Why is Wordpress so popular?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by satchmo, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. satchmo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    How did this platform become so popular? Really.
    Was it partly being first to market?
    It can’t be simply SEO.
    The UI is so crappy, slow and just so dated.

    Just had to vent. :)
     
  2. Lunfai macrumors 65816

    Lunfai

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    Sheffield
    #2
    Because it's easy and there's literally hundreds/thousands of plugins available. Personally, I wouldn't use it.
     
  3. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #3
    Complete package,
    wide support community,
    easy to deploy from control panels,
    easy to install and host yourself,
    it is a CMS as well as a blog solution,
    themable so easy to customize.

    That the interface is not to your liking .. compared to joomla, vb's cms, etc. It is a lot more modern and navigable.
     
  4. satchmo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    It seems so reliant on plug-ins to make it functional. I've given it a try countless times but only because everyone says it's the standard.

    I speak from a designer's point of view so yes to me the interface is clunky and segmented into too many sections.
    Are you familiar with Webflow Visual CMS? I'm hoping an upstart like them will shake things up.
     
  5. Michael Anthony macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    I've used it on dozens of sites with dozens of plugins, when you've got it set up how you want it actually works very well and I usually add Cloudflare to help protect the site. I guess it's so popular because how easy it is to set up and use regardless of whether they've actually done a good job configuring it to work properly.
     
  6. Silverjerk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    #6
    This is the result of its popularity, not the cause of it. Many of the items you've listed happened because of Wordpress's growth. Joomla and Drupal had much larger communities during Wordpress's early stages -- Drupal had a nearly 3 year head start in the space. But both Joomla and Drupal were very "developer" oriented, while Wordpress was intended to be marketed to less savvy users. That was the factor that really pushed Wordpress forward; it's administration panel was easier to use than its two major competitors. It was such a simple, but effective difference.

    Not that I want to start a debate on the topic, but CMS it is not. Even as we near version 4.7, Wordpress still has to be bent, manipulated, and contorted in order to provide site admins with the tools to actually create and manage content effectively. It is still, by all intents and purposes, a blogging platform first. And this is yet another reason for its success, as it was widely adopted in that space, with arguably millions more "owners" and "stakeholders" getting involved in blogging; where users requiring real CMS solutions, enterprise level functionality, were either building bespoke applications or turning to Drupal, which has always had a much more robust feature set for content-based sites.
     
  7. 960design macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #7
    CMS bigdogs = Joomla, Drupal, Wordpress

    Joomla - code, very well written, modern. Developers missed many, many security loopholes. Backend simple.
    Drupal - code, well, horrible. Backend horrible. Missed only a couple of very significant, well published, backdoors.
    Wordpress - code, in between. Some good, some very ugly. Backend, pretty simple. Security, they actually do a pretty good job here. Sure there have been a couple of minor issues, but it was quickly fixed.
     
  8. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #8
    Agree completely. I currently use Drupal and it ALWAYS breaks on updates, especially the plugins. Can't remember how many "white screen of death" events I've had causing me precious time loading backups and carefully troubleshooting and trying, sometimes in vain, to figure out what is wrong.... and it's complicated. I'm on v7, tried going to v8 but that was a disaster. And I kind of know what I'm doing. Can't imagine the casual user who wants a CMS. So now I am setting up external drives of the other CMS's, booting to them and testing in order to make a decision on which one to go to.
     
  9. 960design macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #9
    I used Wordpress for many years, but have now created a custom CMS that never expires. It evolves, additional plugins created, with each deployment, but I do not have to worry about a client's store going down because of Wordpress/Joomla/Drupal changing something fundamental, like the way slashes are handled. A simple CMS is not very difficult to write and I've gleaned much with what works and what NEEDS to be in a CMS from studying / fixing the giants of the CMS world.
     
  10. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #10
    Yeah, but i am too old school. I care to see the log files and see if there were attempts made to the system, error msgs. issues with long queries or make custom scripts to see what people were looking for so i know what content might be worth writing about. I also rather pay $10/year for the domain than pay them $15/month just to have a domain. This gives me cli control with free open source software and the ability to hook into it from various angles. With webflow or alike solutions you're stuck on their business model not pivoting, going out of business, or changing their monthly plans, etc.

    I am too old school and wish to be in control and have access to the data I make. Rather than have some sense of security that someone is taking care of it for me .. only to find out i am actually quite limited with what i really can do.

    I love though how webflow does things, it is great for people who just need to get online and have a starter site that looks professional without wanting to spend thousands to invest in their company.
     
  11. DJLC macrumors 6502a

    DJLC

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    Mooresville, NC
    #11
    Personally I've been using concrete5 for a number of years now across many websites. It's easy to train end-users — way easier than Wordpress — and yet still offers me the flexibility I desire. Not as many plugins as Wordpress and the like, but enough to keep me satisfied.
     
  12. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    #12
    WordPress is extremely popular for it's ease of use when building massive botnets.
     
  13. smirking macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #13
    What breaks on you? Are you sure you have everything setup right. Drupal is pretty picky. You really need to follow the rules to keep it healthy. Unfortunately, there isn't a single guidebook that will explain the rules to you. I'm primarily a Drupal dev and I almost never have Drupal break on update (unless you count major version updates). The major version updates are a nightmare, but usually worth the pain if you really need enterprise level power. I'm just now dealing with a transition to D8. Ouch that hurts, but man am I impressed with the raw power of D8.

    Anyway, to the OP, I agree that WP isn't very good software, but it is a very good product. If your needs are modest and you know the right combo of plugins to throw in the mix, you'll have a highly functional site in the shortest time period possible. Where it gets to be crap is when you think WP is the answer to everything and you have to rely on an ever expanding maze of plugins that all do the same thing and gunk up the UI with their own idiosyncrasies.

    The only time I'll use WordPress is for relatively straight forward sites and when I don't think I'll end up being the long term developer for it. You really have to know what you're doing in Drupal to make it work well and I know if I leave a client with Drupal site and they need to find someone else to take it over, I've made their lives very very hard. There aren't a lot of freelancers and indies who do Drupal well. You can charge some serious coin if you have good Drupal chops, but it takes years to get there even if you're already a pretty good programmer.
     
  14. remino macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    #14
    WordPress is good as “meh, I guess that’ll do” blog software. Same feeling goes with PHP and Apache when you’d like to use something else, but you think, “meh, well, I guess it’s already there and I can’t install anything else, so…”

    I have WordPress running a few blogs of mine at a shared hosting provider. Yet, I've been a Web developer for about 20 years—I know there is much better out there than a simple WordPress blog running on a LAMP installation.

    But it’s all about cost, maintenance, and familiarity. Having an account at a shared hosting provider is dirt cheap these days. If you go with a shared hosting provider, you’re surely stuck with PHP running on Apache. It’s not like if I had millions of hit every week (yet) to make enough money to pay for something more impressive. So, why not use something that you know will get the job done and stick around with the cheap stuff that’s good enough for now? WordPress has also been there for long enough to deal with many well-known quirks of maintenance and installation.

    Also, maintaining WordPress using wp-cli from terminal makes the maintenance job a lot less of a pain. Just running “wp @All plugin update --all”, for example, will take care of logging on my host via SSH and update all the plugins of all my WordPress installations at once. You have to admit, it’s a pretty good timesaver.
     
  15. smirking macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #15
    If you're using Plesk or cPanel there's also a WordPress control utility that gives you a GUI to do this. Well, I don't know how the cPanel one is like, but I do run Plesk and they have a WordPress control center that makes managing a whole bunch of WordPress sites (assuming they were properly setup) pretty easy. So I guess it also has this element going for it. WordPress is so ubiquitous that hosting automation software comes with built in ways to manage a fleet of WP sites.
     
  16. MacSince1985 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    #16
    There's a bit of chicken-and-egg theory in this. It's popular because it's actively developed and there are many plugins available, and it's actively developed and many plugins are created because it's popular.

    Out of the "big 3", WP is the easiest way to set up a CMS that satisfies the needs of most clients. The community is large and helpful and adding features is often a Google search away. It's far from perfect. A fully custom-written CMS could be faster and simpler to use, but take a lot more dev time.
     
  17. shimy1984 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    #17
    Its popular because it requires no development experience whatsoever and most people just want to plop something out with the least amount of effort possible.

    WordPress excels at this. Its not for hardcore developers. Its for the average person.
     
  18. bobbydaz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    Yes there is a lot of rubbish plopped out by people that don't know what they're doing, but in the right hands the results can be as good as sites built on other platforms. I've built all my sites in Wordpress and the results are very professional. I've invested a lot of time learning the ins and out of Wordpress, CSS etc whereas I think a lot of people don't, they just bash something out that ends up looking a bit of a mess. Being able to use Wordpress doesn't make you a designer.
     
  19. SparkFlash macrumors 6502

    SparkFlash

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan
    #19
    I think because of its overwhelming options and plugins make it the best all around option. The plugins alone pull me in over and over.
     

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