What is WordPress and why use it?

Many people are not web savvy and aren’t familiar with what WordPress is. Some people have heard about it but aren’t quite sure of the benefits. In this post, I want to shed some light on what WordPress is and what it can do for you as a website owner. This post is not meant to be technical, it’s meant for people who want to learn more about options for their website, so I’m going to keep the computer jargon to a minimum.

So, what is WordPress anyway?

WordPress is a blogging platform, meaning that it was originally used mostly to manage blogs. Over the years since it’s creation, WordPress has slowly been developing into a full-fledged CMS. CMS stands for Content Management System. It used to be that when a person had a website they either needed to be familiar with HTML, CSS, and FTP or, if they were not, then usually their web designer/developer would provide maintenance for the site. In addition to being a hassle to update information and make minor changes, this also made many websites seem very impersonal and disconnected from the owner. With the advent of Content Mangement Systems, however, the power to manage the website and interact with customers directly has been placed into the hands of the site’s owner, and it requires very little technical ability.

Why use WordPress?

Whether you have an older site and are looking for an upgrade or you are a new business looking for a brand new page, WordPress has what you are looking for and more! WordPress provides you with the ability to:

  • Easily manage the entire site via an administrative “Control Panel” style back-end.
  • Make changes to the pages of the site using a text editor(No HTML to remember).
  • Easily organize navigation menus using a drag and drop interface.
  • Create “Posts” in order to provide News, Updates, Special Offers, Blogs, and a number of other possibilities.
  • Interact with your clients via Comments on Posts/Pages
  • Easily add new pages or remove old ones.
  • Quickly and easily add Images.
  • Tag and Categorize Posts and Pages for easy organization.
  • And much more.

WordPress also has a very large collection of Plugins available which quickly and easily integrate with the system. What this means to you as a website owner is that most things that you will want to do with your site can be done very easily with the use of a Plugin and most likely implemented in a couple of hours by your developer. A number of Plugins also exist to make the end-user’s(that’s you!) life easier when using the system.

Another benefit to WordPress which I have yet to touch on is the ability to have multiple users in your system and the ability to allow different levels of access to the site. I’ll briefly explain this here, some people will find this useful and others may not need such a feature. Basically, with WordPress, you can allow more than one person to log into the site and create, manage, or edit Posts and Pages. There are different levels of users in order to help manage your workflow, some users are allowed to create Posts/Pages but cannot publish anything until it is approved by an administrator, some can edit, create, remove, and publish posts but cannot access the administration areas of the site, and administrator users have access to the entire back-end of the site. There are more roles than I have described above, but I wanted to give you an idea of what you can do. This works great for businesses who want to have a number of contributors or site managers but want to restrict their access to certain parts of the back-end.

Hopefully this has helped to answer some of your questions about WordPress and how it can benefit you. Please feel free to email me or comment with any questions or thoughts.


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