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WordPress review 2024: Complete guide for beginners and pros

Reading Time: 12 minutes

There’s a prevalent myth that WordPress is only good for blogging. Despite starting as a blogging platform, WordPress has evolved significantly over the years.

The platform has emerged as a versatile and powerful content management system (CMS). It features an extensive plugin ecosystem, customizable themes, and user-friendly interface.

According to data from W3Techs, WordPress powers 43.2% of all websites on the internet. This confirms WordPress’s strong position as a top choice for building websites.

In this WordPress review, we’ll discuss features, pricing, and customer support. Since the learning curve can be challenging to some, this will help you make an informed decision.

Want to leverage the power of email and SMS marketing for your WordPress website? Get started with Omnisend.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free, open-source content management system (CMS). The platform powers millions of websites across various industries, including personal blogs, business websites, ecommerce stores, portfolios, and more.

WordPress exists in two distinct versions. WordPress.com is a hosted platform where your website resides on WordPress’s servers. Meanwhile, WordPress.org offers open-source software for self-hosted websites, providing more control over customization and management.

In this WordPress review, our focus is on the WordPress.org software. 

Let’s take a look at its key pros and cons.

ProsCons
Freedom to build any type of websiteRequires some technical understanding
Free to use and modifyCan slow down websites if not handled with care
Large community for supportNo phone support
Optimized for search enginesExpenses add up quite a bit
Thousands of plugins and themesRequires separate hosting and domain registration
Lets you transfer sites to other hostsWYSIWYG editing is missing

Undoubtedly, WordPress stands out as a premier option for website development. It boasts more than 8,000 reviews on G2, with an impressive 4.5 out of 5 rating.

Here’s what some users are saying about WordPress:

WordPress review from G2
Image via G2
WordPress review from G2
Image via G2
Image via Reddit

WordPress as a website builder

WordPress, known for its versatility, allows users to create websites of various types and sizes. 

Here are some features you can expect from the WordPress website builder:

  • Extensive customization: With over 10,000 themes, WordPress web design offers many possibilities. It allows users to tailor their websites according to their unique requirements.
  • Wide range of plugins: WordPress provides users with more than 55,000 plugins. They have many functions, including setting up an online store and showcasing portfolios.
  • Mobile responsiveness: Many WordPress themes are designed to be mobile-responsive. This ensures websites perform well on various devices, including smartphones and tablets.
  • Analytics and tracking: Users can integrate analytics tools and tracking plugins with WordPress. This allows them to check visitor behavior and performance metrics for informed decision-making.
Wordpress homepage
Image via WordPress

Launching a WordPress.org website requires you to register a domain name and purchase web hosting.

Numerous providers offer hosting services, with Hostinger being a top choice. Hostinger offers WordPress hosting that’s optimized for performance, reliability, and security. 

Here are some features you can expect:

  • One-click WordPress installation
  • SSD storage
  • Caching solutions
  • Automatic backups
  • 24/7 live chat support

Overall, WordPress simplifies the process of creating and launching a website. However, if you want the help of an expert, you can also hire WordPress development agencies to do this for you.

WordPress ease of use

Choosing WordPress.org over WordPress.com means opting for greater flexibility, albeit with a trade-off in ease of use.

WordPress.org’s setup process requires some technical knowledge and has a learning curve. While it provides a starter theme, you’ll unlikely use it without customization.

Finding and installing themes on WordPress is relatively straightforward, but newcomers may find it challenging to customize them.

However, once your WordPress site is set up, maintenance is pretty simple. Its organized dashboard allows easy updates, publishing, and plugin management. Most of this is possible with just a few clicks.

WordPress pricing

A WordPress review wouldn’t be complete without talking about pricing.

Due to its open-source nature, WordPress is free to download and install by anyone. However, building a website entails additional expenses beyond the website builder itself.

Some additional costs include domain registration, web hosting, premium themes, and plugins. They can range from a few to several hundred dollars per month.

Let’s explore the expected costs for different types of WordPress websites.

Websites for bloggers and artistsEcommerce storesService-based businessesWebsites for nonprofits
Domain name$5 to $20 per year$5 to $20 per year$5 to $20 per year$5 to $20 per year
Web hosting$3 to $10 per month$30 to $1,000 per month$10 to $30 per month$10 to $30 per month
ThemesFree to $50 (one-time)Free to $200+ (one-time)Free to $50 (one-time)Free to $50 (one-time)
PluginsEmail marketing: Free to $30 per month
SEO: Free to $100 per year
Content creation: Free to $200 per year
Security: Free to $100 per year
Payments: Free to $500+ per year
Email marketing: Free to $500+ per month
Shipping and delivery: Free to $100 per month
Security: Free to $500+ per year
Appointment scheduling: Free to $50 per month
Payments: Free to $500+ per year
Email marketing: Free to $500+ per month
Contact forms: Free to $300 per year
Security: Free to $500+ per year
Donation management: Free to $300 per year
Email marketing: Free to $500+ per year
Security: Free to $500+ per year

Please bear in mind that these estimates are approximate and rounded figures. The actual cost will vary based on the selected plugins and any premium features or plans.

Unlike WordPress, other popular website builders offer pricing plans with various features.

Wix provides four plans: 

  • Light: $17 per month
  • Core: $29 per month
  • Business: $36 per month
  • Business Elite: $159 per month

All plans include free hosting and a free domain for one year.

Squarespace offers four plans as well:

  • Personal: $23 per month
  • Business: $33 per month
  • Commerce Basic: $36 per month
  • Commerce Advanced: $65 per month

All Squarespace plans include fully managed cloud hosting. Additionally, opting for annual payments grants one year of free domain registration.

When it comes to Shopify, you can choose from the following three paid plans: 

  • Basic: $39 per month
  • Shopify: $105 per month
  • Advanced: $399 per month

Each plan includes hosting and a free myshopify.com domain name.

Other website builders may seem cheaper than WordPress at first glance, but their plans typically do not include plugins and premium themes.

Popular WordPress themes and design

High-quality themes and designs can significantly enhance your site’s appearance. 

WordPress offers free themes suitable for simple websites with minimal customization needs. However, these themes may have coding issues and lack comprehensive support. Conversely, paid WordPress themes offer more reliable support and better customization options.

WordPress themes
Image via WordPress

Two top-notch all-in-one WordPress themes are Divi and Astra. Here’s a closer look at both of them:

  • Astra: This WordPress theme is renowned for its speed and performance. It offers pre-built templates and seamlessly integrates with popular page builders.
  • Divi: It is a versatile WordPress theme with a drag-and-drop page builder. It boasts over 200 website elements, advanced design settings, and extensive customization options.

Aside from themes, WordPress offers various design features and capabilities to enhance websites:

  • Customization: Customize website colors, fonts, and backgrounds in real time. This is made possible by the built-in customizer tool and support for custom CSS.
  • Widgets and sidebars: Improve website functionality and design with widgets and sidebars, to effectively display additional content and features.
  • Menus and navigation: You can create custom menus and navigation structures. Organize them hierarchically and assign them to different locations on the website.
  • Media management: Easily upload, organize, and display images, videos, and other media files by creating galleries and embedding videos from platforms like YouTube.
  • Responsive design: Ensure websites look and function well across devices and screen sizes.
  • Accessibility features: Ensure that your website is accessible to users with disabilities by including alt text for images and keyboard navigation support.

Key features of WordPress

There’s more to building a robust website than extensive design and theme options.

In this part of the WordPress review, we’ll explore features like security, marketing, plugins, and SEO.

WordPress performance and security

WordPress guarantees site security through regular updates and background security releases. Moreover, a team of 50 security experts works together to ensure smooth operations.

That said, the primary responsibility for website security rests with the web host. Integrated website builders may provide encryption and an SSL certificate for stronger security. Wix serves as a great example of this.

Nevertheless, here are some security best practices for your WordPress website: 

  • Keep WordPress updated: Regularly update core, themes, and plugins. This enables you to address vulnerabilities and implement the latest security features.
  • Use strong passwords: Enforce strong password policies for administrators and other user accounts. Moreover, consider implementing two-factor authentication for added security.
  • Regular backups: Perform regular backups of website files and databases. This allows quick recovery in the event of a security breach or data loss.
  • Install security plugins: Use WordPress security plugins like Wordfence, Sucuri, or iThemes Security. They can help monitor suspicious activity and block malicious attacks.

For additional security support, visit the WordPress community forums. There, you can discuss and troubleshoot security issues with other website owners.

Lastly, always ensure that your website is optimized to improve resilience against potential security threats. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Optimize images for faster page loads and reduced security risks.
  • Minimize HTTP requests to mitigate vulnerabilities.
  • Enable caching for quicker loading times and reduced risk exposure.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). It disperses assets and mitigates localized server issues.

Plugin ecosystem

WordPress offers nearly 60,000 plugins, available in both free and paid versions. These plugins can greatly enrich your site’s functionality with features like SEO for WordPress, translation aids, and photo editing capabilities.

Some of the best WordPress plugins across various categories include:

  • Yoast SEO: Helps optimize your website for search engines, improving visibility and ranking.
  • WooCommerce: Transforms your website into a powerful WordPress ecommerce platform.
  • Elementor: Allows for easy drag-and-drop designing of custom layouts when building pages.
  • Wordfence Security: Provides robust security features, such as firewall protection, malware scanning, and login security.
  • UpdraftPlus: Offers comprehensive backup and restoration solutions.

WordPress marketing capabilities

Marketing capabilities enable WordPress users to increase visibility and engage audiences. 

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Content marketing: WordPress is an intuitive CMS. It allows users to easily create, publish, and manage high-quality content. The platform supports various content formats, including blog posts, articles, videos, and podcasts.
  • Email marketing integration: WordPress offers a range of email marketing plugins. These include Mailchimp, Omnisend, Constant Contact, and ConvertKit, among others. These plugins enable users to create email campaigns directly from their WordPress dashboard.
  • Social media integration: WordPress allows easy integration with social media platforms. Users can share content automatically on social media and display their feeds on their websites.
  • Ecommerce integration: Is WordPress good for ecommerce marketing? Certainly. WordPress seamlessly integrates with ecommerce plugins like WooCommerce. This allows ecommerce stores to sell products directly from their websites. Users can create product listings, manage inventory, and more. They can do this within their WordPress dashboard.

Overall, WordPress supports marketing efforts with its plugins and integrations, empowering users to achieve their goals.

Integrate WordPress with Omnisend to generate sales on autopilot.

SEO optimization

Is WordPress good for SEO? The short answer is yes.

Without SEO for WordPress, your site might not rank high on search engine results. The platform offers tools that are easy to use even if you’re not a tech expert. 

Here are some helpful strategies you can implement:

  • Make your site discoverable: WordPress allows you to make your site visible to search engines. This is handy when you’re making major changes to your site and want search engines to index them. Remember to uncheck it once you’ve saved your changes to avoid unwanted indexing.
  • Optimize URLs for SEO: With WordPress, you can customize your website’s URLs. This helps Google understand your content’s relevance to specific searches.
  • Utilize categories and tags: Creating custom categories and tags in WordPress is simple. This helps search engines understand what your content is about and rank you higher in search results.
  • Improve content with keywords: WordPress allows you to use HTML tags in the text editor. These tags enable you to emphasize keywords in page titles and subtitles. This sends a signal to search engines that the page is important and relevant. 

There are many other WordPress SEO plugins that better your site’s rankings. These plugins can help users analyze content, generate XML sitemaps, and customize metadata. Simply search beyond this WordPress review. 

Advanced features and customizations

For users seeking to elevate their website, WordPress provides advanced features and customizations. 

Here are some of your options:

  • Custom code editing: Users can modify the underlying code of themes and plugins. This provides unparalleled control over the website’s appearance and functionality. 
  • APIs: WordPress comes equipped with robust APIs. These enable developers to integrate external services and expand the platform’s capabilities. 
  • Child themes: A child theme inherits all features from its parent theme, including design and functionality, while enabling customization without directly altering the parent theme’s files.

WordPress features a community of skilled developers and a vast array of resources, such as forums, documentation, and tutorials.

WordPress for different user types

We can’t iterate enough in this WordPress review how versatile this platform is. With its diverse features, it allows users to create a wide range of WordPress websites.

  • Blogs: WordPress offers an intuitive interface for publishing and managing blog posts. Its user-friendly editor simplifies content creation and enables bloggers to focus on delivering engaging content to their audience.
  • Business websites: With WordPress, businesses can create professional websites. Numerous themes and plugins are available, enabling customization to suit various objectives, like showcasing products, services, company information, and more.
  • Ecommerce stores: WordPress provides robust capabilities for selling products online. Plugins like WooCommerce enable secure payments, inventory management, and seamless shopping. To drive sales, plugins like Omnisend for WordPress come in handy. You can use your store’s data to segment customers and automate marketing. 
  • Galleries and portfolios: WordPress is great for artists. In particular, it allows artists to connect better with their audience, create stunning galleries and portfolios.
  • Nonprofits: WordPress offers several donation plugins and customizable donation forms. These features help nonprofits engage supporters, share their mission, and collect contributions.

Also, the platform’s seamless integrations and plugins allow WordPress dropshipping. This is a great way for businesses to expand their product offerings and boost sales.

WordPress customer service and support

Unfortunately, WordPress customer service lacks dedicated assistance from a support team. Instead, users rely on community-supported forums and the WordPress support database for help. 

Here’s how you can access support:

  • WordPress Forum: Search for queries related to issues you’ve encountered on WordPress. If you can’t find a solution, you can always post your question and wait for community assistance.
  • WordPress Documentation: This is also called the WordPress Codex. It’s a comprehensive resource that contains everything you must know about WordPress. It’s particularly useful for those making code changes to their WordPress website.

WordPress.org users appreciate the availability of communities and forums. Nonetheless, here’s a sense of disappointment about the absence of one-on-one support, especially since paying users of WordPress.com have 24/7 access to live chat and email support. Here’s what some customers are saying:

WordPress review from G2
Image via G2
WordPress review from Trustpilot
Image via Trustpilot

Alternatives to WordPress

Although WordPress is widely used, it may not suit everyone’s needs. Some users don’t want to manage their website backups, security, and updates.

This part of this WordPress review explores three strong WordPress alternatives

Let’s begin. 

1. Wix

WordPress alternatives: Wix
Image via Wix

Wix is one of the most popular website builders on the market, known for its drag-and-drop editor. It allows you to create stylish and modern websites without requiring design or coding skills, making it one of the best alternatives to WordPress for beginners.

Key features:

  • Fully-hosted platform requiring no coding
  • Wide selection of templates
  • Customization through drag-and-drop interface
  • Ecommerce capabilities
  • Integration with over 500 apps

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons:

  • Limited control of your site
  • Basic store navigation

Why choose Wix:

Small business owners or artists looking for an easy online presence may find Wix ideal. It’s particularly valuable for those prioritizing design elements over coding intricacies.

2. Squarespace

WordPress alternatives: Squarespace
Image via Squarespace

Like Wix, Squarespace is great for those seeking stunning websites without coding. It offers an all-in-one solution, covering domain, hosting, design, email marketing, and support.

That said, Squarespace lacks WordPress’ extensive customization. To make up for it, it has a user-friendly interface and a shorter learning curve. That’s why it’s so appealing to many users.

Key features:

  • Video maker with templates and editing tools
  • IOS and Android mobile app
  • Blogging features
  • Built-in SEO and marketing tools
  • Ecommerce functionality

Pros:

  • Extensive analytics tools
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons:

  • No auto-save feature
  • No free plan

Why choose Squarespace:

Squarespace is a top choice for websites rich in imagery. Its sleek, minimalist templates beautifully complement high-quality images. This makes it particularly appealing to designers, photographers, and visual artists.

3. Shopify

WordPress alternatives: Shopify
Image via Shopify

Shopify, a top WordPress alternative for ecommerce, offers streamlined store management features. With hosting and maintenance taken care of, you can focus on your business.

Key features:

  • Multi-channel ecommerce tools
  • Hosted platform with maintenance and support
  • Large theme library
  • Over 8,000 free and paid apps
  • In-house payment solution

Pros:

  • A wide range of apps and plugins
  • Unlimited products on all plans
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons:

  • Limited blogging tools
  • Limited customization options

Why choose Shopify:

If you’re new to ecommerce, Shopify is the ideal platform for you. Engineered to streamline setup, it caters to users of all technical backgrounds.

Wrap up

As we conclude this WordPress review, let’s ask the main question. Is WordPress a good website builder?

In short, yes. The WordPress website builder is one of the most versatile options in today’s market. It offers extensive customization options and a vast array of integrations and plugins. Additionally, its large community provides ample support for guidance.

However, using WordPress does entail an initial investment of both money and time. This is unlike many other drag-and-drop website builders, such as Wix. Furthermore, WordPress may pose challenges for individuals lacking coding knowledge.

If you’re unsure, it’s best to try platforms that match your skills and needs. If you see potential in your website, you can always switch to WordPress at a later stage.

Integrate WordPress with Omnisend to generate sales on autopilot.

WordPress review FAQs

1. Do people still use WordPress in 2024?

Yes, WordPress remains a popular choice for website creation and management in 2024. Its versatility, extensive features, and large community support continue to attract users. Users range from bloggers and small businesses to large enterprises. Additionally, regular updates ensure its relevance even amidst growing competition.

2. Is the WordPress website really free?

WordPress is an open-source software that’s free to download and use from WordPress.org. However, there may be extra costs for domain registration, hosting, themes, and plugins. Additionally, some additional features and upgrades on WordPress may require payment. 

3. Is WordPress good for beginners?

WordPress.org has a learning curve and may not be ideal for beginners. Moreover, it lacks one-on-one support. That said, it offers extensive online communities and forums for assistance. In contrast, WordPress.com is more user-friendly. It comes with a supportive interface, albeit offering less flexibility and control.

4. What is better than WordPress?

Several platforms offer features comparable to WordPress. Squarespace is known for its user-friendly interface and integrated hosting. Wix offers drag-and-drop functionality that’s ideal for beginners. Shopify specializes in ecommerce, while Joomla offers advanced customization suited for developers. Each platform has its strengths and may be better suited for specific use cases.

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Article by
Karolina Petraškienė

Karolina is a writer, content marketer, and email enthusiast at Omnisend. When she's not curating articles, you can find her in the woods challenging herself in hiking boots or off-roading her bike.


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