WordPress.org is one of the most popular tools to build websites, powering over 30% of existing sites. Its flexibility and ability to be customized attracts many users who like controlling so many aspects of their sites. That same flexibility, however, requires more advanced technical skills than some people are interested in.
Who is it for?
This platform is for people who want a lot of flexibility and customization in their website. They are tech-savvy enough to handle the platform’s technical demands. Or they are able to hire the help they need to build and maintain the site.
The flexibility and customizable nature of the platform mean that almost any kind of website can be built using WordPress.org.
Who is it not for?
Anyone who wants an all-in-one platform that includes everything needed for a website. This is probably not your platform unless you hire a developer to put together the site for you.
I wouldn’t recommend this platform for you if you want a simple, easy platform that does not require technical maintenance.
What are the features available?
WordPress.org started out as a blogging platform. The features included with WordPress.org are great for simple, informational websites, blogs, or portfolios.
Part of the attraction of WordPress.org is that thousands of plugins are available. That means you can add online stores, custom content, memberships, and almost any other kind of functionality you could think of.
And if it doesn’t exist already, you can hire a developer to build it for you.
What are the plans available?
The WordPress.org software does not have plans. You simply download the free software and install it on your website host. However, that’s not the end of the story. Website hosting – at least not good website hosting – is not free. Most quality plugins have a cost. And website maintenance can be costly too, whether in time or money.
What is the cost range?
While the WordPress.org software itself is free, website hosting, plugins, maintenance, security, and other things can add up to a significant cost. As a result, some people prefer this system because you pay for what you need.
What are the positives?
WordPress.org has been around since 2003 and is a free, open-source content management system. Because it is open-source, it can be completely customized and tailored to the needs of any user.
Another pro of WordPress is that it has a vast community of developers who have created plugins that allow users to do all sorts of things with their site – from integrating social media feeds, adding online stores, running advertising campaigns, and more.
The flexibility of an “a la carte” system where you can add the features you want with plugins at any time attracts many business owners who know their needs will change over time.
Being able to customize everything about your site, from the design to the features to the hosting, appeals to those of us who like to be in control of all aspects of our sites and to people who need to customize all those things.
What should you watch out for?
The same customization that people love about WordPress.org can also be a weakness. Most WordPress.org websites need multiple plugins to add functionality. Adding plugins can be a bit like fitting puzzle pieces together. You have to get the right ones for the job and make sure they don’t interfere with each other in order to get your complete website.
What should you consider when choosing this platform?
- Your tech savvy, willingness to learn, or ability to hire help
- Your willingness to host your own website (go here if you need to know what hosting is)
- Your need for a customizable website – is it worth the hassle of website maintenance?
- Your ability to maintain the website – update the software and plugins, keep backups, and maintain security. If you can’t do this on your own, can you hire help?
WordPress.org is one of my favorite website platforms. However, the maintenance required can be too much for people who are not prepared or interested. Make sure you have the resources in savvy, time, or ability to hire help if you proceed with a WordPress.org website.