WordPress powers a third of all websites out there at the moment.
A third! Think about that for a minute.
Aren’t you impressed?
Let’s go back 12 years or so ago, there were so many content management systems (CMS) sprouting up so a website can be made quickly with lots of stable out of the box features. A lot of web agencies would even write their own CMS or would hardcode all changes so if the client wanted a change they would need a technical web developer to do it.
Amateurs had the option of using some site builders or an application like Dreamweaver, even this required some technical knowledge.
In the 2000s, open-source CMSs like Joomla, Concrete5, Drupal and WordPress entered the scene and quickly became popular. It was early days technical knowledge was required and it could be a bit buggy, but a web developer could have a basic website working pretty quickly and easily with a friendly backend for the client to manage the content.
Initially, I favoured Joomla, WordPress wasn’t on my radar. But then once I started using it I was very impressed. It starts of with it’s famous 5-minute install script. You copy all the files to the webserver (some servers even had a one-click installer to make it even easier) and then fill in a form and, hey presto, you have a professional looking website ready for your own content.
Of course, it was pretty basic and generic but then with a few more clicks you can install a new theme from the extensive theme library and add additional functionality from the plugin library.
And before you know it, with very little technical knowledge, you have a website! Amazing right?!
What is it like for developers?
For developers it is a dream to work on. There are a number of ways to override and add functionality. Through plugins and themes. It is well documented and maintained by a passionate community of developers so it is always getting better.
What is next for WordPress?
As you may be aware, WordPress has been working on a block system called Gutenberg, where you can build a page using content blocks.
For example, you can add an image with an ‘image block’ or a testimonial with a ‘testimonial block’ and then place them within a layout grid. This gives you more power to be creative with the way you deliver content to make it more engaging to your audience.
With the most recent release, WordPress has introduced features to make your site load faster and be found easier by search engines.