I started publishing content on the web sometime after Tim Berners-Lee invented HTML and just before Marc Andreessen created Netscape. Over the years I’ve worked with a lot of different web publishing tools. Most of those publishing tools suck.
WordPress doesn’t suck. In fact, WordPress doesn’t even make me swear. That’s the highest compliment I can give any piece of software.
WordPress democratizes the process of publishing on the Web. That makes it a Long Tail enabler.
I’ve lost track of the number of website’s I’ve published with WordPress. It’s such a flexible tool that it’s become my first choice, even for simple prototypes. Part of the reason is that WordPress is so simple to install and maintain that I know I won’t ever regret using it. Then again, I also know that WordPress is sufficiently flexible that I can make it do almost anything I need it to.
True, it’s not a good fit for more traditional websites that require a deep hierarchy of information. That’s OK. When I need a tool to manage that type of website there are plenty that I can choose from. Unfortunately, most of them suck.
Here are a few things I REALLY like about WordPress:
- It’s simple enough for a beginner, yet robust enough for a power user.
- It has an extremely flexible templating system that puts some larger content management systems to shame.
- The WordPress community is immense, creative, helpful, and friendly.
- There are a huge number of community-created themes available. Many are extremely professional. It’s actually difficult to make WordPress look bad. Surprisingly, that can occasionally be a disadvantage.
- WordPress has plug-ins galore. If WordPress doesn’t do something you want it to out of the box, there’s a good chance someone has created a plug-in to solve your problem.
- Akismet is shaping up to be the ultimate blog spam killer. As a result, we can all go back to having conversations on our blogs.
If you’re curious to try WordPress out, you can setup a free account on WordPress.com. If you’ve got your own server you can download the source code from WordPress.org. Don’t worry, installation won’t kill you. The legendary 5 minute install is the real deal.
The whole Medialoper team owes a debt of gratitude to Matt Mullenweg and the rest of the WordPress team for creating and maintaining a great publishing tool.
Update: I’ve just started doing a series of WordPress tutorials over at WPApprentice.com. If there are any specific WordPress issues you’d like to see covered, let me know.