What is WordPress?
WordPress is a Content Management System (often referred to as a CMS), which may not mean a lot to many people
To help understand lets pick the two extreme ends of building a website.
1. Ground up flat HTML: Where each page and all the functionality is built by developers.
2. Website builders: These services are design so that people without coding knowledge can build a website. The ones that spring to mind are Wix, Shopify and 1&1.
The advantages of option 2 are obvious, you don’t have to pay anyone to build you website. However, it is not easy, is very time consuming and even the very best website built using a builder will never be able to compete with a professionally coded website in terms of; speed, design, responsiveness, flexibility, bespoke functionality, search ranking and etc.
Option 1 can give you everything you possibly want from your website, but are very expensive and you are never in control of you own website, needing a developer for even the simplest of website changes and updates.
WordPress is a good CMS
There are many CMS options, and all of them offer the middle ground. Allowing developers to develop cool stuff, and clients to manage most of their website. The best of both worlds.
So how do you pick one?
- Cost: Some CMSs are free, some cost very little, some cost a lot. WordPress is free.
- Developer availability: Because WordPress is the most widely used CMS it is very easy to find developers who know it will. Other CMS may even be better but you could end up with a website no one can manage.
- Open source: This means anyone can use the code, so you are not tied to developer that built it in terms of intellectual property and skill set.
- Security: Open source also means everyone can see the code, so there are more security risks. These can be manage / mitigated by a good agency.
- Plugins: A double edged sword. On the one hand you can get fantastic functionality for next to nothing, on the other your website can be severely compromised both in security and in long term maintenance as you are buying software from a developer you do not know.