What You Should Know About WordPress

WordPress

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One of the most important decisions when creating a website is the choice of the technology for its development. If you order the development to a third party, this decision is usually made directly by the company you’ve hired, but you should know why WordPress may be the best option for your needs. So, today I’ll be sharing some information and statistics that I’m sure you’ll find interesting!

Regarding CMSs

If you want to publish content regularly on your blog, it doesn’t make much sense to consider a static HTML website. Our recommendation is that you opt for a CMS (Content Management System). A CMS is a system that is installed on a server and generates web pages when the internet users request them, and can even generate dynamic content depending on the user. It has a public part that is visible to all internet users and a private section (or control panel or dashboard). On the dashboard the owner can change the contents without any programming skills, “similar” to using a word processor.

When choosing between a proprietary CMS or an open source one, don’t be in any doubt—it’s much better to select an open source content manager. With an open source solution, you’ll have full access to the source code and you’ll be free to tweak it and adapt it to your own needs. Moreover, it will also allow you to “take your website to any workshop, not exclusively to the official dealer of the brand”.

You probably already know that the most popular open source CMSs are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, being the former the most popular by far:

WordPress Drupal Joomla trends
Interest in WordPress, Joomla and Drupal in the last 12 months (Source: Google Trends)

Regarding WordPress

According to BuiltWith, 53% of all websites that use a CMS prefer WordPress:

 

Usage WordPress
Use of WordPress on all websites using a CMS (Source: CMS Usage Statistics)

And as an example of companies other than our own, let me show you some marketing agencies with great recognition worldwide that clearly prefer WordPress: Ogilvy & Mather, Fuel Online, droga5, Column Five Media, Havas, Mother New York, Pace, 1000 Heads, Lemz, HeyHuman, and  TLGG. You’ll also find examples of websites of known publishers which are in WordPress: Fortune.com, New York Observer, Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy, People MagazineNational Post or TechCrunch. And, of course, if you want to know some of the best companies in other sectors, don’t miss the post: WordPress Use by Best Companies Inc 5000 (2017).

Considering that WordPress started out as a blogging platform, did you know that 96% of blogs worldwide are developed in WordPress? That’s super cool!

Blog Usage
Technologies used in blogs (Source: Blog Usage)

And here’s a list of WordPress bloggers who have become established companies with high revenues: Gary Vaynerchuck (GaryVarynerchuk.com), Pat Flynn (SmartPassiveIncome.com), Brian Clark (Copyblogger.com), Andrew Sullivan (thedishdaily.com), Michael Arrington (TechCrunch.com), Tim Ferris (Fourhourworkweek.com), Timothy Sykes (TimothySykes.com), Darren Rowse (Problogger.net), Sven Lennartz and Vitaly Friedman (SmashingMagazine.com), Perez Hilton (PerezHilton.com), and Heather Armstrong (Dooce.com), among others.

Regarding WooCommerce

If you intend to sell online or create an ecommerce store, a good option is to install the WooCommerce plugin by Automattic. According to BuiltIn, at the beginning of November, there were 2,282,533 websites using WooCommerce. This is equivalent to 0.6% of all websites in the world or 3.4% of the 1 million websites with the best rankings. And if you look at the figures given by the WordPress Plugin Directory itself, there are more than 3 million sites that have WooCommerce installed.

This may seem like a relatively small number to you, but bear in mind not all websites have a store where they sell products. Let’s see how the figures change if we analyze all the websites that have a store installed on their websites:

Ecommerce usage statistics
Statistics on the use of different types of ecommerce platforms (Source: Eccommerce Usage Statistics)

42% of onlien shops worldwide are based on WooCommerce, quite far from Shopify (7%) or Magento (4%).

Some examples of websites with WooCommerce are: Brooklyn Magazine, RenWeb, Baseball America, USA Carry, and in the following articles you’ll find many other examples of websites that use WooCommerce: 50 Great WooCommerce Sites25 Examples of Sites Using WooComerce, or 30 Real-life Examples of Ecommerce Sites Built With WordPress.

WordPress Plugins and Themes

Another concern you may have when creating a website is to know if it will have all the features you need. This is precisely one of the advantages of being WordPress an open source software—you can always develop what you want. But if you can’t or want to develop custom features, don’t worry—currently, there are almost 53,000 plugins in the WordPress Directory. Remember that two of the plugins you should already have installed in your WordPress are Nelio A/B Testing and Nelio Content. 😉

In addition to plugins, another concern we may have is the web design. That is, we want to make sure our site is unique and completely different from our comptetitors’. In WordPress, there’s plenty of free and premium themes to customize the look and feel of your website—in the WordPress Theme Directory you have more than 1,000 themes. In premium theme platforms like, for example, ThemeForest you have more than 10,000 WordPress themes available!

Translations and Multi-language Support

In non-English speaking countries, most websites are not only in the native language of the country, but also include some other language, such as English, to have much greater reach, as is our case with neliosoftware.com and neliosoftware.com/es. How easy is to find WordPress information, plugins, and themes in a language other than English? How easy is to have a multi-language website?

Regarding the first question, the WordPress community has 169 different language teams organized to translate WordPress core and plugins into each of the different languages. At any time, you can see what percentage of the latest version of WordPress is translated into a particular language.

WordPress translations
Locales who have translated 100% WordPress version 4.8.3

Regarding the second question, I’m afraid WordPress doesn’t natively support the creation of multi-language installations (although this has been actively debated for quite some time). Luckily, though, you do have a number of ways to achieve this. Either with a WordPress multisite or with several WordPress plugins that allow you to get those features you don’t have on WordPress by default. Don’t miss David’s post, WordPress Multilingual – When, Why, and How, for more details. Just remember: managing a multi-language website means a lot more work

WordPress Community

Finally, I’d like to add that one of the best things of using an open source software is the community behind it. In the case of WordPress, this community has thousands of volunteers all over the globe! If you use WordPress, you’re already part of the community… but you can also get involved with it: translate, review topics, report errors, help otheres, participate in events (as a sponsor, speaker, volunteer…), and so on!

If you don’t know anything about this community, here are the basics.

Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg is one of the founders (together with Mike Little) of WordPress which is now developed by the WordPress.org community. Mullenweg is the CEO of Automattic and is the founder and principal manager of the WordPress Foundation. He is currently the leading developer of the WordPress project. As you can imagine, Mullenweg is the most influential person in the WordPress world.

Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg

Automattic

Automattic is a web services company, founded by Mullenweg to exploit the commercial potential of WordPress and other related projects. WordPress is free and open source, but Automattic provides a number of services based on WordPress (such as WordPress.com) that serve the WordPress community, such as VaultPress backup service and the collection of Jetpack plugins.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is the “site” of the open source WordPress project. This is where WordPress is developed, driven in large part by volunteer collaborators. This is where WordPress users get free themes and plugins. It’s important not to confuse WordPress.org and WordPress.com. As I have already mentioned, the latter is a commercial service offered by Automattic.

WordPress Foundation

Most WordPress users have little to do with the WordPress Foundation, but it’s helpful to understand what it is and the role it plays in the WordPress ecosystem. The WordPress Foundation is a non-profit organization designed to oversee the development of WordPress as open source and ensure that WordPress and some other projects remain free and open source.

The WordPress Foundation has another important role in the community: it owns the WordPress trademarks and other related trademarks. These were originally owned by Automattic, but were donated to the WordPress Foundation because Mullenweg believed that the WordPress project should not depend entirely on an individual or company.

As a WordPress user, you may not need to know all this information for your day-to-day business, but it will certainly help you to understand and explain better that WordPress is not by far just a template or a little program to create a website.

Featured Image by Don Ross III in Unsplash

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Ruth obtained her PhD in Software Engineering at UPC and did a Master of Information Systems at DePaul University (Chicago). She has professional experience in the business world and at the University. Ruth has been University Lecturer at UPC, Vice-Dean for Corporate Relations of the Barcelona School of Informatics, and Associate Lecturer at ESADE. She specializes in software engineering and information systems management. She is also certified in Inboud Marketing.

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