WordPress is one of the easiest content management systems (CMSs) to use today. It’s also one of the most popular ones. Even if you’re not a blogger or a developer yourself, you might have already heard of WordPress being used to run a website. In fact, according to estimates, around 50%-60% of websites that use CMSs are built on WordPress.
In this article, we are going to discuss in detail one of Course Belt’s best online courses— digital marketing— and how it can be used to drive business growth by using WordPress and marketing.
So what is WordPress? What makes it different from other CMSs? And why should you learn WordPress?
What is WordPress
WordPress is an open-source content management system that was released on May 27, 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little.
“Open-source” means that the software’s code is designed to be publicly accessible—anyone can freely access, modify, and distribute the code according to their preference.
Today, there are companies that offer services such as hosting WordPress sites while monitoring and maintaining them for you— so you can focus on creating engaging contents and leave the site maintenance to them. The WordPress software itself can be downloaded from WordPress.org.
- As of March 2021, WordPress is used by more than 40.5% of the top 10 million websites.
- Everyday, around 500+ sites are built using WordPress.
- WordPress contains more than 55,000 available plugins.
- Every month, more than 400 million people visit sites built on WordPress.
- WordPress websites garner over 22 billion monthly page views.
What’s the Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
“WordPress” commonly refers to both WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
However, the big difference between them is that WordPress.com is a for-profit platform, while WordPress.org is not. That being said, the free version of WordPress.com is, as expected, limited and presents constraints compared to WordPress.org.
Other differences are listed below:
- Theme Support: WordPress.org has full theme-support, which means you can use custom or commercial themes and freely modify or customize your site. The free version of WordPress.com has limited theme-support, which means you can only use the themes that are available on their platform and cannot customize or upload custom themes.
- Plugins: WordPress.org allows you to upload any free, paid, or custom plug-ins of your choice while the free version of WordPress.com does not allow users to upload any plug-in. Users can, however, use plugin-like features that are built in the site.
- Expenses: For WordPress.org, users have to pay a monthly web hosting fee and a yearly domain registration fee. Costs may overall range from $46-$100 a year. The free version of WordPress.com is, well, free. But the storage space is limited to only 3GB. You also can’t have a custom domain and are limited to only using their subdomains unless you upgrade your subscription plan.
- Monetization: WordPress.org allows you to earn money from your websites by using it as an advertising platform for companies. You can also use any ad service you want and you get to keep 100% of your ad earnings from your site. The free version of WordPress.com does not allow you to “sell” ads on your site. If you meet certain requirements, such as getting 25,000 monthly pageviews, you may apply for advertising with revenue sharing.
- Maintenance: If you won’t avail of WordPress.org hosting services, then you are responsible for the maintenance of your own site and keeping it updated. You also have to keep regular backups and keep your sites optimized. As for WordPress.com, all site maintenance is automatically done by the site so you won’t have to worry about anything.
It should be noted that while the free version of WordPress.com is limited as described in the comparisons above, it has subscription plans available that let its users enjoy greater flexibility. These are: Personal, Premium, Business, and eCommerce.
Furthermore, to avoid confusion, we will be referring to WordPress.org in this article.
Five Reasons to Learn WordPress
So now that you know what WordPress is, let’s discuss five major reasons why you should learn it:
1. It’s not just popular, it’s also the easiest to learn and use.
The argument here is simple: learning WordPress gives you better tradeoffs over other CMSs.
WordPress is arguably the easiest to learn and use, which is why it wasn’t hard for it to become the most popular among content management systems. Businesses and customers are also familiar with it. Which is why when you’re looking to offer services such as running or managing someone’s website, learning WordPress is the best and easiest way to get that job.
According to estimates, you can learn the basics of using WordPress in just a week. But it takes about 3-6 months on average for people to learn how to expertly create websites and manage them.
2. It pays well.
Website developers are notorious for earning big bucks but just like any other job, the pay may differ from country to country and area to area.
These numbers can even go higher depending on your client or your expertise. But in general, a study found that, of 3,768 freelance WordPress developers:
- 67% charge under $15 per hour.
- 24% charge $15 to $35 per hour.
- 7% charge $35 to $60 per hour.
- 2% charge over $60 per hour.
That’s not bad for a skill that can be learned in 6 months!
3. It is flexible.
WordPress is not only easy to use, it’s also easy to make changes with it. With the thousands of themes and plugins available, you can change the look and “feel” of your website without breaking a sweat.
Features like an online store, a photo gallery, or newsletter subscription forms can be added into your website using WordPress and without having to pay anything. If you know the programming language PHP, you can customize any plugin further. You can also build your own plugin from scratch.
Paid plugins are also available if you are looking for greater flexibility and functionality and don’t want to do the actual work. Currently, there are about 45,000+ free plugins available on the platform.
4. It is free and can save you money.
Both versions of WordPress are available for free, but you can do more with WordPress.org and that’s a strong reason why you should learn how to use it.
It’s an essential life skill— with the right amount of knowledge in WordPress and marketing, you can set up your own digital store to your preference and maintain it to make sure it runs smoothly, all without the need to hire WordPress developers or IT professionals to do it for you.
5. It is SEO-friendly.
There’s a reason why businesses are SEO-crazed lately and that’s because when a business’s digital presence is search engine optimized, it becomes easier for them to capture leads and convert these leads into customers.
To put it simply, developing a website won’t be enough. For digital marketing to fully work, you also have to learn how to optimize websites and make sure that yours appear first on Google search rankings so that people will actually get to visit your site.
With WordPress, SEO won’t be a problem. You can also use SEO plugins available on the platform so you can improve your site’s reach on the internet.
How to Become a WordPress Developer
To become a successful WordPress developer, take note of the following:
1. Start with the basics
- Learn how to install WordPress to a web hosting provider
- Setup your very first website
- Learn how to create stunning websites
- Learn how to install themes and plugins
- Study the best practices to gain more efficiency
- Create backups of your website
2. Get a crash course or attend bootcamps
This is an important step to further enhance your knowledge on WordPress development if you started by just self-studying. Get a crash course specializing in WordPress development or website development in general. Attend bootcamps. Further enhance your confidence in solving WordPress-related issues and potential issues that your clients might face with their websites.
3. Talk to other WordPress developers
There are a lot of WordPress developers who are eager to share their knowledge with other developers. Join online communities or forums to listen to discussions about WordPress development. This will help speed up your mastery over this craft.
So there are a lot of reasons why you should start to learn WordPress. Not only is it easy to learn and use, it’s also free. Learning this skill can also land you a good, high-paying job. Or let you run your business online without the need for an IT or a website developer.
So start your training now. Learn the basics. Get a crash course. And talk to other WordPress developers. Boost your confidence and start with one of CourseBelt’s best online courses by clicking here.