Why we love WordPress: User-friendliness

At Yoast we love WordPress for multiple reasons. That’s why we decided to make a series of articles about the reasons we love WordPress, starting with an important one: user-friendliness. I’ve tried my share of closed and open-source content management systems. From simple text file based systems 20 years ago to in-house developed closed source solutions. But never before have I felt the ease of the five minute WordPress install. Let alone that a whole bunch of WordPress hosts now offer 1-click WordPress installs.

Regardless of how you feel about block editors, politics, and front-end editing, even you must admit that WordPress is very user-friendly. No matter what customers ask for, there is a solution to be found for it in the WordPress eco-system. Be it a template, a plugin, or a small piece of code.

Even for people that are not tech-savvy at all, installing and customizing a website is just not that hard. And to help you along the way you can find tips, tricks, and manuals on every WordPress related website.

Countless design options in WordPress

Currently, there are thousands and thousands of free designs (themes) available for your website. Convenient filters help you pick the right template. But that’s not all. These themes can easily be altered using a so-called Child theme. Even starting web developers can create tailor-made websites this way, while still benefiting from the updates that are available for the original theme they chose.

If you’re lazy, like me, tweaking a design using a plugin like Simple Custom CSS is even simpler. Provided that you know your way around CSS.

The option for anyone to create a fully tailored, awesome design is absolutely one of the features that make WordPress so user-friendly.

There’s a plugin for that

For me personally, plugins were the single reason to dive into WordPress back in 2011. Because I’m not a developer. HTML and CSS are my game, I can read and copy a bit of JS and PHP and that’s basically it. But WordPress and all its plugins made creating and selling full functional websites “easy” for me.

I worked from my attic and served a bunch of local and nationwide customers. A friend of mine, who had a morning show on a local radio station, asked me to create an answering machine for his website. A way for people to talk into their computer’s mic and send him an audio file per email. I was really lost, as I did not know how to code. But then I remembered the thousands of plugins. Could it be..? After a 5 minute setup, the answering machine button on his website was up and running.

That’s the usability of WordPress. It’s what we, the plugin developers, all make possible on that wonderful platform that WordPress is.

Creating and publishing content

All the links in this article show that help is always a click away. The reach and “size” of WordPress still baffles me. At this moment 34% of the top 1 million websites are built with WordPress. That literally means that thousands and thousands of people work with WordPress, contribute to WordPress, share knowledge about WordPress. Perhaps even on a daily basis. But let’s get back to creating and publishing that content.

After all the fun stuff of setting up your website, it needs content. Creating that content is probably the toughest job for every website owner. It’s writing that content in the amazing block editor, but also just coming up with ideas, collecting these in a content planning, writing the right way, and optimizing this content for SEO.

WordPress is used by websites great and small. No matter if you publish a blog post every day, or have a static website that needs updating every other year, WordPress is your go-to tool. Without any technical knowledge, WordPress allows you to do everything mentioned above, or just change that one line stating “copyright 2019” into “2020”.

In my years of working with WordPress, I think I was asked twice to explain how to write a page and publish it in WordPress. Both times, it took the customer less than 5 minutes to say “never mind, I get it”. It wasn’t WordPress that triggered that question, it was the fear of a new system. I think that the block editor makes getting to know a new system even more intuitive. And hey, you may have a different story. But this post is about why I believe WordPress is such a user-friendly platform 😉

Shout-out to the WordPress Community

There is so much more friendliness in WordPress, and that’s why I want to do a special shout-out to the WordPress community. Besides talking about the user-friendliness of WordPress, it’s important to highlight the user-friendliness in WordPress.

WordPress has such an open and welcoming community. It’s a pleasure to meet friendly users during WordCamps and e-meet these people on Twitter and Slack whenever you feel like reaching out. At Yoast, we have an integrations channel where we collaborate with other plugins and even in this COVID19 time, we regularly reach out to other members in the WordPress space to talk about business, websites, software development, marketing opportunities, and our personal life. And that’s user-friendliness at it’s best.

Recap of WordPress user-friendliness

This article gives you an insight into why I believe WordPress is such a user-friendly platform. To summarize, WordPress makes installing and customizing a website possible for everyone. Not only can you customize your design by choosing your own theme, but there are also plugins for almost any website feature you can think of. Furthermore, WordPress makes it easy to publish content and provides plugins to help you optimize your content. Lastly, because WordPress is such a widely used platform, you can always find support and friendliness within its worldwide community of users. So if you’re new to the community, or thinking of joining, welcome! Perhaps I’ll talk to you soon on Slack or Twitter!

Read more: A beginners guide to WordPress »

Original Article

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