Why WordPress?

Before I dive into all the great things about WordPress, why you should build your site with it (or switch if you’re on one of the other platforms)… let’s start with a few stats:

Now that that’s out of the way…

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Passionate, Educated, Forward-Thinking Leadership

Matt Mullenweg is the founding developer of WordPress. Check out his page to learn more, but the guy’s won every online/tech/influencer award in the book. And above all else—his passion for WordPress is undeniable.

The WordPress core developers work from all over the world. This is more than just an incredible collaboration. It means that you’re using a truly global product. International developers ensure that all perspectives & opinions are represented. And when you have the entire world to pick from, you end up with the best-of-the-best.

Here’s a mind-blowing stat: 137 employees managing 131 million unique visitors a month. If that’s not impressive enough, read up on how they work. And now try to tell me you don’t want to work with these guys.

WordPress Employee Stats
Now that’s efficiency at it’s finest.

Content First

WordPress started out as a blogging platform. Many people who don’t believe WordPress is a true CMS will use this as an argument in their favor. But if you think about where the web is headed, I think the fact that WordPress started as a blogging platform is a huge reason why it’s the best CMS out there.

When you start a blog, what’s arguably the most important component? Content. Above all else, if your content sucks, no one cares about design or functionality.

Today, when you build a website, where do you start? With content. Content should drive all the design & functionality decisions you make. Content drives the different layouts you have for each page; for each device.

WordPress was built around the idea that content is most important. It might not be able to do all the things that other CMSs can do out-of-the-box, but most sites don’t need that. But the plugins, functions & awesome devs out there can make it do just about anything, if need be.

Oh, and what does CMS stand for? Content Management System. That’s interesting…

Awesome, Helpful Community

The amount of free support you can receive for WordPress is staggering. Highly skilled developers tackle intricate problems inthe forums. Bloggers post advanced tutorials on everything from new user registration to SEO to working with video. People have centered their entire business around WordPress. Without it, some developers wouldn’t have a job. Some companies wouldn’t even exist.

There are WordCamps popping up all over the country. And they’ve been around for years.

You won’t find a more active & helpful community than the WordPress community.

Bloggers & WP Experts

There is no shortage of WordPress tutorials, blogs & code snippets. And more are popping up every day. Many of these are edited by WordPress experts. And it’s truly amazing the valuable info they offer up for free (well, they make a few bucks on ads, but still).

Free Plugins

One of the strongest aspects of the WordPress community is the plugin developers. I’m constantly amazed, and very grateful, for all the free plugins that these developers spend hours building, testing & updating. Other CMSs have free plugins & add-ons, but not nearly the amount that WordPress has. And many times, with other CMSs, you have to pay for the good ones. Many of WordPress’ most powerful & useful plugins are completely free.

There are tons of great ones out there, but here’s a short list to get you started: WordPress SEO, Google Analytics for WordPress, MCE Table Buttons, Jetpack, Advanced Custom Fields, WordPress HTTPS, Google XML Sitemaps.

Professional, Responsive Themes

WordPress has more professional, well-constructed, responsive themes than any CMS out there. Not all WordPress themes are great, but there are tons of beautiful ones if you know where to look. This very site runs off a free responsive theme from uxde.net (thanks guys).

You’ve got:

Core Trac Development

WordPress has a very active community of developers who contribute to the core. You can find it at core.trac.wordpress.org. Developers and users alike submit tickets to the trac system. WordPress core developers then respond, sift through, consolidate & prioritize these tickets.

The community often submits code that fixes bugs and/or enhances functionality. It’s a true team effort. And the transparency of it all is quite admirable, if you ask me.

Support Forums

You might argue that a forum like ExpressionEngine is better because it’s moderated by people who work for ExpressionEngine—while WordPress’ forum is 99% run by people like you & me.

To put it bluntly, it doesn’t matter who gives you the right answer, as long as you get your answer. Now, you do have to be careful who you take advice from in the forums. It’s not all great advice. Some of it is downright awful. But with more & more people learning WordPress every day, the good will outweigh the bad.

I’ve had great success on the WordPress support forums. And if you don’t find your answer there, it’s probably on WordPress stackexchange.

Simple Installation & Upgrades

The famous 5-minute installation actually takes less than 5 minutes. And the upgrades happen with one click of a button.

You should be careful when upgrading, especially if you don’t know much about how your theme was built, or what type of server/database your site is hosted on. But if you are knowledgable about those things, and only run with quality code & professionally-built plugins, 99% of the time, you’re just one click away from the latest version.

Mobile Apps

WordPress has created, and actively updates, WordPress mobile apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry & Windows Phone. Since I don’t use many other CMSs, I’ll let you tell me in the comments if there is any other CMS out there that supports all those platforms, with the same quality apps as WordPress.

Uses PHP, not Proprietary Tags

Some CMSs—sorry ExpressionEngine, but I’m going to pick on you for a minute—use their own proprietary tags with curly braces {}, vertical lines and asterisks |* *|, etc. WordPress uses standard PHP tags. Sure, it has a bunch of WordPress-specific functions, but anyone can create, modify and/or remove those. It’s all right there in the code… hosted on your server, just a few clicks away.

I believe using standard PHP tags lowers the barrier of entry. I was able to learn WordPress faster than any other CMS I’ve experimented with because it uses a language that is ubiquitous in the web community.

WordPress vs. Drupal vs. Joomla

I’m not going into a detailed comparison of CMSs. For one, I haven’t used much of Joomla & Drupal, so I’m not going to pretend to be an expert. And several others have written great articles on the pros & cons of each.

Comparison Articles

Conclusion

I plan to add more to this list when I get more time to pull together convincing reasons. I know there are more out there, and I’ll never get tired of lobbying for the greatest CMS in the world.

Dave Warfel

Bio coming soon...

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