What is WordPress
and Why Is It So Popular?
If you have used the internet in the last couple of decades, then chances are you have encountered a WordPress website.
Because of its popularity, it is easy for those who are in the know to overlook the fact that plenty of other people are entirely in the dark about what services it provides.
To remedy this, here is an overview of the fundamentals of what makes WordPress tick, as well as a look at the features which give it the edge over its rivals.
A quick history lesson
WordPress was first released back in 2003 and, as the name suggests, it was initially conceived as a platform on which people could publish blogs, back at a time when blogging was at the forefront of the online revolution.
In the simplest terms, WordPress is a content management system (CMS) which not only allows people to build their own websites and post content, but also customize the experience through a range of themes and plugins.
It is worth pointing out that WordPress.com is distinct from the CMS solution with the same name; the former is a dedicated platform for self-publishing, while the latter is entirely open-source and can form the foundations of all sorts of websites outside of the blogosphere.
The appeal of accessibility
Perhaps the biggest reason that WordPress rose to prominence originally and continues to be hugely successful to this day is that it is comparatively accessible.
Of course, the more complex you want your site to be, the more challenging the building process will become. But for those who are content to create a site that is simple and straightforward, the tools provided as part of the WordPress framework should be a lot less intimidating than those offered by some of its rivals.
That is not to say that WordPress is entirely without competition in terms of intuitive design tools for non-experts; it is just that it sits up there with the best of the rest of the market in this respect.
The importance of flexibility
Another part of what has helped WordPress to be so enduringly popular is that it is very adaptable, according to the needs of the individual user.
If you just want to create a place to showcase your creative talents through the medium of the written word, or share any of the other content you create on a reliable and stable platform, then it can help you do just that. If, on the other hand, you want to make a site from which you can sell products and services, build your brand or conduct any number of other commercially focused activities, WordPress is also able to accommodate your requirements.
It all comes down to the wide range of plug-ins and the cross-compatibility with other mainstream services. Users are empowered to develop whatever type of site they want, not just from a functionality perspective but also when it comes to aesthetics. Using pre-made themes or developing your own unique look and feel is both possible, and moreover attainable for average users, due to the aforementioned accessibility.
The reassurance of support
WordPress is like a number of other popular online platforms which have reached a critical mass of success and thus are able to boast a far more robust support network for users, both in terms of the ongoing development of official updates by the foundation behind it, as well as the wider community of users from around the world.
All of this means that the platform itself is resilient and reliable, while if you do run into any issues, getting the assistance you need is a breeze.
The undeniable affordability
Going back to the idea that WordPress is an open source platform, this also means that you do not need to pay anything to harness it.
That is not to say that there are no costs to bear at all; there are still expenses involved in hosting a website, securing a domain name, and keeping the site up and running over time. However, the free availability of WordPress itself means that you are neither beholden to a single company or limited in your options of how you use the system itself.
The impressive management options
Setting up a WordPress site is one thing, but managing it is quite another, and the appeal of the platform really shines when it comes to the day-to-day running of the infrastructure. Indeed, it is so simple to add content, adjust settings and generally choose how your site functions that even if you do decide to outsource the design and building to an expert, you should have no trouble taking the reins afterwards.
This is particularly beneficial when it comes to ensuring that the site does not stagnate, as there is nothing worse than finding it a hassle to add fresh content, so you will keep your audience coming back for more.
Few site building solutions are as widely used as WordPress. In fact, almost a third of websites in the world are based on it, which should give you confidence in its capabilities.
So many other people cannot be wrong about the perks and potential benefits of WordPress, which in turn means that it is a strong and recognizable brand that will be able to stand the test of time, rather than withering on the vine.
The search friendliness
Last but not least, WordPress has been overhauled thanks to plugins like Yoast SEO to ensure that making a website that performs well on Google’s organic results pages for your target keywords is not an insurmountable challenge.
So there you have it, WordPress promises to empower anyone to make an attractive, flexible website, and all it takes is the motivation to get started in the first place.
About the Author
Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.