If you’re designing a website for your client, you want to choose the best tool for the job. And WordPress often fits that bill. You’ve probably already done enough work in the past to know why, and you also know exactly which plugins etc to use to get the result your client wants. There’s just one problem. When you tell the client your plans, they reply with “But WordPress is just a blogging platform!”. Now what do you do?
Granted, clients are a lot savvier these days when it comes to web technologies, but it also means that they can hear about stuff that’s overkill, or wildly inappropriate for what they’re looking for. For example, they may have heard about “Node.js”, and without a full appreciation of what they’re asking for, might ask you to develop something using that platform instead. Sounds familiar?
While there are plenty of amazing technologies out there to use, WordPress is very far from being “just a blogging platform”, and I’ll attempt to explain why below. It doesn’t mean that you can (or should) use WordPress for every single thing, or that there is no use-case scenario where another software stack might do it better. It just means that WordPress has come a long way since its blogging roots, and now encompasses all kinds of websites, and not just blogs.
Blogging is Dead Right? But 35% of All Websites Use WordPress!
This is a simple, and straightforward factual rebuttal to the misconception that WordPress is limited to blogging. The past decade’s rise of social media has slowly killed off blogging, in favor of long posts written on social networks like Facebook. People have even gotten around the 140 character limit of Twitter by splitting their posts into multiple messages. These social networks come with an in-built follower network, and make consuming updates easy. Hence, the death of blogging as a separate activity.
But if so, how is it that WordPress still powers 35% of all Internet websites around the world? That’s an astounding number, unmatched by any kind of software platform seen since. And the number is 35% only because these are the websites whose content management systems we know. Which means that if there was another behemoth competitor out there, we’d have some indication of it. The remaining websites make up the “long-tail” of software development.
And in case you think these are legacy websites, consider that the latest WordPress version 5.3, released on November 12 2019, has already been downloaded 33.4 million times as of this writing 2 months later. That’s over half a million downloads per day at the beginning of 2020. Here’s a running counter of the number of downloads of the latest WordPress version.
That doesn’t sound like a “blogging platform” to me!
Estimated Investment Costs to WordPress
According to Open Hub, WordPress’s estimated development cost so far is north of $21 million USD for 1.4 million lines of code. Though it’s open source, it’s still actively developed and maintained by Automattic. This is a serious, long running project with real money behind it. Automattic is worth well over a billion dollars at this point.
None of that is because WordPress is a “blogging platform”. It’s a serious web development tool, and customers pay real money for services and support.
Examples of Sophisticated Websites Using WordPress
Here are some massive websites using WordPress today:
- BBC America
- Rolling Stone
- The White House
- The Walt Disney Company
Chances are, your client would kill to have the presence of any one of these media properties. They’re not just “blogging platforms” and showing a list of these websites to someone is enough to quickly cure the delusion of WordPress’s capabilities.
I also like to show examples of luxury websites. For example, Laurent-Perrier’s champagne Cuvée Rosé has a website built on WordPress that includes scrolling elements that appear as the user moves down, an image heavy website, and moving backgrounds, and dynamic text. You can get examples like this in your own client’s industry and show it to them, to demonstrate what’s possible with WordPress.
After presenting them with all this, you’ll be in a strong position to pitch WordPress as the technology to use if that’s what you want. There’s enough here to debunk the notion that it’s just a blogging platform!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!