Usually, when I do a review of something, I’ve thoroughly explored the product or service personally. And if I take the time to do a serious review, it usually indicates my satisfaction and my recommendation, as I avoid the inverse. Word Press is one such example. And if you are reading this on my website, you’re reading it thanks to the Word Press platform, which I actually use professionally, and will continue to use.
First off, this isn’t one of those super-techy reviews (believe me, I’ve seen them). I’m not here to hyper-analyze or decode it on that level. This review is geared towards the entrepreneurial and practical minded individual that wants the most useful information, especially for decision-making.
“Who” or “what” is the Word Press platform best suited for?
First of all, just in case you are not familiar with Word Press, it’s a widely used platform for building websites. It’s a big contender in the world of website CMS. Being that I’m not writing this review to sell you on the service, I will leave it to you to investigate its reputation yourself.
Word Press is best known as a blogging platform. It performs very well in this niche, and that’s what ultimately influenced me to give it a shot for my line of work. As a note, being that it’s great for blogging, it’s great for all writing, in case one wants to go bigger than just “blogging.” My opinion of my work is that I research and write as a professional writer, but I sometimes refer to my work as a blog, being that I’m a one-man show, and not a full-fledged company.
Lots of CMS platforms are very versatile and can do many of the same things, but the wise consumer isn’t blinded by unlimited features; rather, he/she assesses what each platform does best at, and which platform is best suited to their needs.
So here is my brief assessment of the Word Press platform, and I speak as both an entrepreneur and consumer.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I rate its ease of use as a 3, with 5 being among the most difficult. To give you some background on myself, my technical skills, and my computer literacy, I’m proficient with most modern technology. Staying as relevant as possible to the discussion at hand, I’ve built other websites using platforms like Weebly and Wix, and I’ve done search-engine marketing professionally. So while not expert level, I consider my skill level for this topic fair, but better than most.
So why do I not rate it a 1, if it’s so easy?
Although Word Press advertises close to limitless capabilities, the standard website models aren’t packed with easy accessibility into all capabilities. You will find that adding a lot of small website functions requires installing a plugin or adding custom coding. This is where, all of a sudden, Word Press isn’t so user-friendly to all. Because I’ve used websites like Weebly and Wix, I’ve easily done certain actions on those platforms that are not so easily done on Word Press. Luckily, I hardly encounter any difficulty here as my website is quite simple, and the standard models take care of most of my needs.
Redeeming itself, Word Press is very easy to use after getting the hang of it. I’m a very sharp and fast learner, and I got the main process mastered in about 2-3 months. And by “mastered,” I mean that I’ve learned many of the small details surrounding basic procedures that I may not have known before, even if I was able to still use the service. But that doesn’t mean I’ve mastered the entire platform, as there is still much beyond me currently, and I doubt I will ever go so deep that I will master it all. What’s key is that you are able to learn enough to proficiently do what you need to do without all of the ancillaries. For me, this is where Word Press scores points, as making edits to the website or posting new material is effortless and quick, once you’ve got the process down, and once your site is fully built out for all of your needs. The HTML is very smooth and is mobile friendly. Simply master the Word Press processes, and all of the extra work is taken care of for you.
The theme selection pool is much more abundant than other platforms, with literally hundreds of pre-made themes instantly accessible.
A theme is the visual appeal and structure of your website. Word Press partners with lots of independent developers that create usable themes, so this is probably why most other platforms are simply not near as competitive with their theme pools. However, while Word Press has a ton of diverse themes, the most talented developers with elegant themes are few and far between.
The best asset Word Press has is its content organization and indexing. You could have the best looking website in the world with the best product or service, but search-ability and discover-ability is more important. Search-engine optimization is a deep science, but Word Press handles it pretty well. When I first published my website, it was searchable within 48 hours. Your categorical classifications and your post/page titles will be driving your search engine indexing. And you are able to customize the search-engine headlines and descriptions of each page or post.
Not only does Word Press organize and index information well externally, but it does an excellent job internally as well. I write about a lot of different topics, and as I tag each page or post with the appropriate category, searching my website for specific categorical content is a piece of cake.
Now, for the writers out there like myself, the website blogging section of Word Press is set up for you to simply focus on writing. Just make sure to consistently tag the appropriate category and Word Press does an excellent job of chronicling all of your work digitally. I would also add that Word Press automatically assigns a custom feed to your website, which is very useful for writers. It has all of the standard sharing widgets for your pages and blog posts.
Though you probably won’t experience much success with it comparable to major sharing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, it’s worth noting that Word Press websites are automatically connected to the Word Press blogging community, so it provides a little exposure every time you post whereas most other platforms do not.
Worth mentioning is that the platform itself makes its websites Google Analytics-ready right out of the door, which means it’s not something you have to manually set up. This is great for those out their with my technical skills or lower. Word Press can facilitate website hosting and and custom domain email accounts.
The bottom line is that Word Press has all of your basic functions for modern day websites installed and ready to go. It’s well-suited for self-employed individuals and small businesses. It’s perfect and affordable for web designs that aren’t function-heavy and is not as ideal for websites that need added functionalities here and there.