Five myths about WordPress

1. WordPress is for blogging

WordPress was originally created as a free and open-source blogging tool in 2003 but it has grown much more than that. I The reasons for its popularity might have  a lot to do with the “free and open source” part. With a lot of people free to tinker with it, WordPress is constantly expanded and improved. And with additional functionality easily added via a growing list of plugins, WordPress is more than ever the choice for building websites for news media, membership organizations, online businesses, and more.

2. WordPress sites all start to look alike

This myth might have come about because of the way WordPress works with themes. Once installed and activated,  a new theme will change the look of an entire site immediately. This is a real advantage; someone with no web experience can have a great looking site. However though there are literally thousands of themes to chose from, some themes are more popular than others and  the result might be a lot of identical looking sites. Many new themes come with the option to be easily customized so this might be less of a problem. And most web designers (like me!) use a theme only as a starting point and will create a customized design that meets their client’s unique needs.

3. WordPress is for small sites

Lots of small users use WordPress. But lots of large site do too. In fact almost 1 out of 4 sites today use WordPress. It is easy enough to be used for a high school science project but flexible enough to serve industries as diverse as the New York Times, CNN, Best Buy, and many more. Here is a showcase of some of the top companies that use WordPress.

4. WordPress sites are cheaper to build than a conventionally-built site

A WordPress site often takes  longer to build than a site built in HTML with Dreamweaver or other web tools. And consequently it should cost more. WordPress is built on PHP, a database language. This means that each time a page is loaded it is regenerated from content stored in a database. This gives your content enormous power. Information used on one page can be used in other formats elsewhere on the site. For example, a single news article can appear as a full story on one page, as an excerpt on another, and as an archived headline in another. Planning for how this is all works takes more time. But the benefits outweigh the additional costs since content can be easily managed and keeping the site up to date will take less time.

5. WordPress has hidden costs

There is no cost to upload WordPress, no charge to update to new versions and no service contract. But something so powerful must have hidden costs, right? Don’t the people who created and manage WordPress need to make make a living? Well, yes, the WordPress organization does make money through web hosting offered at WordPress.com and through selling its own premium themes. But everything you need to build a WordPress site is available free of charge from its core site, WordPress.org. And support is free, too, via its online forums or through a simple web search.  But like any open source software, it can require expertise to unleash its full potential and a lively industry of web designers, PHP programmers, and plugin developers has grown around it.

Anything on your mind?