What Are User Personas In UX & Why Are They So Important In App Development?
- Industry Insights
Have you ever wondered why almost everyone uses WordPress to build their website these days?
Well, in this article, we’ll go over everything that makes WordPress the go-to CMS platform for the majority.
Over 43% of websites are built with WordPress; this speaks volumes about the popularity of this content management system (CMS), considering the vast array of other CMS platforms out there.
So, this begs a bigger question: what is the reason behind this popularity? Taking a closer look at CMSs, in general, will help us find the answer.
CMS stands for a content management system. It is a website management platform that is designed and developed with the sole purpose of making it easy for you to create, edit, modify, store, and publish content online without having to go through the trouble of writing code from scratch to do everything.
The keyword here is “easy,” as usability differences separate great CMSs from poor ones. And, yes, as you’ve guessed it, by now, WordPress scores higher in this regard than most other CMS platforms.
However, while superior ease of use ranks high on the list of things that WordPress does well, that’s not the only reason why it’s the most popular CMS on the planet. WordPress’ notion has been to provide non-developers with an outlet to develop websites — that skilled developers could without having much of the experience or knowledge of the latter.
While WordPress initially started as a blogging platform, over the years, the CMS has evolved into a highly adaptable, flexible, and powerful platform capable of supporting websites of almost any category or type. As a result, whether it be for a large corporation or a small local family-owned business, WordPress will be a viable and attractive option for powering websites for a long time yet.
In this blog post, we’ll go over all of the reasons that make WordPress the most popular CMS in the world.
To start things off, one of the best things about WordPress is that it is accessible to everyone and, for the most part, free to use. All you have to do is download the software from the official website. Due to this low barrier for entry, anyone can give it a go, and even if they don’t end up liking it, they’re actually not losing much other than the time they have put into it. Generally, though, once companies begin to use WordPress, they stick by it, as it most often is the right platform for them.
WordPress in itself is an open-source content management system, meaning the software is entirely free to be used, modified, distributed, and shared by the general public. This means your developers will have complete control over the platform’s source code with which they can pretty much do whatever they want, with the only limitation being the developer’s capability itself.
In contrast, if WordPress were a closed-source CMS, licensing and copyright would come into play, thereby inhibiting the extent of customisation possibilities.
Furthermore, the open-source nature of WordPress gives dedicated developers and enthusiasts a chance to study the platform in an attempt to improve it continually. Moreover, this also opens the door for efficient troubleshooting and debugging because chances are if something goes wrong, developers can access the source code and find a fix sooner.
This is perhaps the most significant reason why WordPress is so popular. While it may be a bit of a stretch to compare its usability with Social platforms; however, in terms of CMSs, WordPress is as simple as they get. Yes, there are website builders that are even easier to use, such as Wix or SquareSpace, but we have to remember that WordPress is not just a website builder; it is a CMS first and foremost.
WordPress’ user interface is simple without being minimal and is focused solely on ensuring users have an easy time navigating, editing, uploading, removing, and publishing content. Even if you have zero coding experience and have never used WordPress before, you can quickly learn the CRM in a brief period and be competent enough to manage your website content yourself. Most of the plugins are also designed and set up with this in mind and are easy to use, mostly requiring just drag and drop functionality or a few clicks here and there.
Remember how we said WordPress is versatile enough to power almost any category or type of website? Well, that’s partly down to its extensive library of readily available themes and plugins.
Need to build an eCommerce website? Install and activate the WooCommerce plugin. Want to set your website up for SEO success down the road? Get the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin. Worried because of how slow your website is loading? Get WP Rocket.
Essentially, plugins are ready-made “quick fixes” used to implement any feature or functionality to your WordPress website without custom coding. And the great thing is, WordPress is literally filled with them.
WordPress plugins become invaluable when you factor in how much time, money and effort it would take to build the same features from the ground up. Don’t get us wrong; we are the big proponents of custom development because of the long-term flexibility and scalability that it offers, but at the same time, we also understand that it may not be the right fit for everyone. Depending on your situation, it may be better to go with a website built primarily on readily available WordPress plugins.
Next is the WordPress themes — design layouts that provide a stylistic appearance to your website. Typography, colours, structure, and design elements are all included in themes. While plugins take care of the backend side of your website, themes help out on the front. Like with plugins, WordPress has a massive pool of themes that you can choose from and select that match your design preferences.
While there is always the option to develop a custom theme for enhanced security, flexibility, and scalability, if you are looking for a quicker and relatively cheaper solution, then WordPress themes could be your answer. WordPress has over 5,000+ themes available, each with a different style and layout.
Furthermore, there are plenty of commercial themes, which belong to companies that create themes. While on the surface, it may look as though they are just selling themes, but in actuality, they are also selling support. So, when you purchase a commercial theme, you’ll get access to their support team, who will always help when you need it.
Many feel that WordPress websites are more prone and vulnerable to cyber-attacks and security breaches due to their sheer popularity. While it is true that WordPress websites will always be a significant target for hackers, the security of the website comes down to the way it is built, how it is maintained, server security, and code standard, rather than the CMS framework used.
Moreover, the WordPress community always strives to stay ahead of time to ensure the platform is constantly improving whilst fixing detected and underlying issues and glitches. This means that version updates happen regularly, which bodes well from a security perspective.
Furthermore, the update process is relatively straightforward to move to the next version.
Another primary reason for WordPress’s popularity and large user share on the web is the platform’s seamless implementation of all things SEO. The WordPress CMS framework makes it easier for search engine spiders to crawl websites built on it. This is a big reason why most companies prefer WordPress over other CMSs.
WordPress also has a host of different built-in features geared towards SEO, such as permalink structure, category and tags, XML sitemap, and more. Furthermore, if you want to dive deeper and get some fantastic ROI on your SEO efforts, you can always look at the Yoast SEO plugin. Ultimately, the combination of built-in SEO features and reliable and trustworthy plugins makes WordPress reign supreme over other CMSs, especially in this department.
As an open-source platform, WordPress can be manoeuvred and modified as necessary. This opens the possibility for it to be used as headless CMS, which is an incredible way to enhance performance, security, scalability, and flexibility, all at the same time.
Furthermore, by using WordPress as a headless CMS, you’ll be able to create the front-end of your website using any web technology of your choice whilst having WordPress serve as your powerhouse in the back-end. If you’d like to understand more about headless CMS and how it works, then head over (no pun intended) to this in-depth article on our education centre.
There is a common misconception that WordPress is mainly used for blogs, but as we’ve already established, the platform is more versatile than it is often credited for. WordPress, in its infancy, started as a platform typically used for blogging, and to this day, there are plenty of businesses that use the platform for the same.
This is because WordPress offers plenty of great blogging features, such as creating posts, adding team members as users for collaboration, and utilising different plugins to incorporate interactive features such as forums, memberships, and eCommerce. And lastly, as we’ve already established, WordPress’s penchant for solid SEO results adds another layer to why the platform is excellent for blogging.
A massive community of developers, content creators, enthusiasts, and site owners work tirelessly to improve WordPress and resolve bugs continually. The WordPress community is always there to help fellow developers and website creators that need support, guidance and assistance. The community is conducive and highly active, too, organising plenty of in-person and online events for meetups and knowledge sharing.
To summarise, WordPress’ sheer popularity and dominance of the CMS market space can be attributed mainly to its low barrier to use, flexible yet powerful framework, how it turns you into a developer without knowing much about coding, and the large variety of ready-made functionality enhancement plugins it offers, amongst other things.
The CMS has been used by some of the biggest companies and will continue to be done so because there isn’t any other CMS available that offers everything that WordPress does. It truly is one of a kind.
If you want to learn more about WordPress or are interested in building a new WordPress website, feel free to reach out to us to discuss further.