I can’t tell you how many people I talk to or how many networking groups I stand in front of explaining what I do using the word ‘WordPress’ and get a blank nod… Behind that blank nod I hear their mind quietly saying “Yep, I’ve heard that word a lot so I definitely know what it means… uh huh — keep going… but ok really I’m totally lost so I’m not actually listening anymore.”
If you’re one of those blank nodders, worrying to yourself what WordPress means, WORRY NO MORE! Here’s the short(ish) and easy to understand answer to “Ok yeah, but what is WordPress?”
WordPress is a free tool that a whole lot of people and businesses use to build their websites. It allows a website to be built much faster and easier than without such a tool. WordPress is classified as a Content Management System (CMS). That description itself I find very helpful in understanding its purpose. If your site is built using WordPress, you have a super easy way to log in to its ‘guts’ and make changes to the words, images, and even layout of your pages without being a tech savvy person or understanding anything about how websites are built. It’s like having Microsoft Word appear when you want to change something on your website, but so so much better.
WordPress has many many benefits to the user / company outside of just making the website easier to create and its content (text, images, video) so easy to edit. WordPress is so widely used that countless add-ons (plugins) have been developed to work specifically with it, making it extremely simple and cost effective to add functionality to a WordPress website. Some examples of these functionalities and their benefits are:
- Display an Event Calendar: Add a calendar of events to your website and allowing visitors to register for an event online, and even pay for that registration
- Make Money: Create an online store and sell products or services (even memberships and subscriptions) through your website
- Gather Statistics: Connect your website to Google Analytics to collect statistics (track your visitors and their behavior)
- Build an Email List: Collect email addresses and automatically add them to an email services provider like MailChimp, AWeber, InfusionSoft, or ConvertKit
Last time I heard an official statistic, it was that just under 25% of websites in existence (like from the beginning of time way before WordPress existed) use WordPress. THAT’S ONE IN FOUR WEBSITES ON THE INTERNET — that’s totally nuts!! I can’t even get that much consensus in my family at Christmas Time as to which movie to watch!
So, between its ease of use, cost effectiveness, and popularity, WordPress has become the most popular CMS by far. It’s what I use to build all websites for myself and for our clients, and it’s what I praise endlessly when meeting someone looking for a tool to build their own site.
So, in summary:
WordPress is a very popular tool that is used to make website creation very easy, and website editing even easier. It allows the website owner to have complete control over their website and its content and have the freedom to manage it themselves, if desired.
Cheers to WordPress!
P.S. WordPress the tool is itself free, although some additional things like themes and plugins have licensing fees associated with them which are paid directly to the developer of the theme or plugin.
P.P.S. If you want to build a WordPress website but aren’t sure where to start, get my free website creation checklist here: hookedoncode.com/website-creation-checklist