In case you don’t know, WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in the world – or in layman’s terms, it is really popular for making websites. With its ease of use, flexibility, and scalability, WordPress powers over 43% of the world’s websites. To put it in context, that is about 810 million websites. That’s a lot.
With stats like that, it can’t just be a fluke. Why is WordPress so popular?
First, it’s incredibly cost-efficient
Developing a WordPress site is incredibly efficient, which is the biggest reason it’s so popular. Beginning developers benefit from an abundance of prebuilt themes and plugins, and experienced developers can multiply their development speed without having to sacrifice beauty or quality. In addition, WordPress comes with a very powerful content management system right out of the box, which saves a lot of time that would otherwise be spent building administrative tools. All of that adds up to a much lower cost of development compared to other alternatives.
Second, it’s very flexible
There is a myth that WordPress sites “always look the same”, or that they are limited in their capabilities. This simply isn’t true (check our portfolio). In the hands of a skilled developer, a WordPress site can support nearly any web design and can be customized to support basically any functionality that any other website can support. Ecommerce, forms, social networking, artificial intelligence, 3D experiences, third-party integrations, enterprise level security – we’ve seen it all done well with WordPress.
Third, it’s a resilient workhorse
A well-built WordPress can operate at a high level of traffic for years without a need for a tremendous amount of maintenance. That isn’t to say it’s a good idea to build a site and forget it, but the point is – a well-built WordPress can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. This adds to its cost efficiency, because it means you get to invest more time making your site better and cooler, and less time keeping it happy.
The history of WordPress
The origins of WordPress trace back to 2003 when Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little introduced the platform as an open-source content management system (CMS). From the beginning, it was not just a blogging tool, but also a system that could manage and organize digital content for websites.
WordPress 1.0, named “Davis,” was released on January 3, 2004. It introduced several features that have remained central to WordPress, including its well-known plugin architecture, which allows developers to extend the platform’s functionality, and a new template system.
As WordPress continued to evolve, more features were added to make it a comprehensive website building tool. 2005 saw the introduction of themes with version 1.5, a development that revolutionized the platform by allowing users to easily change the look and feel of their websites without altering the content or structure. The same year, WordPress.com was launched by Automattic, a company founded by Mullenweg, which allowed users to host their websites directly with WordPress.
In 2010, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg made a pivotal decision that further ensured the platform’s longevity. He announced that WordPress was becoming an open-source project, allowing thousands of developers worldwide to contribute to its evolution.
Since then, WordPress has grown exponentially and continues to dominate the CMS market.
Listen, WordPress is a polarized topic for many brands and developers. It’s generally “love it, or hate it”. But our take – even as a company that prides ourselves in our ability to roll up our sleeves and develop – is that WordPress earned it’s place in 43% of the world’s websites for a reason, and for many situations, it is a fantastic tool selection.
If you are looking for options for your next website and you are trying to understand your options, WordPress is a great place to start. It’s the peanut butter and jelly sandwich of the internet: it’s a classic, it’s loved by young and old, and it ain’t going anywhere.