Most cited reasons to migrate to WordPress (by people that switched)

Published in Community.

We have been helping people to migrate their sites to WordPress from Drupal, Joomla, and many more since 2011. One year ago, in one of our periodical redesigns of our site, we decided to include in the contact form a new field asking people to explain us why they wanted to migrate to WordPress.

Today I’d like to summarize their answers. Some are expected, others not so much. But all of them are useful to see how WordPress is perceived in the web community. And these are not anybody’s opinions, these are the opinions of people that were willing to pay hundreds/thousands of dollars to get their site converted to WordPress. Whether they are true or not (according to our own perception, since there is no absolute truth for this) is a different discussion.

Data collection details

The data used to create the graphic below is based on 72 different answers by potential customers. Each answer could include more than one reason for migrating. I say “potential” customers because not all people that answered ended up migrating their site with us and, obviously, many others contacted and/or hired us to migrate their site without mentioning their reasons to switch (how many of you take the time to answer optional fields in a contact form? 🙂 ).

Clients were coming from a variety of CMSs, but by far the most common one was Drupal (especially versions 6 and 7), followed by Joomla. This is not necessarily representative of the typical migration paths of website owners but of the profile of the clients that contact us (e.g. probably many people migrate to WordPress from Blogger, but there are quite a lot of automatic solutions for that so those people do not end up needing our services).

Graphic displaying the top reasons to migrate to WordPress

Each column shows the percentage of answers that include that particular reason for migrating. Note that, since each answer could mention several reasons, adding up all columns results in more than a 100% value.

Reasons to migrate to WordPress

As you can see in the graphic, the most popular motivations that push people to convert their sites to WordPress are (in descending order of importance): User-friendliness (specially referred to the possibility of managing the site and creating content without deep technical knowledge), the flexibility and customization possibilities of WordPress (WordPress is NOT just a blogging platform), SEO (people say by default WordPress has good SEO characteristics), functionality (mainly due to the large plugin ecosystem, also linked to the flexibility argument mentioned before; one person explicitly said: “Drupal used to be miles a head of all the CMSs, but int he last few years WP has pulled away”), its popularity (which, for instance, makes easier and cheaper to find WordPress experts to help if needed), being a fan (people that only works with WordPress so when they are hired to redesign a site the first thing they do is to move it to WordPress, period), scalable (several people say they believe WordPress is fast and scalable, though this probably is more depending on the hosting environment than on WordPress itself!), theme availability (also due to its popularity, people find more and better themes for WP sites), easy upgrades (I guess the new automatic update procedure for WP sites makes some people happy!), open-source (probably highlighted by people coming from proprietary CMSs, please, please avoid vendor lock-ins), security and quick release cycle.

The Long tail

A variety of other reasons were also mentioned by only one or two people.

  • Price: Again, linked to the popularity argument, the more competition we have the more likely to find quality at a cheaper prices. One person explicitly said that he was switching to WordPress because WordPress developers were cheapers than Drupal ones.
  • Multi-Site capabilities
  • Being blog centric: I guess that the fact that WordPress is flexible and extensible (appreciated by many people) do not distract so much people that are looking more for a blogging platform (sorry Ghost!)
  • Stability
  • Akismet: Curious that one person trusted so much this antispam service to base his decision on that.
  • Reduced development time
  • Drupal 8 migration: One of the problems with new versions of Drupal is that for them, backwards-compatibility is not a key concern. Therefore, you may find yourself in a situation in which you would like to migrate to a newer Drupal version but you can’t because important modules for you have not yet been ported to that version. One person got tired of this and said bye-bye to Drupal because of that.

Were you surprised by these perceptions? Would you add something else? Change the order? Let us know!

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