WordPress was originally released in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and was used as a blogging platform for many. It’s popularity increased and since it has become an open source CMS (content management system) for websites.

WordPress offers many templates in its armour, designed by many of the world’s most talented web designers. These can be used for free as part of the open source network of software.

So the question is, how will this work for you? It’s simple because a web designer with PHP and MYSQL skills can turn WordPress into a completely bespoke content management system for you. That means that you can have the website looking the way you want with a fantastic back end system that allows you to control your content per page and also add things such as video, images and audio. Because WordPress is traditionally a blogging platform you can add articles/ blogs to your website easily and also optimise them for the search engines.

The real beauty of having a WordPress website is that it is very search engine friendly which helps your website to get found by many of the top search engines such as Google.

As with any open source software there are hundreds if not thousands of developers constantly building new applications for WordPress. You will find these easily in the back end of your website by searching through the plug-ins which are free to use. Here you will find just about anything you want such as a quick and simple contact form, a lightbox gallery to show off your pictures, a system to allow users to upload images to your site, eccomerce solutions so that you can sell easily online, SEO applications that allow you to simply optimise each page of your website and the list goes on.

The internet has matured and search engines and users love good content, a WordPress website allows you to manage your own content 100%, and remember that you can access your own secure login remotely from anywhere in the world because it is all internet based.

If you are looking to get a website built then be sure to ask your web designer about putting it onto WordPress software, you will be able to manage the website yourself for years to come and add plug-ins for new things you want to add such as video and podcasts. It really is that simple, just a couple of clicks of a button.

Note: WordPress is used by over 300 of the 10,000 biggest websites and this figure will only grow as people realise the potential it offers. It is also worth noting is that in late 2009 over 202 million websites were using its capabilities.

Ian Spencer works for Clear Web Services, a SEO Web Optimisation and Web Design company serving the Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire and South Wales.