The Current State of WordPress

by | Jul 31, 2013 | Wordpress | 0 comments

Our associates at Elegant Themes went to WordCamp San Francisco where they watched Matt Mullenweg (the co-founder of WordPress) give his annual “State of the Word” address.  They then came up with a great graphic that summarizes the latest statistics about the world-wide use of WordPress based upon Matt’s talk (see below).  I thought the way people are using WordPress was most interesting.  69% use it for a content management system only.  Helpful changes in the way menu systems work make it easier than ever to create a WordPress website, without a blog.  20% use WordPress as a combination blog and content management system.    Only 6% use it exclusively for blogging.  This echoes my experience where most of my clients just want a website.  In the past I would just create a custom website for their needs using HTML, CSS, PHP and sometimes Javascript.  Now, whether they want a blog or not, I typically recommend WordPress because it works great as a content management system that allows the user to more easily change things as needed.  If they eventually want to begin blogging – recommended to enhance search engine rankings – it’s easy to add.  Further, when they want a new look, it’s easy to install a new theme and modify it to their particular needs.

Some web designers are concerned that promoting WordPress will cost them business.  I find that it doesn’t.  Most clients don’t care to install and set up WordPress.  They also, in general, don’t want to do even minor updates themselves.  They send me an email and I make the updates for them.  WordPress allows me to serve more clients in less time and reduce their costs in the process.  I typically include email support for a year so they can learn to use WordPress if they wish.  Even with encouragement, most clients don’t want to learn WordPress, even if they want to blog.

I’m more of an engineer than an artist,  so I like to start with themes designed by expert designers then engineer them to serve my clients.  Designers that think WordPress might reduce the bounds on their creativity needn’t worry.  Designing WordPress themes allows artists to focus on their art and skip the technical details of website development.  These days WordPress can even handle rudimentary store systems.  If a client has a lot of products or complex tracking needs, I still recommend osCommerce, but it looks like changes are afoot in the WordPress world that would help it handle this kind of web-based application  better.

Without further ado, here’s the graphic:

WordPress 2013