First launched in 2003, WordPress has impressively and understandably grown to the popular Content Management System (CMS) it is. Although it began as a blogging system, which has since become the most popular on the web, it’s increasing versatility over the years has made it into so much more. Beyond blogging, WordPress can run websites that function in a wide variety of ways: a content management system, shopping or eCommerce, sites that handle memberships, portfolio’s, galleries, and video to name a few.
As to its popularity, let’s look at some numbers. In 2011, about 25% of all websites ran on one of the 76 known CMS’s tracked by Web Tech Surveys. This year, 2015, it’s up to 40%. The current market share of that held by WordPress is a whopping 60% which represents more than 60 million websites. And that number is growing. No other CMS comes close – Joomla is a far second at less than 3% of the market share.
WordPress gatherings, known as Wordcamps, have exploded since the inaugural meeting held in San Francisco in 2006 with 500 attendees. So far, they have spread to 48 countries in over 150 cities around the world. Hamilton Ontario will host its next one this coming June 6th.
WordPress, How do we love thee, Let us count the ways,…
As opposed to proprietary software, WordPress is free and open-source. That means anyone can download, install, modify, and use it to their hearts content to make any kind of website.
The real strength of WordPress comes from its customization. There is a copious amount of templates, or themes, available. Whatever the purpose of your intended website is, be it for photography, eCommerce, blogs, portfolios, or cake-pops, with almost 3000 WordPress themes in existence, the chances of finding one for your website are pretty darn good. This enables you to give the site the look and feel you want. And many of these are free. Just download, install, and badaboom, you’re done!
It’s versatile. The functionality of WordPress can be extended by the use of plugins. What’s a plugin? A plugin to a website is like what an option is for your driving vehicle. Just as a blind-spot warning system, a spoiler, chrome wheels, or nitrous-oxide injection may enhance the functionality and look of your roadster, so too do plugins for WordPress. For example, they can be used to boost the search ranking of your site, filter spam, provide a contact form, monitor your web traffic, or any of more than 30 thousand available functionalities. And again, most of them are free.
It’s stylable. Many themes come with their own options panel that allow you to style your site. To name a few, you can upload a logo, change the font size, style, and colour of your text font, change the background, add sliders, or position your site elements wherever you want. And it’s not necessary for you to write any code.
Once you have decided to run WordPress, all you need is a cool domain name and a web host. Your website theme and design will be yours for the world to discover.