If you follow me Twitter, Facebook or this blog you’ll know I’m a fan of WordPress. Though I spend a lot of time messing around with other CMS and blogging applications, WordPress is my go-to for new client sites and all of my personal sites. Until now, I’ve never really thought about why I like WordPress so much.
WordPress is Free
Well, first of all I don’t have a lot of money and WordPress is free. This means I can download copies for testing and personal sites to my heart’s content. I have at least 9 copies on my development servers (not including copies of client sites) and run around 7 sites on the internet with WordPress. If I had to pay for WordPress I probably wouldn’t use it.
WordPress Has a Huge Community
A huge community of support means that lots of people work on WordPress to make it safe and lots of people are writing plugins and themes for it. Huge community support also means lots of places to go to ask questions or troubleshoot issues.
WordPress Makes it Easy to Try Things Out
The ease of installation (just push a button!) makes it fun to try out new themes and plugins and writing new ones isn’t difficult for a moderately-experienced programmer. Most of the time I spend learning about WordPress is experimenting on my dev server. The documentation is top-notch and the snippets and information other programmers use are easy to find on the web.
WordPress is a Framework
Because it provides a framework once you know how WordPress is organized, figuring out how to implement new designs or tweak templates or plugins is more efficient. I should say it is more efficient if the programmer has followed WordPress standards. If they have, I know where to find things and how to change them. My work is made much easier and my clients end up with a superior product, customized specifically for them.
Additionally, not only the front-end (the website itself) is changeable – I can make changes to the admin dashboard with minimal coding as well. For example, I usually replace the WordPress blog with my own blog on client installations. I can also hide areas of the admin that clients shouldn’t be changing, or add links to make it easier for them to do what they need to do.
WordPress Has Easy Updates
I love the push-button updating with WordPress. Because my site backs up automatically, I can update both WordPress, plugins and themes any time by just pressing the buttons. After struggling with Zen Cart’s awful update system, this is a relief.
Most of the people who say they hate WordPress have a vision of something in their head and can’t make their theme fulfill that vision. I liken it to a person going into a fully furnished wood shop and expecting to come out with a beautiful hand-crafted piece of furniture without any training or experience. You can use the wood shop to drive nails, cut wood and polish finished furniture, but if you want a really nice piece you need to either get training or have a professional help you.