• Adam Gold

Is WordPress Still Worth it is 2022?


Wordpress websites in 2022

There's no doubt that WordPress is the most popular CMS and website builder in the world. According to WP Beginner, 43% of the internet is powered by WordPress websites. Millions of people use it to create beautiful websites, and it's easy to see why. WordPress is packed with features and functionality, and it's constantly being updated with new features. Plus, it's free! Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, there's no reason not to love WordPress.


Quick point to consider – this article talks about Wordpress.org which is the software upon which people build websites. This article is not talking about Wordpress.com which is a popular blog hosting website


What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. It is the most popular CMS in the world, used by millions of websites. The fact that it is open-source means that it is free to use and download and is therefore the most accessible software available. This also means that there is no restriction on the type of website that can be build. No one can apply rules, restrictions or censorship to a WordPress website.


WordPress was first released in 2003 as a blogging platform but has since evolved into a powerful tool for building all sorts of websites. The fact that it was used for blogging certainly does not mean that it is not fit for purpose – the evolution of WordPress has kept it relevant and adaptive making it a great choice for modern websites which require diverse functionality. As any WordPress user will know, there are updates happening to the software all the time to improve it in every way.


Can anyone use WordPress?

In a word: yes. WordPress is available for anyone download and use. You’ll need to buy a domain name (maybe £10 per year) and will need to purchase hosting (which can be from as little as £50 per year) but WordPress itself is there for everyone.


It isn’t quite that simple though.


Website builders in 2022

There are other website builders which you may have heard of like WiX or Weebly which, with the right settings, will allow you to produce a fully functioning website with a free domain and even free hosting. The quality, visibility and useability of this kind of website will probably not produce a worthy website that will represent a business in the right way. They won’t tell you that though. In order to connect your own domain name, sell products, and be visible to any degree online, you’ll need to purchase hosting packages that can cost hundreds of pounds per year. You’ll be tied in to paying them for your website to be kept online and won’t be able to change your host provider. You’ll definitely need to do some research online to find out if a website builder like WiX or Weebly is the right choice for you (which also applied to WordPress).


So, you’ve downloaded and use WordPress to build a site and also downloaded all of the extra bits and pieces like a free WordPress theme and some plugins.


Now what…?


That’s the thing. You’re on your own now. You need to find out what to do and get on with it. Putting aside the time investment to learn how to do what some people do for a living, you now also have to consider the stress, creativity and requirement to build your website.


Did I also mention the stress…?!



Don’t get me wrong: there is a plethora of help out there in the form of books, YouTube videos, tutorials, forums and websites that can teach you everything that you need to know to do this. Trust me, it is possible but please be under no illusion that this will be easy though. Designing and building a decent WordPress website is done via a steep learning curve and you’ll need to be patient, persistent and tenacious.


When I started designing websites many years ago, I used a range of platforms including WiX, Weebly, Thinkific, Shopify, Vistaprint and Squarespace. I tried to use WordPress on a couple of occasions and the experience left me mentally scarred and wondering whether I was cut out for this website stuff. Fast forward a few years and I’m happiest now when getting stuck in to a WordPress project over any other platform.


You see, ‘making a WordPress website’ is like saying you ‘drive a car’: it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s about finding the right combination of tools that will give you what you need and allow you to make what you want.


Is WordPress free to use?

First, the facts:

  • WordPress is free to download and use

  • WordPress websites require a theme upon which the website design is based. There are thousands of free themes available.

  • Plugins can be used for a whole range of functions and add-ons. There are thousands of free plugins

  • There are even free website builders which are programmes that make it easier to build a website.

Based on the above it is fair to say that anyone can use WordPress. However, just like website builder sites, there are free options and premium options. This is often referred to as freemium. You’ll have likely seen this on apps that you download on your phone where you can pay for extras. WordPress is the same.


Before you make the decision to sit down and build your WordPress website, take some time to write the project scope out on a piece of paper (or Word) so that you can research what is available to give you what you need. For example:


  • What should the website look like? – research what themes are available and see if the free ones give you what you need. If not, there are plenty of themes that you can buy will give you an enhanced look or functionality. For examples, check out Envato, Theme Forest or Elegant Themes for some awesome premium sites.

  • What does the website need to do? – this is really important. It is vital to understand what the website needs to do before understanding what it needs to look like. Functionality will come from (potentially) the theme, native WordPress functions and WordPress plugins. You will need to combine the right stack of these to get the website to do what it needs to do. For example:

  • A hotel website might need a room booking and payment system

  • A restaurant might need a table booking or a takeaway delivery system with online payment

  • Online shops need ecommerce and payment facilities

  • If the website sells courses, it will need an LMS (learning management system) and possibly subscription and membership plugins

  • Some general considerations – functionality also includes things like contact forms, social media links, SEO software to connect to Google Analytics and Google Search Console and other things to make the website run smoothly and quickly.

When it comes to plugins and functionality, I strongly advise that you invest the time to find the right products for the job and if you feel that the free options don’t deliver then spend money to get what you need. There is nothing worse than having a website that does not allow the user to do what they arrived on a website to do or having poor functionality or layout because the website owner didn’t want to spend any money on their website.


Ask yourself – if you were on a website that didn’t look professional and secure, would you hand over your personal or payment details?


Wordpress website designer near me

How do I design a website using WordPress?

When it comes to designing the front end of a website there are a few options. You might need to try a couple of these before you find something that works for you.


WORDPRESS CLASSIC EDITOR


Wordpress Classic Editor

The classic editor is available as a plugin.


To install the classic editor plugin, log into your WordPress site and navigate to the Plugins section. Then, search for "Classic Editor" and click Install. Once the plugin is installed, activate it and you're all set!


Keep in mind that the classic editor plugin only works with WordPress 5.0 and above. So, if you're running an older version of WordPress, you'll need to update before you can use the plugin.


When using the classic editor plugin, you'll have access to all of the same features as the new block editor. The main difference is that your content will be displayed in a single column, rather than being divided into blocks.


If you decide later that you prefer the block editor, you can always disable the classic editor plugin. However, please note that once you switch to the block editor, you won't be able to go back to the classic editor.


WORDPRESS BLOCK EDITOR


Gutenbergy editor for Wordpress

Also called the Gutenberg Editor.


If you're using WordPress, chances are you're using the new, default block editor. The block editor is a powerful tool that allows you to easily create and edit content on your website. However, it can be tricky to use if you're not familiar with it.


The editor is made up of blocks, which are individual pieces of content that you can add to your page. For example, there might be a block for text, another for an image, and another for a video. You can add and rearrange these blocks however you like to create your desired layout.


To add a new block, simply click on the "+" icon in the top-left corner of the editor. This will open up a menu of all the available blocks. Simply select the desired block and it will be added to your page.


To edit a block, simply click on it and a toolbar will appear above it. This toolbar will allow you to change the alignment of the block, add or remove padding, and more.

Once you're satisfied with your page, simply click the "Publish" button in the top-right corner of the editor. This will save your changes and make them live on your website.


Some of the benefits of the new WordPress Block Editor:

  • You can easily add and format text, images, and other media with just a few clicks.

  • The WordPress block editor makes it easy to create responsive content that looks great on all devices.

  • You can publish your content directly to wordpress.com or export it to another platform.

  • The WordPress block editor is constantly being updated with new features and improvements.

  • Create more complex layouts than the Classic editor


ELEMENTOR (free or premium versions)


Elementor for Wordpress

Elementor is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create beautiful, responsive websites without having to code. The plugin comes with a drag and drop builder that makes it easy to create custom page layouts. You can also use Elementor to create custom WordPress themes. Elementor is available as a free plugin and you can choose paid plans for added functionality and benefits.


If you're new to Elementor, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to use all of the features. In this tutorial, we'll give you a quick overview of the basics so you can get started building beautiful WordPress websites with ease.


Elementor is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create custom pages and posts layouts with drag and drop. You can add, edit, or remove any element on the page without having to write code. That means even if you're not a developer, you can still create complex pages with ease.


To get started, install and activate the Elementor plugin on your WordPress site. Once you've done that, you'll see a new "Edit with Elementor" button added to your WordPress editor.


Clicking that button will launch the Elementor editor, which consists of two sections: The left-hand panel is where you'll find all of the elements you can add to your page, and the right-hand panel is where you'll actually build your layout.


To add an element to your page, simply drag it from the left-hand panel and drop it into place. Once it's in place, you can click on it to edit its content or change its settings. For example, if you add a heading element, you can change the text, colour, size, and other settings.


If you want to move an element to a different location on the page, simply drag it to the new location. To delete an element, click on the trash icon that appears when you hover over it.


You can also add your own custom CSS to any element, which is handy if you want to make more advanced changes that aren't possible with the built-in settings.


To access the CSS editor, click on the element you want to edit, then click on the Advanced tab in the left-hand panel. From there, you'll see a field where you can enter your custom CSS.


If you need some inspiration, Elementor has a huge library of pre-built templates that you can use to jump-start your designs. To access the template library, click on the Templates tab in the left-hand panel.


You can filter the templates by type, such as "landing page" or "about us" page. Once you've found a template you like, click on the "Insert" button to add it to your page.

Elementor also has a theme builder feature that allows you to create custom headers, footers, single post templates, and other parts of your theme. However, this feature is only available in the pro version of the plugin.


If you're ready to take your WordPress design skills to the next level, Elementor is a great tool to get started with. With its drag and drop interface and powerful features, it's easy to create beautiful, custom WordPress websites without having to write any code.


DIVI (paid software from Elegant Themes)


Divi from Elegant Themes

Divi is a theme for WordPress that includes a drag-and-drop page builder. It is available from Elegant Themes. This makes it easy to create custom pages and layouts without having to code. Divi is a popular choice for many WordPress users because it is so versatile and easy to use. Divi is available as a single purchase theme and builder. The single purchase means once you have bought it, it is yours for life, can be used on as many websites as you wish and (in my opinion) is well worth the price.


If you're looking to build a WordPress website, the Divi theme is a great option. In this post, we'll show you how to use Divi to create a beautiful website.


Divi is a popular WordPress theme that allows you to create custom layouts for your website. With Divi, you can drag and drop elements to create unique designs. You can also use pre-built layouts to get started quickly.


To use Divi, first install the theme on your WordPress site. Then, activate the theme and start creating your custom layout. To do this, go to the Divi Builder tab in your WordPress dashboard and click on the "Create New Layout" button.


Next, you'll need to add some content to your layout. You can do this by dragging and dropping elements from the Divi Builder interface. For example, you can add text blocks, images, videos, and buttons.


Once you've added all of your content, you can preview your layout to see how it looks. If you're happy with your design, you can save it and publish it on your website.

With this powerful WordPress theme, you can create custom layouts for your website that are both beautiful and functional.


Wordpress website design near me

How to choose a WordPress theme in 2022

There are many factors to consider when choosing a WordPress theme. The theme you choose should be based several things:


WEBSITE TYPE

you should first decide what type of website you want to create. If you want to create a blog, there are many themes available that are specifically designed for blogs. If you want to create a business website, there are also many themes available that are specifically designed for businesses.


BUDGET

Once you know what type of website you want to create, you can narrow down your theme choices by considering your budget. There are many free WordPress themes available, as well as premium themes that come with a price tag. Premium themes often have more features and options than free themes, but they are not necessarily better. It all depends on your needs and preferences.


STYLE

Finally, when choosing a theme, you should also consider your personal preferences. There are many different styles of WordPress themes available, so you should be able to find one that you like. Take some time to browse through the different theme options and see which ones appeal to you the most.


Choosing a WordPress theme is a personal decision, so there is no right or wrong answer. Just make sure to consider all of the factors mentioned above before making your final choice.


What are the advantages of using WordPress in 2022?

The following is a non-exhaustive list of the benefits of using WordPress in 2022:

  • WordPress is free and open-source software. This means that anyone can download, install and use it for their own website or blog.

  • WordPress is easy to use. Even if you don't have any technical skills, you can still create a beautiful website or blog with WordPress.

  • WordPress is versatile. You can use it for a simple personal blog, or a complex corporate website. There are also thousands of plugins and themes available, which can be used to customize your site to your exact needs.

  • WordPress is reliable. It powers millions of websites and blogs around the world, and is used by some of the biggest companies in the world, including Facebook, Google, Sony and The Guardian.

  • You will own your website files and data and can choose your own hosting provider.

  • You will have access to over 59,000 plugins, ad-ons and extensions to improve your website appearance and functionality; and because WordPress is so popular, almost every useful plugin Is compatible for WordPress.

What are the disadvantages of using WordPress in 2022:

  • One of the disadvantages of using WordPress is that it can be quite slow progress. This is because WordPress is a very resource-intensive platform and takes time to learn

  • Additionally, WordPress sites are often bogged down by a lot of plugins and themes. This can make your site run slowly and cause problems with loading times. If you don’t get your theme and plugin stack right, problems can quickly spiral out of time and you might need help from a professional to get it fixed.

  • WordPress can be quite difficult to customize. If you want to change the look and feel of your site, you will need to hire a developer or learn how to code yourself.

  • WordPress can be quite vulnerable to security threats. This is because it is such a popular platform and hackers target WordPress sites more frequently than other types of sites. You will need secure hosting and the right software to protect your website online.

  • The fact that you are completely in control of website is both an advantage and a disadvantage. You will need to keep on top of your website design, theme and plugin updates, security, backups and general maintenance.

  • Whilst you do not need to learn coding to build a WordPress website, it can often be handy to know how to apply CSS code and HTML to enhance the look and feel of your website. This is further learning to add to an already steep learning curve.

Who should use WordPress to build a website in 2022?

You should use WordPress if:

  • You want to build a professional, fast website without spending too much money

  • You are not afraid to invest some time into learning how to build a WordPress website

  • You want to own your website files and have freedom of hosting rather than rent space on a website builder platform

  • You are happy to spend time maintaining your website

  • You’re not afraid to deal with issues that may arise through software functionality, compatibility or security

You should not use WordPress if:

  • The thought of all of the above horrifies you!

  • You do not have the time to invest in building and maintaining a WordPress website

  • You do not mind paying more money to rent space on a website builder platform

  • You do not mind having limited functionality or paying more for certain functions

  • Your website is just for fun or personal use and is not needed for business purposes.

Is WordPress worth using in 2022?


Absolutely, yes!


In my opinion I would recommend WordPress over any other platform due to all of the above reasons.


You may feel that this article convinces you to have your website built using WordPress but the thought of doing it yourself still horrifies you. It is okay to feel that way and you will be able to find a WordPress developer who can work with you to build you the website that you need. Whilst this will cost you money, it should be seen as a worthwhile investment into getting a beautiful, professional and functional WordPress website that will help your business thrive and make money online.


MY PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION

I have found the most ease of use and minimum hassle by using Divi from Elegant Themes as a theme and builder . At the time of writing this article, the prices are as follows:


Paying £249 for a lifetime of access for unlimited websites is a bargain. There is no doubt about that. Divi has saved me so much time because it is easy to use, comprehensive in design and produces fantastic looking websites. Here is a summary of some of the benefits that Divi has brought to me:

  • Fantastic native theme with an abundance of addition themes included for the lifetime access price. Personally I never use premade themes but the optino is there for you!

  • Intuitive, reliable builder that contains as many elements that you will need to build a fantastic, functional website

  • Divi Marketplace gives you access to a welath of addons and plugins that will be compatible with Divi.

  • Divi resources are the best. If you need instructions on how to do anythign Divi, you can find it here. Go to Google and type in "Divi How to [insert here]...". Job done!

  • Elegant Themes can be contacted for assistance - these guys are great at solving problems and providing solutions

  • Divi does not bloat your website with unnecessary code. All Wordpress sites that I have built using Divi are quick, responsive on all devices and portable

  • Combine Divi with Siteground hosting and you'll have a website that is loaded with everything it needs to be SEO efficient, secure and robust

I might just mention here that I'm not on commission or an affiliate for Elegant Themes at all. What is written above is my opinion based on experience.


That's all for now - best wishes with your business and above all: enjoy your Wordpress website!


 

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