WordPress users make over 1,390,000 new posts on WordPress sites every day using this free and open source content management system (CMS). WordPress was designed to make online publishing available to everyone, with any kind of content to share. It is a popular CMS and blogging platform with a global community of WordPress users and a constantly growing library of plugins and themes. It continues to top the list of popular content management systems available today. Here’s why WordPress is the best CMS around—for any kind of website.
What Makes a Good CMS?
A CMS is an integrated set of tools and strategies for developing and delivering content of all kinds over the internet. “Content” is a broad term that includes all kinds of informational material contained on a website that can be found in searches and shared on social media channels, including documents, images, video and audio, or any combination of these.
The kind of content management system a site uses depends on the company’s goals for their content and the nature of the content itself. Some kinds of systems are designed to support not only the creation of content, but also to manage content creation teams such as groups of editors, writers, and content strategists. Content management systems generally fall into four broad types.
- Document management systems are designed primarily to support text-based content for websites such as professional and personal blogs, information sites, and publications.
- Media management systems support graphic content like photographs, illustrations, and design assets. This kind of CMS is designed for optimizing and showcasing images in portfolios, galleries, and online stores.
- Digital asset CMSs support the sharing of digital assets of all kinds—not only static images, but also video and audio files or a combination of all of these. This kind of system drives sites such as online course portals, podcasts, and multimedia showcases.
- Web content management systems support not just content itself, but the workflow of people who are involved in developing and managing content. Web content systems typically include tools for shared content editing, collaboration, and contributions from team members in various roles.
Since content management systems must meet so many different goals and needs, the number of dedicated CMS platforms continues to grow, with many new and highly targeted systems aimed at meeting very niche specific needs. But the WordPress CMS is flexible and versatile enough to handle all kinds of content—and support content creation as well.
WordPress is Free for Everyone
WordPress is a set of open source code files that can be installed on just about any hosting platform. Unlike more specialized CMS choices that require a purchase or subscription, WordPress is always free for anyone to use. Because WordPress is an open source project, it can be modified and updated by any developers in the worldwide WordPress community. This allows for constant updating and improvement of the core WordPress code, which keeps it current with the evolving internet culture and the changing needs of its users.
WordPress is Supported Everywhere
Because WordPress is so widely used, it has a large and loyal following around the world, and WordPress users work with the platform’s creators to keep it updated and secure and to help new users get started with WordPress, too. From weekend boot camps to user groups and forums, as well as the tutorials and help desk at WordPress.org itself, both new and experienced users can get around-the-clock support for problems, questions, and issues about using WordPress and its many CMS strategies.
WordPress Manages All Kinds of Content
The WordPress platform consists of three essential elements: its core code plus a long list of themes and plugins that allow users to customize the appearance and functionality of a WordPress site in virtually endless ways. Thousands of WordPress themes and plugins can be installed from the WordPress directories on a user’s WordPress admin dashboard, or they can be purchased or downloaded free from a variety of third-party developers and vendors.
Themes control the appearance and layout of a WordPress site, but they can also include tools for managing text, images, and other kinds of content. Depending on the kind of CMS they need, users can choose from free themes designed to support blogs, ecommerce, podcasts, or portfolios. WordPress themes can be used as-is with minimal customization or can be modified to suit even more specific needs by users with experience in web design and development.
Plugins are small pieces of code that can add a variety of specific functions to a WordPress site, and this includes many aspects of content management. Users can install a combination of plugins from the WordPress plugin directory and from third-party developers to create customized functionality for managing the specific kinds of content on the site.
Along with functions for creating and managing content, plugins can also add tools for collaboration and project management. WordPress themes and plugins allow users ranging from personal bloggers to large enterprises to assemble a set of content management tools that are specifically designed to meet their needs.
WordPress is Flexible and Adaptable
Site owners who install a CMS for a specific set of functions may find that as their site evolves and their needs change, they need to replace their existing CMS with one that is capable of managing different kinds of content creation. This can be an inconvenient and expensive operation, especially if the CMS in question has been around for a while.
But WordPress CMS features are largely created by a combination of its code, themes, and plugins, so that users can change the system relatively easily or add new functions whenever they want simply by installing additional plugins to handle new demands. In that way, WordPress can become whatever kind of CMS site owners need, whenever they need it.
This year, WordPress has dominated with the highest CMS market share, leaving its nearest competitor, in the dust. Versatile, flexible, and always free, WordPress has all the tools a webmaster needs for creating and sharing content of all kinds anywhere in the world.
How are you using the tools in the WordPress CMS to build your website? Leave your thoughts in the comments.