5 Reasons Every Dentist Should Use WordPress
What is WordPress?
It is my belief that without exception, every single dental website should be powered by WordPress.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) created and managed by Automattic. While Automattic owns WordPress, WordPress is an open-source project that is free to download and use. Since its official release in 2003, WordPress has become the most popular content management system in the world with a 59.4% market share. Furthermore, WordPress now powers almost a quarter (25%) of all the websites on the Internet.
WordPress began as software aimed at making online publishing easy for bloggers, but has since become a robust system capable of powering some of the most highly trafficked websites in the world.
WordPress is divided into two products — one product is called “WordPress.com” and the other is called “WordPress.org”. WordPress.com is a managed hosting service provided by Automattic that is great for bloggers who want to focus on writing great content with minimal distractions. However, WordPress.com has strict limitations on the themes and plugins that can be installed on their servers and thus is not the most popular way to use WordPress.
WordPress.org is described as the free, open-source, self-hosted version of WordPress. Self-hosted installations of WordPress have almost no limitations.
For the average small business owner, and certainly every dentist, a self-hosted WordPress installation offers more than enough features to power your ideal website.
5 Reasons Every Dentist Should Use WordPress for Their Website
Easy to Use
If you are going to pay for a website, you need to be able to use it. The WordPress dashboard is designed with content creation in mind and is easy to use. With WordPress, anyone can publish, edit, or update their content without any technical knowledge. This means you can edit your dental practice’s website without the help of an outside webmaster.
Figure 1: A screenshot of the WordPress dashboard.
Affordable & Beautiful Design
Potential patients expect their dentist to have a website that looks great, loads quickly, and expresses the philosophy of the dental practice. At the minimum, your website should be a place where patients can learn more about you, your team, and the services you provide.
WordPress developers have created thousands of themes to choose from, and most new themes are responsive (mobile friendly) out-of-the-box. A premium theme purchased from a reliable developer is much more affordable than contracting a designer to build a custom website for your practice and most themes are updated at no additional charge to the customer to ensure compatibility with future WordPress core updates.
One of the best things about WordPress is access to thousands of Plugins. Plugins are pieces of software that you can install to expand the functions of your practice’s website. Most plugins are free to download and use; however, there is an entire community built around WordPress where developers sell premium plugins that can perform some truly amazing functions.
In short, plugins make your life as a website owner easy. Plugins make it possible for you to get the features that you want without having to know anything about writing code. This makes it easy to expand the functionality of your website as you see fit.
Security is probably WordPress’s biggest downside for two reasons. First, most WordPress websites are self-hosted and running older versions of WordPress with known vulnerabilities. Since most people are not updating their websites regularly and are not familiar with maintaining their hosting environment and website, they can be easy targets. With that said, since WordPress is updated regularly to address known vulnerabilities, websites running updated versions of WordPress are relatively secure with no additional changes beyond a strong password and a unique user ID (don’t use Admin as your username). On top of updating the WordPress core and any themes or plugins installed on the site, the addition of a premium security plugin such as iThemes Security can make your website extremely secure with just a few clicks.
Search Engine Friendly
Your website is essentially the center of your marketing strategy.
Undoubtedly, part of your digital marketing strategy is to rank well in popular search engines such as Google. Fortunately, WordPress was designed with search engines in mind and WordPress websites are typically favorably indexed. If you practice in a moderately competitive market, search engine optimization (SEO) may be a part of your digital marketing strategy; if you are interested in learning more about SEO, I have written a guide introducing dentists to everything they need to know about SEO which can be downloaded for free by visiting the following webpage: https://embrasurespace.com/product/what-every-dentist-needs-to-know-about-seo/