Everything You Need to Know About WordPress – Truths vs Misconceptions

In case you didn’t already know, WordPress is a pretty big deal.

Nearly 80 million websites and blogs utilize some form of WordPress. That’s basically the population of Germany, just for reference.

As a CMS (content management system), WordPress has 59% of the market share. There are also over 44,000 plugins available for WordPress that have been downloaded over a billion times.

So if we say that WordPress is a big deal, you will agree.

But like anything remotely popular, WordPress is often misunderstood. There are false myths and dated rumors we see constantly passed around. Because of our fierce love for WordPress, we wanted to take a moment to set the record straight.

Here is what you need to know about WordPress. The truths, the lies, and everything in between.

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WordPress.com and WordPress.org are not the same, but they are similar

Let’s start with the most confusing. So WordPress itself is a free, open source content management system. Essentially, it’s software that allows people to create, organize, and update websites without having to manually code every page.

Now, WordPress essentially comes in two forms.

First, there is WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a blog hosting service not entirely different from Blogger. It allows a person to setup a free website that operates on a custom version of the WordPress software. This version is limited in what themes and plugins it can use.

A WordPress.com website also cannot be transferred to another host. It’s a bit of an out of the box, package deal.

WordPress.org, on the other hand, is the home of the full, open source WordPress software. If a company is building you a WordPress website, this is what they’re using. This what the site you’re on right now is using.

With the WordPress.org software, you can do just about anything.

Confused? Don’t feel bad. You’re not the only one.

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From now on, we’ll mostly be talking about the full WordPress platform (.org).

WordPress is for a lot more than blogging

Thankfully this doesn’t happen as much as it did a few years ago, but for the longest time, when we told a client we build WordPress websites, their response would be something like “but I don’t want a blog. I want a website.”

As with the .com vs .org situation, there’s good reason for confusion.

WordPress has its roots in blogging. When it was first built, WordPress was mostly for blogging (WordPress.com is still primarily for blogging). And some of the biggest WordPress websites are primarily blogs.

But WordPress today is so much more than a blogging platform. Sure, it has a beautiful and easy to use blogging system built into it still, but there are hundreds of thousands of WordPress sites that don’t even utilize their blogging functionality.

Simply put, WordPress is an all-in-one website platform. It can do everything.

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Which brings us to the next point…

WordPress is usable for websites of all sizes and functions

There are WordPress sites of all shapes and sizes. Some may think that WordPress is only suited for smaller websites with a handful of pages and a blog. This is simply not true.

Sure, we’ve built WordPress sites as small as one page. But we’ve also built WordPress sites with hundreds of pages, posts, and products.

That’s right, products.

If you’re looking to do some e-commerce, WordPress offers a powerful solution with Woocommerce. Woocommerce is technically a free add-on to WordPress, though to get the full use out of it, you’ll probably need to purchase a few premium plugins.

WordPress can also be used to create social network sites, online schools, scheduling systems, and much more.

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WordPress is SEO friendly, but you still need to work for it

WordPress has been built and structured with search engines in-mind. The way the pages, links, images, etc. are laid out is based around how search engines crawl websites. That said, there’s a big difference between being SEO friendly and actually being search engine optimized.

In fact, we wrote a whole post about it. Learn more here.

Now, it’s time for some “buts”.

WordPress is secure, but the attacks are more frequent

The WordPress team is always hard at work with new updates, patches, and security adjustments. And for good reason. Because of WordPress’s prevalence and open source nature, the platform is always under attack.

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It’s the same reason why there’s more malicious content out there for Windows and Android devices. Because that’s what the majority of people in the world use.

That doesn’t mean WordPress is insecure. Far from it. As long as you stay on top of updates, take proper security precautions and stay away from bad plugins, you should be just fine.

WordPress is super user friendly, but you may need a developer

When it comes to adding and editing pages, writing blog posts, or adjusting things like the menu, WordPress is about as easy as it gets. Depending on what themes and plugins you’re using, doing more advanced changes may be possible too.

But for the average website owner, you’ll want someone around who can get technical. Especially if you want a customized site. Even if you’re using a templated site, tech support can be a huge asset.

Lucky for you, we provide for all of your WordPress needs including design, development, hosting, maintenance, support, and more.

Our pricing plans start as low as $99 a month. Visit our contact page for more information.

Have a question about WordPress? Maybe a thought you’d like to share? Feel free to comment below.

Written by Timothy Snyder
on July 12, 2016