The concept of blogging has been with us for over a decade and it has evolved considerably in that time. What started out as an easy and convenient way for individuals to share details about their lives has steadily become a tool companies use to engage and communicate with their customers.
WordPress was first released as a blogging tool in 2003 and has matured into a fully fledged content management system (CMS) suitable for personal blogs, company blogs and even entire corporate websites, making the creation, editing, and management of web content simple. Although it is built on PHP and MySQL, no knowledge of these systems is necessary to configure the software, and although it needs to run off a web hosting service, the entire user-interface is browser based.
The WordPress software is completely free, and because it is licensed as open source software, anyone can customize and develop it further to their exact needs. Some knowledge of HTML and other Internet languages is recommended for all but minor modifications, but not for actually loading any new content onto your website via the WordPress system. This makes WordPress the ideal solution for someone looking for a low-to-no-cost solution for managing their website and content.
With WordPress you are always in control; you are able to add multiple authors, create posts in advance and only have them appear when you specify, you can turn commenting on or off on each post, install spam filters and even create password-protected stories.
Plug-ins and Themes
The functionality of WordPress can be extended through the use of plug-ins, which require very little technical know-how to install and activate. The WordPress site gives you access to thousands of custom plug-ins created by community members, though you can also buy specialized plug-ins from developers.
WordPress is highly customizable in terms of the look and feel of your actual website or blog through the use of themes. Again there are thousands of themes available, often free, that would suit almost any industry or field. Depending on your specific needs, installing a new theme can be quick and easy, or require the assistance of a developer. Many of the professionally designed themes that are sold by developers have been designed for easy implementation, but if you feel intimidated or unsure you can always hire a freelancer from an online marketplace to do this for you. Responsive design is a term you might have heard recently, and this refers to websites that adjust automatically according to the device they are being viewed on. If your clients are viewing your website on a tablet or smartphone, you should definitely be considering a responsive design.
With all this functionality in an easy to use package, it is easy to see why WordPress has become so popular with businesses. It gives you a powerful platform for communicating with your customers, sharing the latest news with them, and keeping all the content on your website fresh and informative, at almost no cost. This in turn can improve your rankings with the major search engines, exposing you to a larger audience, and helping you grow your business.
About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:
At Out of the Office, we are committed to providing earth-friendly administration and offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success.
Image credit: New WordPress Buttons and Stickers by Nikolay Bachiyski | CC BY 2.0