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Why WordPress?

Nearly two years ago now, I asked a number of members of the WordPress community why they used WordPress. Over those last two years WordPress has changed vastly and thus it’s time to update that post with the reasons still use WordPress in 2011.

1. The themes

Nodoubt you’ve heard about WordPress’ free and premium themes. These are undoubtedly one of the main attractions to WordPress and certainly the reason many people use it over other CMSes.

If you’re after free WordPress themes, the likes of Smashing Magazine are the places to look. Be wary of downloading themes from sites which exist solely to link to batches of themes as they often sneak in their own backlinks, using encrypted PHP to do so. Stick to places like the WordPress Theme Directory and roundups from reputable sites such as Smashing Magazine.

However, a huge market has sprung up around paid WordPress themes and you can get some exquisitely designed themes for $50 or so. Even if you don’t want an out-of-the-box theme, you can still use one of the many frameworks available to build your site around, thus saving time (and money!).

My personal recommendation is WooThemes. WPShout runs the WooFramework, something I’d thoroughly recommend. WooThemes have over 100 paid and free themes and their monthly subscription is great value, so you should definitely check them out.

2. The hosting

WordPress is supported by virtually all hosts, but some are vastly better than others. On WPShout I recently conducted an independent survey to find the best WordPress hosts; I’d thoroughly recommend you check out the results in order to find out which host is best for you.

WPShout is hosted by WPWebHost, on their $7.95/month “Freedom Plan”. Since I moved to WPWebHost, I’ve had fantastic customer service and as I’m on a commercial package, I can honestly recommend it as something well worth getting. They’ve even given me a discount code — WPSHOUT — which will give you 30% off the Freedom Plan.

3. The ease of use and flexibility

The chief reason remains its ease of use and flexibility. Whether I want to create a fancy portfolio, a simple e-Commerce site or a straightforward blogWordPress is the easy option. The “famous five minute install” isn’t really true anymore — it takes me about thirty seconds to install a new WordPress site with my host, but we’ll come onto that later.

Developments such as custom post formats have meant WordPress is now much more than a blogging platform; it’s now a fully fledged CMS.

When I want to do something that would be more complicated, the vast number of plugins can just be dropped into my setup and allow me to do just about anything I could think of. If the plugin you want doesn’t exist, there’s likely to be someone with the same problem as you and a solution on its way.

4. The speed

WordPress has the potential to run extremely quickly. WPShout loads in roughly one and a half seconds and there are a couple of little tricks I use. The chief “trick”, if you can call it that, is to use W3 Total Cache. It’s an absolutely brilliant plugin which caches your site, thus reducing the amount of “work” that has to be done each time somebody loads your site.

I’ve often heard accusations levelled at WordPress of the code being “bloated”, but I’ve never seen anything to back this up nor have I seen this reflected in load times. WordPress can be slow if used irresponsibly, but a couple of simple steps and you’ll be flying.

I’ve written a fair bit about making WordPress run quickly on Shout and I wrote a fairly comprehensive tutorial for Noupe on the subject. Good places to start, though are Faster WordPress and a nice overview How To Make Your WordPress Site Load Faster.

5. The community

None of the things I’ve mentioned thus far would exist without the wonderful WordPress community. They’re the people who help you when you get stuck, make the free themes you use on your blog, develop the plugins you rely on and ultimately make the platform you use.

It’s worth mentioning the license WordPress uses — the General Public License — which gives you immense freedom to do more or less anything you want.

One of the reasons I originally chose WordPress myself was because of the active community and it remains the single main reason why I continue to use WordPress; from a great community, all else flows.

Alex Denning

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August 4, 2012 12:15 pm

For any experienced blogger, a WordPress web site seems to be “a must have”… In many places I saw often remarks such as: “themes”, “plugins”, “popular” and so on. From a close attention, WordPress already used techniques used long before being taken over and used in their algorithms by the big search engines, in a particular case by the Google SE…

But, don’t forget, nothing is perfect… a free blogging platform, widely used, awakens the attention of hackers, spammers, other people using black (SEO or other) techniques… and you have to keep permanently “an eye” to its security…

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January 12, 2012 10:18 am

I choose WordPress Platform because it has many customize ways from themes to working plugins. 🙂

Jack C.
December 3, 2011 11:03 pm

WordPress is far the best out of all the other flatforms.

Lauro Faria
December 3, 2011 6:09 pm

The universe is shown WordPress challenging with their community and their “sub-products”: plugins and themes. The creativity of all, it encourages doing something good, even when they do not have enough knowledge.

December 2, 2011 9:41 pm

Interesting idea. How did you force an older post to look fresh in the RSS feed?

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October 31, 2011 9:41 am

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[…] Here are a few reasons to start with. The primary reasons I usually give agents/brokers are SEO (WP gives you about 70% of what Google is looking for in onsite architecture out of the box with zero modifications), data portability, flexibility, ease of use, and support. There is simply no more cost effective way than WordPress to build your business online in today’s environment. Even though it’s still not dirt cheap for a high quality real estate WordPress website/blog, the cost of a WordPress site (here is more info about your WordPress setup options and costs) is lower than a proprietary platform simply because the maintenance of the core WordPress software is effectively outsourced to the WordPress community. Add the thousands of plugins, themes, and support — and you have a clear winner in terms of cost. Contrast that with a proprietary platform where every last piece of code has to be paid for by the website provider. […]

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May 7, 2011 8:53 pm

[…] following Article on WPShout quotes some of the most Famous WordPress Developers on why they have made it their CMS of Choice. Here’s a Sample Quote by one of the world’s most well known and respected web designers […]

Martin Varesio
March 2, 2011 6:12 pm

Notable people throughout the WordPress community to figure out why they choose to use!!

September 4, 2010 11:33 pm

Worpdress is very useful and symple, i like WP.

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July 9, 2010 3:05 pm

[…] you would like to know some more about WordPress as a content management system read > Why WordPress? downloads, plugins, why, […]

Chris von Nieda | LenderTech
June 29, 2010 6:28 pm

I have been using WordPress for about 2 years now and love it. I have a prospect that is asking for some references about WordPress. I am going to refer him to this post! Thanks for all you do Matt and Alex!

June 17, 2010 3:49 pm

I love Worpdress because it’s fast, secure, optimized for SEO and very easy to use 🙂

Ant Gray
June 6, 2010 9:47 pm

It’s a first ever CMS I started learning. And just thinking if I need any other, WP is good enough for me.

June 4, 2010 8:37 am

Easy to use, Easy to learn, Easy to customize, Easy to develop themes for it.

Easy, Easy & Easy!

Why wordpress? | - Getting Small Business Online
May 22, 2010 11:12 am

[…] this post can answer and I’m willing to bet most of the answers are different. has compiled a list of answers from 21 notable people throughout the WordPress community to figure out why they choose to use […]

Victor Johnson
April 25, 2010 1:18 pm

WordPress is a fascinating Content Management System. Its search engine friendly features and the ability it gives the web masters to update the content without any technical skills is impressive.

It is a triangle love story!! My customers love wordpress as much as I do. I recommend anyone starting a web site to consider WordPress CMS.

January 29, 2011 8:53 pm
Reply to  Victor Johnson

My customers go crazy over it… I agree!

Why WordPress? - Marketing and News Services
March 17, 2010 8:42 pm

[…] has compiled a list of answers from 21 notable people throughout the WordPress community to figure out why they choose to use […]

March 11, 2010 12:49 pm

The decision should be left to the user whether he wants to go for wordpress or not. But I only wish that person is not too late to realize the actual facts about WordPress.

Just my 2 cents.

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John Macpherson
January 9, 2010 10:22 am

While i still use WordPress im now more of an Expression Engine user. WordPress is good no doubt about that but the three main problems i have is the constant updates, the poor plugins or conflicts with plugins. and power. Handling more than a ‘ blog’ or lightwight cms was not what WP has been built for.It has been built up from a blogging platform and has been ‘hacked’ to do other things. Dont get me wrong i like WP but its not the best solution for every CMS project. There are two main downsides to EE -1. is that its a paid for product (but if a design firm pass that cost onto the clients anyway.) 2. Learnign curve – it takes quite a while to get used to it, but over the last 12 months a lot of training material has become available. Of course many users of WP are not design agencies or have a zero budget and use it for their personal projects / sites. Anyway 2 great bits of software – EE and WP. Just my 2 cents. ( No affiliation with EE other than a happy user ).

January 8, 2010 10:49 am

WP is a very powerful and stable application i don’t want to miss.
You can pretty much design themes any way you want and it makes client/developer happy.

Matt Maan
January 8, 2010 3:08 am

Because it saves so much time and gives clients and website owners the best option for future development choices. I’m a web dev beginning with my band’s site in 1996. Every non-ecommerce site I build is now WP. For those of you who don’t know yet, you will.

January 3, 2010 5:28 pm

I’ve tried many different systems and even though there are still things I wish WordPress could do, it’s been the easiest and most user friendly for me and my clients to use.

Lars Tong Strömberg
January 3, 2010 2:08 pm

Great questions and idea for a post + lots of good feedback in the comments!

Credit to all the theme/framework/plugin developers that extends WordPress and makes it so flexibile.

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January 2, 2010 10:05 pm

[…] Why WordPress? | “WHY WORDPRESS? […]

January 2, 2010 5:53 pm

I started with WordPress because blogger/blogspot had pratically no customization features. I tried WordPress 1 or 2 times before I was able to setup it.

During these 2 years I use WordPress, I’ve tested some other CMS like Drupal and Joomla, even tried to go for Drupal and go away from WordPress.

But indeed, WordPress is great. For blogging, there simpling isn’t anything better, period. For content showing oriented websites, I believe there is also nothing better than WordPress, in the meaning of features/easy-of-use.

But what I love about WordPress is its action and filter hooks system. It is simple and powerful at the same time, anywhere there is an action or filter call we can customize anyway we want!

Plugins are easy to start developing (focus on what you wanna do and not on how to talk to the engine), and themes API is easy to use and learn. And now with child themes, I really don’t think it can became easier to customize your site’s look.

December 30, 2009 2:28 am

Why WordPress? There are SO many reasons it will be hard to limit my response but here goes…

1. It is open source.

Open source allows improvements to be made and input considered from many minds, not just one or even a small group. Best of all it is free.

2. The hundreds of theme options.

Changing the basic layout, colors and background graphic is as simple as a click of a button once a them is installed.

3. Thousands of plugin options.

If you can think of a function you want, it is likely someone else has already thought of , perfected and provided it for you in a plugin.

4. Customization ability.

As a website designer or developer WordPress offers an unlimited variety of options. You can learn only what your need to know or continue to learn whatever you want to. It is an unending education with as little or as much detail as you decide to use.

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December 29, 2009 9:36 pm

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December 21, 2009 6:05 am

WordPress is different to anything else in the ability it has to scale from a simple blog to a powerful CMS. This allows people who use WordPress to grow their site along with their expertise and resources. We started out as a blog with a theme that was a minor customization of the default Kubric. 3.5 years later and we have an integrated forum, a social network platform, and an online store… all built on the same (but evolved) WordPress core. It has grown with us and there’s a lot of runway to do even more.

Gabriel de Kadt
December 19, 2009 12:34 am

WP is great – but even with Super Cache I find it too slow on shared hosts.

January 15, 2012 4:44 pm

Gabriel, it’s not wordpress playing the evil, its your hosting. If you are using dreamhost or godaddy then no wonder why you are frustrated. Please switch to the hosting mentioned by Alex.

Also, instead of using any other caching plugin, use w3tc total cache.

—- Happy Publishing —-

Stuart M
December 17, 2009 11:27 pm

Personally, I chose WordPress because MovableType (which was a far more mature product at the time) changed their license for version 3.0 in 2004.

Making the switch to WordPress was great, because I was able to easily make modifications in PHP, whereas MovableType’s Perl-based code had a steeper learning curve.

I still recommend WordPress over other simple CMS software because it has a large developer community (documentation, plugins and themes), and is easy to extend and modify.


Jonah West
December 17, 2009 7:07 pm

I’ve tried many different systems and even though there are still things I wish WordPress could do, it’s been the easiest and most user friendly for me and my clients to use.

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December 16, 2009 9:42 pm

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December 16, 2009 5:23 pm

I love wordpress because its easy to install, support wide version of PHP, and managable editor as well as the plugins plus the themes….The best part is the auto upgrades/plugins installation, save me time….its one of the coolest CMS in the internet world….

Lina Zaproudi
December 16, 2009 11:21 am

Why WordPress: – You can host Wordprees on your own domain . You get all the benefits from links to your site and more overall control, plus you can have ads, all sorts of wonderful plugins and tweak whatever you want (with very little php knowledge) – WordPress installation on my site was easy, in fact most webhosts offer an automated installation option, which is handy, and another reason to go for WordPress. – Customization of WordPress was also easy and there are thousands of themes out there you can choose from and modify easily to create a personal style. – The Admin interface is good, since version 2.7 (before, it kind of sucked). You spend a lot of time with the admin interface, it’s important to have a good one! – WordPress is highly popular which brings these benefits: lots of community support, large knowledge base, bugs tend to get fixed, lots of themes available. – The plugins: One of the best features, there are so many that make your life & blogging much easier. I use for example HeadSpace for meta-tags, Nextgen for photo galleries, WP Cache to speed things up, Flexible Upload for uploading images, Post Template… Read more »

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December 16, 2009 4:50 am

[…] to know why? Here is the answer. December 16, 2009 at 9:50 am | WordPress Tips | Comments […]

December 15, 2009 11:21 pm

I choose WordPress about two months ago over the other CMS for no other reason other then I liked the name.

I am so glad I did. The extensibility and plugins are simply incredible. I get a kick out of trying different pieces and WordPress never breaks.

I was gonna crack the books and do my site in HTML and only use WordPress for the Blog section but after seeing it in action I abandoned that idea and stuck with WordPress for the entire site.

Very cool software.

December 15, 2009 10:03 pm

One day I looked for and downloaded 3 PHP CMS platforms — Movable Type, Joomla, and WordPress — and a had a ‘platform battle’ so to speak.

I said to myself, “I’m going to install each one of these platforms to a subdomain on my website — ‘mt’, ‘joo’, and ‘wp’ — and whichever one I like the best, I’m going to stick with it.”

Needless to say, WordPress won hands down with it’s quick & easy installation, plus it closely resembled a personal CMS platform I had coded for previous projects in 2004 & 2005 before I even knew what a CMS was.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t even get the other 2 platforms to install properly, which is not to knock them, because it could’ve been my fault, but I guess I didn’t need to look back after feeling out WordPress and seeing what it offered.

Riley West
December 15, 2009 7:59 pm

Hello Folks!

I just love WordPress although I am bewildered by how fast it moves up in 2.8.1 2.8.2 etc.

One more thing…don’t you think WP could fix the pinging problem?

I’m referring to the problem that is caused by people such as myself,who have to make many changes to posts, causing the post to be “pinged” too many times – risking possible ping-spam penalties!

I installed MAXblogpress’ ping optimizer and it seems to do a great job…and you can “control” it.

Thank you,

Riley West – An Internet Marketer In The Making.

December 15, 2009 7:44 pm

I use wordpress because of the ease and functionality.

I also think it is the easiest to teach people with no experience how to use, which is the business I’m in.

I just launched my personal WordPress website recently, check it out and leave a comment telling me what you think – Awesome post!

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December 15, 2009 6:43 pm

[…] Why WordPress? That was the question I asked twenty one WordPress theme designers, developers and bloggers; I wanted to get a good balance – not just the theme developers who everyone has heard about! Their answers are very interesting, to say the least. I asked four and the answers will be published over the next couple of days. The questions are: […]

Sign me up! …oh.
December 15, 2009 5:47 pm

[…] design and development blog. They asked 21 WordPress theme designers, developers, and bloggers, “Why WordPress?” I use WordPress to power this site so I was curious to see what they’d say. One particular […]

Eric Marden
December 15, 2009 4:24 pm

I was really hoping this collection of comments would be suitable for sharing with clients, but the results were too geeky. Especially since there was multiple “I’m only using it because I used b2 comments”.

Still a great post, but I was hoping it would be a good place to point folks too that were considering WordPress as a platform.

Oscar Garcia C.
December 15, 2009 10:44 am

Since I begun working @, the leading newspaper in Valencia Land, in Sept. 2008, I simply did not questioned the use of other CMSes. Just chose WP for using it as the main CMS for local developments.

Since then, More than 10 projects have been released under WP/WPMU flavour, and our VIP blogs network -currently in deployment- will of course use all WP potential. Ths will be the first time I use WP as a blog platform at work.

Why WP? The question is not why WP. In my humble opinion, the question is, why don’t you try to do THAT THING YOU ARE SUFFERING TO DO in a better, smarter, simple way with WP?

December 15, 2009 4:32 am

I started blogging with Blogger but was curious about the idea about “self-hosted” blogs. I was planning to use WordPress “temporarily” just to try it, but I never looked back and WordPress is now my CMS of choice.

I’ve tried other CMS including Drupal and Joomla! but nothing matches the ease of use and flexibility of WordPress.

December 15, 2009 3:58 am

WordPress is user friendly, simple, cool and Powerfull.

[I Luv WP]

Regard : JhezeR

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