At Brand & Press, we use WordPress for all of our websites — and you should, too!
When building a new website, if you don’t already know, it’s usually not long before you realize that there is a lot to consider. One of the main things is how you’re going to create and manage your website. You may not even know anything about how websites are built, to begin with.
How Do Websites Get Built, Anyway?
There are mainly two ways to build sites:
When websites first started being made, basically, all of them were static. This means that they were developed and built using code, then transferred and maintained with a web host. No matter how simple, any changes that needed to be made to a static site had to be done using code. This entailed confirming you were working on the most current version of the website’s files, making changes, uploading the updated files to the server, etc. Often, this results in a website that’s hard to modify without help from a webmaster or the original developer.
With dynamic sites, there is a code editor built right into the website itself to help with managing everything. This is most commonly referred to as a content management system (CMS) in the web industry. With a CMS in place, you’re able to log in, make edits or updates, hit “publish” and voilà — the changes are live! No need to stress, no technical nitty-gritty, and no fuss!
To put it simpler, you can either build a website the more complicated way (static) or take a much easier route (dynamic). Mainly, the easy way uses a platform that allows people who aren’t code-savvy (cough: most of the human race) to manage their sites quickly and easily.
Choosing a Content Management System
When it’s put that way, Content Management Systems are usually the obvious choice for building a website. Now the real question is: which CMS should you choose for your website?
There are various options to choose from, so it really boils down to your responses to a few questions:
- What functionalities do you want it to have?
- Who needs to use it?
- How much you’re willing to pay?
- How easily customizable is it?
- Is it well-supported?
Unless you’re in the position to pay for a robust content management system — or have someone build it — we always recommend that you save some coins and go the free route. There are tons of options for free CMS platforms, but our favorite and among the most popular ones is WordPress.
Why do we choose to use WordPress at Brand & Press? Because it does all that we need it to do plus more!
This is a question that we’re asked often, and it’s very valid. It wasn’t always this way with us — for a while, we were using the static method — but once we learned about WordPress, we switched over and never looked back.
WordPress: It’s Not Just A Blogging Tool Anymore!
When WordPress first started out, it started as a blogging platform back in May of 2003. Those of us who used it in the early days may have found it quite limiting, not to mention frustrating, as it wasn’t as easy as they’d hoped to use as a blogger.
Over the years, they made many improvements to solve that. Despite said improvements, there were still many web designers and developers that didn’t consider WordPress worthy, so it basically stayed in the realm of bloggers. Fast forward many years, WordPress has continued to evolve. Now it has grown into a robust, stable, incredibly flexible platform (like most things left standing from the early days of the web).
If you have previously used WordPress and didn’t have a great experience, we suggest digging back in there to give it another try. Things have definitely come a long way!
We use WordPress for every website that we build. We’ve been doing so since 2010, for several reasons.
And we’re not by ourselves with our love for the WordPress CMS — As of April 2018, WordPress powers over 1/3 of the world’s top 10 million websites. This ranges from blogs to general sites, eCommerce stores to Fortune 500 websites, to everything in between.
W3techs have concluded through an extensive study that WordPress is dominating the CMS market being used by 58.8% of all websites we know of. In an article from WPBeginner, we found it interesting that some notable big brands use WordPress for their sites. This is including TechCrunch, Sony Music, The Walt Disney Company, Mercedes-Benz, and even Beyoncé!
It just goes to show that WordPress is, by far, the most popular content management system of choice. That’s one of the (many) reasons we love it, not because of it’s popularity, but because it is a well-supported platform.
WordPress is so popular that there’s an abundance of available resources that helps make your website better. Making using the platform an easy task for all.
Some of our favorite resources to highlight are:
- Themeforest and Creative market for a wide variety of incredible themes and design ideas (we prefer the Divi Theme, so check for some child themes here: BeSuperfly, Divi Cake, Aspen Grove Studios, Elegant Child Themes, and Monterey Premier)
- WP Beginner, Envato Tuts+ Tutorials, and YouTube for millions of WordPress tutorials
- MOJO, Creative Market, and CodeCanyon for countless extensions and plug-ins to enhance your site
- WordPress’s prominent popularity helps make your website better with community support via the WordPress Support Forums and Resources
Now, before you take our word and try to jump ship from your current methods to download WordPress and switch your website over, it is always good practice to take a look at the pros and cons. Just because it’s the most popular website CMS being used on the web today doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to be the right option for you.
WordPress Pros & Cons
There are many ways to decide on whether or not you like something. However, we always tend to recommend the analog way: get some paper and a writing utensil. Draw a line down the middle of your page, then list the pros and cons on opposite sides of each other.
Pro Tip: You can even use this method to decide whether or not WordPress is the right CMS for you.
Take a look at our lists below!
Below are a few reasons why we choose to build all our clients’ websites, and our sites, using WordPress:
- it’s FREE!
- highly supported by the community
- you don’t need to be a developer to use it
- a variety of pre-existing templates/themes to choose from (some free and some paid)
- you can build a fully custom website, from scratch
- anyone can quickly and easily make updates
- TONS of plug-ins to customize your site functions and do the “hard work” for you
- many hosting options that specialize in the WordPress platform
Just as with anything in life, nothing is all positive.
You know there’ve gotta be some cons to consider. Building websites in content management systems isn’t necessarily a trend, and WordPress (despite its popularity) definitely isn’t, either. More than half the sites on the web are not on a publicly available CMS. Here’s a cool tool to check what CMS a website uses.
It’s not hard to find people out there shunning this and other CMS. Here are some cons to highlight:
- plug-ins; either using the wrong ones or using too many can crash your website, and un-supported plug-ins can leave your site vulnerable
- not keeping up-to-date with the latest updates for WordPress and plug-ins can cause issues
- if your site isn’t secure, it can get hacked from vulnerability
- larger websites and shops might not be ideal for this platform
- excess code in themes that bogs down your site and causes slow loading times
For us, the pros of WordPress far outweigh the cons. This is especially so since we only install well-supported plug-ins and themes, keep everything up-to-date with the latest version, and optimize your site with best practices.
Why Should You Choose WordPress?
If you want to build a website that’s designed to last, is secure, and is easy to update, we highly suggest that you get on board with using WordPress.
As you have learned above, WordPress is currently the most supported CMS out there (and possibly on the planet too). There are many plug-ins to accommodate almost any functionality, so you don’t have to fret or be a coding wiz to enhance your site.
It’s straightforward to make updates — it doesn’t matter who you are — so there’s no need to pay more to manage it if you don’t want to. Plus, the WordPress-specific, managed hosting environments will dramatically speed up your website and offer care features.
On the off chance, maybe WordPress isn’t the best CMS for your website — but the odds are it is. If that is the case, we encourage you to make a list of pros and cons for each alternative to see which CMS will bet fit your needs.
There are definitely other ways out there to build websites. In our opinion, WordPress continues to be the best option for us and many others year after year — including web designers, developers, and business owners.
WordPress caters to our clients’ needs perfectly as a branding and web design studio for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It’s a dream for our team to work their magic and cast spells with numbers, a toy for our code master who uses design and function, and an incredible tool for those that know zilch. Believe us when we say, WordPress can be tailored to suit every user at every level. That’s why it’s our #1 option!
- We know that it works well
- We like the price (ahem, nada)
- It saves time and is efficient
- Trustworthy and safe
- It’s fully customizable
- There’s a variety of plug-ins and added features
- Easy for our clients to use
- and we are continuously learning new ways to use it to solve our clients’ immediate needs.
Like we said, it does all that we need it to do plus more!
Please let us know in the comments if you found this useful, and if you’re going to make the switch. We’d love to hear how it works for you! Thank you for reading, we look forward to hearing from you!
Are you a small business owner or creativepreneur that needs help setting up a WordPress website that looks great and grows your brand? Don’t know where or how to start? We can help! Sign Up For a FREE Discovery Call Today!