We still get asked this. What is WordPress? It’s the most popular CMS (content management system) ‘software’ on the planet. Yes, it started out as and remains a popular blogging platform. But it is now generally acknowledged by independent observers as full CMS platform. It’s used by tens of millions of companies and individuals, worldwide. From small business to major sites like CNN, The New York Times etc.
Those who use Facebook [CMS] community platform have long gotten used to self-managing their online presense and content. People have got used to being in control. WordPress technology can let businesses do the same for their own company website. And it’s not expensive to upgrade almost any small business website to the WordPress platform.
Once setup, a WordPress-based website lets unskilled users safely update content themselves through a simple online editor, the free MS LiveWriter software or an iPhone App - No need to call the site designer and have changes made a few days later, at a cost.
How Big is WordPress today?
Today almost 1 in 4 new websites in the US opt to use WordPress. (Sadly, we believe it’s around 1 in 50 in NZ). The next most popular CMS, Joomla, which we recommended for many years, is used by just 2%.
There are other minor contenders like dotnetnuke, silverstripe, simplecms, plus the thousands of proprietary ‘home built’ platforms like that from Zeald.
These minor CMS platforms will slowly fall away. Why? They lack the low establishment costs, the standard built-in features and easy upgrade path WordPress inherently provides*. WordPress lets any developer access high-end CMS coding, for free. They can then quickly enhance it to suit their individual client needs. And there’s ZERO risk.
Even if that lone web developer disappeared tomorrow, there are tens of thousands of others worldwide who could quickly pick up the pieces, supporting and enhancing the site. This is the beauty of open source software over the more costly proprietary options.
Try WordPress out for FREE
For those wanting to try out an instant version of WordPress, you can setup a free WordPress blogsite in minutes from www.wordpress.com. I have a couple family blogs where I use this service. You get a range of layouts to chose from, but because it’s hosted by WordPress themselves, you don’t get the 100% customised appearance, or the SEO and traffic benefits of running your own website. The popular ‘blogger’ platform from Google shares this limitation.
An Amateur & Developers Treasure Trove
But the bigger community are websites that run the WordPress scripts for their own business websites and domains – Using the coding freely available at www.wordpress.org. We use the powerful WordPress scripts to run this and dozens of other business websites.
WordPress can provide a really nice site for little money, complete with the normal blogging and hierarchical publishing features. It’s robust and stable. Many hosting companies will install it for free. But when WordPress is placed in the hands of us expert developers, can be taken to new heights, ensuring an attractive, very high traffic website that is slick and professional.
The developer community around WordPress, providing smart themes, plugins and custom design services is now massive, growing at record rates. ‘WordCamps’ have sprung up around the globe with expert developers exchanging ideas and tips. Just checkout wordpress.tv
In the hands of developers like us, WordPress sites can be 100% customised in terms of looks and featureset. A leap ahead of the standard ‘themes’ normally seen or purchased online. We will often add in several low cost options, including:
- intelligent webforms; lead tracking
- fancy galleries, effects and sliders
- membership and community sites
- tight integration with social media
- advanced SEO diagnostics, tuning
- super-affordable shopping carts
WordPress – More Affordable Websites that Do More
For a company that needs a new website, it’s usually cheaper to have it built on the WordPress platform, than have the web designer build it all using popular software like Dreamweaver. And of course an intelligent content-managed website on WordPress provides editing and interactive features not possible with any static Dreamweaver-built website! And a WordPress site gets more traffic…
As a developer we love WordPress. It allows us to build a far higher functioning website for our clients, that gets loads more traffic, in around half the time and cost. This simple fact explains it’s rapid growth and why it is now starting to dominate the internet.
More Traffic Too – Google LOVES WordPress
This is the jewel in the crown of WordPress and why it is liked by enlightened SEO gurus. Most CMS platforms inevitably end up as nightmares when it comes to SEO. These CMS sites end up with duplicate pages, poor semantic structures and plainly difficult for Google to index. They can push a huge amount of unwanted ‘noise’ into the Google index, meaning these sites will be pushed well down the search page rankings. Most company owners and even the ‘expert’ developers of these websites are often totally unaware this has occurred. Unble to explain why they’re not ranking well. (Read our earlier article "Save Your Google Ranking")
In contrast, WordPress, through a superior framework and some superb third-party plugins, provides all the toolsets required to quickly optimise the site and content in a manner that is in accordance with the Google webmaster guidelines and recommendations.
Call me – If you’ve questions of WordPress or want to know the cost to upgrade your website to WordPress, phone me on 09 889 0785 or better still, email me at zn.oc.gnitekramlatigidnull@nivek
p.s. A lot of being found these days is also about good content and structure. A good overview is an old 45 min WordCamp video:
SEO, What You Need to Know – Google’s Matt Cutts
* There is of course nothing stopping companies like Zeald from utilsing WordPress as a website platform offering. However we suspect their pride will prevent them from taking up the opportunity. It must be difficult to admit that website scripts now available for free, are actually better than those that have cost it years of effort and hundreds of thousands to create and then support. Hence they (and others like them) often refer to WordPress as a mere ‘blogging’ tool, whereas in fact today, 2012, it is much more…