Why WordPress

Wordpress website builder on a laptop

There are lots of different website builders out there, including Sitebuilder, Wix, GoDaddy, Weebly, Webs, Squarespace, Jimdo, Gator and Shopify. They all have their merits (here’s a recent article that compares a few of them in more detail). Some are free to use. Others you pay for.

So, why does yourwebsitecourse tutor, Alex, recommend WordPress? It’s not just because he’s been using it for every website he’s worked on since 2006.

Over 60 million reasons why WordPress is the website builder for you

Over 60 million people have already chosen WordPress to power their websites. So it must be good. One third of all websites in the world use it, including almost 15% of the Top 100 website on the planet. (Love stats? Here are some more.) You can use WordPress to build any type of website – a blog, portfolio, e-commerce store, business, hobby – anything! You can choose from nearly 7,000 Themes that have been designed by people who love design. Which means you can build a beautiful-looking site without going to art college.

If you employ a website designer, they will probably use WordPress. That’s how they can charge a small amount of money and deliver something that still looks great.

Alex the tutor

Another huge reason why – it’s FREE

There are two ways to use WordPress. You can install it for free on any domain name you own (that’s your website name, or url). The domain name can cost less than £5 a year (usually nearer £10 – and will be an extra charge if you employ a designer). When you have a domain name, you also need someone to host your website, which can cost less than £1 a month. That’s exactly what’s going on with the website you’re looking at now.

If you prefer, you can create a completely free WordPress website at WordPress.com. (A version of this website has been published here so you can see what that can look like.) Advertisements will appear on your website, there are only 100 free Themes to choose from, and your url will be longer – but it won’t cost you a penny!

Sample WordPress websites

Here are over 130 websites that use WordPress, to show you how flexible it can be. And here’s the showcase on the main site with even more. Don’t expect your website to look like one of these straight away – but feel free to use them for inspiration.

All change at WordPress

In December 2018, WordPress dramatically changed the way we all create websites, with the launch of WordPress 5.0. They did this to compete with other popular website builders, that use drag-and-drop blocks to create Posts and Pages. Here’s the short video WordPress released at the launch of what it calls Bebo (the name of the 5.0 update), which uses Gutenberg (the name of the new drag and drop editor). [Update: 5.1 is coming at the end of February. Updates happen regularly, which is why you should manage your website instead of leaving it to someone you will have to pay.]

This video will not teach you anything. But the one below will.

Do you need to know this?

If you’re new to WordPress, no. You can just get start enjoying the new editor. In fact, you’re starting with WordPress at the perfect time. Congratulations!

But if you’re used to what’s now called the “classic editor”, it’s an emphatic YES! The new editor is completely different. At the moment, you can disable the block-based editor and carry on using the classic editor, but in 2021 that option will disappear. So the sooner you embrace the change, the better.

To help smooth the transition from classic to block, here is a helpful 30-minute video that shows the potential of Gutenberg. Enjoy.

Experienced WordPress users will find this video reassuring and exciting.

Want to use a different website builder?

No problem. You will be able to use almost everything you learn on yourwebsitecourse, with every other website builder. Before you start creating your website, you need to know: who it’s for, how it works, what it says, how it says it, where to find the images, how to keep it up to date and the many other vital lessons you will learn on yourwebsitecourse.

There are free online courses you can take – and videos you can watch – that will help you put your website together. But no one will teach you how to create and target your content – and content is everything.