Ever since I discovered WordPress more than a decade ago, it has been my favorite, and in fact the only, content management system I use to build websites. What was initially intended to be a blogging platform has dramatically evolved over the years to become the world’s #1 CMS that can be used to power almost any kind of website; from blogs to news sites to e-commerce sites and whatnot.
Today, WordPress is used by more than 40% of all sites on the web, and claims about %65 market share among all content management systems (source). So, what makes WordPress such an attractive choice for website owners and developers? The following are the top 5 things I love the most about WordPress, which mostly explain its phenomenal success.
WordPress is 100% free to use for any kind of website; commercial or non-commercial. Your WordPress-run website could be making many thousands of dollars a month and you won’t owe a penny to anyone for using this powerful tool to your advantage (except possibly for some third-party themes, plugins, or services associated with your WP installation).
Moreover, it is open-source and you get full access to the source code, which is written in PHP. If you know how to program in PHP, or if you have someone to do it for you, then you are free to modify and customize the source code in whichever way that suits your website’s specific needs.
Most web hosts today offer a 1-click WordPress installation feature with their hosting plans, and some come with WordPress pre-installed and ready to use right out of the box. But even if this option isn’t offered by your chosen hosting provider and you have to install it manually, it still is a very simple, quick and mostly automated process. You don’t need any programming knowledge to do it on your own.
All you’ll have to do is create a MySQL database from your hosting account’s control panel, upload the WordPress files to your server, visit the installation page (or simply visit the homepage and it’ll automatically detect a new installation), fill out a couple of forms with your database details as well as login details for the admin account, and the rest will be automatically handled by WP. The whole process should not take more than a few minutes if everything is set up correctly.
WordPress comes with a basic default theme, which isn’t really that interesting or unique, so you will likely have to search for a theme that better matches your website’s topic and requirements. Luckily, you get a huge selection of both free and paid (premium) themes to choose from. You can be 100% sure that you will find the perfect theme for your website somewhere out there. In fact, you will likely find so many fitting choices that your main problem would be picking one rather than finding one!
In addition to themes, there is also an endless number of plugins that can be used to further tweak and customize your website’s back-end and/or front-end with additional features and functionality.
Although you don’t get professional support from WordPress themselves, you will find a huge global community of millions of developers and users who gratuitously share their expertise and would happily answer any questions or help fix issues you run into with your WordPress installation.
Most of the time, the answer to your question or the fix to your problem can be found in a matter of minutes with a simple Google search. There are numerous webmaster forums and support communities, including WordPress’s own, where you can get free help from more experienced users. For more complex issues, you can also find many experienced freelancers for hire on Fiverr and other freelance marketplaces.
Being such a popular and widely used system means that new features as well as security updates are released frequently and promptly. The WordPress team are constantly looking for and implementing improvements to make this CMS as reliable, fast, secure, and useful as possible.
Also with such a massive community of programmers and developers constantly examining the source code, most bugs and security vulnerabilities are discovered, reported, and fixed in a super timely manner.
So, do you still have any doubts that WordPress is the way to go for your next website?