Many months back we refined our core service offering from working on any PHP based website to concentrating on the most popular open-source CMS systems: WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal and Magento. We recently announced narrowing our concentration to WordPress exclusively. Here’s why…
- Specialization. If you drive a Honda, would you prefer to take your car in for service to a generalist or to a Honda specialist? If it’s a matter of routine minor tune-up most mechanics would probably do. If the matter is more complex, such as a timing belt replacement, you probably want to go to someone who knows the Honda engine very well, uses genuine Honda parts or their true Japanese off-brand equivalent, has all the service manuals for your car and can inspect related equipment with thorough knowledge of your car’s standards. Similar to car service, it pays in the web development world to specialize in a more specific set of technologies. This is useful to capture economies-of-scale in both production and marketing efforts.
- Popularity/Community. The open-source project website WordPress.org is the 50th most popular website whereas Joomla! and Drupal rank neck-and-neck 353rd and 358th, respectively in the United States as of April 9, 2011. Magento, a highly popular commercial CMS, ranks 779th. If you check the podcasts directory in Apple iTunes, WordPress is on fire with dozens of free podcasts compared to the handful for other systems. The number of free and commercial themes, Plugins and frameworks available to WordPress starts with around 14,000 free Plugins and 1,300 free themes on the WordPress.org official community repository alone.
- Ease of Use. WordPress is commonly referred to as the most easy to learn and maintain. Why? Because it’s a breeze to install, configure, update and publish content to relative to the competition. We say this from personal experience with which we consider ourselves adequately informed on the current editions. Here’s how WPShout explains WordPress’ ease of use.
- Customization. Popular open-source CMS platforms have more similarities than differences, and are all quite customizable. WordPress as a platform can be used for pretty much anything. Why not adapt the easiest and most popular open-source platform for your client’s specific purposes? After all, adaptations are required for whichever CMS is chosen in order to truly meet the requirements of any good sized project.
- Architecture. WordPress has a vast API that supports several different types of custom coding. These custom plugin coding options, such as widgets, dashboard widgets and meta boxes, allow for clean, efficient and modular extendability for adding various functionality to many parts of a website. As a framework, WordPress provides many abstractions that free the developer from reinventing the wheel. This includes the database, users/roles, menus, URL mapping, emailing, templating, administrative settings and more.
- Market. WordPress grew from a popular tool for bloggers and has shown exceptional growth for being used for a wider variety of purposes. Bloggers are content people. Content is king on the web in terms of SEO because that’s mostly what search engines see. The biggest battle content people have with building websites is getting a good design installed, being that they don’t typically like to work with much code. Therefore, WordPress has evolved to think like a writer and a designer.
Any CMS system is a good idea to keep design, content, and logic separated and optimized for your website. Many of the CMSes out there run on modern technologies such as PHP and MySQL that can be affordably scaled to suit sites of all sizes. Some of the CMSes are so popular that you can easily find Plugins, themes, and training materials for them. While all of this is true, specializing in the most popular, flexible and open-source CMS is a good way to go.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Note that we really appreciate feedback about what we’ve written as well as what topics you’d like us to discuss in future posts so please do let us know.