For anyone who needs to get their business, organisation or cause online, WordPress is the content management system (CMS) we recommend. Between us, the Preface Studios team has 25 years’ experience using WordPress to create bespoke designed and theme websites. It’s not just us that likes it… it’s also the most popular content management system in the world, mainly due to its flexibility, support and reliability. It’s helped millions, including our clients, achieve their online goals.
So why exactly is it so great? In this blog, we share our top 21 reasons why we think it’s brilliant and why you should consider moving to WordPress:
WordPress is the most popular CMS on the web
WordPress powers 34.8% (Oct 2019) of the web and this can mainly be attributed to its versatility. According to W3techs, WordPress has 61.4% market share, with the second most popular CMS (Joomla) being miles behind with a 4.8% share. A staggering 1.1 million new WordPress domains are registered every month.
It’s free and open source
WordPress is free to download and is open source, which means it’s developed and tested by different contributors. The non-open source CMS providers limit access to certain features, which are only available in the premium versions. In WordPress the themes, plugins and updates are also free and there are no long contracts. More sophisticated themes and plugins with different functionality do have to be paid for.
It’s always improving
Constant new releases and updates have enabled WordPress to evolve from a blogging tool to the CMS of choice. Now, it’s not just for posting blogs – although blogging is at the forefront of the tool – it’s also suitable for business websites, portfolios, forums, eCommerce or membership sites and you can easily add functionality with different plugins. Every update comes with an explanation of how it will improve the experience.
It plugs in to SharpSpring
SharpSpring is our marketing automation tool that makes it easier for clients to build business through targeted campaigns. It lets a small marketing team do the job of a large marketing team for only a fraction of the cost. SharpSpring plugs into WordPress and includes lead tracking, landing page builder, email builder, marketing automation, built-in CRM, reporting capabilities and social media management.
Plenty of plugins are free and add value
Plugins enable you to scale up when you need extra features on your website. There are 52,000 free plugins, and these are incredibly diverse, including: quiz, forums, portfolio, CRM, community and eCommerce websites. There are also premium versions you can pay for and you get support direct from the developer. Powerful tools like Salesforce, Pardot or Mailchimp can be integrated into the back-end of your website to provide invaluable data that supports your marketing campaigns.
Kept up-to-date, it’s secure
WordPress lets you know when a new update is released. Keeping your versions up-to-date not only allows you access to new features, it also protects against hacking, improves performance and fixes bugs. This peer-reviewed source code is trusted by organisations like the UK Government, CNN and Facebook. Your website expert should continually be making sure you site is updated, enhancing security, improving site performance, eliminating bugs, ensuring compatibility with plugins and enabling you to benefit from new features.
Huge community of support
Because there is an incredibly wide user base, with different levels of experience and technical know-how, there’s a wealth of advice, blogs, forums, online courses, seminars, websites and books. This means it’s easy to get to know your way around the CMS yourself, although we always guide our own client training too. But, if you stumble into an area you’re unsure of, there are so many resources. Once up and running, there’s a minimal learning curve and it’s easy to update.
Search Engine Optimisation tools
WordPress is the platform of choice for SEO professionals. WordPress comes with in-built SEO tools, but plugins like Yoast make it easy for non-technical users to optimise their website. This helps you boost your rankings and attract more visitors from search engines like Google or Bing and social media channels. With so many websites and so much competition, you don’t want to risk being on page two of Google!
You can build bespoke design templates
WordPress is such a flexible CMS and there really is no restriction on the design. We have created bespoke WordPress websites for clients like Oktra, GSAcom and Allport Cargo Services. A fully bespoke WordPress website will improve your online conversions, since it will have been built with your exact target audience user experience (UX) in mind. With our own WordPress layout builder tool, clients have excellent flexibility to create new pages of content on their website, within the brand and design system we built.
It supports video
You can post your marketing videos, ‘how to’ guides, or corporate interviews within WordPress to explain your offering, showcase products or communicate your strategy. They enable you to quickly deliver your message, engage visitors, drive traffic, tell your story, stand out, elicit emotion and show your brand personality. Videos hosted on a home page or landing pages, are proven to increase engagement and boost conversion rates.
REST API provides endless possibilities
REST API is a way of opening up WordPress so that lots of other services can communicate with it. This means your website can be turned into anything from an intranet solution for your employees, to a web-based application for your customers.
You can control multiple user roles
For security and consistency, it’s essential that you assign the right people with the right administration roles. These role categories are already built into WordPress and include contributors, editors, super administrators, administrators and authors.
You can create private member areas
These are particularly useful if you want to provide members-only content or have private, client-specific pages that users can log into. Here you can publish protected content to customers or members: our clients GSAcom and Rippingham Art both have private member areas.
It supports eCommerce for free
With the Woocommerce plugin, you can take a WordPress website and convert it into an eCommerce site. WooCommerce is a highly customisable eCommerce platform and the most popular on the web, with over 55 million downloads and we’ve used it for eight years. It’s user-friendly for commercial websites because it combines power, flexibility and features.
You can make templates very flexible
Advanced Custom Fields are one of the tools of the trade. They allow extra content fields that enable you to edit content in flexible way in the WordPress admin.
Quick to load
Built in the correct way, WordPress websites can be very quick to load. We make sure that the home page is optimised to load quickly by showing excerpts instead of full posts, removing unnecessary widgets or inactive plugins, keeping it minimal, clean and focused.
You own all your data
Any data within your WordPress site belongs to you and there are no charges for exporting it.
Great for blogging
WordPress remains an excellent publishing tool, allowing you to schedule posts and make revisions quickly. It’s easy to use, there are lots of plugins and design choices and you get excellent support.
With stable code, solid infrastructure and constant development that enables you to scale your site up or down, as a CMS WordPress delivers excellent performance. This is so important, because a positive digital experience leads to brand loyalty. And, as the latest report on Britain’s worst and best online retailers shows, poor experience means potential customers look elsewhere… and they’re certainly not shy about sharing their views!
Online habits have changed dramatically since WordPress came on the scene and now more people go online to search on a mobile than desktop. Your website needs to look great on all devices. WordPress is built to be responsive, so it resizes automatically to look great and function perfectly on desktop, tablet or mobile.
WordPress supports progressive web apps
Progressive web apps (PWAs) create an experience similar to an app, but are built using using open web standards and functionality. The benefits are that they combine the best of the web with a native mobile app; providing fast load, the ability to use apps offline, installation to the home screen and supported by WordPress.
If you’re considering WordPress for your Surrey business, please get in touch via the contact form below…
Ready to switch your website over to WordPress?