WordPress

How WordPress became the world’s most popular Content Management System

WordPress (WP) first launched in 2003, and while its growth might have been slow at the start, in recent years, it has become the Content Management System (CMS) of choice for firms and individuals looking to build easily-updatable websites.

Initially used mainly as an infrastructure for blogging sites, WP now powers around 455 million websites – which roughly equates to about 37% of all areas globally and approximately 65% of all CMS sites.

As the sophistication and scope of WordPress have grown over the years, it has become the de-facto option for web developers looking to build easy-to-update, secure websites for their clients. With its simple, highly customizable interface, backend, and themes, WP has become a titan of online publishing. It is used to power a huge variety of sites – everything from personal blog pages to BBC America and Sony Music.

1. A short history of Content Management Systems

As little as 15 years ago, web developers coded their CMSs from scratch – a lot of the time under the premise they were being developed on an ad hoc basis for individual projects. However, if you spoke to any development firm at the time, they would have conceded that many of their components were reused across jobs.

As these individual file repositories grew, it became apparent that there was a demand for a more structured framework of template files – hence why systems like Drupal, Joomla, and, of course, WordPress came to be.

By using these pre-built CMS templates, designers and developers could spend more time building the bells and whistles that made sites unique rather than thinking about each job’s foundation building blocks. CMSs gave a common framework across websites that led to quicker development processes, more reliable sites, and more secure platforms.

2. Reasons why WordPress became the CMS of choice

WordPress still has many rivals in the CMS marketplace – however, there are some solid reasons why WP stole the crown from other platforms:

WordPress is free: One of the most significant advantages of using WordPress is that the software is provided entirely free of charge. Sure, many themes and plugins come at a price, but the base framework is free.

WordPress is safe: The WP infrastructure is as secure as possible and is constantly updated. However, this does mean that the onus lies with site admins to install updates when prompted. It’s worth noting that, if you lack the technical ability or confidence to make updates yourself, companies now offer website maintenance services and will look after every aspect of your WordPress site’s security.

WordPress is open-source: Undoubtedly, one of the critical reasons WP became so popular among developers was the freedom it offers from a coding point of view by being open-source.

The vast array of WP plugins: As the popularity of WP grew, so developers quickly caught on to the idea that there was a market for building plugins. These days, there is a massive library of plugins that can be installed in seconds, covering almost any need and extending the functionality of WP sites.

WP supports multiple media formats right out of the box: WordPress is pretty much unrivaled in the media format it supports – everything from audio files to video and images.

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