You know what WordPress(WP) is. Or not. Maybe you don’t know what it is but your friend or colleague happened to mention in some conversation leaving you wanting to know more. You searched on Google “What is WordPress?” or “Why use WordPress?” and you know that over a third of the Internet uses it to fuel their websites. That is a mind blowing fact considering all of the other tools and platforms out there that allow you to publish content. WordPress is so big that many digital agencies list it as a standalone service they provide and for good reason. You know WordPress is the most popular platform to build a website but you haven’t weighed all the pros and cons to using it.
WordPress is the simplest way to build a website. This is why WordPress is King.
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Why Use WordPress?
There are many content management systems out there that allow you to publish your digital content in an intuitive manner. The con to many of them is that they only fulfill a specific need. What do I mean by that? Shopify is used to run an online store. The same goes for Magento and BigCommerce. Squarespace, Wix and Weebly are website builders that get you up and online through a few easy steps by selecting a customizable template and paying for it on the spot. All of those platforms have wonderful tools for people with varying skill levels but you can use WordPress over any of them. We’re not saying that you should but WP has the flexibility to adapt and create any type of website you can dream of.
- How WordPress made its rise to power
- WordPress allows you to make anything
- The Internet is powered by WordPress
- You probably didn’t know it was built in WordPress
- Is there anyone that can dethrone the king?
How WordPress made its rise to power
WordPress was developed as a standalone program by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003 as an alternative to a blogging tool called b2/cafelog. b2/cafelog had a fairly large user base but no developer support after it’s creator suddenly disappeared. WordPress did what it’s predecessor had done, generating posts dynamically from a MySQL database.
WordPress is open-source, meaning the source code is freely available to use, modify, and redistribute. In 2010, several things happened. Automattic(the company co-founded by Matt Mullenweg) transferred ownership to the WordPress Foundation to ensure WordPress would continue to grow and not be dependent on a single company or group of developers. Also, version 3.0 came out which was a huge step forward as it allowed users to create custom post types. That means you could dictate the type of content you wanted to put on a site. You could create a directory and be able to “add listings” to it. Each listing could have a name, phone number etc. Or you could make a store and you could post “products” with each having a price, description, attribute etc. To summarize, the changes to the WordPress Core gave the end user the power to manage these new features.
Normally, you would have to subscribe to an enterprise solution if you wanted to create an online retailing shop or a niche platform that targeted a specific industry but with WordPress, it can be anything you want it to be.
Of course to say WordPress does have its faults.
You are in charge of your website depending on the circumstance. You can automate tasks such as creating site backups and making updates but they do require a certain degree of setup beforehand. Until recently with the release of Guttenberg, there was no drag and drop builder for WordPress without installing an additional plugin. Some could argue the release of Guttenberg was premature because there were noticeable issues right out of the gate when it was released that were ultimately corrected.
More effort needs to be put into improving the mobile management experience as the use of mobile devices have become the dominant way to view a website.
But the biggest con is, not everyone uses WordPress. As Mat Mullenweg would say:
We have 71% of the web to go; only 29% runs on WordPress so far.
WordPress allows you to make anything
Years ago you could not create a traditional website with WordPress. However, nowadays with all the changes to the WordPress Core and the extensive ecosystem of plugins/themes by its contributors you can build almost anything with little to no programming experience.
You can use it to start a blog, create a business website, build an online store, start a membership site, sell online courses, run a marketplace, and much more:
- Job Board
- Classified Ads
- Community Networking
No matter what type of website you want to make it’s more than likely there is a plugin(extension) for it. If you cannot find a plugin which is rare but happens, there are thousand of developers out there you can hire to create it. In fact, the more niche a requested feature is the more important it is to hire a freelancer or agency to contract said work out to.
The Internet is powered by WordPress
WordPress has an undeniable impact on web standards, usability and the Internet at large. As previously mentioned, over one third of all websites are built in WordPress. Almost two thirds of all sites on a CMS are made with WordPress. That’s a heck of a lot more than all the other systems combined. Platforms like Shopify and Magento stake themselves on being the premier e-Commerce solution yet 30% of all online stores run on WooCommerce(a WordPress plugin). It is far and above the top content management system on the market.
It doesn’t eat, it doesn’t sleep. It is a 5 minute install and costs nothing to aqcuire.
Data collected from Google Trends dating back to 2004 tells us that WordPress related keyword searches rank higher than its so called “competitors”. If you want to rank higher, write about WordPress.
WordPress Content is Published in Over 120 Different Languages.
You probably didn’t know it was built in WordPress
Few large enterprises use WordPress as their content management system but there are a surprising number that do rely on it.
Whitehouse.gov uses WordPress to keep the nation up to date on latest news involving the President, economy, budget healthcare and more. The Obama administration used Drupal to power the country’s website but the Trump administration switched to WordPress stating that it could save taxpayers millions of dollars per year on security and maintenance.
The New York Times is an iconic American newspaper publishing company that has used WordPress to power their blogs for years now and is more important now than ever since print media has become obsolete with today’s technological handicap.
Sure, the Walk Disney Company is a powerful mass media company that makes billions and employees hundreds of thousands but did you know that their website is made with WordPress? Again, they make billions and turned to WordPress. Pretty darn cool if you ask me.
Microsoft is the company that made the Windows Operating System. Founded by one of the world’s greatest philanthropists in the States and whose products are used worldwide. The Microsoft News Center is a blog they run to inform the public of the latest news surrounding the company.
The list goes on:
CNN – CNN hosts blogs for their many on-air personalities and for breaking news.
Forbes – Forbes is a leading source for reliable business news and financial information.
Reuters – Reuters’ blogs deliver critical news to decision makers, powered by the world’s most trusted news organization.
Maclean’s – Maclean’s enlightens readers with investigative reporting and exclusive stories from leading journalists.
Sony – the PlayStation.Blog is where the people who create the PlayStation experience meet gamers & fans directly
Best Buy – Best Buy uses WordPress Multisite to power 1050 local store blogs & their mobile site.
Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones’ website (“the World’s Greatest Rock ‘N’ Roll Band”) including a complete discography and videos.
Jay-Z – LifeandTimes.com is curated by Jay-Z and covers a wide range of the artist’s interests.
Kay Perry – Katy Perry is an American singer and songwriter. Her site offers videos, lyrics, ringtones, & more.
Lollapalooza – Lollapalooza is an annual music festival featuring heavy metal, alternative, punk and hip hop.
Izod – IZOD offers modern sportswear, high-tech golfwear, and performance wear with a clean, youthful aesthetic.
Kineda – Kineda is the definitive fashion and lifestyle web destination for today’s trendsetting young adults.
Modelina – Modelinia is the first entertainment web destination dedicated to the life of the Supermodel.
Stylewatch – The ultimate guide to the hottest celebrity fashion and beauty looks from the editors of PEOPLE.
Hypebeast – Hypebeast is a lifestyle magazine that features the latest in men’s fashion, art, design and music.
TechCrunch – A blog about technology start-ups and is one of the top technology blogs on the web.
IBM Jobs – The official site for IBM Recruitment, and it provides an insider view of their company, their strategic vision, and what they have to offer as an employer.
Boing Boing – Billed as “the world’s greatest neurozine,” its editors write about technology, science, culture, and much more
FiveThirtyEight – FiveThirtyEight is a blog dedicated to political polling written by Nate Silver.
Swampland – TIME’s Swampland offers political insight from the Beltway and beyond.
Wonkette – Wonkette details the goings-on of the political establishment in Washington, DC and the U.S.
politicalticker – Political Ticker brings the latest political news and campaign coverage from CNN’s Best Political Team.
GOP – Hub of all information related to the Republican Party.
Buzz Machine – Jeff Jarvis, creator of Entertainment Weekly, writes about the future of publishing at BuzzMachine.
Laughing Squid – Laughing Squid is both a cloud-based web hosting company and a popular blog featuring art, culture, & technology.
Mashable – Mashable covers entertainment, technology, gadgets, and the web with a focus on social media.
Is there anyone that can dethrone the king?
At the time of writing this article, absolute not.
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