Are you starting a blog? Building an online store? Setting up a forum? Here are all the reasons why you should use WordPress as your website builder for your new site.
From Beyoncé to Harvard University, some of the world’s biggest websites use WordPress. And, the platform is free and easy to learn. Anyone, regardless of their skills, can build an awesome website.
But is WordPress the right website builder for you? Read on to find out why we think it is.
Fascinating WordPress Facts
WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder and content management system. Here is how that looks like in numbers:ax
- Over 27 million websites use WordPress.
- 35% of the Internet is powered by WordPress, from personal blogs to large news outlets.
- WordPress dominates 63.4% of the CMS market share. Shopify, the second most popular, only holds 4.2%
- WordPress powers over 38% of the world’s top websites.
- There are over 56,000 WordPress plug-ins with new ones coming out every day.
- WordPress has a vast and active community in 112 countries.
The platform has become a benchmark for ease-of-use and reliability. It’s the single most powerful content management system on the Internet, a natural choice for virtually every website owner.
Here are 20 key reasons you should use WordPress to create your site.
1. WordPress Is Free and Open-Source
If WordPress is so great, why don’t they sell it? Because there is no company or individual behind it.
WordPress is a community open-source project. Any developer can see the code and contribute bug fixes, patches, improvement suggestions, etc. Thousands of people have made WordPress into what it is today.
The WordPress Foundation makes sure the software stays free and up-to-date. Or, in their own words:
“The point of the foundation is to ensure free access, in perpetuity, to the software projects we support.”
WordPress is free forever. All you need is a domain and a hosting service.
Since WordPress is self-hosted, there are still costs associated with building a website. Depending on your hosting, domain name, themes, and plug-ins, these can be under $50 or reach thousands. But, you are in control of the costs. WordPress sites can be as cheap or as pricy as you want.
WordPress.Org Vs. WordPress.Com
On WordPress.org, you can download the 100% free “real WordPress.” It’s a self-hosted website builder. The platform is free, but you need hosting and a domain name. You’ll also be responsible for updates and backups.
WordPress.com is a hosting service with a limited free version and four premium plans. It effortless to use, and WordPress will manage the website for you (e.g., by doing regular backups.) With the free plan, you get up to 3GB of storage. Paid plans start at $48/year for 6GB.
Which one should you choose?
For most website owners, WordPress.org is a better option. It’s easy to learn, gives you full control, and it is free.
WordPress.com is even more straightforward, but it comes with several downsides. You can’t place any ads, you have fewer customization options (no custom themes), and you can’t upload plug-ins. Even for paid users, WordPress.com has very limited functionality.
Granted, it is easier to use WordPress.com. But, WordPress.org is also quick to learn, and it has so much more to offer.
Bottom line: WordPress.org is your best choice for building a website, regardless of your skill level.
How Much a WordPress Site Actually Costs
WordPress itself is free to install and use. But, you still need a domain name, hosting, a theme, and some plug-ins. So how much will a WordPress site set you back? It all depends on your needs and budget.
WordPress is extremely scalable.
You can start small – with a shared hosting and an inexpensive (or free) theme. Then, as your site expands, you can add useful plug-ins, make tweaks to your theme, or upgrade to dedicated hosting, making WordPress a great option as your website builder whether you want a small or large website.
Here are the basic costs around starting a WordPress website:
- A domain name costs around $14.99/year. Namecheap is a popular place to buy one
- High-quality hosting starts at $2.95/month at Bluehost. You also get a free SSL certificate to protect your website.
- Popular plug-ins like Yoast SEO and Beaver Builder have free versions. Learn more about the 19 must-have WordPress plug-ins for 2020 here.
- Free WordPress themes won’t cost you a dime. But, if you opt for a paid one, the average price is around $58 (and you’ll get a better design, SEO, and support.)
You can start a fully functional WordPress website for under $50. Then, as your business grows, you can invest and expand to fit your new needs.
2. Get Started in Under 5 Minutes
Download and setup WordPress in under five minutes. If you come across any problems, there are detailed instructions on the WordPress website.
But, it could be even easier:
Many hosts offer automatic WordPress installation tools.
With these one-click installers, you can get set in seconds. Most automatic installation apps also have a custom install option for advanced configuration options.
3. Create Your Website With Minimal Technical Knowledge
To start a website, you only need basic computer literacy. Build a website and publish content with zero coding required.
You can pick up all WordPress skills on the go.
Sure, HTML and CSS can help you customize your site. But do you need them? Absolutely not.
The visual editor has a similar interface to Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Use it to format text and add media with no HTML needed.
4. Choose Your Hosting
To publish your website on the Internet, choose a hosting provider to fit your needs. Your host rents out server space for website files. They also make sure your site is online 24/7.
WordPress.org is a self-hosting platform. They don’t tie you down with any hosting company. Instead, shop around to find the best option for your needs. Shared hosting starts at usually just $4/month.
As your traffic and storage demands increase, you can switch between providers and plans.
For an extra layer of privacy, go for offshore hosting. With servers located outside the US, you can avoid copyright claims and protect your freedom of speech.
High-traffic sites need VPS (virtual private server) or dedicated hosting. With these options, you are not sharing server space. This way, hundreds of thousands of readers can access your website with minimal downtime.
5. Add Functionality With 56,000+ Plug-ins
There is a WordPress plug-in for every website need. That makes it a great website builder with lots of possible extensions.
Over 5+ million websites use popular WordPress plug-ins like:
- Akismet for spam protection
- Yoast SEO to make sure you stand out in search results
- WooCommerce for creating impressive online stores
6. Choose From 7500+ Themes (Or Build Your Own)
Clean, easy-to-navigate sites get better rankings and more traffic. With WordPress themes, you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars for a custom design.
There are over 7,500 customizable themes in the official WordPress repository.
Should you choose a free or a paid theme? Our tip is paid over free themes any day if you want a professional-looking website.
We get the appeal of paying $0 for website design. But, free themes come with fewer support options, limited functionality, and they can even contain unwanted code. This can affect more than just the “looks” of your website – you could also risk your SEO.
WordPress themes are also fully customizable. Font, background, color scheme – it’s all up to you.
7. Never See “File Not Supported” Again
WordPress isn’t just for blogging. The platform also supports a vast array of media files which makes it a great website builder. From pictures and videos to Excel tables, WordPress supports virtually every file type you might want to upload.
But there’s more:
You can expand file type support even more. With the free File Upload Types plug-in, your website will support file extensions like .zip and .xml, as well as custom file types.
8. Manage Your Website The Easy Way
With WordPress.org, you are responsible for backup and updates. You could hire a professional to do it. But, managing a WordPress site is entirely DIY-able, too. Website management usually includes:
- Server checks – the hosting provider handles this, making sure your site is up and running at all times.
- Security and backups – plug-ins like UpdraftPlus make that simple.
- Updates – WordPress notifies you when updates come out. They don’t take longer than a few minutes to install.
- Spam management – Akismet does that for you.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Yoast SEO is an optimization powerhouse (and there is a free version.)
- Speed optimization – caching plug-ins like WP Rocket can boost loading speeds with the click of a button.
- Functionality testing – check for broken links with a plug-in or use an SEO audit tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs. Learn more about SEMrush in our dedicated review.
In short: Plug-ins make site management a breeze. And, if you come across any problems, the WordPress community is there to help.
9. Create and Update Content On-The-Go
You don’t need a computer to run your WordPress website. For day-to-day updates and posting, you can fully rely on your cell phone. Install the free WordPress mobile apps to:
- Write and publish content.
- Edit posts.
- Check site stats.
- Engage with readers and followers.
- Read other WordPress-hosted content.
The mobile app is available for both WordPress.org and WordPress.com. But, once again, WordPress.org users get more functionality.
With the Jetpack integration, access the security, performance, and marketing management functionality at the tips of your fingers.
10. Allow Multiple Users to Contribute to Your Blog
How do you blog with multiple authors? WordPress makes it easy. The platform supports six different user roles:
- Super Admins can access site administration features and manage the site network.
- Administrators manage only the site administration features.
- Editors publish and manage posts (both their own posts and the posts of others.)
- Authors publish and manage their own posts.
- Contributors write and manage their own posts (but can’t publish them.)
- Subscribers can only manage their profiles.
The contributor functionality is perfect if you’re working with external writers. When they upload a blog, contributors hit the “Submit for Review” button to send it to you. Then, editors and administrators can look over their posts and control publishing.
11. Integrate Social Media Seamlessly
Nearly 4 billion people are on social media. To tap into social media traffic, check out some of these popular WordPress plug-ins:
- Simple Social Icons adds social media buttons to your sidebar. And, it’s so light that it barely affects performance.
- Shared Counts helps readers quickly share posts to their social media. It supports popular platforms and displays the number of shares for Facebook, Pinterest, Yummly, and Twitter.
- Instagram Feed displays your latest Instagrams on your site.
WordPress also helps you embed social media content in your posts – the quick and easy way.
12. Build High-Speed Websites
On the Internet, every second counts.
WordPress sites load fast out-of-the-box. But, you can boost your site speed even more by:
- Uploading compressed format images (JPG instead of PNG.)
- Using a caching plug-in like WP Rocket.
- Keeping your WordPress software, theme, and plug-ins updated.
- Avoiding heavy and unnecessary plug-ins.
13. WordPress Keeps Your Site Safe
Since WordPress is an open-source project, anybody can look over the code and suggest improvements. The core software is secure and hard to hack. Whether you’re running a personal blog or processing payments through an online store, WordPress will keep your information safe.
Now, the bad news: WordPress sites do get hacked. But, it’s not because WordPress is faulty. According to Sucuri’s latest Website Threat Research Report:
49% of all hacked websites were running an outdated version of WordPress.
Websites are only as secure as the people using them. As a platform, WordPress will keep your site safe. But, you’ll also have to do your part.
To keep your site protected:
- Set a secure password.
- Install the latest updates.
- Use a backup plug-in like UpDraftPlus.
- Add a security plug-in – Sucuri is free!
- Get an SSL certificate – major hosting providers like Bluehost and SiteGround offer it for free.
Bottom line: WordPress is a secure platform to build and manage your site. But, if you don’t do your part, your website will still be vulnerable to hacking attempts.
14. Your Website Will Work Great on All Devices
Your search ranking depends on the mobile site.
Google switched to a mobile-first indexing system. Now, the mobile version of your website is more important for ranking than the desktop.
15. WordPress Takes Care of SEO
Back in 2009, Matt Cutts, then head of the Google web spam team said:
“WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) Search Engine Optimization (SEO).”
This statement holds every bit as valid today. WordPress websites rank higher in the search results because:
- They have fast load times on both mobile and PC.
- You can easily customize metadata like the title tags and meta descriptions.
- SEO plug-ins like Yoast make optimization a breeze.
- Websites are organized (e.g., with sitemaps) and easy-to-navigate.
16. Build Custom WordPress Apps
Yes, WordPress is great for beginners. But, that doesn’t mean it lacks developer-oriented features either. The WordPress Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) open up plenty of new possibilities for developers.
The REST API gives you full authority over how you implement tasks.
From helping third-party integrations run smoother to designing WordPress-based mobile apps, it connects WordPress to the rest of the Internet in a broader, more customizable way.
17. Get Support From a Huge Community
WordPress has a vast user base with hundreds of thousands of active community members.
This welcoming and helpful community is great news for beginners.
It doesn’t matter what issue you come across. Chances are, somebody has already dealt with it, and they can help you out.
Are you having a problem with the installation? Experiencing a bug? Looking for the best plug-in to do a specific job?
The WordPress community is there to help. Find and share solutions on the WordPress forums or participate in a local community gathering. The WordPress MeetUp group has nearly half a million members and holds monthly events in 817 cities worldwide.
18. Use WordPress in 65+ Languages
Not a native English speaker? You can use WordPress as your website builder in over 65 different languages. With WordPress 4.1, you can install language packs directly from the dashboard.
The community is continuously adding new translations, too. From Basque to Zulu, everyone can contribute to making WordPress more accessible.
What if I want to build a multi-language website?
There are plug-ins to help you do that. These applications will translate your content to make it accessible for even more users:
- TranslatePress translates directly from your front-end, works smoothly with WooCommerce, and it even takes care of SEO for different languages. Personal plans start at €79 (around $90) per year for one website.
- Polylang is a powerful and well-integrated translation plug-in. And, the basic plan is free. If you want to use it for eCommerce, though, you’d have to get the Pro. A single-site translation and license will set you back €99 (around $112).
- WeGlot takes a different approach, offering cloud-based translation and a monthly subscription. The plans start at €8.25 (around $9) per month for a 10,000-word translation and a single site license, but they do have a free trial.
19. WordPress Is Up-To-Date With the Latest Technology
WordPress is a community effort. Developers from all over the world are keeping an eye on the code, giving suggestions, and coming up with solutions. The platform gets updated regularly and reminds you to install the update.
With open-source software, you’re not putting all your trust in a single company.
Instead, the community is making sure WordPress runs smoothly and that it’s protected from hackers. With regular security and maintenance releases, the platform remains a safe and reliable environment.
WordPress implements the most up-to-date best practices to give you the best experience.
20. Take Full Control Over Your Website
Ultimately, the biggest perk of using WordPress is:
Your website is fully in your hands.
Unlike other website builders, WordPress doesn’t confine you to a hosting plan, nor does it force you to choose from expensive plans to build your website. The core software is free (and it will stay like this forever). Your total costs of starting and running a website depend on your needs and budget.
With WordPress, you get to:
- Choose your hosting service and switch between providers and plans as needed.
- Customize the way your site looks with 7,500+ themes, both free and paid.
- Add more functions with 56,00+ plug-ins, plenty of them free to use.
- Take full control of your website’s third-party integrations (and even build new WordPress-based applications) with the REST API.
And, when you come across any roadblocks, you can count on the WordPress community to help out. Get involved both online and offline to learn more, share your thoughts and problems, or simply get tips from more experienced users.
Whether you are building a personal portfolio, an eCommerce site, or a membership website, WordPress is a one-stop-destination for your website creation needs.
Not only is it quick to install and easy to learn, but WordPress is also 100% free and open-source. You can start a WordPress website for under $50. And that includes your “.com” domain name and inexpensive hosting.
Even more importantly, WordPress is scalable to your needs. So, as your website grows, you can invest in expanding it.
WordPress is equally useful for big brands like Mercedes Benz and Sony Music, as it is for hobby bloggers. Everybody is using WordPress – and it only picks up more popularity. It doesn’t matter what you’re making – use WordPress to create a quick, functional, and beautiful website.