There is a lot of confusion about Wordpress, even to some old-school web professionals. I will attempt to clarify and define the differences so you can make a good choice of what kind of website you want to have. Please be aware that these things change rapidly, and the choice is really a matter of personal preference.
Search engines love blogs because they update more frequently than a regular “static” site. In order for your site to come to the top of any search, it has to show search engines that it is “alive” by frequent updates in its category. This is why I recommend to all my clients that they maintain a blog on their subject, so that is why I suggest very strongly that they use Wordpress since it is both beautiful and extensible.
2. Beautiful Themes
WordPress has the most beautiful themes of any blog out there…
3. Power of Choice
Lot’s of themes too…and the programmers/designers are making new ones all the time, some of them are free.
4. It’s a Website too
WordPress engineered the idea of static “pages” that allow a blogger to put information on their blog in sections just like a regular website. While the main “index” page is still your blog, the pages allow you to keep static information inside a menu, and thus, to your user, it is at the “top” of your site, easily accessible, rather than in a post somewhere down that long blog page.
You want these in your website-blog, I guarantee you, even if you are just blogging about iced-tea.
Widgets are 3rd party add-ons that add on to your website/blog’s capabilities. You can add an RSS feed for instance to a sidebar, and pull in any information that you want into a dynamic column.
While all websites have stats, Wordpress stats are easy to find and read. Good stats can tell you things like which of your posts are most popular, and what days of the week and what times do people read your blog. Analyzing your stats can tell you how to improve your blog.
8. Easy Sharing
It is important that you can have an easy way to share your blog posts with your social media posse—your market in old marketing-speak.
9. Easy to set up
There are two flavors of Wordpress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
- AS A BLOG (SORT OF)
Wordpress.com is the blogging version. It is the easiest to use, and it is free. You just have to sign up. You can run hundreds of free blogs if you want. Freshasylum.wordpress.com is a blog on the Wordpress servers. Even if you buy a domain name from Wordpress, like “myoutrageouswebsite.com” or if you move your domain name to Wordpress, your blog/site is on their servers. You can build your blog into a website, using the extraordinary features of the native Wordpress platform, however, you will not have access to certain features that you would have if you had the other flavor of WordPress…
- AS A SELF-HOSTED SITE
Wordpress.org is an open source code site that offers any web developer the chance to build a website using their code and interface. Simply put, a developer installs the WordPress program along with a database and the chosen theme onto the host server. For that, the client has to buy a space for their website on a web host’s server. I recommend that you use the self-hosted method once you are clear on what you want to do with your site, what you want the site to do for you or your business, and you are willing to spend the time and money to get what you want.
10. Easy User Interface
The best thing about Wordpress is that once it is up and running (get a professional to do this), the client has total control over the content of his site. Unless you are changing your logo, or need image retouching, you never need to talk to a designer again. As for the code, I recommend avoiding having to change the code by buying the theme that allows you all the features you need already—predesigned into the theme.
Overall, if the above technical information makes your head feel like it is going to explode, then just hire a web professional to help you set up your site. It is best to pay for good advice from a professional that knows not only the technical side of web design, but the visual side, and the marketing/branding aspects of running a commercial concern on the web.