If you finally decided to start blogging then you seriously need to look into what WordPress has to offer. Sure there are many blogging services like Blogger, TypePad, SquareSpace and such, but none offers as much flexibility, independence, and support as WordPress does. WordPress was started in 2003 by a hand-full of programmers and today it’s a bustling community of developers, designers, and bloggers. It’s the most popular blogging platform in existence and it has a very bright future ahead of itself. Here are the five main reasons why I, as a web designer, give WordPress my vote of confidence.
1. Licensing Model
It’s all about freedom with WordPress. This platform falls under the GPL (General Public License) which clearly states in the preamble that “The licenses for most software are designed to take away your freedom to share and change it. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free software–to make sure the software is free for all its users.” What this boils down to is freedom and power to use this as you like and see fit. This document is making a tremendously powerful software accessible to you and all who wish to use it.
One of the neat things about WordPress is that it’s highly customizable and flexible. It is more than a simple blog platform and it can be converted to function as a conventional website or modified to act as a portfolio site. It’s applications can be so diverse that some people even use it as a CMS for Flash applications. Although it’s not as robust as Joomla or Drupal for content management and community building it comes very close. But to be honest, most people and organizations will never need or want a high powered community site. WordPress is a step down, but it does the job amply well. And if you don’t like the look and feel simply google WordPress themes and choose from thousands of free themes to give it a face lift. You can also buy premium themes that cost anywhere from $15 – $200. And if you need additional functionality like forums, contact forms, and shopping carts, plug-ins are only a download and install away.
At WordCamp 2009 Google SEO expert Matt Cutts said: “WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) Search Engine Optimization.” So if you want your articles and keywords to rank appropriately in search engines it’s hard to beat WordPress. It was designed with this end in mind. SEO is becoming more important every day. It’s the language of the search engines and you want your content to communicate well in the online space. WordPress gets this right.
4. Open Source Support
Since WordPress is an Open Source project there’s a world of developers who work on this platform and develop extensions for it. Need support? Have questions? Simply go to the forums. Support is invaluable, and this is one of the main reasons why WordPress has a promising future. It’s the difference between an obscure piece of software that’s difficult to use and one that you can get up and running in no time flat. People building on top of other people’s improvements, continually enhancing the application. It’s a movement that’s gaining momentum all around the world. And if you’re serious about WordPress development or just want to learn more about the possibilities with WordPress there are WordCamps you can attend in all continents except for Antarctica.
5. Track Record
All the big guys are using WordPress to power their blogs. Fortune500 companies like CNN, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ZDNet, MTV, and other big media companies are jumping in the bandwagon. Get the idea? WordPress must be doing something right. It’s stable, it’s powerful, and people trust it. This is because it works very well. And this same structure is available to anyone who wants to use it.
These are just five reasons but the list goes on. They are the core values that come with the WordPress package and which I consider priceless. Not bad for a free piece of software. So why don’t you take it and run with it?