If you’re a blogger, chances are that you’ve heard of WordPress. According to their website, WordPress is a “state-of-the-art publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability.” It’s basically a bunch of coding that makes it much, much easier for us bloggers to publish content. Okay, that sounds great, but is WordPress really the best publishing platform? Are any of WordPress’ competitors better than them? Read on to find out!
1. It’s Free
You heard me right: WordPress is available with all of its features for absolutely nothing, no strings attached: free really means free! Of course, you can’t sell it, but other than that, you can use WordPress to do anything you’d like: A personal blog, a professional website, or really anything your wild mind can think of.
2. It’s Open-Source
This means that it is created by people like you and me: If you have skills in coding, you could jump right in and help them develop the next version. In essence, WordPress isn’t really owned by anybody: it is maintained, used, and loved by a community of people who think it’s the best choice for their blog or website.
3. It’s Powerful
WordPress is extremely capable. While it has a huge set of features out-of-the-box, you can do even more by using plugins. The WordPress website has a huge, community-maintained directory of several thousand plugins. On top of that, you can edit the HTML and CSS of your website with complete freedom.
4. It’s Simple
Fourthly, WordPress is simple to use! Even though it has a huge amount of features and is capable of doing nearly anything you could imagine, WordPress makes it very simple to accomplish tasks. Writing up a post and publishing it is a snap to do: The user interface is sleek, clean, and uncluttered, and you can access common tasks in just a click or two.
5. It’s Active
Since WordPress is developed by the very people who use it, it’s continuously updated and improved. Often times it’s just few months between releases. Each release fixes any bugs from the last one (there aren’t many!) and adds new features. If you want a new feature, just suggest it: if enough users want this features, chances are that it’ll be on the top of the to-do list.
6. It’s Expandable
I already mentioned plugins earlier. They’re the compact pieces of code that WordPress allows you to easily add to your blog to increase it’s functionality. But guess what? They didn’t stop there! They also have a massive theme directory. Traditionally, each blogger would have to code their own blog’s look or hire someone to do it for them. It took a large amount of time, effort, designing skill, and experience in CSS as well as HTML. However, with the theme directory, you can choose from one of the hundreds of themes (many of which look quite professional) and tweak it to your heart’s desire. All of them are released under GPL, which means you can use them for whatever as long as you don’t sell them.
7. It’s Going to Last
Oftentimes groups like these don’t last: they go under after a small amount of time due to the large amount of pressure they experience. However, WordPress started out in 2003 and is still going strong. Since it’s made by a community of people, not just a few, WordPress will continue to improve for a very long time.
WordPress vs. Competitors
Okay, so you should probably think that WordPress is pretty awesome by now. But how does it compare to it’s competitors? As you’ll see in a moment, it far surpasses them.
WordPress vs Blogger
Blogger is Google’s blogging platform. When I first started blogging, I was using blogger – it is the easiest to get into, and because it’s owned by the search engine giant Google, I decided to give it a try. Well, guess what? I used it for little more than a month, then ditched it. It had so few features! Unless you pay for it, you do not get your own domain name. If you make a blog using blogger, you don’t even own the blog; Google does. That means if they wanted to, they could delete your blog from their system without any notice. Also, there are very few professional themes for Blogger that could be used to make a decent website. Blogger does not allow the use of plugins like WordPress does – this is another downside of blogger and clearly leaves WordPress as the winner.
WordPress vs Drupal
Drupal is also a powerful Content Management System (CMS), but it requires a running knowledge of PHP and other scripting languages to access it all: much of it’s power is limited to coding experts. Unless you already have a strong base of scripting skill already, or plan to take the long (and rather painful, believe me!) process of learning it, Drupal won’t be a good choice for you. This seriously cripples Drupal and makes it no match for WordPress.
WordPress vs Typepad
Next up is Typepad. Typepad costs anywhere from $8.95 to $89.95 each and every month just to use it! It’s not open-source and thus is rather slow to be improved. On top of that, there are not even close to the amount of themes or plugins or other content to extend the features Typepad as you could find in WordPress. If you look on the typepad website’s comparison site, they don’t even have WordPress.org listed because their features can’t really compare to WordPress.
WordPress vs Joomla
The last is Joomla. Like Drupa, Joomla offers lots of functionality, but also makes it hard to access it. The user interface for Joomla is very unintuitive and hard to use; it can take several steps to accomplish a simple task that can be completed with WordPress in a much faster way. Yes, Joomla is also open-source, but their community is very unorganized and not much work gets accomplished. They seem to have a hard time focusing their efforts to improve their CMS. The result is that while WordPress is updating at a relatively high rate, Joomla is moving along at a snail’s pace.
I hope I have convinced you that WordPress is the best choice your blog! The amazing blend of features, usability, and flexibility in WordPress simply makes it the best solution for nearly any project you could think of.