All the good reasons why to use WordPress

WordPress is everywhere, but why should you consider using WordPress for your own website?

… and why should you do so instead of using other services or platforms?

These are good questions and since WordPress is powering 28% of the whole internet, there must be several good reasons that get WordPress ahead. Well, here is a comprehensive guide that covers all the good reasons why to use WordPress and why you will love it doing so.

 

All the good reasons why to use WordPress

(The bold headlines)

 

1. Low Cost & free to install

2. Intuitive and user-friendly

3. Professional Themes

4. You own your data, you are in charge

5. Extend your website functionality with plugins

6. Forward-looking flexibility

7. Collaborative working

8. Email newsletter integration

9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly by nature

10. A reliable System with a huge Community

11. Flexible Backups

12. Summary

 

This post goes into great detail to give you the necessary insights that enable you to put things into perspective and to acquire a big picture view upon WordPress. If you are in a hurry, you might want jump right to the summary and pick it up from there.

 

1. Low Cost & free to install

WordPress itself is an open source software and is absolutely free. You pay nothing for the software. All you need to pay for is a web hosting service like Siteground. There you pay a small monthly fee for a web hosting package, usually, around 5$ per month and on top, you get the opportunity of a 1-click WordPress installation. It takes no effort at all to set everything up and it takes no time either. Companies like Siteground come up with specific WordPress hosting offers and you are all set within minutes without any technical knowledge.

 

Self-hosted

During your first endeavors with WordPress, you might stumble upon the term „self-hosted“ which basically means exactly what is mentioned before. You host your website by yourself on an external web space. You can possibly change this storage space every time by moving everything to another hoster. Therefore, you are not tied to one web hosting company and hence you are free as a bird.

On top you have low maintenance costs, I’d say almost nothing. You just pay for the monthly web hosting service to store your data to make them accessible online, and that is basically it.

 

Headache free Updates

Since WordPress is constantly evolving, there might be some updates to newer versions of the software. A provider like Siteground will automatically update your WordPress Version and let you know afterwards by sending you a short email notification. You are always up to date. No headaches.

 

Webhosting?

Just in case the question pops up here, about what is Webhosting anyway? Here is a shortcut: In order to give people the opportunity to access your website 24/7, all your website data (images, text, all your content and the technical code etc.) must be stored in a virtual place online. See it as a virtual hard drive. You a are renting somehow this space from a provider to store your data. For that storage space, you pay a little monthly fee as explained. WordPress is then your engine/system to administrate and access that space without having to know anything about coding. You can manage everything within WordPress, without any requirements of technical knowledge.

If that sounds complicated to you, seriously, it isn’t. It takes about 5 Minutes to set up a basic WordPress Website and we will show you how in another post.

Resources:
www.siteground.com
www.wpengine.com

 

2. Intuitive and user-friendly

No longer than five minutes

WordPress gives you an intuitive and very user-friendly interface, nothing technical and everything is very straightforward. That resonates with one of the companies core philosophies which states that „Great software should work with little configuration and setup. WordPress is designed to get you up and running and fully functional in no longer than five minutes. You shouldn’t have to battle to use the standard functionality of WordPress.“
(Source: www.wordpress.org)

That leads to a bold learning curve, because you can start immediately with a great Website within just a few clicks and grow by time, discover all the nuggets and dig deeper along the way.

 

Decisions, instead of Options

To make everything intuitive and easy in the first place, WordPress has another simple yet important philosophy that puts an emphasis on decisions, instead of dptions. Their philosophy states further that „Every time you give a user an option, you are asking them to make a decision. When a user doesn’t care or understand the option this ultimately leads to frustration. It’s our duty as developers to make smart design decisions and avoid putting the weight of technical choices on our end users.“

Everyone knows some kind of software where a ton of options is in fact only paralyzing. Sooner or later, that leads to moving away from the software or at least progress very slowly. For me, such a software has always been the 3D Modeling tool 3ds Max that has given me a feeling of being completely overwhelmed. When SketchUp came around, it simplified the whole 3D modelling process. That is what WordPress does for Websites.

 

Website = No Coding

WordPress is aware of this effect and applies the opposite approach. Through its user-friendly design, WordPress puts complex technical terms into simple designs and buttons and opens up the Web without any technical knowledge requirements. WordPress allows you, to enter the world of the web in a way that would be otherwise complex to acquire. The key is their intuitive and user-friendly interface.

 

Manage on the go from any device

With WordPress, you can create content out of your pocket from any device. For instance, you can write a draft on your mobile phone, revise it later from your home computer and publish the piece of content whenever you want. In any case, WordPress frees you from using only your computer to create content. Everything works from mobile device to computer and is integrated seamlessly.

 

What Architects will love

Architects spend a fairly large amount of their time crafting projects and taking care of their work. The leftover time for maintaining and running a website isn’t most probably that large. Nevertheless, it is highly important to nurture your online presence with fresh input. It is even more important then, that it becomes a manageable task in a reasonable amount of time. WordPress comes in with a stress-free content creation process, fueled by an intuitive user interface. Adding images and maintaining your website becomes an enjoyable task, besides managing your daily life as an architect.

 

3. Professional Themes

 

From hobby blogs to the biggest news sites online

Even though WordPress started out once primary as a blogging tool, it grew to the most used content management system on the web, powering 28% of the whole web (September 2017, Source: www.wordpress.org). Hence, millions of websites depend on WordPress. Today it is the number one tool for all kinds of websites and is used from hobby blogs to the biggest news sites online.

 

Every kind of websites

Professional themes give you full flexibility about the design and you are free and flexible in what kind of website you want to create. That can be:

– an Architecture Portfolio
– a Company Website
– a Blog with News and Thoughts
– could be a Gallery for your photography
– an Online Shop for digital or physical products
– an Online CV
– even up to complex News Website

A combination of multiple features is also common and only limited by the functionality of a Theme.

Themes make your site look good and super professional in a number of minutes. They are starting from being completely free and range up to professional ones that cost around 60$. Professional Themes give you the looks of a highly professional website within just a few simple clicks.

The basic installation we discussed in #1 paired with a good theme gives you basically everything you need.

 

Highly customizable

Second, professional Themes are highly customizable and give you great flexibility regarding the design. It is worth mentioning, that some Themes are more customizable than others, hence some give you a greater flexibility of the design and appearance than others.

It is totally up to you, whether you choose a theme that is more simple and basically all set and where you only need to change colors as you like, put your logo up and add your content and projects. Or whether you choose a more complex theme where you can basically change everything from the layout array to the fonts of your headings and paragraphs.

Every theme has its own design „boundary“ and in that limitation, you can customize a lot, again without any technical skills and only if you want to do so.

You don’t need to worry that your website will look the same than someone else’s since there are thousands of themes and the amount grows continuously. Also, you create your own distinct visual designs and you go through your own branding with colors and fonts that will give you a very personal appearance.

 

Responsive and mobile ready

Third, literally, all modern themes are responsive and mobile ready, which means that the design and content of your website scale perfectly with the size of the device you use. Whether you open the website on a large screen or on a relatively small mobile device, the theme recognizes the need to adapt its design accordingly. That is highly important, not only because more and more people are likely to open your website from a mobile device, but also because Google really wants to see that mobile responsiveness as a basic feature for modern websites in order to rank you higher in the search results. (A recent change in the Google algorithm favors mobile responsive websites and neglects the ones without mobile responsiveness. That simply means, that without the feature, you will fall back in the search results.)

 

Growing theme market

Since WordPress is open source, there is a large and still growing market for designers who build highly professional WordPress themes which you can buy and install with a few clicks. Also, that gives you the possibilities to change the look of your site every once in a while if you want to.

 

Through the eyes of an Architect

As mentioned, there are thousands of themes available online. But, as you can imagine there are huge differences when it comes to the design. Day by day, developers are releasing new themes and adding up to the huge amount of high-quality designs available online. Since architects are highly visual and design sensitive people, they care exceptionally about the design and the details. That makes it harder to find the perfect fitting theme and can lead to hours of browsing the web, checking live demos and functionality. There are so many beautiful ones, but as most things in life, it takes some effort to find them.

 

WordPress themes for architects

With our theme selections for architects, we prefiltered hundreds of themes to provide you a shortcut to your perfect fit, without the crazy hassle. What we found is, that when you evaluate the massive amount of themes through the eyes of an architect, the number of potential ones that might fit your demands will shrink. Simply because architects care about design details that others will not even notice. It will take a little longer to find the nuggets but you will find them. We took the time and collected amazing themes for you at archiitect.io

 

4. You own your data, you are in charge

You might evaluate this point differently when you first start out, but being in charge of your data is a huge advantage and can pay off in the long-term. The WordPress software itself is free and Open Source and gives you complete flexibility in every aspect.

 

5 to 10 years from now

Try to envision your website 5 to 10 years from now. Being in charge and being able to grow your website with your business can become a huge asset since you will invest a lot of energy into your digital appearance.

There are plenty of „All-in-one“ services out there. These services are offering everything at once. For that reason, you are always limited to their service and their software. They are not open source, which basically means that no one has access to their particular software and that no one can create products around their software, except themselves. Whereas WordPress is constantly evolving through its vibrant community of people who are building new things for WordPress.

 

All-in-one?

Some of those “all-in-one” Web-Services seem to be appealing in the first place because they offer an all-in-one solution to your problem: The need of a Website. That seems like a no-brainer because it looks like a quick launch.

The all-in-one service provider host your data on their own server and your whole website is based on their particular software. Therefore, you are completely dependent on their service and thus exposed to any company restrictions that might occur.

For example, if they shut down the service, change their policy, raise prices or something like that, you and your website/business are highly affected. If you grew your website up to a certain point and you are thinking about making a shift, things can get really complicated because you cannot just switch platforms with one click. Their service can possibly hold you back because switching can become a real issue.

 

Go with “self-hosted”

At first sight, using an all in one solution can seem like a good point to start, because you might just want to get your business off the ground as quickly as possible with as little headaches as possible. But you have to take into account that you base your business up on another service where you don’t own your data entirely. With WordPress, you are hosting your data and the complete WordPress installation on a web space you bought and that you chose by yourself. That is why it is called „self-hosted“. You might want to throw in here, that then you are relying on someone else as well, but since you own everything, the data, the installation, you can move your entire site as stated before to wherever you want, whenever you want.

 

Free as a bird

If your hosting service starts to charge more, no problem, you can move your whole website within minutes to somewhere else. Your traffic grows so much that your hosting service hasn’t got enough capacity to deal with it? No problem, figure out who does and move your site. The only thing you rely on is external web space, virtual space online where you can store your website information so that other people can access it. If you grow your website to a certain point by yourself and you now want to create a highly unique look, you can hire a professional developer. Because everyone has access to WordPress and everyone can build things around it.

 

You are in charge

The point I want to make is: You own your data, you are in charge, you are in control of your future development and no one else. I guess, at least for me, this is a very important point to consider when setting up a website.

I don’t want to be limited by someone else’s service. When it comes to building a website, that means building a digital asset, that can potentially grow into something bigger. Investing all that energy, I feel very comfortable to rely on a system like WordPress that gives me every flexibility.

 

Starting early

Starting your own website early in your career has many benefits. (Quick Link: Why every Architect should have a digital Portfolio) You want to use a tool, that will support you now and in 5 years without any occurring restrictions and without any crazy price increases. Years will pass by fast and you want to build your website on a system that will be around in the future, a system that grows and that will have a continuous development of the website software.

 

wordpress.com and wordpress.org

At this point, it might be worth mentioning that also WordPress comes up with an all in one service that is www.wordpress.com. Nevertheless, we are talking here about the “self-hosted” version which is presented at www.wordpress.org. In contrast to what was mentioned before, their “all-in-one” service gives you a relatively easy migration option to the “self-hosted” version.

However, I would always start “self-hosted” and do my own thing. Just for information purposes, you don’t need to download anything to be “self-hosted” it is all part of the hosting package, like the one from Siteground.

 

5. Extend your website functionality with plugins

WordPress offers you literally tons of plugins to extend the functionality of your website. Of course, that flexibility comes without any coding requirements. Due to today, 26th September 2017, WordPress offers exactly 52.259 plugins. Don’t worry about the number, there is no need to feel overwhelmed. You might want to use a few at the beginning to integrate some statistics or to block out spamming. But you don’t need any plugins for a great looking and fully functional website!

 

There is a plugin for everything

But, if you want to extend the functionality of your Website there is probably a plugin for everything. You can even add high-quality business and web features with a few simple clicks. To give you a feeling what a plugin can do for you, here are some ideas:

– integrate Social Sharing Buttons of all kind of appearances
– integrate Google Maps to show the location of your business
– integrate contact forms for a smooth interaction
– Email Newsletter
– Google Analytics to see how people are using your site
– Instagram Feed
– Search Engine Optimization for every piece of content
– Advertising
– Automated Backups
– and much more …

During your WordPress journey, you might come up with plenty of ideas about what your Website should do or should offer to your potential visitors or even customers. Knowing that you can extend the functionality of your website in many directions is liberating. Even if you don’t need Plugins during your first start, it gives you the freedom for future development.

 

6. Forward-looking flexibility

As mentioned before, you might want to take a look in the future and envision your website a couple of years from now. Since some „all-in-one” services limit you to their offering of services, WordPress instead is completely open and ready to grow with you, as your needs and likely also your skills emerge. WordPress gives you a maximum amount of flexibility and control for the future.

 

Start small, grow big

You can start small, with a basic WordPress Website and fall back on themes. Everything works fine and you are present with a professional website. As you dig deeper into what WordPress has to offer, or maybe as you discover a need to add a certain functionality, you can start to implement an enhanced functionality of your websites by implementing plugins later at any time to extend your website.

 

Outsource

You can also upgrade your theme at any time to another one. If you recognize that you want to have a completely unique WordPress Website you can hire someone later and work with professional web developer and designer to create an even better experience. BUT you can base everything on your first initial WordPress Website. A professional developer can take easily what you already have built and upgraded it. So you don’t have any crazy transfers.

With WordPress, you have so much more control. You can start as a beginner with great success and then you can grow together with your website and business at your own pace.

 

From portfolio to architecture studio

Build your architecture online portfolio early in your career and attract follower on the go. Create a reputation and eventually a solid rank in the google searches, simply by creating content over years. Google will reward your persistence for being around over the time. Grow at your own pace, and maybe turn your portfolio into the initial website for your own architecture studio. WordPress gives you every opportunity to grow your website without the need to change systems while growing from small to big.

 

7. Collaborative working

Maybe you want to run a personal or a company related blog or a news section as a part of your website and maybe you want to do so with the help of your co-workers. Great idea, since that would make content creation more dynamic. With WordPress you can setup various accounts that allow you to share WordPress as the backend und foundation of your website with various people and they can create content from everywhere as well.

 

Team up

That comes in handy also for other web projects where you want to collaborate with other people. You can setup accounts where people/colleagues/co-worker … can login by themselves. Then, they can act like administrators or only authors based on the setup you choose. They could for example create content as drafts, then you can come in later, revise the drafts and publish everything. WordPress is a great way for collaborative working.

 

Architecture: Collaborative by nature

The architecture profession itself contains by nature a large amount of collaboration within teams, firms and with adjacent professions. Running a website as a team makes content creation not only more dynamic but increases also the amount of content that gets published, for example on the company blog. WordPress gives architects a great tool to team up and to run a vibrant website that works like a multiplier for the companies digital reach and influence.

 

8. Email Newsletter integration

A connection to peoples inboxes

That might be an advanced idea related to „Why you should use WordPress“ but for me, it is at least a point that is worth making. There are many benefits of using an email Newsletter as architects and to mention it beforehand, I think you should consider starting your own newsletter too. Admittedly, that isn’t something that is only possible in WordPress, but the integration works seamlessly with plugins and the options for implementing are highly diverse.

Think about it that way: When people access your site, why let them leave without giving them the opportunity to stay in touch with you? Since you attracted their attention in the first place and they might like your work, they might like to get an update every now and then into their inboxes.

 

A bond that is once established

You might want to throw in, that you could use your Facebook Fanpage for a similar purpose. Right, but who owns your connection to your followers? Facebook. Who can decide whom and how many of your fans you can reach with a post? Facebook. When you create your own Email-List, your are in charge. Then, you can reach every contact of your list at any time without being limited by any third-party!

A bond that is once established between you and a visitor of your website, is a great opportunity to maintain through an Email Newsletter where you can send your news and newest projects right into their email inbox.

WordPress gives you full flexibility by integrating Email Newsletter services, like Mailchimp with handy plugins.

 

9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly by nature

Rank higher in Google Search Results

At least at some point, you might want to consider the idea of SEO, of Search Engine Optimization. Even if it is nothing that makes you smile at the moment, it will certainly become more important to you in the future. The idea behind is simple: Optimize your content in a way that Google rewards your effort and ranks you higher in the google search results.

 

Not on the first page of Google = not existing

A widespread saying goes something like: If you are not on the first page of Google, you are not existing. As an Architect, at some point, ranking high in the google search results can become an asset for growing your company, in distributing your message or mission, for acquiring new customers, reaching fans, reaching skilled employees and talented interns…

WordPress by nature is very Search Engine (SEO) friendly and you can extend that to a maximum by optimizing your content accordingly. Free plugins like Yoast will help you to check your content for improvements. In that way, it becomes relatively easy to push the boundaries and to make your website even more SEO-friendly in favor of a potentially higher rank in the upcoming search results.

The SEO friendliness comes in handy at a point when being highly visible in Google becomes a major asset. Nowadays, the Google ranking became a huge competitive advantage for many firms and they invest heavily in their SEO.

 

10. WordPress is a reliable System with a huge Community

Vibrant WordPress community

Since WordPress is a so-called Open Source Software, the underlying code and the whole software structure is open and accessible to everyone. Doesn’t seem that fancy? Well, everyone can jump on the code and create something for WordPress and around WordPress.

In that way, many professional web developer and also digital companies create extensions like plugins and themes and many other services and products around WordPress. In that way, the community is constantly shifting the boundary of what WordPress is capable to do. Through the open source idea, WordPress is much more dynamic and is leveraging the community to grow and adapt very fast.

 

Vibrant community = your benefit

WordPress was first published in 2003 and grew quickly to a huge community of people around the whole world and in nearly every country.

In the end, all the development and progress that is going on around WordPress is your benefit as a user. You can use all those features and plugins for your own web project. Often times these plugins come for free in a basic version and as soon as you run a professional business you could upgrade to even more enhanced functionality. But mostly the free version is absolutely fine and gives you great functionality for your website.

Summing up the point that is being made, WordPress is a mature CMS (Content Management System) that is around for a long time and that is constantly evolving through its vibrant community.

 

Solid ground for future development

Architects love to push the boundaries and to be at the cutting-edge in a dynamic world. Constantly evolving in what they do and so should your digital appearance be able to catch up with these aspirations. Your website is the digital outlet, that people will visit, to find out about you when they can’t meet you in person. Your website should be able to express and communicate the ideas, core values and believes that you have as an architecture firm. WordPress provides a solid ground for your future development.

 

11. Backups

Since you are completely in charge of your Website, you are also in charge to run backups of your site in case anything happens in the future.

Don’t worry, no headaches

Don’t worry, sounds like a headache, but in fact, it is not! You might guess it, there are various plugins that will do the job for you. You can easily save the whole WordPress installation, including the whole content, to a Dropbox account and then also download it onto your hard-drive. Done! Your Backup is in your save hands, in no time.

Additionally, the most hosting provider like Siteground run their own additional backups of your site, in case anything happens. But being able to save your whole website to your Dropbox and have it in a safe place is a great advantage.

 

12. Summary

All the good reasons why to use WordPress

 

Start

WordPress itself is completely free. Everything you need is a web host like Siteground, to install WordPress with one click. The only thing you pay for is the service for hosting your files online. It takes no longer than 5 to 10 minutes to set up a basic WordPress website. Themes create a highly professional look of your site in a few more minutes. The WordPress interface is simple and easy. That is why it is so convenient for everyone to start. Everything works just great even with the minimum required actions. On top, the costs for starting and maintaining a website are fairly cheap.

Grow

As you grow together with your website, you can easily dig deeper into WordPress. You can upgrade to more complex themes and you can enhance the functionality of your website with thousands of plugins. You could also hire a web-developer who builds a completely unique website upon what you already created. At the end of the day, you own all of your data and you have the highest amount of flexibility for future development.

Collaborate

WordPress is great for collaborative working. Architecture firms can run their website together with their team where everyone can create online content from their own desk. Running a collaborative blog about your architecture firm creates great dynamics and can lead to many long-term benefits. On top, WordPress is SEO friendly by nature. Which can lead to good online exposure without crazy marketing-hacks.

Choose the right foundation

The WordPress System is reliable and has a huge community which constantly shifts the boundaries and supplies you with constant development. Starting your own website is a magical step. At the same time, it takes time and energy. You want to make sure that the system you choose to build your own digital property provides a reliable foundation that fits your needs now and in the long-term.

 

Enough said…

Enough said, above all, it is just a great feeling to create fully functional websites based on the WordPress system. If you feel like you want to give it a try, I wish you a great start and would be glad to see your results. Make sure to check out the theme recommendations for architects and the resources to prepare your rocket-launch.

 

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