Over the number of years, I have been building Sites on the WordPress Platform. A few years back, I was asked why I used this over other options in the market place. At that time, the answer was simple: “WordPress is the only solution that has the Trifecta of user, creator and administrator experiences.” However, since then answer has gotten more complicated. Until recently, services like Wix, SquareSpace and Shopify were dwarfed by the power and flexibility of WordPress. In addition these services did not have good SEO practices and their content management was horrible.
Well my opinion of these services have changed considerably, they now have excellent built in SEO, the user experience is considerably better and their response to technology changes are nearly immediate and have little impact on the site owners. So the question remains, “why WordPress if these services seem to be good now?” Beyond the experience of Content Creators and Developers, hosting your own WordPress site offers the greatest long term flexibility.
Long Term Flexibility
Nearly the decade ago, WordPress took the web development community by storm because it offered something no other CMS could offer, ‘A simple experience for content creators.’ This freed developers to focus on creating beautiful sites with amazing features. This resulted in WordPress being a preferred platform for in over 30% of all websites are build on WordPress and nearly 60% of content on the web is posted within WordPress. As it now, some may call WordPress ‘bloatware.’ While there might be truth to this, it mostly caused by theme and plugin developers who do not follow best practices. In the end, WordPress is posed to work with future technologies because of the flexibility the plugin structure offers.
Site User Experience
WordPress was originally developed to be a blogging platform. The benefit to this is WordPress is findable in nature. Unless you specifically tell search engines to go away, your site will be found. Adding in a couple plugins such as WordPress SEO, Really Simple Share and Next Scripts Social Poster, further increasing the visibility of your site. It has a built in commenting system that can be leveraged to engage with site users. If you do incorporate the built in blog functions for company news or to share your expertise, the built in RSS feed, allows readers to subscribe to you blog using feed readers to follow your site. People who follow your site tend share it with everyone they know, increasing your sites exposure.
Content Creator Experience
The WordPress backend control panel is design to make creating content easy. Even the most novice and technophobic users find the interface easy to use and non-threatening. Adding picture or even a gallery to a post is as simple a couple of clicks a button. Creating forms, surveys, and polls are easy to with create with the help of plugins such as Gravity Forms. Adding YouTube or Vimeo videos to your site is as simple as placing the URL in the post. In addition, setting up and updating navigation in WordPress, couldn’t be easier.
Administrative and Developer Experience
The site user and content creator experience was originally what drew me to WordPress because it allowed me to focus on creating great sites for them. However when I first started developing sites in WordPress, developers had to hack their way through to get the sites to function the way they were designed. The good news it that was over 5 years ago, and things have changed drastically. Since then WordPress has evolved into a great development framework. Many plugins that were used for workarounds of limitation are no longer needed and most new plugins mainly focused on adding functionality.
WordPress has become incredibly easy to maintain. The update function for WordPress, plugins and themes work flawlessly when following best practices (such as creating a back up before starting). With the addition of plugins such as Backup Buddy and Akismet (to name a few) managing site security has also simplified. There also of a number of commercial tools out there that ease the management of Multiple WordPress Sites such as InfiniteWP.
While I did my best to condense a quick over of why I use WordPress, I hope you have a better understanding of why I drank the WP Kool-Aid. And until someone can show me something better. I can tell you WordPress is the only solution that has the Trifecta of user, creator and administrator experiences.