There are a lot of options when it comes to building a website. You may have heard of Wix and Weebly and SquareSpace, just to name a few, but I chose WordPress. There are a lot of reasons why, but today I thought I’d highlight the top three:
This is probably the most boring, but the most important reason I use WordPress.
“Hosted” website solutions, like Wix, Weebly, or SquareSpace, have proprietary website-building platforms and hosting in one package. This means that if I built my site using the proprietary platform and then decided I didn’t like their service or it was no longer meeting my needs, I would have to rebuild my entire site on a different platform somewhere else.
WordPress is a “self-hosted” website solution because once I’ve built my website on the WordPress platform, I can host it wherever I want. (I happen to host my sites on BlueHost.)
If you don’t understand what exactly this means, don’t worry. The important thing to understand is that if I don’t like the service I am getting from my web host, I can move my entire site to a new host and it will look exactly the same without having to rebuild anything. This is because the platform it’s built on (WordPress) is non-proprietary and moves with my site.
(I have been developing websites for music teachers and other small businesses since 2013 and have helped switch hosts many times for many reasons. Believe me when I say it’s good to have options!)
Mobile-friendly (or “responsive”) design. Having a mobile-friendly website is a an absolute necessity these days. In 2016, we the-nerds-like-me-who-follow-web-development-trends started seeing reports that mobile traffic was surpassing desktop traffic. More importantly, in 2015 Google announced that it would use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for delivering mobile search results. A website doesn’t do you any good if no one can find it!
I’m still surprised when I hear about website platforms that aren’t mobile-friendly. Please, don’t bother with these platforms. Just don’t.
Design freedom. One of the things that frustrates me with proprietary website builders is that, in trying to make website building process fool-proof, they often limit design options. You end up with goofy things that can’t be adjusted. Menus that run off the page, text that is just a bit smaller than you’d like or so big that it overlaps the next line, fonts that don’t match the rest of your branding, and so on. Making these advanced customizations is just not possible.
With WordPress, I have complete freedom to design my site however I want. The basic customizations can be done directly through WordPress (just like those on the proprietary platforms). But if the basic setup gives me something that doesn’t look right, I am not locked out of the code. I can go in (or hire a developer) to tweak whatever code is driving me up the wall.
As of right now, I just have a simple website for my studio. If I decided tomorrow that I wanted a private student community on my site or a store to sell my compositions (That’s a joke. Composing is not my gift!), I could do that in WordPress without starting from scratch with a completely new website.
This is important to me because you just never know where your studio will take you! I want a website platform that will be flexible enough to grow with my business.
Want help building a WordPress site for your studio?
I want to talk to you! I’ve got a new project in the works and I’d love to hear your insights. Drop me a line here.
*I use WordPress.org, which is not to be confused with WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a “hosted” version of the WordPress platform. Leave a comment if you want to know more about the differences.
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