In the modern web design world, there are an abundance of Content Management Systems to choose from when creating a website. So why do we use WordPress?
For those of you who are not already familiar with the term, a Content Management System (CMS) stores your website’s content in an easily-editable system. There are many benefits to implementing a CMS because it allows those who are not skilled in HTML or PHP to add content and make changes to a website quickly and cost effectively. A CMS also allows you to have multiple users collaborate on the same website, including the ability to see who has edited content and limit access for certain users. Because your website’s text and images are stored in a database, it exists independent of the design and development files. This allows you to change “themes” without losing the content you’ve already incorporated into the site.
Some popular CMS options include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. While each has its benefits and drawbacks, we’ve gravitated towards WordPress due to its user-friendliness, flexibility, and wide range of support for technical and non-technical users.
Wide range of support
Before reading this article, you had probably already heard of (and maybe even used) WordPress before. WordPress is the one of the most widely-used Content Management Systems in the world.
As of December 2015, 25% of websites across the globe are running on WordPress
WordPress is completely free and open source, meaning there is no charge to use WordPress, personally or commercially, and the code is openly available for scrutiny and collaboration. That means that anyone can see exactly how WordPress works and can contribute to make it better. As of writing, WordPress.org boasts 42,250 plugins with 1,137,804,389 total downloads. The vast majority of these plugins were not developed by a core team that managed WordPress, but by a large and active developer community.
In order to support the community and its users, WordPress is well-documented. Aside from a well-maintained WordPress “Codex”, there are many references to common issues in forums online. With WordPress, you are almost never the first one to experience whatever problem is perplexing you and finding solutions to problems is often easier than with other CMS’s. There are an abundance of tutorials and guides online as well.
User-friendly features and backend
WordPress is well known for being easy to use for beginners due to its origins as a blogging platform. WordPress requires little setup to get a basic blog or website up and running. With minimal training, a user with limited experience can add pages, edit text, and change images, without the help of a web developer.
Much of WordPress’ beginner-friendliness is due to a backend that can be easier for newbies to navigate than the backends of other CMS’s like Drupal or Joomla. All content and settings are accessible through the sidebar navigation.
Supports sites of all sizes and types
Thanks to its very beginner-friendly backend, WordPress makes a great choice for entrepreneurs and small to medium sized businesses. It is ideal for websites that need to be updated frequently, including blogs, news websites, etc. It also comes with several free or low cost pre-built templates that work perfectly for startups or entrepreneurs who cannot yet afford a custom website.
However, don’t be fooled by its simplicity. WordPress is powerful enough to be the platform behind several notable websites, such as The New Yorker, TechCrunch, Sony Music, and many more. WordPress is no longer just your mother’s blogging platform. The ever-growing variety of widgets and plugins expand WordPress’s capabilities to include e-commerce, complex maps, and membership capabilities.