It’s a warm and beautiful spring day here in upstate New York, besides the neighbor across the street who’s using an arsenal of tools to trim his lawn, 80 degrees and cloudy skies. The only thing that would make it more perfect is a torrential downpour. It’s a great day to write about my favorite piece of open source software, Wordpress!
I’ve always been a PHP developer, my love for the language started in 2005 when I worked at a REALTOR® association. They made their own framework, it wasn’t very pretty but it was enough to get the gears in my head moving to understand the ins and outs of programming for the web. Soon afterwards I started developing in Drupal, then CakePHP, then Ruby, and then finally just kind of stuck to Wordpress.
Wordpress has now become my #1 tool of choice when building websites. There have been a few data-driven web applications that I’ve sided with Laravel (another PHP-based framework) on, but 90% of my work over the past 5 years has been Wordpress.
I’ve had my hands on enough Wordpress sites to know how opinions are formed on Wordpress web development & developers as a whole. I hear things like:
- OMG I can’t edit content without going back to the web designer
- WTF My f*****g site keeps getting hacked
- UGH The template that my web designer used is obsolete
I’m here to tell you that it ain’t Wordpress’s fault! Maybe it’s not really even the developer’s fault – I mean kind of. I didn’t know any better either until I had a chance to work with some of the brightest in the business and develop Wordpress sites for companies with their own marketing teams. Their skill and technique rubbed off on me and now I see the light – ahhhhhh.
Wordpress is an open-source, easy-to-use, SEO-friendly, secure, and free content management system that adapts to most website needs in a modern and clean fashion. Wordpress is a blogging platform at its core, but it is a completely extensible system that allows for all sorts of helpful features such as;
- Custom content types
- Content relationships
- Advanced taxonomy & interlinking
- Custom reusable & modifiable blocks
- Integrated search engine optimization
- Robust API with hooks and filters
Wordpress has the perfect balance between usability and control. The team at Automattic puts a lot of time and effort into their version releases, each one being more and more client-friendly while at the same time enabling developers to build upon functionality and application.
Wordpress is popular. Not only is Wordpress used by over a 1/3 of all websites – wtf crazy [link] but it’s trusted by big names like MTV, Sony Music, Bloomberg, Variety, BBC, and Beyonce. So, if Beyonce is using it then it’s gotta be good yea? In addition, PHP, the language that runs Wordpress is used by 78% of the web.
Wordpress is secure. Don’t get me wrong, Wordpress sites do get hacked and I’ve had the pleasure of fixing them – but hacking usually happens because of non-Wordpress related things; generic usernames/passwords, cheap shared servers, bad plugins, etc. As long as there are backups (using Updraft or something server-based) any Wordpress site is able to go back to normal by some replacing of core files and cleaning of themes/plugins
Wordpress is widely supported. When I have a Wordpress question a quick Google search will usually lead me in the right direction. There is a great community behind both the software itself and the plugins. Creating custom Wordpress websites from scratch is really my main thing. It’s not only where I get the most business from, it’s what I really love to do.