If you’ve ever had a go at setting up your own website or blog in the past ten years, it’s really likely you will have come across WordPress. It has since become the leading standard for self-publishing on the web, and while it may have started life as a purely blog-based engine, it has since grown to offer big brands and corporations simple shells to build and customize on over the years. Take a look below for 11 amazing and awesome facts about WordPress.
1. There are more WordPress sites than you probably imagine. Even some of the biggest sites on the web rely on the engine – for example, did you know that The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Facebook Newsroom, People Magazine, Harvard Business Review and NASA all make use of the engine? It’s not just bloggers these days!
2. WordPress’ main appeal lies in the fact that – believe it or not – it’s free to use! However, the catch is that if you want to really stamp yourself on the web, you’re going to need to set up hosting, which the service has also grown to offer over the years.
3. WordPress has grown from a small blogging engine to a service which largely appeals to businesses – from big corporations to small local firms, you’ll find that there is a WordPress site for almost every occasion.
4. WordPress is well-known for its security, though users and webmasters will still need to be vigilant. However, some of the statistics surrounding WordPress hacking are pretty fascinating. That’s because around 39% of sites hacked actually end up this way thanks to users not updating the software. In fact, around half of all hacked sites end up getting attacked because themes or plugins in use aren’t updated, either. The message is clear – keep things up to date, and your chances of getting hacked will seriously decrease.
5. WordPress has been around for longer than many people might imagine. It was first released to the public in May 2003, predating nearly all of the social networks you see on the web right now. Facebook, for example, wouldn’t launch until the year after, and YouTube wouldn’t arrive until 2005. What a fantastic few years of growth for the web!
6. It’s thought that around 26% of all websites is powered in some way by WordPress, and that this figure is only likely to get bigger in the years to come. It even has a market share of almost 60%, making it the most prominent content management system, or CMS, on the planet. It has rivals in ecommerce specialist platforms such as Magento, which developers use to create online stores for businesses.
7. Even more stunning is the fact that WordPress powers more than 4% of the web in total – not bad for less than 20 years of experience!
8. WordPress, despite its enormous scope and success, has less than 500 employees – all of whom work to keep the engine simple and secure. The service keeps improving, but its main appeal still lies in the fact that it is so easy and adaptable to use.
9. WordPress is also popular thanks to its use of ‘plugins’. These little widgets can help you to upgrade and alter your site with instant pieces of code that you can patch in without the need for any coding knowledge. This hands-on, user-friendly approach has helped to establish the brand as the market leader. You can pay for some plugins, while many are free. For example, you can install plugins on your website to show your recent tweets and Facebook posts!
10. WordPress is also replete in many different themes, styles, and skins that you can load into your site as standard. There are more than 5,800 themes available for free that you can download right now. The service is also available in 68 different languages by default and can be actively translated into more if required.
11. It’s entirely possible to dig into your website’s code and play around thanks to the WordPress dashboard. However, the plug in and play mechanic works well for millions of people.