Why WordPress?

Published by | Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Why WordPress?

 

What makes WordPress a good solution? Why is it so popular? Regardless of the question, the answer is the same, and it can be boiled down to three simple words:

Because WordPress works.

Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that. Let me put it into context from the perspective of the three main users of WordPress: the end user, the site owner, and the designer/developer.

 

 

Easy to find, easy to use, easy to share

A poorly kept secret about WordPress is its findability. If someone asked you how to get indexed on Google and you answered “Just set up a WordPress site,” you would not be far from the truth. The way WordPress is built makes it a magnet for search engines and other online indexes. So much so that if you don’t want your WordPress site indexed, you have to take steps to prevent it from happening.

Out of the box, WordPress has great search and share optimization. With the addition of plugins like WordPress SEO, AddThis, and Facebook for WordPress, these built-in capabilities are further enhanced, giving any site the opportunity to become the next big thing on the web. This is provided the content is great, of course. We’ll get to that later.

The purpose of many websites is to put out easily findable, accessible, and shareable information. And WordPress does this in spades. When you are searching for content on the web today, you will likely find it on a WordPress site. If you are reading or viewing content on a WordPress site, you are able to access and interact with that content through comments and RSS feeds. And once you have read the content, you will have an easy time sharing it with your friends on social sharing sites and social media.

 

Easy to publish, easy to configure, easy to maintain

WordPress is a prime example of the virtues of open source. It is built, evolved, and maintained by the people that use it and is therefore in a constant state of forward-moving flux. For site owners this means by simply running a WordPress site and keeping it up to date, they are at any time using the most current web technologies to communicate with the world.

Over the past three years, WordPress has undergone several fundamental design and development changes that have made an already easy-to-use application even easier to use. At the same time it has become more powerful and diverse. From how it is installed to how a site owner can publish content and interact with visitors, WordPress leads the way in removing the barriers that prevent anyone from publishing online. Between WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress, most people with access to an Internet connection are now able to publish their thoughts, ideas, and creations online with minimal effort. With the challenges of web technologies all but removed, the site owner can focus on what matters: producing and publishing excellent content to share with the world.

 

Easy to build, easy to augment, easy to evolve

For me, the true power of WordPress lies in the back end. Whether you are a complete novice or a seasoned pro, building themes and plugins for WordPress will make your life easier and will enable you to do more in less time. I am walking proof.

With a design in place, building a custom WordPress site from scratch—one that looks and behaves nothing like what is expected of a WordPress site but is still just as easy to use and maintain—takes less time than with any other platform I have tried. When people ask me what WordPress can do I answer, “Whatever you want it to do.” And I stand by that statement. At its core, WordPress is a simple interface between the site owner, the database, and the end user. All the stuff in between (administration, themes, and functionalities) is available for the designer and developer to play with and add to in any way they want. And because WordPress is open source, people can step in and contribute to the WordPress community in whatever capacity they feel fit, from answering questions in the forums and building free themes or plugins to contributing to WordPress Core.

The bottom line

Though it may sound like I see WordPress as the be-all and end-all of web publishing, the reality is I am a pragmatic platform agnostic. The reason I laud WordPress and why I love teaching people about WordPress is because I see it as one of the best available solutions for most websites today. I have and continue to work with other solutions including Drupal and Joomla!, but for most of the websites I encounter, WordPress is one of the best options.

Whether you are just starting to play with the idea of publishing a blog, you want to become a web designer or developer, or if you already know all there is to know about the web and you just want to play with something new, WordPress is a great tool to use. It has both the ease of use and the advanced features to suit pretty much any need. And when that need isn’t met, a theme, a plugin, or an extension is there to fill the void.

Interested in more?

Suggested courses to watch next:

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19 Responses to “Why WordPress?”

  1. Antony says:

    Morten, great article and you sir are an excellent instructor of WordPress. As a Premium Member of lynda.com, I’ve watched many (with a few more in my queue) of your WP courses. I especially enjoyed the Online Portfolio one dealing with Custom Post Types and Taxonomies. Would love a more detailed, in depth course, maybe a real world course on these particular subjects (Custom Post Types and Taxonomies), dealing with hierarchical taxonomies (3 levels deep), and to display them on pages, menus etc.

    Look forward to watching and learning from your other WP courses in my queue. (Just wish there were hours in a day). Thanks again for the great job you’re doing. Greetings from South Africa.

    • Morten Rand-Hendriksen, lynda.com author says:

      @Anthony: Thanks for watching! We are always working on new and exciting content around WordPress, and we are also looking at how to improve and update existing content to stay on top of developments in the industry and provide the most up-to-date learning materials possible. I will take note of your request for more in-depth info on custom post types.

  2. Jhawes says:

    WordPress really is an amazing product and with it being both free and assisted by a development community that puts out so much free plugins I find it hard to beat. I was curious if you have ever used RapidWeaver before – it’s a Mac only web publishing software (not a CMS) and is another favorite tool of mine that I use primarily for small business websites… though I still use WordPress quite frequently as well (all depends on the project). I have never even played around with Drupal either and only have negative experiences with Joomla, though I was also curious if you have other CMS’s in your tool bag for certain projects?

    • Morten Rand-Hendriksen, lynda.com author says:

      I have worked with Joomla!, Drupal, and a couple of lesser known .NET based CMSes for certain projects. My choice of WordPress as the primary platform for site creation is based on the easy to use admin interface and how accessible the code is for developers.

      • Jhawes says:

        it is hard to beat and the development community is probably the largest and the friendliest.

      • Tx36 says:

        Hey Mor10, i’ve seen a few clips of your WP tutorials. They seem good.
        Since you mentioned that you have worked on some .NET based CMSes i believe you have had some history with .NET, ASP.NET and C#. so, will be seeing some “.NET” related tutorials anytime soon???
        If not i would like Lynda.com to plan for some more detailed .NET Series. :)

  3. Nick says:

    I came across WordPress a few months ago and quickly realised that it was an ideal platform for building websites and niche custon blogs. I have followed several of your tutorials and founsd them to be extremely useful and easy to follow. As an actors headshots photographer your Online Portfolio tutorial was great for me as portfolio display is a hugh part of my business.

  4. Antony says:

    Hi Morten

    You may consider some more realworld examples, like Building an Accommodation Directory with WordPress, Building an eCommerce Site with WordPress.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Morten Rand-Hendriksen, lynda.com author says:

      @Anthony: We are always working on new and exciting courses around WordPress so you just have to stay tuned.

  5. Barbara says:

    Morten, without lynda.com and your really good tutorials, I would not be building more and better WordPress for my clients all the time. You are one the best tut authors I’ve ever experienced! It’s very comforting to hear your cheerful voice say at three am when I am struggling with PHP tweaks, “It looks complicated, but really it’s not.” Also, I just told a client today not to worry about their SEO setup because WordPress already has what we need. Thank you Lynda.com and thank you Mor10 for the excellent knowledge base.

  6. stevpetersonn says:

    wordpress is easy solution but its much insecure my lot of wordpress site hacked.

  7. WP junquie says:

    Is there was a hands-on course for migrating multiple websites to be on one networked / multisite WordPress installation?

  8. Nouman Abbas says:

    what platform do you use for ecommerce specially for wordpress opensource and others

  9. SerdarA. Web Writer says:

    I have tried many blog platforms but wordpress is the best one. And there is a lot of tutorial to get this. Thank you Lynda you are the big part of this ;)

  10. Ernest says:

    Morten, you totally nailed it. WordPress is great because it works. It’s got the ease of use that beginners love but also has all the add-on capabilities that web designers and developers drool over. Your wordpress tutorials are excellent. Keep up the great work.

  11. Siegfried says:

    Hello Morten!
    I slightly disagree, WordPress is not the easiest solution if you want to build your own wp theme designs from the scratch and make them custom per page AND working with all commonly used wordpress plugins. I find it difficult to be honest
    best regards!

  12. Peter S. says:

    I’m a non-tech person who owns a blog on WordPress and I agree w/ you that is best CMS choice if you decided to have a blog. Very much agree w/ this description ( http://teslathemes.com/blog/why-wordpress-is-the-best-solution-for-your-website/ ) , shows you the advantages of this CMS

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