WordPress is the world’s dominant CMS. The other platforms don’t even come close. WordPress has 54% of the global CMS market share, with over 27 million live websites. Its nearest competitor is Wix with only 7.2% of the worldwide market. What’s behind the reasons for its popularity? Versatility is a big reason. What other platform has SEO-friendly features, blogging and eCommerce functionality as well its mobile-friendly feature? That said there is one caveat: While it is user-friendly it can be difficult to learn the ropes and manage the website for a newbie. That said, the pros outweigh the cons.
In an agile world few things are more important than versatility. It’s among the world’s largest open-source projects with close to a hundred developers contributing to the WordPress Core. This makes it a perfect platform for a novice developer or designer. Let’s compare WordPress with Wix for a minute.
While Wix may be easier to use it has severe limitations, especially when it comes to user experience. Many companies use the Wix platform without understanding what it takes to build and design a website. Concepts such as prototyping, building out user flows, or CTAS are often lost in the process. While it is true that you can use a drag-and-drop website builder without the need to code that comes with limitations. WordPress, on the other hand, will allow. You have limitless control over a site’s aesthetic with a unparalleled collection of themes built into the platform itself. WordPress is also unrivaled when it comes to its SEO features.
The SEO Advantages of WordPress
Earlier in the blog post I went through the user experience advantages that WordPress enjoys over it’s rivals. That directly plays into SEO. Why? Because visitors enjoy their experience which contributes to lower bounce rates. Optimizing images for SEO is much simpler on WordPress than any of its competitors.
Blogs without images will not go far. That said images alone will not drive readers to your blog. This where WordPress SEO tools come in handy. The platform empowers you to create alternative text for every image that you use. This allows you to insert keywords as image descriptions that will get them noticed by the search engine crawlers. Also, you can save yourself the manual work of doing this through using plugins that automatically creates alt text for the images. That’s not to mention that webmasters can effortlessly resize images so your page’s load speed does not slow down. This neatly leads into another strength: WordPress websites when it comes to load times.
It does not matter how well designed your website is if it’s slow. That is especially true for mobile SEO. Not only will slow page speeds anger your users but it will also push it down in the SERPS. To avoid this WordPress has great plugins, such as ShortPixel Image Optimizer. This feature compress past images and documents to spee up the load time. Then there is WP Optimize. This great plugin will clear your websites’s database. It will also compress your images as well as cache your site. WP Optimize is a particularly strong plugin because it will:
- Open up space on your website: When a page or post on your WordPress website it automatically saves the revision to the database. The problem with this standard revision method is that the website’s database will get clogged up with old revisions, which takes up valuable real estates, Enter WP-Optimize. This removes unnecessary post revisions, which can free up Megabytes of data. That in turn increases speed and efficiency, which will boost a site’s SERP rankings
- More granular control: This plugin reports on which of the database tablets have overhead and space that is not being used like it should be. This gives any website owner the ability to speed up their website and keep it neat at the same time.
- Automatic cleaning: WP-Optimize will also run an automatic clean-up on the schedule that you specify. For example, you have the option of keeping a selecting number of week’s data based on your preferences.
While WordPress has many technical advantages. It’ true advantages is it’s active open source community.
It’s All About Community
These days it’s all about community. Nothing happens in a bubble anymore. The Open source community, including WordPress, thrives on collaboration these days. What makes WordPress truly stand out from its competitors whether Wix, Drupal or Squarespace, is that it has an innovative community backing it. And it’s free! It was started by Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg because their original blog was discontinued by developers. It’s now built on MYSQL and PHP, and licensed under GPLv2, which means it is free to be used and modified by anyone. It is also staffed by countless volunteers who help newbies learn everything from building test sites to providing documentation and tutorials.
There is no magic formula for WordPress’ success. Some will make the argument that it owes its success to its technical features. But that misses the bigger picture. As I detailed above WordPress would not be nearly as successful as it is today without its large open source community. You can’t understand WordPress without understanding Open Source. To understand you what Open Source is all about you need to know the principles by which it lives by. Free software is a matter of liberty, not just price. This whole concept of liberty has inspired a whole generation of developers and tech leaders to follow open-source principles when they are building their products and projects.