Author’s Note: Why WordPress is the introduction of my free ebook, “Create Your Business Website With WordPress.” Each day I will release a chapter from the book onto my site.
About The Author
Hello, I’m Brittany Gates! I’m a data center aficionado and creative writer. For the past fifteen years I worked in the IT Industry in various roles. Eventually, I grew to love working in data centers and focused my IT career on that path. Currently, I work for Google as a Data Center Technician. After my shift ends I work on my first love: Writing! I self-publish books on Amazon and upload short stories onto Wattpad. And I find the time to maintain two websites I built with WordPress: bcgates.com (my personal site) and letsallmeat.com (my Ecommerce store).
That’s a great segue into my history with WordPress. I started using WordPress around 2007 because it was an easier way to create blogs. And at that time blogs were popular and I wanted my own. As the years passed WordPress improved in features, and moved beyond blogging. Those improvements allowed me to enhance my website’s appearance, what media I could display, and how I could protect my site from hackers. And those experiences built a level of knowledge within me that I shared with others. I recommended WordPress to anyone seeking to build a website. And in some cases I helped those individuals build their website.
Now I want to help others on a grand scale. That’s the reason I wrote this guide: To help individuals – such as entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners – build their own website with WordPress. While building a website is a long and arduous process, you can do this with my guide. I’ll explain how to find the right type of web hosting so your business website will perform properly, how to secure your website against hackers, how to install and use WordPress, test your website, and publish it for the world to see.
Why do I choose WordPress to build my websites? There are many other choices one can choose from to build their website. There are cloud-based website development companies like Wix and Squarespace. Those companies make website creation easy with its drag-and-drop system. While I have nothing against companies like Wix and Squarespace I rather not use their closed-source systems.
WordPress is open source software. That means the source code of the software is available for anyone to download and modify for their own use. So a Web Developer could modify WordPress’ code to fit the needs of their client. Or that developer could use the code as-is. As the tagline states on WordPress’ website: “Create a place for your business, your interests, or anything else—with the open source platform that powers the web.”
WordPress was created in 2003 by Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg, and operated by Automattic. While WordPress was originally created for blogging, the creators improved the software to allow the creation of various types of websites. And this versatility makes it a great choice for businesses.
At its core, WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS). This system allows individuals to not only create digital content (like blog posts, music files, or videos) but modify them. Also, WordPress can also be considered a Web Content Management (WCM) system because it provides the ability for individuals to create and/or add images, photos, music, videos, and much more.
A Content Management System is broken up into two parts:
- Content Management Application (CMA)
- Content Delivery Application (CDA)
The CMA allows inexperienced users to create, update, or delete content from a website without the aid of experienced professional. Years ago you would have to hire a Webmaster or a Web Developer for this type of work.
The CDA does all the heavy lifting in the background because it takes all the pictures, text, and other media and puts it all together. Thus, it creates everything the visitor sees on the website. Finally, the CDA has the job of updating the website.
WordPress is the market leader out of all website-building software available to currently use. At the time of this guide’s publication 43% of all the websites on the Internet use WordPress according to W3Techs.
Due to its popularity WordPress Developers came into existence. These individuals and/or companies created a vast ecosystem to extend the capabilities of the software. Those capabilities were in the form of themes or plugins. Some of those themes or plugins are free, while others have a monthly/yearly subscription cost or a one-time fee.
These themes or plugins transform WordPress into a retail online store or a membership website. Because these developers see success from their labors they continue to improve WordPress. And everyone benefits from their efforts.
When I started using WordPress back in 2007 the installation was difficult. I followed the “Basic Instructions” which could be difficult for non-tech savvy individuals to follow. Thus, many installed the software improperly onto their website, or connected their database incorrectly. Which meant deleting everything and starting over (which was the easier option), or paying a developer to fix it.
In addition, if one needed to edit the core WordPress files, and did so incorrectly, their site crashed.
Then came the Automated Installation. Depending on the web hosting company, all an individual had to do to install WordPress was access a script (like WP Toolkit or Softaculous). The script asks a few simple questions, and a few minutes a basic WordPress installation is ready for use. All one has to do after that point is customize the site.
WordPress’ User Interface (UI) is intuitive now. The side menu has all of the functions users need, such as “Posts” and “Media.” In addition, each name tells users what it exactly does. “Posts” allow users to create a blog post. “Pages” is when users want to create a page on their site. “Media” contains pictures, videos, music, and other media. And “Comments” allows users to read and maintain comments.
WordPress is still the best CMS to use for blog creation. Yes, there sites like Medium and Tumblr (which is now owned by Automattic), but those sites don’t offer the plugins or configurations this software offers.
Even though you can create websites with WordPress, its focus was and is blogging. And that’s improved drastically over the years. Writing posts is a breeze! I can add animated GIFs with a few clicks. When I want to slip in headings and sub-headings those are also just a few clicks of my mouse. Finally, when I want to add a “Featured Image” (the image that shows up above the blog post) or an image within the body of my text, I can upload one and then insert it in under a minute.
Finally, if I want to add a file for download, like a PDF file, all I have to do is upload the file and create the link to it in the particular post or page.