7 Key Insights understanding why Wordpress is so successful as a CMS and what you can learn out of each point and apply to your product or blog.
According to W3Techs, WordPress is used by 23.3% of all the websites on Internet i.e. if you visit 5 different sites in a day, you are more likely to be hitting one of them powered by WordPress. That is awesome but have you ever wondered why WordPress is so successful as a CMS? What you can learn from success of WordPress’ and apply the same to your business and blog.
Couple of lines about history of WordPress. Matt Mullenweg the founder and creator of WordPress built WordPress as the successor to b2(cafelog.com) after it was stopped being developed and supported by its original developers. He was one of the blogger using b2 and as it was not supported further, he started building WordPress.
1. Ease of use
The vision of Matt Mullenweg is converted into Wordpress. Apart from being a developer of the software, he was also using it and so it helped make things really easy for the end user. He could vision the pain points that came with use of Wordpress and so he worked on them to make it really easy for the end user which was one of the reason for the easy use of WordPress.
Moral: Be the user of your products and that will help take out lot of friction from your product for the end user. If you are a blogger, don’t post only for your readers but post articles that you want to be reading and referring to in the future.
2. Simple nature
I have seen so many content management systems like xenforo, vBulletin, phpBB, Drupal, Joomla that have lengthy installation process as well as quite a few pre-requisite before you can even upgrade but Wordpress installation takes hardly couple of minutes and is really very simple to upgrade. Apart from the ease to update the core software, the plugins and themes installation and upgrade is also very simple.
Moral: KISS (Keep it simple Silly) always work and so make sure your product processes are really simple. If you are offering a user signup, try to make it as simple as possible or you may not need to start with a captcha for comments when there aren’t too many spam coming on your blog.
3. Blogging, CMS,
WordPress is not only for setting up a blog but it can also be used as a CMS for your site. You can have a front page designed for your site and have a blog page or you can have your blog page as your front page.
Moral: Under promise and over deliver. Add extra features or surprises in your product because everyone like surprises.
4. SEO friendly
SEO has always been a top priority for WordPress and this could be yet another reason of being used by the developer and visionary of the software.
Moral: SEO always works.
5. Strategic mistakes by competitors
Movable Type could have been a tough competitor to WordPress but they announced a licensing fees in 2004 which made Movable Type community to look for other alternatives and WordPress was perfect solution that was waiting for them. WordPress was not only an alternative solution but was open source, free and had tons of free themes and plugins. Wordpress also provided easy to import option to switch your blog to WordPress.
Moral: You cannot put a price tag for things that don’t add value to user. People pay the price for the product and not for marketing efforts of your product. Your product should be worth the price tag.
Moral: Provide an option for users to switch to your product.
Blogging was about to explode in the 2003ish time and WordPress as a solution was provided at the perfect time for people looking to blog.
Moral: Vision the future and try to get your product at the right time when people are looking for it.
Awesome product also needs marketing and Wordpress marketed to big players to use WordPress. You can check some of the WordPress blog examples here and once you have great product, you can approach big player to use your product and endorse your product.
Moral: Never underestimate the power of marketing.
According to me the most important reason of why WordPress is so successful as a CMS is because it was a vision of a person who was also an end user of the product. When a product is new, it will not have too many users providing a constructive feedback. So if the product is being used by the developers, they can always work on the pain points of the end user and make it really easy for the users.
Further Reading …