We love WordPress; it is our first choice for building and designing a website. There are a lot of different options out there, but here are a few reasons why we build websites the way we do.
A Little Background
Since the first website, people have been trying to build a better website.
On August 6, 1991, the first web page went live on the internet. Interestingly, the page — still live at its original address — discussed how to build websites. Ever since this first site the world has been on a never-ending quest to build a better website.
Today there are a lot of ways to get a website on the internet. A few of them are even very good (we see you, Drupal lovers). We (generally) believe that it’s preferable for an organization to have any website, rather than nothing. Even if the website is a quick and basic project spit out by Wix or Weebly or any of the other ‘instant website builders’ using cookie-cutter designs and algorithms to replicate actual designs (in 2016 we wrote a little bit about this trend). At least having some sort of a website can help people find your thing, which is arguably what the internet is all about. The internet is the modern day Yellow Pages, and you better at least have your name and contact information up there!
When you want to get serious about your website, you’ll want to use serious website tools. Instant website builders can only take you so far, and if your business starts to grow, it likely won’t be far enough.
The most popular website software today, by far, is WordPress. Note that we are specifically referring to WordPress.org, which is the open-source website building software, not WordPress.com, which is a proprietary blogging platform owned by Automattic. WordPress is a Content Management System, or CMS; that is a jargon-y way of saying software built to manage the posts, pages, and other details of a website.
WordPress is also a multi-billion dollar economy, used by millions of people worldwide to run their businesses and organizations.
We’ve been building and designing for the internet since 2002. Over the years we’ve used dozens of different platforms to create websites. A few years ago we chose only to use WordPress moving forward, and we’ve never looked back.
WordPress is Stable and Secure
The first version of WordPress was released on May 27, 2003, making it older than Facebook and Twitter. In internet software years, that makes WordPress an origin story.
As of October 2017, WordPress powers nearly 29% of all websites on the internet, and it holds a 59.7% market share among all Content Management Systems.
And those numbers are growing.
So, WordPress has been around for a long time. It is crushing its competition. It continues to grow in popularity. Even if you dig no deeper than those facts, clearly WordPress is doing a lot of something right. It is a winner.
But let’s keep digging…
WordPress is Open Source
What drew us to WordPress in the first place is the fact that it is Open Source. Open source means that the software is available for anyone in the world to download and use it, at no cost. The source code is freely available for use, study, or modify.
No corporation owns WordPress; it has no CEO. What it does have is a non-profit foundation that owns the trademark and protects the freedoms offered by the software’s open source license.
This is a huge deal, and it has nothing to do with the fact that WordPress is free; it is a huge deal because the software can be easily modified. In other proprietary platforms, users can only make changes to the software that have been approved by the owners of the software. Proprietary software drastically limits what users can do.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but anything you can imagine doing with a website, you can do with WordPress. And this freedom does not exist with all with other non-open source content management systems.
That level of flexibility is what we are all about. But, there is more…
The World Supports WordPress
WordPress is a world-community project, with a robust global community of support available free of cost. Thousands post on the official support forum each day, and dozens of established and outstanding websites offer tutorials, tips, troubleshooting, and advice.
There are over 45,000 plugins, or add-ons, available for WordPress that can add just about any bell or whistle you can imagine, from shopping carts to membership systems, from registration forms to online appointment systems. Anyone can create plugins, everyone can review plugins, and plugins are available from inside your website; it’s a built-in, peer-reviewed marketplace. Most of the plugins are free, too. Users downloaded 1.48 billion plugins by the end of 2016. That number is incredible because downloads passed the 1 billion mark just one year before. Talk about continued growth!
If you have a question about something on WordPress, the community probably already solved it. That wisdom is available to users 24/7.
If you have a unique issue with your website, WordPress makes it easy to bring in the pros. Written in PHP programming language and using MySQL for a database, the software has a well-known and much-loved foundation that any coder worth their salt should be able to engage with and get you the results you need.
And these are not even our most important reasons for always choosing WordPress…
WordPress Gives You the Power of Your Website
As a core philosophy, we want our clients to own as much of their website as they want. This is why we stick to open source and why we are enthusiastic about using quality and approved plugins. This is why we choose WordPress.
Generally, we get our clients up to speed and managing and updating their websites in no time…even if they don’t know any code or have ever managed a website before. WordPress is intuitive and logical and easy to teach people to use; our clients love it, and that’s why we love it.
We want to empower our clients to control their website without being forced to call us for paid support. While we are always happy to help, and we offer paid support if that is your preference, but ultimately it is your website, right? You should be able to do whatever you want with it!
Unfortunately, this is not how many web developers operate their businesses.
The days of web designers purposefully using a proprietary CMS and handcuffing clients to paid support — so you are forced to pay someone else to make changes to your own website (!) — are not over.
But, we are trying.
And WordPress is helping.