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WordPress: A More Lively Community of Support

Jackrabbit Design October 7, 2011 Web Design & Development

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When it comes to pitching web projects, clients typically share from the same set of common concerns, time and time again in relation to which content management system their site will be integrated with.

This post is the second in a series, where I plan to identify and address common real-world challenges when deploying a new website — and identify the factors that make WordPress a great solution. In case you missed part one, you can read all about it here.

Part 2:

Community Supported

The Situation:

You are a mid-sized, up-and-coming company with an out-dated web site that needs a facelift. You have some internal IT resources but do not have a creative staff on-hand, nor extensive experience planning and deploying web sites. Realizing outside help and experience will be a tremendous asset, your plan is to have a web agency design and build out a site — and once it is launched, take the maintenance in-house to save on costs.

Our Recommendation?:

A custom designed site running on the latest version of WordPress, of course!

Here’s why:

Developer’s POV

Your in-house IT’s POV

  • Thousands of plugins to help expand the native functionality to fit the client’s needs
  • All plugins are plug & play – no need to constantly hack the core files, rendering future updates invalid.
  • Vast amount of support forums to help conquer common issues with the common development snags.
  • More support = Less time charged to client.
  • Future expandability is simple and not a complete overhaul of code.
  • Vast amount of online support to answer almost any question on expanding WordPress or even everyday maintenance.
  • An exceptional list of current high-profile companies using wordpress gives confidence behind the durability and security of the site.

Long Version – Drupal and Joomla may also be of the community supported, “open-source” type, but nothing matches the masses in the developer community behind WordPress. CMS developers rely on the community for extensions, commonly referred to as plugins, that extend the native install of Content Management Systems beyond their default functionality. Whether you want an e-commerce store, a membership community or even an event sign up, this functionality can be integrated into the CMS by using the community supported code.

According to WordPress.org, the WP community of users has now reached over 25 million. That’s way beyond Drupal’s 600,000+ claim and the unofficial estimate of Joomla’s at 10 million based on internet buzz. Due to this massive amount of users, you can almost always guarantee more solutions to common – and even the rarest – issues.

The amount of users, however, doesn’t always dictate a better community for development. It all depends on how motivated these users are in helping to grow the open-source brand. To determine which CMS has the most motivated and dedicated users I always look to the number of plugins being developed. Plugins are a good determining factor to look at because the more motivated the users, the more apt they are in developing, polishing and packaging their plugins to help others out there looking for similar functionality, which in turn helps broaden the user base of a CMS because of the expanding functionality these scripts offer. When looking at these numbers, again we see WordPress far more superior. Based on just the plugins that have been added to the WordPress plugin directory, users have created 16,520. Both Drupal and Joomla fall short with Drupal showing 12,244 and Joomla at 8,439.

As illustrated above, the WordPress community can be seen as a larger, more active base of dedicated developers to not only help expand the WordPress open-source brand, but also to share the knowledge and help others succeed along the way. For these reasons, an in-house IT developer or even a freelance developer would find it very easy to maintain and extend a company’s site in the upcoming years so that the company does not outgrow the site.

Now that you have gotten a feel for some of the reasons we prefer WordPress, we would love to hear about your experiences! Do you have any awesome WordPress community stories? Has there been a time when you needed a source-code in a pinch and the community helped you out? Are you facing the decision of choosing a platform right now? Go ahead and comment away!

Check back soon for more posts in this series as we go more in depth on why WordPress is our CMS of choice!

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