Personally I’m a huge fans of WordPress. For the last several years, I’ve programmed 90% of my and our (including all my clients) sites on the WordPress.org platform. WordPress enhances websites at every step of the process: our users to save money, take control over their own sites(add/edit/remove content), incorporate advanced functionality(e-commerce, mapping, user submitted content, etc.) and get bettersearch results. WordPress.org is simply a stroke of genius, and we take great pride in using it to make beautiful and powerful websites for our clients. Below is a list of the top 10 reasons we believe inusing WordPress.org for your website. If you are interested in gettingprofessional help setting up or optimizing a WordPress.org website, contact us any time.
1. WordPress is Truly Free and Open Source
Unlike other “free” and “open source” solutions that have hidden agendas, WordPress.org is completely free (learn more) for you, forever. WordPress doesn’t start charging when you hit acertain size, nor does it close off any of its code to you. This is one of the less tangible but probably most important elements ofWordPress.org’s success. No fees, no gotchas, no nonsense.
2. Automatic is an Awesome Company, and it Takes Care of WordPress
The more I learn about Matt Mullenweg and his company, Automatic, the more I like them. These guys write amazing code, protect open source programming, fight spam, host affordable and educational conferences, take security seriously, and seem like genuine nice guys. I mentioned that WP is open source,but what’s really interesting is that it is commercial open source. That sounds like an oxymoron but it’s actually a breakthrough. Manytraditional community-based open source projects are not well guided –they end up floundering, splitting into separate projects, or becomestale because volunteers are not motivated to work. Automatic stays on top of their product, steering development in the right direction andconstantly updating their product.
3. Plugins Give You More Functionality
Plenty of platforms out there offer plugin functionality, but I’venever seen a more smooth and thorough implementation than the plugineffort on WordPress.org. Plugins allow you to add great photogalleries, sliders, shopping carts, forums, maps, and more greatfunctionality. There’s a searchable, one-click install directory ofplugins (think App Store for WordPress). Their code is riddled with “hooks” that allow developers to add their code to virtually any aspect ofWordPress without editing the core. Look for a few new and importantWordPress.org plugins to come from the Computer Courage labs soon!
4. The Visual Editor and CMS are Outstanding
The intuitive, user-friendly backend of WordPress is probably whatmade it so famous in the first place. I’ll never remember the relief Ifelt when I first installed WordPress after a few Drupal experiences. I always tell my clients, “if you can do it in Word, you can do it inWordPress.” In fact, with the Paste From Word tool, that statement ismore true than you would imagine (this article was written in Word). WordPress is continually improving its CMS, adding features such asthreaded comments, galleries, revision histories, trash, custom post types, and more. If you haven’t maintained a WordPress site yet, give it a look.
5. Easily Add a Blog To Your Site
How is this number 5 on the list you ask? WordPress really came to fame for blogging and is still considered by many to be a blogplatform. Even WordPress itself seems to identify with blogging first,as the default configuration is for the home page to be a blog. Asidefrom the amazing advances in CMS (see #4 above), the blog functionalityis still the best in the business. With categories, tags, threadedcommenting, gravatars, easy theming, widgets, fantastic moderationcontrols, anti spam solutions, and plugin infrastructure, you can’t find a better blog solution. Adding a blog to a WordPress site is a greatway to attract and involve visitors, and to keep Google payingattention. If you don’t need a full site, and just want a quick blog,check out WordPress.com.
6. Themes Let You Style Your Site
I tell my business clients every day that their site doesn’t need to“reinvent the wheel” when it comes to design. We love doing custom web design for our clients, but many of them don’t need it. We’ve been able tomake very beautiful and successful sites by starting from pre-existingthemes and doing customization from there. Because themes are opensource, you can buy or download them and then modify them to yourheart’s content. I have to give special credit to the folks at Elegant Themes who make wonderfully powerful and easy to use themes at a veryreasonable price. Remember, themes are independent from your content,so you can edit or swap out themes at any time and keep your content and functionality in place.
7. It’s Easy to Keep WordPress Secure
WordPress has always bragged about its “Famous 5 Minute Installation”. Not only is WordPress pretty easy to install (itactually takes 5 minutes if you are handy with your web servers, newbies will have a learning curve), but WordPress is also surprisingly easy to update for security and new functionality. When a new version isavailable, WordPress will give you an easy link for a one-click upgrade. Warning:Computer Courage always recommends backing up your blog before doing aninstall in case something goes wrong. Look for backup plugins ortechniques first.
8. Google Loves WordPress
At Computer Courage, we focus on getting new customers for our clients via Search Engine Optimization. Ever since we started doing WordPress.org installs, I noticed a spikein search results. Over the years I’ve used many valuable SEO pluginssuch as the All-In-One SEO Pack and Google XML Sitemaps. But even without these plugins, I always felt like the simple layoutsof WordPress, the permalinks, and the easy linking in WordPress would be naturally attractive to Google. I even heard it straight from thehorse’s mouth. Matt Cutts, the other awesome Matt and the head of Google’s “web spam team” spokeat WordCamp SF 2009 and said it directly – “Google Loves WordPress”. Edit: After saying this for the last year, I went back and checked. Itturns out I’ve been exaggerating. He said “WordPress is a great choice” but still, he goes on to gush about how much WordPress helps you getbetter results. We always recommend a conversion to WordPress whendoing SEO.
9. WordPress Sites are Accessible
WordPress sites are usually built on relatively simple and accessible technologies. It’s easy to install on Windows or Linux servers. Ituses all free license server software. The web pages render in HTML and CSS allowing them to show up on iPhones, BlackBerrys, Android, iPad,etc. It’s also easy for alternative browsers such as text only browsers (see Lynx) which are excellent for those with disabilities.
10. Your Site Can Grow With You
When you add up a lot of these features, you find that your WordPress site can grow with you over the years. You can easily upgrade it fornew features and security. You can add a new theme (ma.tt seems to add a new theme most years) without redoing your whole site. You can add new plugins for enhanced functionality (add e-commerce if your businessgrows, focus more on search results, add a store finder, etc.) WordPress.org is used by millions of sites, from the simplest littleblogs to huge brand names like the New York Times blog, People, Flickr,and more. See the WordPress.org showcase.
11. Collaborative Development is Easier with WordPress
This reason is a variant of source code being easier to manage. Without a good version control strategy it is much harder to get a local copyof a website for development. Developers in a Drupal shop have to spend a lot more time merging their databases so the up-shot is that manyDrupal developers co-develop on the same installation, and often thelive installation at that which results in overwriting each other’s code and limits a developers ability to roll back. It’s much easier todevelop with a local copy of WordPress so WordPress developers tend todo it more often.
12. Revisions of WordPress-based Websites are Easier to Deploy
This reason is also a variant of source code being easier to manage. 1but the headaches are seperate so I list is as a seperate reason.Because WordPress maintains a lot more of its logic in PHP codeWordPress is much easier to deploy than a Drupal application. Drupaldevelopers end up writing a lot more SQL code that they then need totest everytime they need to merge data used to control new applicationlogic into the database of a production webserver on deployment of arevision to an existing website. The significance of this is hard tounderestimate.
13. Easier to Find Skilled Designers for WordPress
To create a beautiful website design for WordPress designers need to begood at design, of course, but beyond that they really only need tolearn how to copy and paste “Template Tags” as they able to have full design freedom when producing the HTML that will be used for a WordPress theme.
Drupal designers, on the other hand, need to be skilled PHP developers too and with a rare exceptions those two skillsets are mutually exclusive.When you do find someone who can do both and do both well, they will behugely in demand and thus outrageously expensive but the real problem is with Drupal you really won’t know if they are one of the rare few until after you’ve paid them a lot of money to either create a “house ofcards”, or a really ugly house.
With WordPress you can get a great designer to work with a greatdeveloper, both of which are easier to evaluate than combined greatness, and you are set.
14. There are More WordPress Professionals Available
A corollary to finding skilled designers, it’s simply much easier to find WordPress professionals to hire for projects than it is to find Drupal professionals.
15. WordPress Professionals Charge Lower Rates
Another corollary to finding skilled designers and more WordPressprofessional being available is it is less expensive to find a WordPress professional than a professional for Drupal. If you ignore the fact that there are many more WordPress professionals another factor is WordPress professionals don’t need to be asproficient in as many areas as their Drupal counterparts. People who can really make Drupal sing are really expensive.
16. WordPress’ Code is Much Easier to Debug
Drupal’shighly nested architecture makes it so that a developer spends most ofhis time looping through a few core functions waiting to find which code controls what they need to modify. Often with WordPress the developercan simply set a breakpoint on the theme’s template file and debug fromthere.
17. WordPress Sites Load Much Faster than Drupal Sites
Drupal runs upwards of 100 SQL queries for every page load because of its site architecture. With WordPress the number can easilybe less than 10. And the time to run those SQL queries easily add up.Drupal advocates will claim those queries can be made insignificant bythe creative use of caching but the reality is that you cannot cachemost items in the admin console so the end user who is forced to useDrupal will be saddled with a level of fatiged and is just notnecessary, if you instead choose WordPress.
18. WordPress technical concern
And lest you feel this is unimportant technical concern be aware that site performance is now something that Google uses to determine search engine result rankings. Host your website on a slow platform and prepare for an uphill battlewhen it comes to achieve top rankings in Google’s search engine resultspages.
19. WordPress Requires Less Expensive Hosting
Acorollary to page load performance is that the typical Drupal siterequires a lot more server to serve each of it’s pages than does atypical WordPress site. Those who choose WordPress for a seriously hightraffic site will usually find they can serve more pages with the sameservers and/or that the memory requirements for WordPress will typically be a lot less. And for a high traffic sites this could either be realmoney and/or it can mean that the site is less likely to fail in thecase of a flash mob such as a Slashdotting.
20. WordPress has the Most Integrations
More companies or their 3rd parties offer plugins for WordPress to integrate with their services than another other platform, specially more than modules available for Drupal. Twitter, Facebook, Freshbooks, MailChimp; you name it, they all have WordPress plugins. If you need one forDrupal and it’s not a mainstream service like Twitter or Facebookchances are you’ll have to pay to have it written.
Have further thoughts on why WordPress.org is or isn’t a greatplatform for building websites? We’ve love to hear from you in thecomments below. Thanks for your participation and interest in the weband in WordPress.org. Finally, if you’re looking for a professionalteam to put a WordPress.org website together for you, contact us today or sign up for our newsletter.