The team that first made WordPress in the early 2000s probably had no idea what it would become.
The blogging platform just clicked with people wishing to make regular websites, with or without a blog, as it handled text and images beautifully and intuitively.
Before long, there was a healthy theme and plugin infrastructure built around WordPress, and its fate as a popular content management system (CMS) was sealed. So why is it still considered such a great CMS?
The beauty of WordPress is that you can use it as a static website if you want, with no blogging or interactive elements.
There are two types of web pages using the CMS: Pages and Posts. “Pages” are static and used for things like contact pages, About Us pages, category sections and so on. “Posts” are the blog pages, which are handled differently, so they can be arranged by date, filtered by tags and accept replies and comments. In short, whatever you want a website for, WordPress lets you build it.
As one of the most popular platforms on the internet, with millions of sites using it, WordPress has thousands of developers working on it, and any vulnerabilities tend to be noticed quickly and patched up straight away, with wide publicity about them.
Similarly, plugins, which could present risks, are fully explained on WordPress’s downloads section, with numbers of users and information on what parts of the solution they have access to all out in the open. It lets you risk-assess any potential plugin or theme.
You can start a basic site for free, then grow it as your organisation becomes more successful and profitable, without ever having to change the basic back end, as WordPress will suffice throughout. Even if you get too big for your hosting package, it’s simple to migrate it to another host or cloud server by moving the database and themes.
Whatever look and feel you want, you can achieve it with WordPress, as the CMS essentially deals with the back end, and allows you to display your content in whatever format you want.
So you can use a default theme that comes with WordPress (which you can customise to some degree); you can download a free or paid-for theme off the shelf; or you can have a bespoke theme made up for you by professional WordPress developers.
It’s the same with functionality – there are thousands of plugins to give your site any function you want, or you can make one yourself if you have very specific and unique needs.
All the reasons above, and more, are why we’ll usually recommend WordPress to clients who are looking for a regular website with the ability to blog and to use the user database to send out newsletters.
If you’re building an online retail site, there are a few alternatives, but WooCommerce, which is essentially an eCommerce plugin, also happens to be a brilliant option, used by thousands of sites and benefiting from all of WordPress’s inherent features.