Many times, potential clients come looking to us to recommend a platform for their website and we recommend WordPress. However, a few people have recently asked us why we like it. If you’re reading this, you may be one of those people.
The first thing I will say is that WordPress is merely a tool and like any professional web team, KMDG is tool agnostic. We have in house developers on staff, and we have experience maintaining\developing sites in such technologies\frameworks as bluHQ, Dreamweaver Templates, Drupal, Expression Engine, Flat File sites with PHP, Flat File sites with VBScript and Perl, FrontPage, MODx, Joomla!, SharePoint, and yes…WordPress. We’ve done shopping carts in Zen Cart, OS Commerce, X-Cart and Volusion. We also have a custom web framework\CMS that we developed for small projects. We have active projects with many of these right now. If you really insisted that we develop a site for you in FrontPage 98, I’d go in my closet and blow the dust off my copy, install those server extensions and make you the best guestbook you’ve ever seen.
In preparation for this article, I read a few blogs which compare “WordPress vs. Drupal vs. Joomla! vs. Expression Engine,” or any combination thereof. The one thing I’ve noticed is that many of these blogs are written by people who aren’t really developers or people who probably haven’t used WordPress much or at all. They find limitations where there are none simply because they’re not paying a developer to do their site. You don’t have that problem.
With all that said, we do recommend WordPress. I’m going to tell you why, but I’m not really comparing WordPress to anything. Every tool has its strengths and weaknesses. It’s the skill of the craftsman that makes the magic happen.
Reason #1: Our Clients Use It
There’s nothing worse than creating a fancy website complete with a customized backend only to find out your clients hate it or can’t use it. We found that after switching to WordPress, clients update their sites a lot more frequently.
Reason #2: It Looks Good
We’re developers, but we’re also designers; and WordPress has the nicest looking HTML5 and CSS3 backend right now. The HTML5 multiple file media uploader is a dream. It’s modern, clean, responsive and it will make you want to update your site (See #1).
Reason #3: The Database
The WordPress database is the best I’ve seen from a CMS. It’s compact, intuitive and it doesn’t change with every revision. I haven’t really seen the table structure change significantly in about 8 years or more.
Reason #4: The Install
It’s estimated that about 19% of the web runs WordPress. In my opinion, the reason is the same as the reason PHP is so popular: it’s free and easy to get started. WordPress is the easiest install in the business and even the most die hard Joomla! guy will tell you the same thing.
Reason #5: The Updates
You will not be draining your marketing budget on software updates. WordPress actually takes care of everything in one click. Other platforms claim to do this, but you always click the button and hold your breath. That’s not the case with WordPress.
Reason #6: It’s Popular
Worpress benefits from an information cascade. Let’s say we do your site and in a year, you decide you hate us. Finding another WordPress developer is like finding that annoying Target commercial on cable.
Reason #7: All Your Blog are Belong to Us
WordPress is not just a blog platform that you hack and turn into a regular website. This is a common misconception because wordpress.com is like Blogger and a lot of old timey blogs were in WordPress, but as long as I’ve been working with it (about 10 years), WordPress has had full CMS capabilities.
Everyone wants a blog. Every restaurant, tech company and real estate agent has one to take advantage of the long tail. The fact that WordPress contains a blog in its core is a feature, not a bug. When people find out we can integrate their entire site into the same platform, it facilitates more of what I talked about in #1. They have to learn WordPress to use their blog and updating the rest of the site is very similar to writing a blog, so it’s two birds with one stone. Every other platform I’ve worked with either uses a plugin for the blog or has a complicated tutorial on how you can monkey their templating system into a blog. They might get passing grades, but they’re never as good as WordPress.