Whether you are a web developer looking for the best all round platform to work on, a blogger who needs something powerful yet easy to maintain, or you want a website to promote your company, I’m totally confident in saying that WordPress is the way to go. I use it for every client project I can because of the simple fact that it makes both my life and the clients much happier.
Truly Free and Open Source
WordPress is open source software distributed under a GPL license. This means it is completely free with no fees, no subscriptions, so size limits, no nothing. If you have a web host, all you need to do is download the files from wordpress.org, set them up and you have what is regarded by many as the best web publishing platform/content management system around today.
WordPress is developed and maintained by thousands of highly talented and passionate developers. This is the advantage of open source; instead of having a platform built by one company, you have thousands of people constantly making it better, faster, lighter, and more useful, for the sole reason that they want to make the best platform there is.
Lots of platforms have plugins and extensions, but WordPress beats them all. From the amazingly easy to use plugin directory where you can extend the functionality in a matter of a couple of clicks, to the sheer number of people, (individuals up to big development agencies) making incredible plugins. You can add galleries, sliders, forums, shopping carts and more. All of this while the core framework stays the same and can be updated without a hitch.
WordPress themes, the files that hook in to the core and make what is commonly regarded as the “website template”, can be built or customized to do pretty much anything imaginable.
Lots of power under the hood for developers
This means that for us designers and developers, WordPress is a dream come true. With the power and flexibility of creating custom themes and plugins, we can build whatever we need. Many of the plugins that are available in the WordPress plugin directory come from web developers who created that functionality for a client or a personal project and then decided to share that with the wider community. It all starts with a developer building onto WordPress to solve a problem.
In the case of most CMSs, this amount of power and customization would come at the price of a steep learning curve and lots of confusing menus. Not in this case.
Incredibly easy to use
Despite its power, the back end user interface of WordPress is incredibly clean and easy to understand. Because it began as a system focused on blogging it needed to be easy to use, not just to web developers but for anyone that cared to try it out. This intuitive back end has been what has propelled the popularity of WordPress since the beginning. If you want to do something, the menu is going to be easy to find and make sense when you find it. On top of that, the admin can be customized by professional developers to meet you needs! Need to organize events? Want to start a movie database? Cataloging types of amazon frog? No problem, we’ll set it up.
Even Easier to maintain
Can you click a button? Then you can keep your WordPress site up to date. Its all automated so as a soon as a new version is available, you can update your site immediately.
All of the code output from WordPress is W3C standards compliant. This ensures complete compatibility across all modern browsers but also “futureproofing”, so that it is easily extendible with new technologies as they are developed.
WordPress does blogs better than anyone
In a time when blogging is a powerful social tool and almost any kind of website should have a blog in order to succeed, you should use the best blogging tool for the job. Even though WordPress has evolved beyond being just a blog platform, its still the best damn blog platform you could wish for. Categories, tags, threaded comments, gravatars, spam control, sophisticated user and comment moderation, widgets and a vast array of prebuilt themes for bloggers, its all there. WordPress has set the bar for blogging software from the beginning.
If at some point you decide to extend your blog into a full on website with all the bells and whistles, the functionality is right there! If you want a WordPress blog without getting web hosting or needing to install anything, just head on over to wordpress.com and sign up for a blog (it blows blogger out of the water, trust me).
Great SEO performance, which is why Google has a soft spot for WordPress
Google is constantly raising the bar in terms of what level of quality and relevance are rewarded by better search engine rankings, so its good to do whatever you can to improve your site’s search engine performance.
Due to the previous two points and many more, WordPress sites tend to do very well in Google search rankings. Even Matt Cutts of Google has said that WordPress is “a great choice” for improving your site’s SEO. If you’re site isn’t currently running on WordPress, its a safe bet it would be ranking better if it was.
What would the point in all of this be if WordPress wasn’t secure? By default, WordPress is a very secure system, with various methods in place to protect against attacks. Its ease of updating makes this even stronger. There are also many useful security plugins available.
WordPress has a thriving support community and extensive documentation, so if you need help with something then you have lots of options. There are the excellent support forums full of people helping each other learn and improve, countless tutorial blogs and of course lots of talented designers and developers who are ready to help. There are even priority support sites springing up where for a small fee developers give out help to other developers and website owners who need help with some code in a hurry.