WordPress is definitely becoming the CMS of choice for both web designers as well as website owners. Having worked so much with WordPress, I was of the impression that everyone on earth must know about it. So when one of our clients said he was not aware of WordPress, I was taken aback a little. We as web designers, some time, take it for granted that everybody must be knowing of what we consider as obvious among us. So I thought fit to write of a few benefits that WordPress has over other CMS platforms. This is of course, my personal opinion and observation; I am not going to argue in any way if someone feels otherwise. Everyone has a right to their opinion and should be respected.
Free & Open Source
WordPress is absolutely free and is open source. You can simply download a copy from the WordPress site and host in independently on your own server. One obvious advantage I see here is that WordPress or any third party does not have any control over your website and if they do not fancy your site, they just cannot suspend your account and close your site. The website you created using WordPress is yours to keep. WordPress team keeps coming with new releases of WordPress versions with more security and reliability, so all one has to do is download the latest WordPress version and upgrade their website. This would constitute a manual upgrade. However, automatic upgrades are also available where you just need to click on a button to have your WordPress website upgraded to the latest WordPress version.
Not Just For Blogging
Initially WordPress was seen as a blogging platform only. It was a good platform to host a blog. Not many thought of using it for a website. If you wanted to have a blog, you would create a sub folder or sub domain and install WordPress in that subfolder. The subfolder would usually be called “blog” of course.
Later on with the new releases of the WordPress version, it became obvious that it is not only for blogging but could also be used for creating fully functional and beautiful websites. Majority of all new CMS websites today are built on WordPress. The flexibility it offers to designers is awesome. The designs one could come up with is limited to their imagination only; the software does not limit you in any way. You cannot categorize the type of the websites using WordPress, WordPress is good for all types and sorts of websites.
However, I do feel that websites with specific purposes like ecommerce as not very well suited for WordPress. Ecommerce platforms created specifically for this purpose are better.
Easy to Use
One of the main advantages where it scores over other CMS platforms is the ease of use it provides to its users. In the course of designing websites, we have come across many different CMS platforms and our observation is that they are not user friendly enough. Most of them, I would term, as developer friendly. Even when the site is ready and has been delivered to the client, there is a steep learning curve and the client still struggles and need developer or designer support in their daily operations of the site. This is obviously a major drawback for both the client and the designer.
WordPress is surprisingly intuitive and has a very short learning curve for the user.
User Friendly Backend
The administration area or the Dashboard is very well arranged and easy to understand and operate compared to other CMS platforms we have worked with. I am not going to take names here and offend any their diehard fans. WordPress is simple and at the same time packed with many features. It is as easy as using Word and intuitive enough for you to know how to use the basic features instantly without going through loads of help files. However, if you want to get more out of it, there are thousands of websites and resources with step by step instructions on whatever you want to do with WordPress. It is the most user friendly CMS I have come across both for the user and the designer.
Easy Availability of Plugins
Another major advantage that WordPress has over other CMS platforms is the easy availability of plugins. If you are looking for a functionality that WordPress itself does not offer, then you can look for a plugin that does. There are many thousands of plugins extending the functionality that WordPress offers to its users. There is a huge active community surrounding WordPress that is continuously working to make WordPress better each day.
Our experience of WordPress has been better than any other CMS we have worked with earlier. The sheer simplicity of WordPress is its biggest advantage.