Abe Selig is a content strategist at WP Engine.
It’s no coincidence that WordPress has grown to become the web’s most popular Content Management System (CMS) by a long margin. It’s a dependable, scalable platform used by businesses of all shapes and sizes, and agencies have been particularly successful when it comes to winning new business with this CMS.
From its vast ecosystem of plugins to the vibrant community of users and contributors that are constantly making improvements to its core software, WordPress makes it easy for agencies to deliver great-looking, dynamic websites that please their customers and keep in-house resources from burning out. And the thing that’s music to client’s ears - on time, on deadline and on budget.
Nonetheless, there are still plenty of agencies today that haven’t made the WordPress leap. Here are a few reasons that should finally change.
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Win with open source
Today, WordPress powers more than 35% of the Internet and even more impressive, when a CMS is used for a website, WordPress is used in the majority (60%) of situations. One reason for this high rate of adoption is that WordPress is open source, meaning its source code is released under a GPL license, which grants users the right to study, change, and distribute it as they see fit.
Right away, this represents significant cost savings for agency clients, especially when you consider the upfront costs associated with proprietary content management software.
Take advantage of the WordPress ecosystem
Once WordPress is up and running, you can also begin leveraging its robust community of open source developers, who provide regular updates, security patches, and other helpful forms of collaboration to the growing ranks of WordPress users.
That community is also renowned for its regular contributions to the growing list of plugins and themes that offer users endless ways to customize and add new features to their websites. This ability to continuously add functionality represents the polar opposite of the paid software pricing model, which can seriously diminish an agency’s bottom line. From the moment you install WordPress, you have full control over it, and the wide ecosystem of compatible themes, martech plugins, analytics plugins and many others at your fingerprints offer an almost limitless range of additional options.
Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with WordPress security
Even though WordPress now enjoys widespread use, a misconception remains that WordPress is somehow less secure than other CMS platforms. This is due in large part to misinformation and misunderstandings about both open source software and WordPress itself. In any case, all software can present vulnerabilities if it’s not maintained regularly. Since WordPress’ launch in 2003, the platform has been continually tested and refined, and professional security consultants and developers have made countless improvements to its core software.
Today WordPress is highly secure, right out of the box, and agencies have many options at their disposal to help keep it that way, including implementing SSH, keeping plugins and themes up-to-date, or utilizing the iThemes Security plugin, which is widely popular among WordPress users.
Additionally, there are a growing number of WordPress-specific security plugins and services that can add an extra layer of protection, including two-factor authentication, as well as solutions such as Global Edge Security, which offers DDoS protection and a Web Application Firewall (WAF) designed to keep sites secure and deliver a faster experience for users. Other solutions, like WP Engine’s Smart Plugin Manager, will automate the plugin update process, making things like security breaches due to out-of-date plugins a thing of the past.
Leverage WordPress' robust support network
As mentioned above, WordPress is supported by a massive online community of WordPress users who regularly contribute to WordPress core with the overarching goal of making it better for everyone. Agencies can find quick solutions for their challenges, which in turn, lets them cut back on support costs.
For example, Stack Exchange offers a dedicated domain “wordpress.stackexchange.com” for its users, where WordPress community members help handle support-related questions and troubleshoot problems. There is also an official support forum for WordPress, where you can find any number of WordPress professionals ready to help, and there are even Contributor Weekends focused specifically on helping out with support queries in WordPress support forums. This helpful, inclusive attitude is one of the special qualities you can find within the WordPress community, and it’s yet another reason so many users are successfully building amazing digital experiences with WordPress.
Tap into WordPress' rich ecosystem of developers
In addition to an active community of WordPress users, agencies can also easily find professional developer assistance for WordPress. Developers simply like to use WordPress, and there’s a greater number of developers with deep WordPress expertise all over the world than other CMS platforms.
All of this has created a highly respected and sought after WordPress developer ecosystem, filled with developers who know how to create incredible digital experiences with WordPress, either through their own custom code or through the wide list of plugins and themes that can be leveraged to extend WordPress’ functionality. Today, WordPress devs are expanding the CMS’ functionality even further, tackling things like headless architecture, mobile optimization, and other cutting edge solutions geared to meet the digital standards of a new generation.
Based on that rich developer ecosystem, agencies can also easily find professionally-designed web templates for WordPress. If you own or work at a small developer agency, you can provide your customers with a complete solution by leveraging plugins and adding a prebuilt WordPress theme. Thousands of these themes are available in the official WordPress theme directory. Premium themes can also be purchased at a nominal price from platforms like ThemeForest, or other theme stores like Commercial Themes. StudioPress Themes, which are built using the Genesis theme framework, are also available to WP Engine customers for free.
WordPress is optimized for SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) remains a priority for agencies of all sizes. WordPress can lend a hand here too, as almost all of the prominent search engines today (Google, Bing, etc.) simply understand websites that are powered by WordPress.
Right out of the box, WordPress provides better SEO optimization than many other CMS platforms. By adding extra features or leveraging additional plugins, agencies can take this default SEO optimization to an even higher level. SEO plugins like Yoast, which is used on more than five million WordPress sites, can quickly add high-powered SEO optimization to any WordPress site.
WordPress supports multilingual sites
Building a site that supports different languages can certainly be a challenge. With WordPress, however, you can create multilingual sites quickly. Web agencies often do this by integrating Google Translate with their development project or by using free (Polylang) and premium (WPML) plugins that make this process easier. WPML is a great way to build multilingual sites and run them, and it’s powerful enough for enterprise-grade websites, yet simple enough for blogs.
WordPress at scale
Although WordPress got its start as a platform primarily used by bloggers, it’s evolved into a high-powered CMS that numerous large brands continue to lean on. Notable brands like The New York Times, BBC America, Quartz, Forbes, and General Electric (GE) are just a few of the recognizable names that have successfully put WordPress to use, and it’s now used regularly by large media sites that serve millions of visitors every day. Find out more about what it takes to run WordPress at scale.
Using WordPress to deliver digital experiences
WordPress’ evolving functionality is only expected to grow. It’s already become the most popular CMS today, and if you run an agency that prides itself on delivering great digital experiences to customers, you can no longer afford to ignore the important role WordPress now plays. Here’s a quick recap as to why more agencies are winning with WordPress than ever before:
- WordPress is open source, and it enjoys a vibrant community of contributors and developers who constantly maintain and contribute to its core software.
- WordPress delights both developers and clients. Developers often prefer to build websites with WordPress, and customers are consistently impressed by the amazing digital experiences WordPress can build.
- WordPress represents major cost savings when compared to proprietary systems.
- It’s far easier to hire and retain developers who have experience building websites with WordPress and who see it as their tool of choice, especially compared to a proprietary CMS.
- WordPress makes it easy to follow pre-built standards and to create and contribute new standards to build a strong foundation for your web agency.
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