There are a lot of options available to someone who is looking to create a new site or blog. You’ll hear names like Joomla, Blogger, Wix, Squarespace, and more. It can be a lot to take in. So, I wanted to chat briefly about why I do, and always, recommend WordPress (WP).
WordPress is Free
You can have wordpress.com host your site for free, however, there are some restrictions. You will have limited storage, access to less plugins, and a few other things. These features can be turned on, or expanded by paying for them. However, if you’re going to start paying for features then you may as well read the next part.
Self-hosting is another option. You may see this referred to as wordpress.org because you download the software from there.
Now, WP itself is free, however, to host it yourself is not. You will need to pay a web host to go with this option. These days you can find a web host for cheap – a few bucks a month or less. Also, you’ll need a little know-how for this route as well depending on the host you go with. There’s a few options, well actually a lot more, but here’s mine.
Known Host – This is the web host I use for all of my blogs and sites. I have a virtual private server I pay for, which isn’t the cheapest option up front. However, I can host as many sites on it as I can fit. That being said, this is an advanced option and not for beginners as there’s a lot of work required.
WP Engine – This option is for someone who wants a suite – everything at once. This is also not the cheapest option, but it’s specific to WordPress, so you’re paying for the expertise of the host.
Depending on what you’re looking for out of your blog will depend on what options you look at. Cheap hosting is great when you’re new, starting out, and don’t have much money. We all started there. However, eventually you may find yourself outgrowing the cheap hosting, as was the case with my wargaming blog.
I will say from experience, you get what you pay for with web hosting.
It’s Infinite in Possibilities
The beauty of WordPress is that it’s open source software. This means that people, like myself, can develop themes and plugins for it. Those themes and plugins are hosted on the official site for everyone to download for free. There are literally thousands of themes and plugins available.
With the ability for anyone to develop features, this means that nearly anything you can think of has been created; you need only to find it. There are some pretty hefty plugins out there that can completely alter the functionality of your site. So, you can do virtually anything you want with your site, and I love that.
Along with this is that two WordPress sites never need to look the same. You know how some blogging platforms have a look? I don’t find that true with WP at all. With so many configuration options, themes, and plugins, it’s hard to find two sites that look the same.
It’s More Than Just a Blogging Platform
It’s true that when WordPress started that it was for blogging only. However, over the years it has evolved into a full site suite. Some people still think it’s only useful if you’re going to blog and that’s just not true.
All of the features you need to create a typical site are there and available. Don’t let the fact that you do not need a blog deter you from making use of this awesome platform.
In fact, nearly 1 in 3 websites on the internet use WordPress. It’s pretty impressive!
If you would like to use this infographic then below the code you’ll need:
<a href="https://blogplayground.com/recommend-wordpress/" target="_blank"><img title="WordPress Stats" src="https://blogplayground.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/WordPress-Stats.jpg" alt="WordPress Stats" width="800" height="2000" /></a>
Complex in Its Simplicity
Related to the last, WordPress can be pretty complex if needed. Yet, out of the box it’s simple to use, as well as intuitive. Now, it’s more complicated than a platform like Blogger, but it’s not something you’re going to struggle to figure out either.
Once you have it set up, anyone can jump in and create their first article easily. Adding images to your articles is simple, formatting the text, etc. Your categories and tags (labels) automatically create relevant archive pages on the site for people to see. There’s a lot that’s done for you that you never have to think about. It makes it perfect for people unfamiliar with the web industry.
I have used other blogging platforms out there, and I’ve found them either too complicated, or too simple. I feel that WP is just right. It has enough options that you feel you can do what you need to without being overwhelmed. If you need more complicated than there’s always plugins for the features you’re after.
It’s Solid and Secure
WordPress is a well written platform. I can tell you, as a developer, that there’s very little I’m not able to do within the structure of a site. The programming team has done great with their API, and I don’t think anyone else can come close to matching it.
Still, every now and then security issues will arise. The Automattic Team (the creators) are quick to address any issues that come up and patch them. There are plugins available as well to help secure your site if you feel you need the extra layer of security. I make use of Jetpack’s Brute Force protection, which is part of the Jetpack plugin.
Fingers crossed – In the 9 years I’ve used WP on various sites, I have not once had my site hacked.
I probably could go on and on, but I feel that covers the highlights of why I love WordPress. The beauty of it is also that it’s continually evolving to meet the needs of the users, which is pretty awesome.
WordPress is a great way to start off a successful blog.
What’s your favorite features of WordPress?