Maybe you signed up for Drupal, Joomla, or another content management system a few years ago when you first started publishing content, and have now outgrown the solution. Maybe you’re looking for different functionality or more themes and widgets to play with. Whatever the reason, you’re ready for a CMS upgrade, and you’re considering WordPress for the migration.
Certainly, each CMS platform out there has its own benefits. Drupal is known for its active community. ExpressionEngine is great if you’re not technically inclined. And Alfresco lets you easily turn files into webpages. But despite all of these benefits, WordPress remains ahead of the pack. Here’s why.
1. It’s Been Around for (Digital) Eons.
WordPress was launched in 2003, back when no one knew what a CMS or a blog was. While it may have started out as a tool for bloggers, it’s quickly grown to be the go-to platform for everyone from programmers to business owners with little tech experience. Every day, 500 new sites are created using WordPress.
The longevity of WordPress means it’s going to be around for a lot longer. You don’t get that kind of confidence with some of the newer CMS platforms; they struggle to attract a large user base, and many either shut down or get acquired by a competitor. Where does that leave you if you’re using it?
2. It’s Simple.
Many users of Drupal and Joomla, for example, find them overly complicated for their needs. There are features that users scratch their heads over, unsure of what to do with. And so they try to use a complex system for simple needs.
WordPress, while it can be built to have advanced features, excels because of its simplicity. It’s based on the “WYSIWYG” concept: What You See Is What You Get. If you can create a Word document, you can create a web page or blog post. Users don’t need to be able to code, which makes it extremely popular for businesses who don’t have an on-staff programmer or web designer. It’s DIY at its best.
3. The Ecosystem is Huge.
Want a plugin to enhance your SEO? WordPress has one. Looking for a website theme that isn’t used by a million other businesses? Yep. WordPress has your back. Because of its large user base, an entire ecosystem of supporting features has sprung up around the CMS platform. Third parties have made a lot of money by creating indispensable widgets, plugins, and themes for WordPress users.
With more than 49,000 plugins, users have just about unlimited ability to customize their CMS with exactly the features they want, from selling products to reposting older blog content to social media.
4. The WordPress Community is Active and Thriving.
One of the most frustrating things about using another content management platform is having a question that you can’t find the answer to. New CMS companies sprout up, but they can’t hope to create the size community that a more established brand like WordPress has accumulated in the 10+ years it’s been out. And so you’re left trying to solve your problem on your own.
WordPress has an extremely active community. The brand’s website support page has a forum for everything you can think of, from fixing WordPress issues to accessibility concerns, and there’s always someone who has solved a problem ahead of you who can help.
5. It’s Free.
It’s hard to understand why other CMS platforms charge money when WordPress is available for free. Its zero-dollar price tag has attracted millions of small businesses and individuals who don’t have the budget to pay several hundred dollars for a tool. Some competitors to WordPress are also free, but then they charge for additional features or plugins. While some WordPress plugins have paid upgrade options, the vast majority are completely free or have a robust freemium version available.
6. It’s Versatile.
Many early users of WordPress chose it to create blogs, but since then (and now that we’ve gotten away from heavily-coded Java websites), we’ve seen more and more users creating full websites with WordPress. It’s great for websites because anyone can update them, and businesses no longer need to hire a web developer to make tiny changes. And given that WordPress is so blog friendly, it’s easy to create a website that has a blog without having two different platforms that need to work together.
Many other CMS solutions are either geared toward blog design or websites, not both.
7. ECommerce Integration is Simple.
A few years ago, if you wanted to sell products on your website, you had to either use a basic (and not attractive) template created by Yahoo! or other ecommerce-hosted site, or hire a designer to figure out the complexities of setting up a shopping cart. Now you’ve got the ability to easily integrate eCommerce systems with WordPress. If you use an eCommerce platform like WooCommerce, there are just a few steps you need to take to fully integrate it with your WordPress website.
8. It’s Mobile-Friendly.
If it’s been years since you updated the design of your website, you may be hearing things about the need for a mobile-friendly web design. The idea is that you want your website visitors, no matter what device they access your site on, to have a pleasant and easy experience on your site. Older designs tend to render oddly on mobile phones and tablets. But the vast majority of WordPress themes are already mobile-friendly. Theme developers constantly update their themes, and all you have to do is click a button in your WordPress back-end to ensure that you’ve got the latest version and all its functionality.
9. It’s SEO Ready.
While any CMS has the ability for you to enhance your SEO, WordPress is one step ahead, as always. In fact, Matt Cutts of Google has even touted WordPress’ SEO ability. Using one of the many popular SEO plugins only enhances that effort.
There are plenty of reasons to consider a move to WordPress from your current CMS, or simply starting on WordPress if you don’t yet have a content management platform. Its ease of use, affordability, and constant updating mean your website and/or blog will always be cutting-edge and secure. And when you’re ready, we recommend choosing a managed WordPress hosting provider.