WordPress’ Silver Lining

With over 60 million blogs running on WordPress, it's the most popular blog platform around. There's a good reason for its popularity, too. WordPress offers thousands of free plugins and themes that allow you to customize the form and function of your blog, and you don't have to be a professional web developer to learn how to use them. Even people who are not very tech-savvy find that WordPress enables them to create and share content and interact with others via their blogs.

Perhaps the greatest appeal of WordPress is how effective it is with the right type of business model. If you can follow instructions, you'll be able to install WordPress to your host in a matter of minutes by using the Codex. The WordPress Codex acts as a knowledge base for the blogging platform and answers many questions you may have. When the Codex isn't enough, there is an active support forum where other users and plugin programmers post helpful information.

With WordPress, you can install new plugins, widgets and themes with a click of a button from directly within your Dashboard. The Dashboard serves as the brain center, and it's where you'll create posts, upload photos, add links and adjust settings. When you're logged into your blog and viewing the front end, you'll see a toolbar at the top of the page with notifications. This way, you'll know when a plugin needs updating or there are comments waiting for approval.

Every contributor to your blog can log in to the Dashboard to post, edit or submit content and managing those users requires just a few clicks. You can invite others to contribute to a blog, so there's never a shortage of fresh content. Different user levels allow contributors to submit content for approval before it's published or limit their control within your Dashboard so only the necessary users have access to administrative powers.

WordPress isn't just about creating content, either. It enables you to promote that content in various ways. For example, WordPress has a default option for pinging update services. JetPack, a plugin developed by the WordPress team, allows you to share your posts to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr, among other networks. With JetPack's verification tools, you can also submit your blog to different search engines to ensure that all your pages are indexed for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.

Once you've attracted visitors to your WordPress-powered site, you have plenty of options to communicate with them and thanks to JetPack, you can easily install contact forms. By default, WordPress supports threaded commenting with avatars, and a number of anti-spam tools, including the plugin Akismet to protect your blog comments from spammers.

For readers or customers of your site, WordPress automatically publishes post and comment RSS feeds and users can subscribe to those feeds in their browser or feed reader. It's even possible to syndicate your content to other sites.

All of these options are available with WordPress and one or two plugins. However, you can do much more when you begin to explore the thousands of third-party plugins. For example, the popular WordPress SEO plugin helps you optimize your posts and pages to be easily read and ranked by search engines. If your readers are in Rogers AR, for example, you can ensure that you use “Northwest Arkansas" as a keyword in your posts.

You'll find plugins that enable you to format your posts in different ways, password protect your posts, create image galleries on your blog and add widgets to your sidebars and footers. It's impossible to list every feature and benefit of WordPress. For example, the platform is frequently updated whenever bugs or security holes are identified. Plus, major updates to WordPress provide new features several times per year, so there's always something to look forward to.

It's important for you to remember that WordPress isn't for everyone. For example, creating an online store using the WordPress platform should be approached with care as the system wasn't developed for this. Plugins are available for you to download to add these types of features, however, they don't always meet your needs or provide an optimized experience.

For more information about WordPress website design, please contact Doc4 today!

Dale Crum
Dale Crum
Owner / Creative Director at Doc4 Design

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