A few years ago I decided to use SiteBuildIt! (SBI!) To launch a business website. But it was not long before I made the switch to WordPress (WP) for all of our sites. And I've never looked back!
Fortunately, SBI! integrated WP into their system too, so now people who use SBI! to launch their businesses online have the choice to use WP!
Together, my husband and I have five sites / blogs. One is an ecommerce site for my husband's crafts, one I built into an Amazon a-store, and the other three are blogs with a specific niche.
So why make the switch from an HTML and / or CSS template? Here are my top reasons, which are also echoed in Entrepreneur.com's recent blog post too.
1. It's virtually free!
I say "virtually" because if you're serious about your business or your blog, you will have to register a domain name and sign up with a good hosting service.
Once you have your domain name and hosting set up, installing the full WP platform is free! There is no cost for that!
And the plugins are fantastic! Most of the top plugins are Open Source, meaning they're free and customizable, although it's a nice idea to give them a donation for their time.
2. Install it and use it.
I still remember the days of building sites with HTML and CSS, trying to find the right template, paying a pro to design a site that absolutely I could not manage myself.
And then all the add-ons that you had to pay extra for, memberships with other services to handle some of the backend things you need for your site – checking for broken links, cleaning up the database, setting up an autoresponder, adding a contact form, and the list goes on.
WP plugins are simple to install, set up and use in no time without ever leaving your own site.
3. It's flexible.
Once I built my first site and realized just how flexible it really is, it did not take any time to rebuild the rest of our five sites using the platform!
With plugins for PayPal shopping carts and Buttons, which is all free, you can set up a full ecommerce site on the platform! Or you can turn an existing blog into an ecommerce site with just a few clicks, like I did with my husband's craft site.
4. Search engines love it!
If you've ever built a site using HTML and CSS, you know the horrors of making sure everything looks right in all browsers and behind the scenes where the search engine robots crawl the code.
I remember working in pure code and looking at how some of the templates I used were "upside down" even though everything was rendered correctly across the top browsers.
Search engines love it because it does not matter what browser you're using, the site looks the same everywhere, and the code is perfect.
5. Safe and secure.
You do not have to worry about your blog getting hacked since WP places on top of the security updates for its platform.
It's a good idea to practice anti-hacking measures yourself when it comes to plugins or custom themes. Only use plugins and themes that you can find right inside your own dashboard, so you're downloading them from an outside source.
Every theme that WP provides for free is highly customizable so there's really never a need to go somewhere else for a nice-looking theme and risk your security.
6. Fully Customizable.
I've gotten a lot of compliments on my various blogs because it's so easy to customize the sites.
I chose a free theme that allows me to easily change up the sidebars, set up the widgets, etc. and install plugins for each site to make them unique.
7. Easy to use.
Since it was not launched until 2003, I was forced to learn how to build my sites using pure HTML and CSS in Notepad, and then crossing my fingers in hopes that the site would look good in all of the major browsers.
Inevitably, something would always go wrong and I'd be back scanning the code to see what happened.
I'll admit, I was a little skeptical at first about it, until I went to build an ecommerce site and could not figure out how to add a shopping cart to my HTML site.
After seeing how easy and fast it is to install and set up an ecommerce site with WP, I wish it had been created and launched back in the late 90s before I built my first site!
Known for its famous "5-Minute Install." And they're right! It is fast!
8. Lots of support.
There are a lot of places to get support for your site. There's a whole community of pros at WordPress.org including support for themes and plugins.
9. Hosts multimedia.
You no longer have to use long HTML or CSS codes in a separate file to get your images, videos and download files to place correctly on your site. The dashboard's media and file uploader takes care of that for you. I can breeze through adding a post or page to my blog now, like I was never able to do before on my HTML sites.
10. Mobile friendly.
If you use one of the many free responsive themes, you're in good shape immediately on installation.
The theme I use on all of my sites is not responsive – yet. The designers are working on it. But you can always install a free mobile friendly plugin so your site will always look good across a range of mobile devices.
11. Easy integration via plugins.
WP plugins make it easy to integrate with some of the most powerful platforms available to give your business that additional boost.
For example, you can use your favorite autoresponder or payment gateway with easy to install and set up plugins.
12. Easy to manage.
As mentioned earlier, WP is equipped with a built-in updater for security purposes. However, it also notifies you whenever there are updates for your themes and plugins. This makes managing your site a breeze, since you'll always be current on the latest updates. That will keep your site safe and fresh.
13. More than just a blog.
While WP earned its reputation as a great blogging platform that can be inserted into an existing website, it can also be used as a static website. Because it contains a post and page structure, you can have daily blog posts, as well as static pages – such as your Contact About Pages.
14. Saves you money.
Remember, this is free software. However, that's not the only area where you'll save money. Because it is open source and user-friendly, you will not have to hire web designers or technicians to launch or maintain your site.
15. Publish your articles with one-click.
Gone are the days where you after you write an article, you then have to code it with HTML or CSS and then upload the page to your host's server.
With WP, you simply login to your dashboard, write your article and click Publish.
Ready to make the switch?
You can do it yourself with GoDaddy or start from scratch with full business training inside of SiteBuildIt!