Here at Stride, we love designing and building full-featured web sites for our clients. This year alone we’ve created nearly 20 web sites for clients from Vermont to Alaska. We created the majority of those sites using the WordPress platform, and we’re now starting to convert some of our clients’ older HTML sites over to WordPress. Wondering why the big change? Read on to find out!
What exactly is WordPress?
WordPress is a free and open source blogging and content management system (CMS) started in 2003. It’s a set of downloadable files that is uploaded to your web host and forms the backbone of your website. There is, however, a lot more to WordPress than just files.
The open source nature of WordPress is key to its awesomeness. There are hundreds of people all over the world working to make it better every day. What’s more, there is a community of millions of web developers, designers, business owners, and bloggers using the tools, sharing their experiences, and offering ideas to the people who are actively developing the platform. This results in a level of refinement and sophistication that was previously unobtainable within the budgets of small- and medium-sized businesses.
This same group of users and developers has also contributed to WordPress by developing apps — called ‘plugins’ — that run on the WordPress platform. There are many (currently 27,791) free plugins available on wordpress.org that can add all sorts of features to your web site, from simple Facebook integration to a full-fledged eCommerce shopping cart.
One of WordPress’s key features from a business owner’s perspective is how easy it is to create and edit the pages and posts of their site without needing to pay a web developer to do it for them. For the most part, if you can use a word processor, you can edit the pages of your site!
Better for SEO
WordPress sites in general have a very high level of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Here at Stride, we build all of our sites so that the code is clean and easy for search-engines to crawl, and we make sure that non-technical users can maintain up-to-date SEO information like keyword-rich title tags, headlines, links, meta information and more. We also integrate Google Analytics into every site, so you can tell what keywords and content are driving the most traffic to your site and fine-tune your SEO based on real traffic data!
In addition, Google and other search engines prefer regularly-updated, “fresh” content. WordPress makes it as easy as pie to add new articles, company news, links to relevant industry articles, and other timely content to your site. Gone are the days where a site sits stagnant because it’s too difficult or costly to add content quickly and easily. WordPress empowers you to be a publishing powerhouse!
WordPress by the numbers:
WordPress is now the most popular platform for building web sites. Here are just a few of the statistics that demonstrate how dominant it is:
- Today, WordPress powers 1 of every 6 web sites on the Internet, nearly 70 million in all, with 100,000 more popping up each day.
- As of August 2013, WordPress was used by more than 18.9% of the top 10 million web sites in the world.
- Approximately 22 of every 100 domains created in the U.S. are running on WordPress.
- Among content management systems, WordPress has a marketshare of nearly 60%; the next closest CMS holds less than 10% marketshare! (http://w3techs.com)
- Of the top 10,000 CMS sites indexed by BuiltWith.com, nearly 39% use WordPress.
- According to Alexa, wordpress.com is the 16th most popular website in the world, ahead of juggernauts like Bing and eBay!
The following is a chart of Google searches for WordPress and a number of its primary competitors. Note how WordPress has pulled away from the competition since 2008.
Prominent companies using the WordPress platform:
The National Football League
The Wall Street Journal