WordPress is the go-to platform for building websites and blogs. It’s popular because it offers numerous benefits and features that are useful for bloggers and website owners.
If you’re considering using WordPress for your website or blog, it’s wise to familiarise yourself with its capabilities. This will enable you to make the right decision for your specific needs.
So, let’s jump in and explore the many benefits and features that WordPress brings to the table.
Table of Contents
Why Choose WordPress?
Versatility. It’s easy to add features to your website by using plugins – more on this later.
Support. There is a large community of users and developers for WordPress so finding answers to problems with WordPress isn’t difficult.
SEO. WordPress has good support for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and has a number of outstanding SEO plugins that will help your content rank well in Google.
Themes. Thousands of themes, both free and premium, are available and easy to install.
Key Features of WordPress
There are three key features of WordPress you need to know about.
WordPress simplifies website creation and adding digital content by splitting content into two types.
Pages. These are web pages on your site, like “Contact Us” or “About Us”.
Posts. These are blog articles you publish on your website. WordPress provides excellent support for blogging and can display your published content in various ways, such as tags, categories, chronologically, and in archives.
Themes are great for website owners who are not visual designers but need their website to look professional.
WordPress supports adding new features to your website by installing plugins.
Third party developers publish plugins that you can easily install on your site in a couple of minutes with a few clicks. There are over 60,000 plugins available for WordPress – many of them are high quality professional plugins that can add major new features to your website such as E-Commerce.
You can browse the catalogue of plugins on the official WordPress website.
Benefits for Website Owners
What is beneficial can vary between website owners. Most bloggers and website owners will consider the following to be highly beneficial for their website or blog.
Every blogger and website owner wants their website to rank well in Google and other search engines. First, you need to create content that puts people first. It should be of high quality and relevant to your target audience. After you’ve accomplished that, you can optimize the content for search engines.
WordPress comes to your aid by revealing the page elements that require optimization, including:
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Headers (H1, H2, etc.)
- Image Alt Text
- URL Structure
- Internal Linking
You can definitely write search engine optimized content without relying on a plugin, but I strongly recommend using one of the excellent SEO plugins available for WordPress.
You can start with a small website, featuring just a few pages or blog articles, and expand it into a massive website with thousands of pages of content.
Make sure to invest in a good hosting provider that allows you to scale your website as it grows.
This site uses SiteGround, which I can highly recommend.
There are also other excellent hosting providers available. And don’t worry about getting stuck with one hosting provider. If needed, customer support can transfer your website to a new hosting provider (for a fee).
The internet is home to a growing number of malicious actors (hackers, spammers, ransomware gangs) on the internet. I’ve covered this topic before in my article on Web server security threats and how to fix them.
Fortunately, you can significantly lower the risk of being hacked by making two important investments: a reliable security plugin and a hosting provider that prioritizes security.
SiteGround offers a free Security plugin that is compatible with any WordPress website. I personally use it and highly recommend it for an immediate improvement in your website’s security.
Additionally, I strongly recommend strengthening the login security for your WordPress website. Hackers often attempt to breach websites by guessing usernames and passwords. Surprisingly, many people use passwords that are incredibly easy to guess.
Benefits for Bloggers
WordPress started as a blogging platform so the support for bloggers is better than any other platform – in my opinion.
WordPress Editor. WordPress features a user-friendly visual block editor that you can use to create blog articles. With this editor, you build your article by assembling various pieces or “blocks.” For instance, you have blocks for titles, headings, paragraphs, images, and more.
You can extend the editor with plugins that give you more features and capabilities. I use GenerateBlocks to add six more elements that give me more control of the layout (see my review here: GenerateBlocks review: build better WordPress websites)
Commenting. WordPress comes with built-in support for comments on your blog articles or web pages. This feature enables readers to interact with your content, share feedback, and is a great way to build a community and improve reader loyalty.
I recommend moderating comments because, regrettably, the internet is plagued by spammers who leave spam comments with links on your site.
Filtering. Organise your blog articles by adding categories or tags to each blog article. Add categories to your website menu so readers can easily find related content.
Tags is an additional way of segmenting your content as it natively supported by WordPress.
Sorting. Sort your blog articles chronologically (most recent article first). You can also provide an “Archive” of your blog articles which organises articles for each month.
You can manage your WordPress website using the Dashboard.
The WordPress Dashboard is where you create, update, view and manage your website content. It’s available to registered users after they have logged in to the website. WordPress supports the following roles:
- Administrator – full control of the website
- Editor – edit all articles on the site
- Author – edit their own articles
- Contributor – write articles but cannot publish them
- Subscriber – manage their own user profile only
Read more about WordPress roles: WordPress Roles and Capabilities
For small websites the owner will probably only have one account, the administrator account. As your site grows, and more staff or contributors are added, you can assign them appropriate roles based on their job or assignments.
To make your website unique you will want full control of the visual layout, colors, fonts, images and other visual elements.
You achieve this by installing a WordPress theme. WordPress already has thousands of themes you can choose from.
Start with a basic, free theme or invest in a professional created and maintained theme. It’s up to you. You can always change your theme later without losing any of your existing content.
I do recommend investing in a professional theme because it will be better maintained, have more features and provide you quick customer support if you have theme related problems.
Personally, I use the GeneratePress theme. It’s lightweight and fast which is important for me, readers are impatient and won’t wait for a website to load. Google also considers website loading speeds when ranking content.
GeneratePress is available in free and premium versions. I installed the free version initially and then upgraded to the premium version later.
Extending Functionality with Plugins
One of the most compelling reasons to choose WordPress is the vast array of plugins available for the platform. There are currently over 60,000 plugins available!
Many of these plugins are free to install and use but can be upgraded to access premium services and features. Typically you will use a mix of free and premium plugins.
Consider installing the following types of plugins:
- Security (SiteGround Security – free or WordFence)
- Optimization (SiteGround Optimizer – free)
- Image compression (Imagify – free upto 20MB per month)
- E-Commerce (WooCommerce)
And many, many more.
Check out the full list of plugins on the official WordPress website:
It’s crucial that your website looks and functions correctly on mobile devices. Roughly 50% of your website visitors will be from smartphones, so your site should cater to their needs.
Network speeds, especially for mobile users, could cause your website to load slowly unless it’s optimized for mobile users.
I recommend optimizing (scaling, cropping and compressing) all your images to ensure they load quickly. Use an image compression plugin (like Imagify) or other plugins (SiteGround Optimizer can also help you optimize images).
Select a fast and mobile friendly WordPress theme. This is probably the most important factor to ensure your website works well on mobile devices.
Avoid bloated themes with many features and plugins – they load slowly and will harm user engagement and you ranking potential.
Community and Support
WordPress is used by millions of people around the world. You can find documentation in any language.
Check out the official WordPress website below:
I hope you found this article informative and useful. Here is a quick summary:
- Benefits of WordPress: Versatile, well-documented with support, great for blogging and SEO
- Easy to extend with themes and plugins
- Simple to create websites and blogs
- Many excellent hosting providers available (such as SiteGround and WP Engine).
- Scalable – easy to upgrade to more powerful servers as your website grows
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