If you’ve been thinking about starting a website you’ve probably heard of WordPress. It’s the most popular CMS (content management system) around, powering over 43% of all websites. That’s an incredible number and there are very good reasons for its success. Let’s explore what those reasons are and why we chose WordPress as the foundation of all our client’s projects.
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Our beginnings with WordPress
When we started building websites in 2011 many of the projects we undertook involved updating static, HTML websites, into modern responsive designs that could scale to work on all device types (from small smartphones to huge widescreen displays). Moving these websites into the modern era also opened an opportunity to improve these websites even further…
During discussions with clients we often found that one of the biggest problems they encountered was how difficult it was to update or edit their websites. They either had to learn to code themselves (something that most didn’t have the time or inclination for) or had to pay a web developer to do it.
There had to be an easier way.
Cheaper to create. Easier to edit.
A CMS (content management system) is the system sitting behind the scenes of a website that provides an easy-to-use interface for editing website content. Before settling on WordPress as our primary CMS, we explored several different options including Joomla and Drupal. None were as strong in all areas as WordPress. Its simplicity, flexibility, support, and ease of use put it ahead of the pack and it enables us to create powerful, performant websites at lower cost for our clients.
“Isn’t WordPress just for blogs?”
We sometimes still hear this from new clients. WordPress did start as a blogging platform but emphatically: no! In 2023, WordPress isn’t just for blogs and this hasn’t been the case for a long time.
So why do some people still think that WordPress is just a blogging platform?
WordPress started in 2003 as a blogging platform that aimed to offer more features and functionality than other blogging platforms that existed at the time. It was open source from the beginning which means the code was open for all to see and edit. Anyone could contribute to and improve the WordPress project. It was this, combined with its simplicity and ease of use, that quickly made it popular with developers and bloggers. WordPress was free and open, unlike most of the proprietary blog platform competitors around at the time.
Even at the start, WordPress offered a user-friendly admin panel (where the website could be managed and updated without knowing how to code), a theme system (making it easy to switch the style and design of the website), a plugin architecture (making it easy to expand WordPress’s stock functionality), and a rich set of features that rivalled proprietary services.
This proved a magic formula and in the years since, WordPress has exploded in popularity and its feature set has continued to grow with more functionality, security, and performance improvements.
We use WordPress for almost very project we undertake. Almost none of them are blogs.
Why people choose WordPress to power their websites
- It is free and open source: anyone can download, install, use and modify it.
- It is easy to use: anyone can manage and edit their website without any coding skills or technical knowledge.
- It is flexible and customisable: the design and functionality of a WordPress website is truly open-ended. There are thousands of themes and plugins available offering different features and capabilities.
- It is SEO friendly: one of the most important parts of developing a website is ensuring that it follows best SEO practices so that it ranks high in search results. WordPress has built-in features that make it easy to optimise for search engines and can also be expanded with powerful SEO plugins.
- It is scalable and reliable: provided it’s running on adequate infrastructure, WordPress can handle any amount of traffic and data without crashing or slowing down.
- It is cost-effective: as a free and open-source platform, WordPress allows websites to have cutting edge CMS functionality without high development costs.
- It is secure: WordPress is constantly updated and maintained by a dedicated team of developers and security experts, who work hard to fix any vulnerabilities and improve its performance and functionality.
Do big websites really use WordPress?
Because of its origins as a blogging platform, WordPress has an unfair reputation as only being suitable for smaller websites. This is false. The truth is, WordPress is highly scalable and perfectly capable of powering larger websites. You may not know it, but WordPress (running the WooCommerce plugin) has a 39% market share of leading e-commerce platforms (source: Statista). Many of these stores have product inventories in the thousands and many more times that in daily visitor numbers.
Here are a few of the bigger websites powered by WordPress:
The reason we use WordPress
The reasons we’ve outlined above all play a big part in our decision to use WordPress but there’s another big reason that isn’t often mentioned and might not be what you expect…
Putting power in the hands of our clients
Unlike proprietary website building platforms which charge monthly fees and limit the customisation and functionality of your website, the free and open-source nature of WordPress means that you have complete freedom and control over it.
“WordPress is better for the end user than many of the others… An issue with the hosted ones — for me, anyway — is that you don’t have control.”
Your website and your data is yours. Sadly, with other platforms this isn’t always the case.
This means that:
- You have the freedom to choose your own hosting provider. You are not tied to a single vendor or platform (though we would suggest us, but we may be biased).
- You have the freedom to modify or edit ANY aspect of your website (or hire someone to do it for you).
- You have the freedom to expand your website in the future, as you grow (maybe you want to enter the e-commerce space).
- You have the freedom to hire web developers without paying pricey fees to hire from a limited pool of specialists (WordPress’s 43% market share means that there are no shortages of talented coders who can work on your website and support it).
- You have the freedom to do it all yourself! (If you have inclination and skills, you can fully manage and maintain your website without relying on any other providers).
Ultimately, when we build you a website, it is yours 100%.
Freedom. Control. Support. Flexibility.
That’s what you get when you choose to build a website with us. So get in touch to discuss your requirements, we’re eager to get started.