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Selling Clients on WordPress: 7 Reasons It’s The Most Popular CMS Around

WordPress is, for clients as large as the New York Times to as small as your buddy Greg’s vacation blog, a remarkably versatile and user-friendly option that legions of webmasters are already using as their preferred CMS. But you probably already knew that. Your problem is that not everyone’s on board. Some have complaints about the learning curve, others might not quite get how themes and plugins work, and still others don’t understand what “open-source” means and they’re suspicious of it.

An important aspect of building websites for third parties using WP as a CMS is being able to talk to clients and explain lucidly why this thing is the real deal. Here are 8 handy reasons to keep in mind as you fill them in:

  1. It’s honestly, seriously free. Not everyone understands what that means, and some may even balk at the idea—after all, who hasn’t been burned by a “free” product that turned out to be a slick 30-day trial or a vehicle for ads and bloatware? Open Source means WordPress is like Wikipedia: The code is open to anyone to see and modify, but it is watched over by a stellar bunch of pros who maintain quality control (in WP’s case, it’s the crew at Automattic). No hidden fees, no catches, no nonsense, no matter how big your business gets.

  2. Themes are a user-friendly way to style your site that lends itself to easy “tweaking.” Many clients don’t need a completely customized look, and great themes are easy to find (Ahem: As it happens, we’ve got a few). Once you find a good theme, small changes can be made to customize it to make it look just right without much effort. When clients understand how simple it is to pick one of thousands of readily available themes from the legion of talented designers who make them, WordPress becomes less of a mystery and more of a great big ocean of possibilities.

  3. Search engines—especially Google—love WordPress. According to computercourage.com, Googles own engineers say that “WordPress is a great choice.” It does an excellent job of positioning your content to be noticed and ranked highly on Google’s rankings. Plus, plugins like the All-in-one SEO Pack, which we use and highly recommend, make identifying and listing those all-important keywords simple.

  4. Speaking of plugins . . . If there’s an aspect of WordPress that’s both easily understood and incredibly valuable, plugins are it. Of course, WP’s not the only platform that offers them, but the easy implementation and the sheer number of available plugins give it a leg up. A central plugin directory allows for one-click installation, and the numerous “hooks” coded into WordPress by all of those open source contributors encourage the continuous development of new plugins. There’s little you can’t do with WP when armed with the right set of plugins—most of which are free.

  5. The “five minute install.” It’s no joke. WordPress likes to play up this feature, and with good reason. WordPress can be installed and set up by anyone, with a very acceptable learning curve for beginners. Granted, for the development of a really fantastic site, users are well-advised to get a professional web development team on board so they’re getting the best look and user experience possible. Still, when you’re no tech junkie, it’s always comforting to know the system you’re using is about as difficult to install as Angry Birds.

  6. The visual WYSIWYG (visual) editor is great—and it’s always improving. Anyone who handles Drupal, Joomla, or anything like them knows that maintaining a smooth visual editor is not an easy task. WordPress offers all the intuitive tools you’d expect, including Paste from Word, revision histories, custom post types, and more. Generally speaking, if you can create it in Microsoft Word, you can create it in WordPress. Plus, the WP team is always tweaking an improving the editor via simple upgrades that arrive several times a year, so you won’t need to wait 3 years for the next release to see a problem remedied or a helpful feature added.

  7. Good security for WordPress is only a few clicks away. For a product that’s both easy to acquire and widely used, it’s surprisingly simple to keep it safe from hackers. It does require a bit of effort, mind you—do nothing at all to improve security, and your new WordPress site is comparably vulnerable to outside attacks—but many free security plugins are available through the plugin directory. See our earlier article about how to keep your site safe from the most common attacks.

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