My preferred way to build websites is using WordPress. WordPress is an incredibly simple tool to develop websites from the simple to the extremely complex. There are several other tools similar to WordPress that are also free tools, the biggest being Joomla and Drupal. After using all three of these, I have chosen WordPress to do my developing with for a few simple but powerful reasons.
- Ease of setup
- Ease of use
- Ease of customization.
Firstly, the biggest thing making WordPress the easiest to setup is that it requires the LEAST knowledge of MySQL to setup. Once WordPress is installed on your site, you can easily find and install new themes, and keep playing around with them to find exactly what you are looking for. If you are code savvy, you can modify any theme to fit your needs, meaning you can always use free themes to have exactly what you want. Also, starting with WordPress 3.8, WordPress can automatically update itself keeping your WordPress site more secure. With WordPress being so commonly used and powerful, many web hosting companies have a 1 click install option on their control pages. If this is not an option for your site, you can follow my detailed walk-through for a more in depth description of installing and setting up WordPress.
Second, WordPress has, in my opinion, the easiest user interface. Adding blog entries, called posts, or full static pages is very simple. You don’t need to know any code to get a quality website up and running in a very short period of time. Use themes to modify the appearance and function of the website in minutes. Plugins are plenty and simple to use. If you know what you are looking for, just search for the plugin from your WordPress admin console, find the plugin, and click install. Easy as that, you can add all kinds of functionality to your website, e-commerce, easily added Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and just about anything you can think of.
Lastly, for those who know how to code and like to get into the thick of things, creating a child theme and adding your own custom code is possible and easier to do than with other CMS’s. I’ve built websites using only the built in, easy to use tools that come with WordPress and the various themes I’ve installed, but I’ve also built websites using child themes. Child themes allow you to use the background programming and templates created by your theme, but allow you to customize specific PHP files and the CSS file to make your own changes to your site. Then when your parent theme updates, you don’t lose your changes.
So, all things considered, WordPress is the best website builder in my opinion, and the CMS I recommend to people looking to make their own site or pay me to make for them.