Open Source and Completely Free
First, it’s Open Source which means it is completely free for commercial or private use. Open-source software is software whose source code is published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the source code without paying royalties or fees. As an open source project, WordPress evolves through community cooperation. The WordPress community is composed of hundreds of individual programmers located around the world who work together to constantly evolve and improve WordPress.
Second, it is User Friendly. With WordPress, you can easily manage and update your own content without learning HTML or hiring expensive webmasters, designers or developers to update the content for you. In fact, if you know how to use the basic editing tools in a program like Microsoft Word, you’ll find the built-in WordPress editor very easy to learn and use for managing your site.
Extensibility and Flexibility
Third, it is extensible and flexible. There are literally hundreds of thousands of plugins, widgets and themes that you can use to easily change the appearance of your site or add new features to make it work exactly as you picture it. All it takes is a few clicks of the mouse.
Easy to Find Support
Fourth, it’s easy to find support for it. If you run into problems or decide to add highly customized features, it’s easy to find support or hire someone to help you. I and many others offer video tutorials on our websites. Expert help is readily accessible globally. There are thousands of WordPress developers and consultants eager to help you through your project. There are also a vast number of websites and forums available to find WordPress experts to answer your questions. The official WordPress forum at http://www.wordpress.org is the place to start. Other sites I like and recommend include:
You might also want to check http://www.meetup.com/ to see if anyone hosts WordPress meet ups in your area. This way you’ll get some quality face-to-face time with WordPress experts at little to no cost.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Friendly and Standards Compliant
Fifth, WordPress is SEO friendly and fully compliant with W3C Standards. I’ve run into many small business owners who have paid to have a website built and think that just because it’s been deployed, new customers are going to come running to buy their products. In the movie “Field of Dreams,” Ray Kinsella built a ball field because he kept hearing the mantra “if you build it, they will come.” The truth is the World Wide Web is not the movies. Publishing a website will not become your field of dreams and draw people to it if the search engines can’t find you. Search engine optimization is the science (and maybe a little magic) that allows search engines to find and index your site(s). As a SEO friendly product, WordPress fully supports White Hat SEO techniques.
If you’re not familiar with the term White Hat SEO, it’s a method of search engine optimization that focuses on content, relevant content, and more relevant content. Did I mention relevant content? Relevant content is content that is relevant to your business and your customers. If you are in the business importing and exporting exotic food items, do you think your customers would want to read about Tim Tebow getting traded to the Jets on your site? No. They’ll visit a sports relevant site. Stick to content that is relevant to your business.
Compliance to W3C standards is important for SEO. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. When a website is not compliant with W3C standards, the computer programs search engines send out to index your site (robots and spiders) can “stumble” over bad code and never complete their jobs before moving on to the next site. Also, W3C compliant websites function more consistently across the wide array of browsers out there which may or may not be W3C compliant themselves.
Control Your Own Content
Last, when you build your own WordPress site you’ll be in control of your own content. Proprietary solutions like Blogger or Tumblr limit what you can and can’t do on your own website. It’s like renting an apartment and having your landlord tell you that you can only paint it in the colors he’s chosen. In many cases, you’re also locked into that service. If the site host should one day disappear, so does all of the content you’ve worked so hard to create. With WordPress, you can easily import the data from another WordPress site like Blogger, or export the data to another WordPress site if you choose to move away from a proprietary host. You have complete control over your site and your content.