For someone who isn't a web designer but who wants to build a professional website, your options are:
- Proprietary (i.e. non-open source) site-building services
Examples of the latter include WIX, Web Start Today, Weebly, Moonfruit, Webnode, Squarespace, Webs, Edicy, Yola, Jimdo and many others.
I've experimented with a number of these sites, and although it definitely IS easier to get something up and running with them than it is with WordPress, it isn't that much easier. And with the ready-made site that I provide to PRO Members - which includes drag-and drop design facilities - it gets you closer to the ease of use of those proprietary site-building services.
But what you get with WordPress, which you don't get with any other site-building environment, is the huge eco-system of developers who create plug-ins and theme and integrations. Other open-source platforms, such as Drupal and Joomla, DO have similar (smaller) eco-systems, but they are rather more complex than WordPress.
But the point I want to emphasize here are the various integrations that are available with WordPress, and I'll cover just two examples to make my point.
I love this tool! It's my Secret Weapon for creating how-to instructions for screen-based actions. It allows you to very quickly and easily grab and notate screen images, add instructions, move things around ... and create a "Lesson". Once you have a lesson, you can export it in a variety of formats, including, PDF, HTML and WordPress post/page.
So, right from within Screen Steps, I can create a "lesson" and post it to Your Digital Ally.
The post I made the other week on How to make the most of your Title on your Linkedin profile was created using Screen Steps. One of the biggest time-savers is that all the images are automatically uploaded to WordPress and linked to from the post.
If I wasn't using WordPress, I wouldn't be able to make use of Screen Steps.
This is a brilliant service that allows anyone (and I mean anyone) to create integrations between well over 100 different online services.
I mention this system in Your Digital Strategy Manual (if you don't have your own copy of this sign up as a free member to get access to it), give these as examples of the business rules you can set up with Zapier:
Whenever a particular person sends you an email with an attachment, put a copy of the attachment into Dropbox.
Every time you create an Evernote note with a certain tag, add a related task to your task manager or project management system.
Whenever someone registers on your help desk, add them to your mailing list.
The possibilities are almost limitless.
And how those to relate to WordPress and its competitors?
WordPress is one of the systems you can integrate with using Zapier. But that isn't true for any of the 10 proprietary site-building services I mentioned above. Perhaps that will change over time, but the point is this:
Whenever anyone wishes to provide a facility to integrate with a website, the first (and often the only) website building system they offer integration with, is WordPress.
You may be thinking... "In what sort of ways could I 'integrate' with my WordPress site?" Here are a few of the ready-made "Zaps" (as they call them) on Zapier:
- Automatically update your Facebook page with new WordPress posts
- Automatically tweet new WordPress posts
- Share new WordPress posts on LinkedIn
- Add new row to Google Docs spreadsheet for new WordPress posts
- Trigger an SMS for new comments on a WordPress post
- Announce New Meetups on Group Blog
- ... (there are 27 pages of examples)
I would LOVE to be able to recommend something to you for setting up your website that is simpler to use than WordPress, but ... you can see why I stick with it, can't you?
Let me know what you think. Leave a comment below.