I have seen the question about Why WordPress popup quite a few times and being in Interview Panel of WebSpades one the most common question among the interviewee has always been Why WordPress? I am sure this is a question of some of the new Employees of WebSpades as well as many others.
I have answered this question (Why WordPress) time and again on the interview table and it is high time I add this to the blog so I can refer in the future.
1. Ease of Use
The first and the most important aspect of any CMS should be its ease of use of its admin interface. I have seen many CMSes makes it really simple things in admin area complex. As an example vBulletin 3 CSS was a simple interface where you can add anything you want in your CSS files in a simple text area. In vB4 and beyond, the interface for CSS made all the styling as a variable and so instead of making things simple, it made things utterly complex. The CSS interface is never needed in admin area because the person who will be editing the design should be able to edit the CSS files. Similar things can be said about Thesis 2.0. They have removed the simple custom_style.css file and made everything editable in the front end and this made me avoid Thesis 2.0.
When it comes to other CMS like Joomla or Drupal, they are not as easy to use as WordPress admin interface. Clients at times are not too technical and so keeping things simple always helps. So it is really important to provide clients a solution that does not require too much technical knowledge to get started.
As a business, I prefer not to re-invent the wheel and if something can be built upon, it is more preferred. It not only helps make things moving faster but also makes things more interactive. I am not talking about the development but design. What if you are given a repository of thousands of design that you can choose and build upon? As a service oriented company it helps make the things done at times in a single day because it reduces the time to get things done which helps in reducing the pricing for the clients as well.
I am yet to find a topic where you don't have a theme ready in WordPress. Be it a site for kids or site like fiverr or a review site or an eCommerce site or anything that you can imagine. You can get a good theme for the niche and then build on that style, as you want.
With so many themes there are Thesis Framework and Genesis Framework of themes for WordPress as well.
The real power of WordPress lies in the ease of plugin creation. There are hundreds of thousands of plugins to help you get everything (by everything I literally mean everything) you want to be doing with WordPress.
Other CMSes like Joomla make you run after the version number and plugin compatibility. A plugin is compatible with Joomla 2.x and not compatible with Joomla 3.x and things like those but when it comes to WordPress, the compatibility is not a very big issue. Every plugin more or less is compatible with WordPress 2.8+ as far as what I have seen.
The problem of WordPress plugins is too many options to start with, which becomes a big issue for newbie WordPress developers.
Let us say you want two different sets of social icons. At times I have seen people get it done by using two set of plugins and not by single plugin that support both the options. Similar things are also seen with sliders. There are so many slider plugins available that I have seen people use one plugin for each slider on a page and not opt for one that support multiple sliders per page. What happens in the end is they end up having jQuery conflicts as well as higher page loading time.
4. Powerful SEO
The HTML generated by WordPress is SEO friendly and so the themes created around such HTML takes care of the SEO aspect. As an example the WordPress menus generated are ul and li based, which means menus, will not have table-based layout which is the case in many other CMSes. Similarly the content inside the WordPress Editor is generated in a very SEO friendly manner.
On top of that you can add lot more of SEO to WordPress
Sites developed in WordPress are easily scalable. You can use HyperDB WordPress plugin to add load balancing and partitioning to your WordPress with just few clicks. This helps your WordPress site to a big level of Scalability.
Apart from that as your site grows, you may need to add CDN for images or you may want to be caching certain content for your pages and this can be easily implemented in WordPress. You can get that done using W3 Total Cache.
W3C Total Cache and HyperDB are plugins that can help you build scalable WordPress but WordPress also supports VIP hosting for large sites. Apart from that there are many WordPress Managed hosting like WPEngine (Aff Link) that can manage WordPress sites for you.
WordPress is adaptable to almost anything you can think about. You can customize WordPress to a blog or to a website or to a coupon site or as a review site and the list continues. ...
Apart from being able to adapt WordPress to anything using plugins, the development of custom plugin is also very simple and you also don't need to worry too much about security aspect of plugin because WordPress will make the plugin secured and available to administrators or to those user groups you allow in your plugin.
7. Cost effective
WordPress is free to start with and so it becomes cost effective for using WordPress over the paid CMS because all clients will not have large budgets to get started.