WordPress – What is it and Why Do I Keep Hearing About It?

We love WordPress here at Webster Internet. It’s a lethal mix of being brilliantly beautiful to look at and stupidly simple to use.

So what on earth is WordPress and why should it interest you?

WordPress is a free Content Management System, or CMS for short. It allows you to publish, edit, create and organise content on a website.

In short, it gives you all the tools you need to build a website!

WordPress is so popular nowadays that it powers around a quarter of all of the world’s websites! WordPress has two flavours, one is hosted by WordPress themselves – it is called WordPress.com – and the other is self-hosted and is called WordPress.org.

WordPress.com and WordPress.org – They must be the same, right?

At their most basic, they are both website builders from the same company although they individually have different offerings. Depending on how much freedom you want when building your website, your skill and knowledge of using computers, the Internet and possibly website code then you will have to choose between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

If you want full control over your website then you may be better suited to the self-hosted WordPress.org. You can do whatever you like with your self-hosted WordPress.org website such as creating a custom theme for your website – like we do for all of our clients here at Webster Internet.

If you don’t want to build a custom theme (take it from us, it takes a long time to learn how to), WordPress.org has a massive and free theme library so you can choose a theme that complements your company branding and use that for your website.

Likewise, WordPress.org has a huge plugin library to enhance and add functionality to your website using plugins uploaded by other users. These plugins can be used to add such things as rotating image sliders, contact forms and even full e-commerce systems!

However with the freedom that all of this gives you as the website operator, there comes a price – that you have to look after the website yourself!

From the beginning, you’ll need to: install and set up your WordPress.org site, update the software whenever a new version is released, maintain your website so that it runs properly, keeping your site secure so you and visitors of the site are not attacked by spam or hackers. You’ll need to keep regular backups of your website if problems arise and you will also be required to provide hosting for the website.

Using WordPress.org also means that you are the website support team. WordPress has forums with a large community of contributors to help you work around any problems, should they arise. There is also an enormous library of documentation on everything from installing WordPress to coding functions.

Does this sound difficult? Get in touch with us, we can take care of all of these headaches for you!

If you aren’t technical and don’t have the time to learn how to use WordPress, then you have two options – you can either have a professional build you a WordPress.org website, or you can opt for WordPress.com.

WordPress.com is hosted by WordPress so this immediately removes a lot of the tricky things about self-hosting. You won’t need to worry about backups, domain names, keeping the website secure or maintenance and upgrades.

The WordPress.com theme library holds 380 different templates for your website so you really can go to town with customisation and make your website truly unique!

Upon signing-up for a WordPress account, there are three levels to choose from – Free, Premium and Business

With the standard Free account, it is possible to do quite a lot – you are able to select a theme and look for your website or blog, there is more than enough space for file storage and support from the WordPress forums.

It is worth upgrading to the Premium account in order to remove adverts from your website. You can also map your own domain name to the website, which makes it look more professional. In terms of support, at this level, you receive e-mail support from WordPress, in case anything goes wrong.

The Business level account includes extra features such as e-commerce and advanced customisation of the website, unlimited storage space and Google Analytics to show the website traffic. Within this account, live chat support is included for real peace-of-mind.

Here at Webster Internet, we build custom websites for companies of all shapes and sizes so we’d suggest that if you want your website to stand out from the crowd, you should speak to us.

Webster Internet can advise on building websites, maintaining and promoting them. With the experience of having launched in excess of 100 websites, we can help you with your next project!

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