Are you a web designer? Looking for a way to deliver a simple, attractive, usable site to your clients without slaving over mountains of code? Do you have a bevy of various client deadlines staring you down? Are you panicking?
However, WordPress is NOT just “blog software.” Far from it. It’s a free, incredibly versatile beast of a content management system with a ton of features and an incredibly passionate user base.
Wow, you’re still rolling your eyes. Fine. Here’s five good reasons why you, the elite web designer, should try using WordPress for the next website you build.
1. Minimal $$$.
It costs nothing to download and set up WordPress. Most of the themes, plug-ins and widgets available are free, and you can have WordPress host the blog for free at WordPress.com. Creating a site through WordPress.org will require you to purchase hosting space, but that can be had for as little as four bucks a month.
2. The Community.
WordPress also has a global community of active users that are constantly working harder to make it a better product. There are always new widgets, plug-ins and themes created every day, which infuse endless possibilities into the site design process.
You can also go to any WordPress-themed forum on the web to draw on the knowledge of the community for any issue– from a faulty installation to a styling snafu.
Whether you want to create a bare bones black and white blog or a multi-faceted monster site for a large conglomerate, WordPress serves up an endless flood of theme options that will give your site the look it needs.
WordPress also has many different plug-ins and widgets that can make a simple page a powerful one. You can use these tools to embed video, Twitter streams and PayPal buttons to name a few.
Not happy with the thousands of theme choices at your disposal? Whip out that code expertise you brag about so much, dive on in to the PHP or CSS and make that site do your bidding. You can also create themes of your own from scratch, with a little time and some HTML/CSS/PHP skills.
4. WordPress + Google = SEO MAGIC
If your client wants their site to have any visibility on the web, they’ll want to get themselves noticed by Google, the Papa Bear of the search engine scene. However, outfitting a website with a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy can take a little too much time if you take the hand-coded DIY approach.
WordPress can save you a ton of time here, as it offers many different ways to tag content and write headlines and excerpts. Everything on WordPress is very social media-friendly, so you can share whatever you like on Facebook and Twitter easily. There are also widgets and plug-ins that can beef up site analytics, which enable you to keep close tabs on site traffic. No other CMS gives you that kind of SEO power out of the gate. Sure, you could do all that grunt work without any assistance, but…why bother?
5. It’s EASY.
Not all of your clients are going to want you to manage every aspect of their site. Maybe they want to have the freedom to edit images, blog, or fiddle with the code without having to call you all the time.
If your client knows how to use a text editor or Microsoft Word, they should have no problem writing and editing in WordPress. Zero to minimal technical expertise is required, and the layout of the dashboard is so intuitive that even the most jaded technophobe can get comfortable in a flash.
It’s 2011, people. The mechanics behind creating a blog or website shouldn’t be shrouded in mystery. You aren’t a conjurer. Both you and your client deserve an optimized, social website that looks great- and there’s no reason for you to be up all night putting it together.
Give WordPress a try, and give yourself a break. It’s not just for bloggers anymore.