If starting a new blog was one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2010, you’d better get a move on it because the year is nearly over. And if you’re planning to start a new blog in 2011, you’ll probably want to know your options before the ball drops. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Over the next few weeks we’ll be featuring different blogging CMSes (content management systems) to give you a glimpse of what each one offers and to help you determine which one is best for you. This week’s featured blog CMS will be WordPress, which has long been the most popular blogging software available. But if you’re a conscientious consumer, you wouldn’t want to choose WordPress just because everybody else is doing it. Instead, you’d want to know what it is that makes WordPress so great. So without further ado, here are my favorite 8 reasons why WordPress is so fantastic (and I’m not just saying that because we use WordPress to power this blog).
- It’s easy enough for newbie bloggers. Believe me when I tell you that setting up a simple WordPress blog is easy. It may not be as snazzy as a professionally-designed WordPress blog, but it’ll still be nice and functional. Many (but not all) customizations are easy to do, and most plugins are easy to configure (more on that later).
- It’s great for professional web developers, designers and techies. There are some seriously high-profile blogs that are powered by WordPress. TechCrunch and gigaom are just two examples. Believe me when I tell you that hundreds (or thousands) of big businesses aren’t using WordPress just because it’s free. There are endless ways to personalize or configure a WordPress blog if you have technical know-how.
- Search engines love WordPress. Although there’s no documented reason why this is, there’s no question that Google (and other search engines) seem to take notice of WordPress blogs over other blogs and sites. Perhaps it’s the intuitive navigation, the easy-to-create page tags or the general popularity of the CMS. But whatever the reason, if you want your site to get noticed, building it with WordPress might help.
- The spam-filter rocks. WordPress uses the widely recognized Akismet spam filter to keep junk posts as far away from your blog as possible.
- You can privatize your blog. If you blog for business, you’ll probably want as many people as possible to access your blog. But if you’re starting a family blog you may not want strangers stumbling upon your posts. WordPress makes it possible to privatize your blog so that you can make sure it reaches your target audience – and nobody else.
- Entries are autosaved. This may sound obvious, but other CMSes like Joomla require a download in order to have them autosaved. WordPress just saves automatically so that your entries are never lost.
- Thousands of plugins are available. Need your blog to do something that isn’t automatic? Chances are great that you can find a free plugin that can help you customize your blog. From SEO plugins and social media plugins to graphic design plugins and advertising plugins, someone’s probably already created the plugin for you.
- Free backups. WordPress keeps an automatic backup of your blog so that you don’t have to (though you may choose to do so anyway).