Why WordPress?

What is WordPress?

WordPress  is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP & MySQL released first on May 27, 2003 by its founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little,as a fork of b2/cafelog. WordPress is often referred as  a “factory that makes webpages”. Platform include a plugin architecture and a template system. Though initially developed for blogging but later on emerged as the most user friendly content management system for business websites, forums  forums, media galleries, and online stores. The software is released under the GPLv2 (or later) license.

Today WordPress CMS powers more than 60 million websites, including 33.6% of the top 10 million websites and as of May  2019,WordPress is the most popular website management system in use. Lately WordPress has also been used for other application domains such as pervasive display systems (PDS).

To function, WordPress has to be installed on a web server, either part of an Internet hosting service like WordPress.com or a computer running the software package WordPress.org in order to serve as a network host in its own right.A local computer may be used for single-user testing and learning purposes.

Why not WordPress?

Without a doubt the most popular content management system in use today is WordPress. It is said that 30% of the whole internet is run by WordPress. One of the reasons why WordPress became so popular is that it can be installed by anybody without any technical knowledge in under 5 minutes. Another reason is speed of development. As there is such a vast collection of WordPress Themes available, novice users can define the look & feel of their WordPress website by just choosing any of the free themes offered at wordpress.org. Installing a theme couldn’t be easier - just login to your WordPress install, choose a theme, click “activate” - that’s it. This is the perfect scenario for web developers looking to make money. It is simple, fast and profitable.

So why don’t you use it?

WordPress started as a blogging platform and added to and patched so it can power whole websites and even ecommerce sites. This wasn’t the initial reason for WordPress, so if it is used as anything more than a blogging site, the website site will most likely be bloated with unused code, making your site slower.

Are they all bad ?

No, I’m not saying that all WordPress sites are slow or bad. If the website creator doesn’t use a pre built template or template creator, then it is possible to get a fast site. The fact of the matter is that almost all WordPress sites are using templates. This is definitely something to be concerned about.

Why would I worry about this?

Many studies have shown that a website’s bounce rate ( the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. ) are higher when the site takes longer to load. For users with an average page load time of 2 seconds, the bounce rate is quite low - only 9.61%. This goes up slightly for those with an average page load of 3 seconds, to 13.0%. 4 second page load time having a bounce rate of 17.1%. This raises to 22.1% for a 5 second page load. And if users experience an average page load time of 7 seconds, the bounce rate is 32.3%. This is such an important factor for your website to be successful, and one that should not be ignored. Google also factors your page speed in its search engine rankings, so for great SEO you should be aiming for a blazing fast site.

So if not WordPress, then what?

There are loads of other options available. I am an advocate for JAMstack sites. This means that when a change is made using the content management system of choice, this triggers a build and the site is compiled into static files and automatically uploaded. This means faster load times, more security and better search engine optimisation. For basic sites, I really like using a GIT based content management system. For a lot of uses this is sufficient. Any unwanted changes can be restored from the complete history. For more complicated sites, I have used Strapi and really enjoy the flexibility and simple user interface.