WordPress has changed the world of web design. For designers, it provides a scalable framework for developing and deploying websites. For clients, it allows them to edit and update their own websites without picking apart the HTML or compromising the underlying code. There are dozens of good reasons why WordPress has become one of the most popular content management system (CMS) on the planet. But in spite of the worldwide success of WordPress, there are still a number of lingering misconceptions about this platform that stop clients from tapping the full potential of this outstanding piece of software.

1. All WordPress Websites Look the Same

Even if you don’t have hands-on experience with WordPress, you’ve probably heard about WordPress themes and templates. For more than a few onlookers, this has led to the misconception that WordPress is essentially a “paint by numbers” web design; you can tweak the colors and font a bit, but for the most part, you’re stuck with two columns and a header on a grid. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

WordPress is a website framework. That is, it’s the foundation of a website–the underlying structure the gives it stability and scalability. This strong starting point that WordPress provides is the opposite of restrictive. How a WordPress website looks when it’s up and running depends solely on what the designer builds on top of it.  The culprit for a cookie-cutter WordPress site is a lack of creativity, not a lack of possibilities.

2. WordPress is a Blogging Platform

It’s true that WordPress was originally developed as a blogging platform, but it has since evolved far beyond its original capabilities. WordPress now powers highly complex and functional sites, including social media hubs, eCommerce storefronts, real estate management platforms, city guides, artist and designer portfolios, online magazines, project management suites for businesses, forums, directories, and much, much more. You’d be hard pressed to find something WordPress can’t do.

So don’t be shy about asking your web developer, “Can you make my website do x?” If your website is powered by WordPress, the answer will 99 out of 100 times be: “Of course.”

3. WordPress is Designed for Non-coders and Web Novices

It’s incredibly easy to install WordPress and publish a blog. Depending on your web host, getting started with WordPress requires no more technical skill than operating a mouse. But just because WordPress is designed to be easy for novices to use doesn’t mean that WordPress is a tool solely for beginners. WordPress is equally as intuitive and valuable in the hands of an expert programmer or web designer as it is in the hands of a beginner. In fact, that’s what makes it such an exceptional tool.

It’s a bit like an artist and his pen. Any human being can use a pen and paper–we do it everyday to sign contracts, jot down shopping lists and record notes for a meeting. But an artist with that exact same pen and that exact same pad of paper can do far more, from portraits and landscapes to poetry and calligraphy.

WordPress is the same way. It’s a blank canvas for programmers and designers to bring their visions–and your ideas–to your life.

Learn more about WordPress by attending our upcoming webinar: WordPress 101 on July 14 at Noon PT.