hit publish, and your thoughts are ready for the world to digest.

Want to post a YouTube clip? Copy the link, paste, publish and your cat falling off a scooter, in the snow, while sucking a lollipop video is ready.

No seriously cat, it will be.

A CMS should make the process of getting thoughts, feelings and messages onto the screen as easy as possible. Whether it be a serious business message, or a something to show your personality, time is critical in an age where something going viral is so time dependant.

Without a CMS, this process involves the drafting of content, the employment of developers, content reviews, code publishing and lots of repeating to get your content to screen. It is why nearly half of all websites use a CMS, including almost all of the biggest names on the web. And with WordPress grabbing a 58.7% market share of those CMS users, the choice is an easy one.

What can I do with WordPress?

I think we’ve established posting cat videos is possible, but what else can we do with WordPress that makes it the perfect choice for all types of users?

Easy post formatting

WordPress comes with all the usual formatting options you would be used to. There’s the ability to easily format and align text, add links, insert quotes and much more. The ease of editing lets you concentrate on what the content says, not what it should look like.

Social media integration

One of the greatest additions to recent versions of WordPress is the ability to past social media links straight into the WordPress editor. Now, to embed a video, tweet or instagram post, simply copy and paste the link, and WordPress will do the rest for you.

Post scheduling

Have a great idea but the world is not ready to read it yet? WordPress solves that for you as well. Write, format and prepare your posts ahead of time, and the WordPress post scheduling functionality let’s you automatically publish your thoughts on a time and date of your choosing.

You can schedule as many posts as you like to ensure you site will always be fresh with new content.

Search engine optimisation

There’s no point being fabulous and having a website to show for it if you can’t show it off to others. You’re looking fabulous but you need to be seen.

And herein lies the problems with the modern age of the internet. Everyone has a website.

Everyone.

Thankfully WordPress is search engine friendly out of the box. Even better, there are a multitude of great plugins for WordPress that have been tested on hundreds of thousands of websites that help your visibility on Google even further.

And much more…

There is so much more to WordPress than the above, but they are some of the highlights. If you really want to impress in your next management meeting, you can head over to the WordPress website and check out the full list of features.

Written by Al  |  19 July 2015