Remember when making a website was hard? Once upon a time, before you even thought about web development, you’d probably want to read three or four books on coding. And maybe take a course in web development. Heck, with all that in the way of a website, you’d probably end up just hiring someone!
But, like most areas of tech, web development has recently been undergoing something of a transition. Companies like SquareSpace have sprung up all over the place, promising easy website creation (for a small fee). It almost harkens back to the glory days of the internet, when Geo-Cities was pioneering easy, drag and drop web development.
But Geo-Cities is dead—killed by the march of internet progress. WordPress has emerged as its likely successor, but to see it as a Geo-Cities copy-cat would be a bit of a misunderstanding.
WordPress has a reputation of being “the website that teenagers use to blog about their feelings.” That’s Tubmlr, my friends! WordPress is actually a fairly flexible platform, and it’s growing in popularity. Something around 394 people use a WordPress website a month, most without knowing it. TED, CNN, the NFL and even the Ottawa Citizen all use WordPress as a backbone for their blogging system. More and more, it’s becoming clear that WordPress is a dominant force in web development.
So what does that mean for you? Well, it means that you have an excellent open-source development utility at your disposal, should you ever feel the need to start a website. But the popularity means something else. Like phone platforms, web development platforms are essentially as good as they are popular. More popularity means more “plugins,” a software add-on that adds functionality.
Plugins in WordPress are so plentiful and easy to come by that it almost seems like cheating. You can get plugins that create simple forms for your clients to fill out, emailing you the results of the forms on the fly. You can get plugins that monitor user activity, and even some that install ads that you can make money off.
Not to mention the hundreds, maybe thousands of free themes available. Themes basically take care of the nitty gritty aspects of web development. They allow you to outsource the look of the website to someone else. And if you want your website to have a unique flavour, most themes allow plenty of customization, so you can stick that photo of your cats in the background. Yeah! Cats!
But what really makes WordPress appealing is its ease of use. If you’ve ever used Outlook, or even Gmail, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how to use WordPress. It’s not exactly drag-and-drop (there’s really nothing to drag), but it’s almost easier than that. Creating a post in WordPress feels like sending an email. Granted, this is an email that potentially millions of people might read, but you get the idea.