With so many site-building possibilities, you may be wondering if WordPress will still be useful for web creation in 2023. Read a web design firm’s thoughts regarding this popular website platform and make your own decision.
A little WordPress history
WordPress is a sophisticated website creation platform that is used by millions of people worldwide. It began in 2003 as a simple blogging platform and has since evolved to become one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS). WordPress is widely regarded as having revolutionized website building, particularly for non-technical users, by allowing people to create websites without any coding skills. Users may simply personalize their sites using built-in widgets, plugins, and themes with just a few clicks.
WordPress has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2003. According to W3Techs, WordPress powers 43% of all websites on the internet, implying that WordPress runs millions of websites and that its usage is increasing year after year. This astonishing success may be due to a variety of factors, including its user-friendly interface, a wide library of themes and plugins, and a large community support network. As we look ahead to 2023, the website-building sector is crowded. WordPress is already more than 17 years old, and many people worry if it will still be a solid choice in the future. Are competitors such as Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, and Webflow better?
WordPress Benefits in 2023
Before we go into the benefits, keep in mind that there are two methods to utilize WordPress: A: WordPress.com-hosted directly, or B: a self-hosted WordPress.org site with another hosting provider. You can start with a blank WordPress website without having to install anything with WordPress.com, and they have inexpensive pricing (beginning at $4 per month) for your own domain.
You may use your own hosting for a self-hosted WordPress website as long as it supports the WordPress platform. Most hosting offer one-click WordPress installation, but getting started requires a little more knowledge. Once installed, the user interfaces of the two alternatives are nearly identical. While the benefits discussed below apply to both WordPress-hosted and self-hosted sites, the self-hosted option allows you complete control and flexibility, therefore this is the option we will focus on below.
The Open-Source Advantage
The use of open-source technologies has transformed the way websites are built. Because of the power of open-source, WordPress continues to evolve as developers from all over the world contribute to its codebase. New plugins and themes are always being published to improve the core WordPress functionality, allowing website owners to stay current with the newest trends. WordPress is able to produce an immensely strong platform for websites and blogs because of a large community of developers, designers, and users. WordPress can be customized to match your needs regardless of the size or complexity of your website. The community is always adding new features and themes, making it easier to create a website that looks exactly as you want it to.
Cost-effectiveness over time
The WordPress platform is free to download and use! You will need to acquire a domain and a WordPress hosting package, but because you have control over these options, you may spend as much or as little as you like. You could install a theme and start creating your site for free using YouTube tutorials…or you could engage a professional web developer to work with. Because you are creating your site using WordPress, it may take a bit longer, but you will get precisely what you want. Other solutions, such as Wix and Squarespace, allow you to build up a site fast and cheaply at first, but capabilities are restricted and memberships can get costly over time.
WordPress visual page builders have gone a long way in terms of usability.
WordPress page builders have gone a long way since their first introduction. Previously, certain themes contained their own unique page editor, the quality of which varied depending on the theme. Visual page editors grew in popularity over time. WordPress even includes its own drag-and-drop interface by default, which helps users to create more graphically. But it’s in the newer generation of third-party page editors that WordPress really shines, which most developers will install via a simple plugin.
The Elementor editor, a ‘drag-and-drop’ interface with a simple learning curve, is a fantastic example. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be able to create a new page in no time. Even if the website was created by a professional, if it was built with Elementor, the user may simply make their own changes. WP Bakery is another popular page editor, and some of the most recent premium themes feature excellent built-in editors.
Customization and adaptability
WordPress is well-known for being a user-friendly website platform that can be quickly changed for a variety of applications. If users want more functionality on their site, they can install a WordPress plugin or theme created by a third-party developer. Depending on the add-ons you select, your site can become a basic blog, an e-commerce business, or a listing website for real estate or vehicles. Hello, Elementor is a lightweight free theme created for the Elementor editor. Other popular free themes are Astra, OceanWP, and Neve. There are many premium WordPress themes available, each with a unique purpose in mind.
There will be a learning curve if this is your first time constructing a website, but there are numerous tutorials and tools available online. If you have a large WordPress project but are not a developer, you may hire someone to assist you. Because WordPress is so well-known, it is simple to locate a web development specialist to personalize your website’s functionality, after which you may take control and change it yourself using the page builders.
You have complete control over your WordPress website.
Our major selling point for choosing WordPress as a web design service is that clients control their websites. While this may seem apparent, it is not the case with many other popular website builders. You can only host directly with Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify, and the website you spent hours building and polishing will only operate on that platform.
With WordPress, you may select your own hosting provider and install it in a matter of minutes if they have a one-click installation option. If you become dissatisfied with that provider, the entire website can be relocated – it’s similar to moving your mobile home and parking it someplace else. Most other website alternatives are either totally custom-developed HTML or require you to stay with one provider in order to continue utilizing the website you created using their tool.
SEO plugins that are extremely powerful, analytics, and mobile-friendliness
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), analytics, and mobile responsiveness are all strong tools for helping you realize the full potential of your website. WordPress can handle all of these. SEO plugins such as Yoast or Rankmatch may be used in conjunction with Google services to optimize your content for search engines, while analytics can help you analyze your website’s performance and make modifications as needed. Mobile responsiveness is particularly vital since it guarantees that consumers have a positive experience regardless of the device they use to access your site. If you select an appropriate theme and page editor, It will already be mobile-optimized. You’ll be able to maximize your online presence and get the most out of your website by using these tools.
Security and backups: there are effective methods for mitigating hazards.
Website security and backups are critical components of website ownership. WordPress is a strong and adaptable platform, but it, like any other website, is vulnerable to hackers and harmful code if not properly protected. WordPress regularly rolls out important security improvements, Maintaining your WordPress site regularly by upgrading the core and plugins, and having a solid backup strategy, can ensure its safety and security.If you make frequent backups and have access to the backup files, any website developer could assist you in restoring your website in a matter of minutes. Most hosting providers include a free SSL certificate, which you may install on your WordPress site.
Woocommerce is an excellent WordPress add-on for creating a professional eCommerce store.
WooCommerce is a WordPress-powered free eCommerce solution. WooCommerce is a popular choice for developing an online store owing to its simplicity of use and vast feature set. It offers businesses a simple, customizable internet store. It includes a number of features and plugins that are intended to help you get the most out of your online store. Payment channels such as PayPal and Stripe can be integrated. WooCommerce can help you construct a profitable online store whether you’re just starting out or have an established business.
What about alternative platforms in web development trends?
Option for custom-built code
The options listed below are all software as a service (SaaS) design tools that operate in a web browser and need a monthly cost to use. Because they only run on certain platforms, the site cannot be relocated. They both have certain advantages and disadvantages.
Shopify is an excellent choice for organizations wishing to create an online store. It might be a terrific alternative for you if you want a robust eCommerce solution that is simple to set up and are willing to spend a bit more for that ease. In addition to the monthly costs, they charge a commission on each sale. It is simple to use because your workspace is pre-installed, and they offer excellent customer service. You can quickly manage inventory, handle payments, offer discounts and promotions, and analyse sales data using Shopify. Consider this option if you want to conduct everything on the website yourself and it will primarily be an online store.
Squarespace and Wix
Wix and Squarespace are wonderful options if you need a simple website quickly and don’t have web design knowledge. They are adequate solutions for individuals who only need to set up a few pages. Both systems include simple drag-and-drop capabilities for customizing your site with photos, text, and other features. They handle all of the back-end maintenance and hosting, so you don’t have to worry about finding a place to host your website or any of the technicalities.
They do have a free domain option in which you use their domain extension, but if you want a custom domain (your own URL) to seem more professional or if you want more of their capabilities, you must pay their monthly membership price. They don’t have as many add-ons, but they do have some extra features that you may pay for. If you don’t want to pay for a web designer and are okay with certain limits, these are viable solutions. Just bear in mind that once you join up with them, you must stay with them if you want to maintain your website. And once your site is built, it is difficult to make significant changes to it.
Webflow is one of the newer platforms that we believe will gain traction in the next years. It provides a variety of capabilities ranging from hosting services to integrated eCommerce solutions, making it popular among both web developers and businesses. It’s an intriguing platform marketed as a “no-code” solution, but many honest reviews claim you’ll need some HTML and CSS knowledge and that the learning curve is higher. The interface is not as user-friendly as that of rivals; it resembles an Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop canvas rather than a drag-and-drop editor.
Webflow is not our first choice for someone without web design knowledge, but because it is very adaptable and takes a unique approach, it is worth noting whether you are hiring a web design agency or developing your own website. The price strategy is more complicated than some of the others, and you may need to switch to a higher pricing plan. You may host the completed website with Webflow or export it as HTML and host it elsewhere, albeit the latter is more complex. We believe they are doing something novel with their product, and there are many Webflow fans in online design groups. As a result, we shall be watching their success with interest in the future.
So, in conclusion, will WordPress still be useful in 2023?
It is a personal preference, but as a web design firm, we believe that the answer is yes for the majority of websites and use cases! WordPress remains an excellent choice for both novice and professional developers when it comes to building a website. It is simple to configure and has a plethora of functions. Cost efficiency has been a significant aspect when selecting a platform as firms explore innovative methods to minimize expenses while keeping their online presence. WordPress is well-known for its minimal maintenance costs, making it an excellent alternative for individuals wishing to save money while establishing a powerful website. With its large user and development community, you can always get assistance when you need it. You can be certain that WordPress will continue to evolve in order to stay up with shifting trends.