It’s a fair statement to say that most people think of WordPress (commonly abbreviated as WP) as being primarily a blogging platform. And while it is true that it works quite well for that; understanding WordPress means having a better idea of all it can do. Here are a few things that make it an ideal choice for many different types of sites.
Flexibility is one of the most attractive features of the WordPress platform. You can set up WP as a blog, to share content, a membership site, or to sell products and services. Because it was originally set up for blogging, it’s really easy to allow your customers to share comments with you; however, you can just as easily turn this feature off if you like. The amount of customizing that can be done is nearly endless. Beginners can quickly make some basic changes to make their site unique, but WordPress is also robust enough to allow advanced users to make even more changes. Much of this can be done through the dashboard, but more intricate changes will require changing the code; which brings us to the next point…
The WordPress community is at the heart of what makes everything else work so well. This is due, in large part, to the fact that WP is open source. That means anybody can develop add-ons (called plugins), themes (site designs) and other things that make WordPress useful for webmasters. Also, if you need to know how to do something, you can usually find the answer quite quickly. Understanding WordPress means understanding the large community that not only uses it but contributes to it as well.
Themes can be thought of as skins that make your site look different. However, that description is a bit simplistic as themes are more than just graphics. Themes cover the entire look of your site when using WP. Graphics will be a big part of it, but fonts, links, pages, layout and more can all be changed to fit the theme. All of this is done automatically when you download and install the theme. However, you still have the flexibility, and can alter the theme as needed for your purposes.
Plugins go hand-in-hand with themes when it comes to customizing WordPress. There are all kinds of plugins; some are nothing more than window dressing, while others are essential. If you want to use WP to earn money, then you can get plugins to help you build a mailing list, generate affiliate links, and sell any number of products. There are also security plugins that will keep your site from getting hacked. Another popular type of plugin amongst internet marketers is the membership plugin. These plugins let you limit access to your site to paying members (or anyone with the right password).
The best thing about WordPress is that it’s free to download and install. Many of the themes and plugins are also free. However, there are paid options as well. If a paid option fits what you’re looking for, then by all means…get it. Consider it an investment in the success of your business.