As WordPress passed the milestone of 50 million websites on Wednesday 13th July 2011, we consider why this open source blogging tool which came from humble beginnings has become so popular in the online world.
A Google search for “free blog” shows WordPress as second only to Google’s Blogger, owing vastly to its now 50 million strong community of websites. So why is WordPress so popular?
Firstly downloads are free, a big plus in any industry; but secondly and just as importantly, WordPress is open source.
This means users are allowed supreme customisability over the original source code, giving them the ability to create a complex and compelling website out of a simple blog structure.
For those of us less used to dealing with codes however, WordPress also provides users with an intricate yet user-friendly online posting and editing menu system. From the dashboard you can track the impact and success of your website, along with performing simple maintenance and upgrades.
This makes WordPress perfect for amateur bloggers looking to start something that is both easy to maintain, yet holds a professional image.
This trade-off between levels of usability is why WordPress works so well and has become such popular tool; both amateurs and professionals are able to gain benefit from its design.
Another big plus comes from the massive integrated community, which is involved in the continual improvement of WordPress’ capacity to expand. With fifty million websites on the board, the WordPress community is stronger than ever and ever ready to overcome any possible glitches or restrictions that may appear.
Similarly to Apple’s App Store for iPhone and iPad, WordPress features a large system of free user-created plugins for instant download.
This expands the overall possibilities of a WordPress site and places greater control of the final website in the hands of the designer.
If you encounter a limitation within the WordPress software, it is likely that others have too, which makes it similarly likely that someone has done something to fix it. This is a big plus, which is couple with the fact that WordPress also provides users with a constant stream of updates; consistently improving the base software.
There has also been a large growth in the industry around WordPress websites, with professional website designers and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) experts basing their operations around the WordPress community. This has allowed businesses to afford impressive websites on a cheaper budget; greatly assisting those in small business who want to make a splash on the internet.
So WordPress is free, provides users with extensive customisation, easy to use, incorporates a mass community dedicated to improving its capabilities, regularly provides updates, and delivers businesses a cheaper option for attaining an impressive website.
WordPress is the modern realisation of the early idealist perspective of what the internet could be and recently won the 2011 award for Open Source Web App of the Year Award at The Critters. No wonder it’s so popular!