Good question! We don’t exclusively use WordPress to develop websites. We believe there is never a truly one-size-fits-all approach. However, it’s difficult to look past it for 9 our of 10 websites we build.
“But I’ve been told we shouldn’t use WordPress…”
There is much written on the web about why you shouldn’t use WordPress. The debate is ongoing, with those very much in favour and those against. We strongly believe that most of arguments are either no longer valid or were not valid in the first place. Ultimately, we feel that where an agency is talking WordPress down, it’s generally because they can’t compete on price. They need a basis to support going down the route of building something bespoke and ultimately more expensive. We find that some of the arguments used are often in fact true for bespoke websites. That said, there are some cases where a bespoke website build is more suitable. These happen to be just few and far between nowadays.
So, why do we love WordPress so much?
Lots of reasons… firstly, it’s extremely quick to set up a basic website structure. We can install WordPress at the click of a button. We would normally do this on a subdomain which then acts as a staging (test) version of the site. This is so it’s completely separate from any live website. Once that first step is complete, your site has joined another 500 million sites in using WordPress to power it. There are lots of advantages this brings.
Easy content management system
This is a benefit to us as well as our clients. For us, it means it is very quick to get a basic website structure in place. We create a menu and add some content pages. If you’ll be adding a blog to your site – something we’d encourage you to do – it’s simple to add some categories and posts as well. Using one of the amazing page builders now available in WordPress, we can customise everything on your website. Our favourite is Elementor, which allows editing content easily and directly with no coding involved. This gives us maximum flexibility and complete control of layouts. It lets us build WordPress sites faster and better than ever before. Once your website is signed off and live, you then have all the tools you need to update it yourself. We’re of course on hand to help though!
Huge ecosystem of plugins and themes
This is without doubt one of the biggest benefits. You can bet if you think of an idea for a website feature, someone has built a plugin for it. There are lots of free and paid plugins you can install to make developing sites easier. This obviously saves a massive amount of time in getting you up and running. Equally, the quality of free themes has vastly improved over the last few years. It’s possible to customise the visual appearance of a theme to make it unique. As most themes are mobile-friendly out of the box, are easy to customise and have built-in SEO, there is no longer the need for custom web design.
Search engine friendly
WordPress is the best CMS for SEO, no question. It is SEO-friendly out of the box because it has properly written HTML pages. It also generates pretty keyword-rich permalinks and includes on-page optimisation like title tags, headings and optimised images. Further to this, there are loads of plugins to further improve SEO like Yoast SEO and All-in-One SEO Pack. Combine all this with the ability to build quick-loading sites with mobile optimisation as standard and you have a platform that is perfect for SEO and ranking your website high in Google.
The WordPress team and contributors work tirelessly to improve the platform. From security and bug fixes to speed and new features, keeping your site up to date has many benefits. It is also a very easy process nowadays.
WordPress is designed with minimal code, which means your website will load quickly. That said, there are also many tried and tested optimisation tips to boost WordPress performance. Speed up your website even more by using a content delivery network and removing unused plugins and themes. There are also some great caching plugins that minimise the amount of work your database is having to do. These are particular effective on sites with lots of traffic.
Most modern WordPress themes are fully responsive out of the box. It makes no difference if you view your site on a phone, tablet or desktop, your site will adapt to the screen size it’s shown on. Even if you have an existing WordPress site that isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s easy to fix this. By using a plugin like WPtouch, you can make your site work well on a mobile device in just a few clicks. Read our post about making a site mobile-friendly with WPtouch.
Extremely cost effective
WordPress itself is completely free. In many case it’s possible to build a site using a free theme and plugins. Does this mean you’ll lack originality… absolutely not. The free themes are generally just a starting point. Once you’ve added you’re own branding, content and tone of voice, it’s easy to build something that stands out from the crowd. Even if a free theme is not the way to go for your business, there are many extremely good premium themes out there. This is particularly effective when there are specific requirements for your business that feature within an existing theme. It just makes no sense at all to rebuild these features from scratch.
With our WP basic package, we always try and utilise a free theme. This is why we can offer this package at the amazing price of £250+VAT!
So, if there are all these benefits, why do some agencies still say not to use WordPress?
Many say that WordPress is a blog platform and it is true, that’s how is started, but it is so much more than that now and quite simply the most preferred and best CMS there is. Rather than see it as the benefit it is, it’s often said that the thousands of plugins written by third-party developers are a pitfall, sometimes causing conflicts and breaking sites. Yes, this is of course possible, but only using plugins that are maintained and tested on the latest version of WordPress core, minimises any risk here. Only installing the plugins you need is also important.
Keeping your WordPress website up to date
To keep up to date with WordPress, you will need to update your website every time there is a platform release, which is generally every couple of months. Is this a problem? No, we do this for you as part of the annual hosting fee. On the rare occasions an update might cause an issue with your site, we fix this at no cost to you. It’s true you don’t need to update a bespoke website in the same way, but there are benefits to having regular updates, with new features becoming available and the security of your site being kept bang up to date.
Keeping your WordPress website secure
Security is the last point to touch on. As millions of websites use WordPress, as with any open source software, it makes it a target for attacks. Keeping your WordPress core, plugins and themes up to date vastly reduces the risk here and as an extra peace of mind we install Wordfence security on all our WordPress sites to keep them safe. Wordfence includes a firewall and malware scanner and is one of the most comprehensive WordPress security solutions available. We’ve spoken more about why we use Wordfence in another article.
Why you should still use WordPress
Our conclusion is that WordPress is the way to go when building a new website for your business. This is not just because of the low cost – although we think that helps a lot! – but because of the feature-rich platform you’ll be building on. The possibilities are endless and in many cases would require a huge budget to build from scratch.
Interested in our typical WordPress website set up? Learn more here.