WordPress rules the world?

Pagekit marketplace

This blog post is about WordPress. Yeah, that "CMS" that dominates the web.

But - why am I writing about WordPress? Isn't this blog about Pagekit? Well, of course it is. But it is not to be denied that the history of WordPress is a history of success. WordPress is the engine of millions of website without being a very good CMS at all.

As WP has a certain age, the codebase is - in most parts - not very modern. On the other hand the source of WordPress is extensive and not always easy to read. Vulnerabilities are hard to find and sometimes harder to prevent, so WordPress and it's extensions are a popular target for massive attacks.

Why users love WordPress

But why are users still loving it? It's just so easy to use. WordPress allows everybody to create a website as it only needs a php-enabled webserver and a MySQL database.

After installing it using the web installer the user is good to go. After clicking around in the backend of WordPress most users will start to install plugins and themes using the built-in marketplace. And there are tons of it. Tenthousands of plugins and themes - a lot of them are free - are waiting for the user. And this is the key to success.

It doesn't matter whether you are trying to build a blog, a news page, some of these Amazon-linking affiliate sites or a little community: There is a plugin for everything.

But why are skilled coders creating plugins for something I am not even sure it's a real CMS? Why are they willing to write something for a "CMS" that has such a shoddy code quality?

I think I know the answer: WordPress had the first mover advantage. It was the first "CMS" even somebody, who did never see HTML, CSS or PHP, was able to use.

Monocultures

As monocultures are susceptible for diseases the monoculture of WordPress brings a huge disadvantage: Attackers are very aware of the widespread use of WordPress. After a vulnerability has been detected you can see automated hacking attempts just a few hours after the vulnerability has been disclosed. This is true for WordPress itself, but also for popular plugins.

If the webmasters would decide to use the CMS that matches their needs best the choice would not always be WordPress.

There are a lot of alternatives like Drupal, Joomla!, Ghost, Craft, October CMS or Pagekit.

There are that much alternatives - but why are most people still using WordPress?

Well - here the first mover advantage strikes back. As WordPress has been the first "CMS" that was really easy to use, a lot of non-professional users, hobby-webmasters and blogger started to use it.

Having such a large user base, people just demanded on using WordPress - even in professional usecases. So the web-agencies started to work with WordPress and created tons of themes and plugins.

Now WordPress is the de facto standard for website creation.

Do alternatives have a chance?

Yes, of course. But it's going to be really hard.

Such a CMS needs to come with:

  • A Built-In marketplace
  • Easy to use backend
  • A huge amount of extensions and themes
  • Taxonomies
  • Multi-language feature
  • A large support community

Well - Pagekit is on a good way, but at the moment it matches only two of six points.

We will see...

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