What comes to mind when you read ‘WordPress’? If you think of that recipe blog you started in 2008, or the photography portfolio your best friend started in 2013, you’re not alone. But how about Rolling Stone? Sony? Disney? The White House? Some of the world’s biggest brands are using WordPress to create giant websites with features and capabilities that even the most seasoned developer couldn’t have imagined possible in 2003 when WordPress was founded.
Today WordPress makes up over 60% of the CMS market share. To put that into perspective, Joomla, WordPress’s closest competitor, makes up 6.7%. That’s no small feat for a platform that started out as just a blog. So then why do people still have that notion that WordPress is ‘Just for recipes and mom blogs?’ We’re here to put that rumor to rest once and for all.
What Is WordPress?
WordPress is the world’s largest open-source CMS. Although it started out as a blogging platform in 2003, it has grown into a web design and development powerhouse, used by brands of all sizes across every industry imaginable.
In the beginning, and even up into the very recent past, creating a WordPress site was relatively easy, but still required some technical know-how to create a high-quality, custom site. (Well, technical know-how or an expert agency partner.) But in 2018, the Gutenberg Editor changed that. The editor, also known as the block editor, allowed users to interact with their sites like never before.
Instead of needing technical know-how to create a site from scratch or to customize an existing theme, users could drag and drop pre-existing blocks and functions wherever they wished on a page. Images, carousels, copy, and more could all be added to a site with the click of a button. That opened up a world of possibilities for users and developers alike.
What Makes WordPress Different?
Blocks aren’t the only things that set WordPress apart from its competitors.
WordPress Is Dynamic
WordPress is the largest eCommerce platform available. It powers forums, multi-vendor marketplaces, event sites, and publishing giants with complex ad-tech stacks. The capabilities that exist on WordPress are literally endless, and that’s because of the robust ecosystem that exists around it. If you can dream it, it can be done on WordPress.
WordPress Is Open Source
From the beginning, WordPress has been an open-source technology. Developers around the world work together to create new functionality for everyone to use. From plugins to core updates and everything in between, there are thousands of developers from every corner of the globe that you can turn to to make your WordPress website yours.
WordPress Has Low Cost of Entry
While some other CMSs cost thousands of dollars just for a license to use the product, WordPress costs absolutely nothing to download and begin using. How much you spend on your site is up to you. Do you want to splurge for a premium plugin or theme? An agency partner that can customize your site? There are also tons of tools available to customers that can help improve site performance and user experience, like Siteimprove.
WordPress Has Great Hosting Partners
Another cost to consider is hosting. While some might consider a website host just a place to park your website, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Finding a high-quality host is paramount when it comes to the success of your site. Luckily for you, there are tons of great hosting options available. At XWP, we partner with some of the best hosts in the business to provide our clients with a secure, high-performing environment for their site to live.
WP Engine is a scalable, secure solution that hosts WordPress sites around the world. They provide hosting optimizations for small businesses and global enterprises alike.
WordPress VIP is an enterprise platform that provides state of the art servers, support, and security for high-traffic, enterprise WordPress sites. Plus, their infrastructure is created and maintained by Automattic, the same geniuses that back WordPress itself.
Pantheon is a web-ops platform that hosts both WordPress and Drupal sites. They host over 300,000 websites and serve over 10 billion pages a month. Their platform allows you to manage all of your sites in one convenient location.
WordPress Has Plugins to Add Customization
Plugins are the heart and soul of WordPress. There are over 55,000 free and premium plugins available to help users add any customization they want to their site. Want help with SEO? There’s a plugin for that. Need to add a form, Google Analytics integration, or improve page performance? Yeah, there are plugins for that, too.
WordPress Is Secure
Over the years, there have been many arguments about the security of WordPress. New articles get published weekly about ‘how insecure WordPress can be,’ but these can easily be cast aside with some careful scrutiny from the user. Follow these few tips to ensure your WordPress website is as safe as possible.
- Ensure plugin compatibility with the latest version of WordPress.
- Keep your plugins and the WordPress core updated.
- Check the number of active users on plugin pages.
- Check ratings and reviews on plugins and themes.
- Be sure there’s a reputable source maintaining and updating the plugin.
What Does This Mean for Site Owners?
All of this adds up to a dream CMS for companies of all sizes and all industries. WordPress itself is a blank canvas, and a team of expert developers from an agency are the artists that can create the website your company needs to succeed.
Instead of having to reach out to a skilled developer every single time you want to add a page or create a post, you have the skills and the ability to do it all on your own. The Gutenberg block editor and myriad of plugins make customization easy.
Control over Your Site…and Your Business
But customization isn’t the only benefit. Your site is just that: yours. With a CMS as user-friendly as WordPress, you’re no longer tied into a vendor-locked agreement where one company can completely own your site. Don’t like your hosting provider? Pick a new one. Want to make your workflow smoother? Go for it! Even if you want to scrap your entire website and start fresh, you can.
WordPress gives you the freedom to own your website and make it just that: yours.