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Understanding WordPress and Why it is So Popular

[Originally published in The Coloradoan on 1/20/12]

What is WordPress and why has it become so popular?

Every day, more small businesses are trying to keep up with technology by utilizing the latest trends on the market.

One of the hottest current trends is WordPress, which began as a blog platform for websites.

It has quickly grown into an entire content management system solution. I am constantly asked, “What is WordPress?” and, “Should my business start using it?” There is no easy answer to these questions, but the more you understand about WordPress and how it can help you, the better decisions you can make for yourself and your business.

WordPress is used by more than 200 million websites today and has become the most popular content management system on the market – for good reason.

Let’s start with the best part: It’s free! You can easily download the files necessary for WordPress to run, install them on your web server, and you are instantly up and running. It is always best to have some prior knowledge of web and server technologies before you begin WordPress installation, as this can sometimes be tricky. If necessary you should consult with a professional or your hosting company to make sure you get started on the right path with your installation. Another reason WordPress has become so popular is that it offers amazing functionality and features from the start. Without knowing much about websites, an average user can have a site up and running, manage the content of their site through a friendly user interface, customize the appearance to their liking, add specific plug-ins that add more features as needed, and much more.

And, when you get stuck, there are many online communities that can help to answer your questions along the way.

Lastly, one of my favorite features of all WordPress sites is that search engines like Google or Bing.com love the structure of WordPress sites and will rapidly index your pages and posts higher in search engine results for that reason alone. Everyone wants to rank at the top of search engine results, and using WordPress is a great step to making that happen.

There are many great options on the web for blogging and website development, and, depending on your needs, WordPress may or may not be the right choice for you and your business. However, if you are looking for ease of use and simple customizations, look no further than WordPress. Now, get out there and try building a WordPress site on your own … what do you have to lose?

Stu Crair is owner of Digital Workshop Center. Reach him at (970) 980-8091.