“Technology is best when it brings people together – Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress.org”
In my business I can operate without many things, but not without my WordPress.org. WordPress.org has introduced me to the wonders of the online world. It gives me freedom to easily develop my website for my customers to value and enjoy.
Indeed, WordPress brings me closer to my customers…
In this post I’m going to investigate why WordPress is so popular. I’ll also look at Joomla and Drupal, the alternative content management systems for WordPress.
But first let’s look at WordPress.
What is WordPress.org?
WordPress.org is an open source (free) Content Management System (CMS). In fact, with WordPress many types of content can be organized and published. Furthermore, the layout, appearance and structure of the site can be changed easily and quickly, since it’s based on templates. As a result, content is separate from presentation – unlike a normal hard-coded site 1.
“The idea behind a CMS, and by extension, WordPress, is to facilitate a simplified management of a website that’s secure, optimized, and able to handle the influx of anywhere from hundreds, to millions of regular visitors”, explains Jon Martindale recently in Digital Trends.
WordPress.org is currently powering 30 percent of all websites (Kaya Ismail, CMS Wire). Indeed, Jon Martindale (Digital Trends) quantified the popularity of WordPress: “Around two billion websites at the time of writing (2018) — run WordPress, which works out to just below 60 percent of the entire CMS market.”
Why is WordPress.org so popular?
Here are some reasons why WordPress is so big and why it is expected to continue to grow (Suhas Udayakumar, Blog Vault):
- WordPress is an open-source – this means that WordPress is not only the most viable option economically (it’s free!), it gives you (the user) complete ownership over your content and puts the power of publishing squarely in your hands.
- WordPress in your language – it’s inclusive. The WordPress communities have actively participated in translating the CMS into various languages.
- Customizable – WordPress’s thousands of plugins and many themes is the main reason for its popularity. Here beginners can customize their WP websites just the way they want to…
- Social Media – while WP gives users control over content, it also understands that the real power of content is amplified through connections, which is what social media platforms are all about.
- Ease of use – another big factor behind WordPress’s popularity can be attributed to its ease of use in almost all dimensions of the back-end interface.
- SEO friendly – WordPress is convenient for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which makes for better search engine results 2.
What are the disadvantages of WordPress?
As with everything if our world, WordPress.org does have its disadvantages. Jon Martindale writing in Digital Trends mentions the following disadvantages of WordPress:
- Security – by being so popular, it is regularly a target for hackers, though so are many of its contemporaries. Since WordPress is only managed by the site creator, the onus is on that person to keep it updated and secure.
- Interruption of functions – while WordPress itself is regularly updated, not all of the third-party plugins are. That can mean even an update can break important functions of your site.
Additionally, here are more disadvantages of WordPress mentioned by Kaya Ismail in CMS Wire:
- Scalability – when your website is really getting big, the requirements you have for a CMS can dramatically shift and, what once seemed like a cheap and easy approach to building your site, can quickly spiral into a highly complex and expensive environment to maintain down the road.
- Lack of Enterprise Support – despite having a vast community of development experts, there is no accountability or warranty for its performance, and no way to contact a dedicated support person during a crisis.
So, are there alternatives for WordPress.com?
The alternatives for WordPress.com – Joomla and Drupal
Although WordPress is by far the most popular CMS, you may consider using Joomla or Drupal.
Joomla is a popular free, open source Content Management System (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. According to Pick-a-Web, Joomla has the following characteristics:
- Joomla is a powerful design toolkit that is more suited to experienced users in order to get the most out of it.
- It scores well in terms of social features and it has some E commerce features included as standard.
- Joomla sits in the middle of WordPress and Drupal because it is more extendable than WordPress but not as complex as Drupal. Moreover, where it performs really strongly is in multimedia applications and socially driven sites.
- There is a large and active online community and there are thousands of extensions which mean that you can add extra features and functionality to your site.
Drawbacks of Joomla:
- Complexity – I’ve started with Joomla and found it a complex CMS. Indeed, I spend more time puzzling out how Joomla works than creating content. I think Joomla is more for the tech savvy website owners…
- SEO – According to Mannan Arshad writing in EM Codder, Joomla is not so SEO friendly.
According to Drupal.org, they’re “The leading open-source CMS for ambitious digital experiences that reach your audience across multiple channels.” Hemang Rindani, CMS Marketing professional via Quora suggests the following advantages (selected) that Drupal has over WordPress and Joomla:
- Great Content organizer: The content organizer allows you to classify content into various categories and organizes it for better management. User permission is another efficient feature of Drupal.
- SEO Friendly: Drupal’s Web development tools are aligned beautifully to manage Website SEO effortlessly. May it be canonical, navigation, URL mapping or Meta tags, everything can be managed easily in Drupal.
- Better Security: Drupal is arguably the most secured Content Management Systems, at least while considering the PHP based systems. It considers each element of a website as an object and has security algorithms working for every element.
- Community Support: The Drupal platform is a user-developer friendly platform and is quite helpful to the community members who often co-relate with each other for various issues. As a result there are continuous updates in the add-ons and extensions that allow companies to grow mutually.
The drawbacks of Drupal (Emily Ahlbum, Business2Community):
- Usability – the back end of Drupal is fairly complicated for less tech-savvy marketers and requires users who are proficient in HTML, PHP, and other programming languages.
- Customizability – although Drupal provides the opportunity to create one-of-a-kind websites, the drawback to this function pertains to the quantity of available modules and the fact that you cannot install these modules from inside your dashboard as you would be able to with WordPress.
- Support – because of the advanced technical skills needed to make changes on this platform, the community of developers is much smaller than that of WordPress.
Lastly, I recommend that you start with WordPress as a content management system. After all, WordPress.org is still my best business partner!
Read more: You can create a Website in less than 20 minutes – then what?
A Marketing Plan helps you to communicate the right content to the right audience.
1 Patel, S.K., Rathod, V.R. and Prajapati, J.B. 2011. Performance analysis of content management systems-joomla, drupal and wordpress, International Journal of Computer Applications, 21(4):39-43.
2 Habib, K.M. 2018. WordPress-A convenient content-management system (CMS), Bachelor degree dissertation, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.
Feature image: flickr.com
Image in post: eBizplan.net
Joomla logo: Wikipedia
Drupal logo: Wikimedia
WordPress logo: Pixabay
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