Web Design has changed immutably in the last decade, switching from hard-programming to easier and easier UIs called Content Managers. Among these are popular services such as Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, and our personal favorite: WordPress. When deciding on which to use, it’s easy to fall for the immaculate advertising services like Squarespace have, displaying perfect websites full of animation and professional photography– and while services like these often fulfill those promises with gorgeous, near-carbon-copy “modern” sites, there are a few reasons why WordPress is the clear winner in terms of functionality.
1. Domain Flexibility
Unlike many Content Managers, WordPress is Open Source, meaning that the source files are free to download and edit. This comes handy for a near-infinite amount of reasons, most notably the ability to choose your hosting platform. While services such as Wix and Squarespace require you to purchase a domain from their company, restricting your website to their servers, WordPress allows you to use their platform on any domain of your choosing, giving you access to numerous options for hosting (GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Google Domains, etc.) which gives you much greater control over both your spending in this aspect and the functionality/security that is usually automatically handled by the Content Manager with other services.
2. Code Editing
In addition to the transferability of WordPress software allowed by its Open Source status, having access to the code also gives you the ability to directly edit your website at the most basic level, allowing you to straddle the line between old Web Design methods and the new UI based methodology.
If directly editing the code sounds daunting to you, but you still want enhanced, variable content, never fear. Plenty of aspiring programmers and Web Designers have already done the work for you with the hundreds of thousands of plugins accessible to the WordPress community, limiting your website’s functionality to the work you’re willing to put into finding the perfect plugin. The web designers & developers at Tenaya Digital have yet to find a problem that can’t be fixed or a type of content unavailable through plugins, and are consistently impressed with the quality of code available for free given enough perseverance in your search.
4. Unlimited Sites
Unlike Squarespace, WordPress doesn’t have a limit to the number of sites you can create within even the free version. Instead of having to sign up for a “Premium” package giving you multiple sites, you can simply download and re-download WordPress for as many sites as you want, your only limit coming from the hosting plan you choose outside of WordPress entirely.
5. Update Control
WordPress has updates, like any online service, but that doesn’t mean you’ll constantly have to watch out for your favorite features vanishing, to never return. With WordPress, you control when and if you want to install the latest update they’ve released, and you’re given access to an extensive changelog detailing exactly what has been changed in the new version. Other, more restrictive services are none so friendly, often forcing an update or simply removing features without notice whatsoever.
6. Store Autonomy
Many small business owners go to Content Managers to set up an online presence for their shop– and it’s never been easier! Almost every Content Manager out there has built in functionality for eCommerce, but WordPress is unique in never charging fees for using this functionality or taking a cut of your profits.
7. Easy Analytics
In addition to having numerous plugins that add traffic analytics to your WordPress site directly, there are no safeguards preventing services like Google Analytics from doing that as well. With other Content Managers like Squarespace, you’re limited to their own built-in Analytics, which may provide information in an incomplete or unfamiliar way.
9. An Active and Supportive Community
The final reason is largely due to the previous 8, and ties them all together. Without the direct control (or meddling, rather) from a company in charge of the service, users from around the world have taken an active interest in the community-at-large using WordPress, providing helpful tutorials (some of which you can find on this site!) brilliant plugins, and beautiful open-source content for your WordPress needs.