Will WordPress Remain On Top?

WordPress is by far the most popular website building platform. According to the widely cited w3techs.com, WordPress is 27 times more popular than Wix, 21 times more popular than SquareSpace.

A staggering thirty Percent of the internet’s top one million websites are built using WordPress. It is without question the most popular and successful site building tool (Content Management System or CMS).

And yet, there is a growing unease among those in the community that WordPress may be toppled by new site-building platforms. I think a lot of that is a result of privately owned site-building services rolling out flashy marketing campaigns complete with celebrity endorsements.

Additionally, it’s not just other site-building platforms that are a threat. It used to be that businesses would focus all their attention on their website. Now that attention is divided among an array of other platforms. For many businesses Facebook Pages and Google My Business profiles are all they need. For some, Yelp or Tripadvisor is enough. Some businesses are more concerned about optimizing their products to rank on Amazon than they are about ranking their website on Google.

With all this in mind, it’s no wonder the WordPress development community is feeling threatened. I think this is healthy. The threat and fear of competition is a great motivator for innovation. But here are a few reasons why WordPress is not going anywhere any time soon:

1. WordPress is Flexible
WordPress is Self-Hosted and Open Source. This means you can install WordPress on your own server and modify it pretty much as you see fit. Wix and Squarespace do not offer this flexibility.

2. WordPress has an ARMY of developers
Because WordPress is open-source, it encourages developers and agencies around the world to build tools to extend its functionality. Over 48,500 Free Plugins for WordPress in the official WordPress Plugin Directory have been downloaded over 1.5 billion times. These are just the plugins from WordPress.org. There are thousands of other 3rd party plugins available for free or purchase, too. Did I mention thousands of site templates on Theme Forest? This is a level of community support that WordPress benefits from free of charge. It simply isn’t possible for Wix or Squarespace to employ enough developers to compete against the community behind WordPress.

3. WordPress Offers Unlimited Options
With Wix and Squarespace you are limited to the options they provide. If you want to switch to a different credit card processor or add a feature that isn’t supported by, you’re out of luck. WordPress offers unlimited flexibility to meet the needs of the business.

4. WordPress Is The Preferred Choice Of The Developer
With today’s technology, anyone can build a website regardless of the platform, no coding ability required. But most business owners either have no interest or no time to learn how to build a website. This is not all that different from the fact that most people don’t want to change the oil in their own car. It’s not a matter of skill, it’s a matter of time and interests. When the client delegates the task of building a website to the developer, they generally delegate the choice of what platform to use. A developer with any sense is not going to give up control (and residual hosting income) to a company like Wix or Squarespace.

5. WordPress Is Not Afraid to Change, Adapt, and Improve
Despite already being the dominant CMS, there is an open discussion in the community about how to change, adapt, and improve. Gutenberg, the new WordPress page builder, is a reflection of that. The leaders of WordPress, rather than becoming arrogant with their success, seem to have been humbled by it. Or perhaps it is the massive success of WordPress that gives it the breathing room to reflect on its shortcomings and make well-thought improvements while Wix and Squarespace engage in a heated battle against each other for a market share of less than 2%.
WordPress year over year growth rate of 1-4%.

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