You have probably seen the hashtag #IloveWP that is currently sweeping the WordPress nation. It’s a call to contribute to the new WordPress.org testimonial page, which has been woefully out of date for a while. (In fact, some of the testimonials in the version that is being replaced dated back to 2003.)
To populate the new page, Matt Mullenweg has posted a call to the community to share your WordPress story with the #IloveWP tag attached and submit them as testimonial material.
So, if you’d like your story to be featured on WordPress.org, here’s your chance.
Besides a shot at fame, this campaign is also a great opportunity to reflect upon the many ways WordPress affects our life. After all, there are many reasons to love WordPress. And while some of them are practical, for many of us it goes far beyond that.
I don’t know about you, but for me, WordPress is more than just a technical solution for building websites. It’s a tool and gateway to achieve big and meaningful things.
Therefore, I thought the #IloveWP would be a great opportunity to share my own reasons why I love WordPress and also hear about yours. Are you ready to get personal? Then let’s go.
Seriously, I love WordPress (#IloveWP)
I have good reasons to love the WordPress platform. It plays a huge role in both my personal life and career, as I’m sure it does for many of you.
However, while I am aware of this fact in principle, I never consciously put it into words. Until now.
Because It is Incredibly Easy To Learn And Use
Let’s get the practical things out of the way first. Like many in the community, one of the reasons I first got into WordPress is because it makes setting up websites very easy.
Without any prior knowledge in website creation (in fact, I had dropped out of computer science in high school after just one year), I still managed to set up my first site in a matter of hours.
Be aware that at that point I had no idea what a database is, could not write a single line of code, and I didn’t even know how to make edits to a style sheet. Heck, I’m not even sure I had heard the word style sheet before.
Yet, I still did it. Sure, there was a learning curve and I made every beginner mistake in the book. But I still did it. However, that doesn’t change the result that whoever typed in my site’s URL got to see a fully-functional (embarrassingly designed) website. And that’s pretty amazing.
That’s the beauty of WordPress. Even a total newbie can get it up and running in no time (and on the most simple server setup to boot!).
Like me, today my clients appreciate the intuitive interface that enables them to make changes to their sites and create content as easily as writing a Word document.
Plus, the platform is constantly getting better with new features and the latest technology.
What’s not to love?
Because It’s Powerful And Highly Customizable
Conceived as a blogging platform, WordPress is now a full-fledged content management system.
I can use it to build anything from a small blog to huge, complex websites. Even mobile and web applications are not out of the question and we will see more of that in the future.
Most importantly, however, WordPress is a mature product. More than a decade of development has made it stable, scalable and feature-rich all while keeping it flexible enough to serve many different purposes.
Websites built with the WordPress platform are optimized for search engines out of the box. They also possess a high level of safety and security and, with the right theme, are completely mobile compatible.
In short, whatever kind of site I use WordPress for, I can be sure that it is set for success and up to the latest web standards.
No wonder famous companies, brands, and celebrities love WordPress as much as I do.
Because WordPress Is Open Source
Initially, the platform’s free-of-charge policy was one of the most decisive factors why I turned to WordPress.
You see, right out of college, like many in the WordPress community, I didn’t feel like going down a traditional career path and decided to found my own startup instead.
In good startup tradition, I began with zero funds and had to bootstrap it all the way.
Needless to say, there was no money to pay someone to create a website for me, so all I could do was learn how to set one up myself. So I did.
Since I couldn’t go for a paid solution, WordPress was the natural choice (plus, Tim Ferris had mentioned the platform in the 4-Hour-Workweek, so what else could I go for?).
Not too long after that, I created my first website.
While the startup no longer exists, WordPress played a huge role in its (mediocre) success. Yet, as a pure online venture, without the platform there would have never been a business to begin with.
So, WordPress was a central pillar in the start of my entrepreneurial career, yet it didn’t cost a dime. How awesome is that?
WordPress is not only free but it’s also open source.
That means not only is anyone free to use, but anyone can build upon its code base and create amazing things from there.
Because of the work of the folks who contribute to the open-source project, the rest of us have this awesome tool at our disposal that we can use to pursue our own ventures and goals.
Therefore, from me and the rest of the WordPress community, a heartfelt thank you goes out to all of the people who spend their time contributing to WordPress in so many ways.
Your work means a lot to all of us. Thank you so much.
Because Of Its (Sense of) Community
Just a few days ago I turned to my wife and said, “Gosh, I love being part of something.”
It was at that moment when I realized that the WordPress community is a place where I feel a sense of belonging.
Over the years, WordPress has allowed me to meet so many passionate, open, and kind people willing to help total strangers. And I only continue to be amazed by it.
Case in point, I recently found myself under a looming deadline for an article in which I just couldn’t get a piece of code to work.
Needless to say, he came through with flying colors, saving me hours of work with just one kind email.
It seriously made my day. And that’s not the exception.
Hundreds of developers and WordPress bloggers publish free code snippets and articles to help others solve problems they themselves faced.
The experience isn’t any different in the WordPress support forums.
I have seen several instances where volunteers helped people clear up things on their site by either providing custom code or making direct site edits.
The point is, if you are part of the WordPress community, you automatically have a lot of people in your corner who will often go out of their way to help and connect with one of their own.
As a result, WordPress has allowed me to meet talented and awesome people from all over the world who do amazing things.
I have built new friendships, made acquaintances, and business partners just because I work with the WordPress platform. It’s definitely one of my favorite parts of being part of this community.
Because It Has Helped Start Thousands Of Meaningful Careers
As mentioned earlier, I started using WordPress out of necessity when I started my first business venture. Fast forward a few years and the platform basically powers my entire career.
Everything I do for a living and all of the money that pays my rent, food and the clothes on my back comes from WordPress-related activities. Not bad for a free piece of software, right?
What’s even better: I absolutely love my job. In fact, I often find myself thinking “I’m so lucky I get to do this.” Building websites, doing online marketing, and blogging aren’t things I am merely interested in but something I am truly passionate about.
As a consequence, I find myself in the enviable situation that people pay me money for something that I would gladly do for free.
I continue to feel completely amazed at and deeply grateful for this fact.
However, I’m far from the only one.
Thousands of entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, businesses, bloggers, and other people out there can make a living, follow their passions and feed their families through WordPress.
You cannot put a price on that.
Because It Gives People A Voice
Thanks to WordPress, today anyone can start their own website and start sharing what they are passionate about in a matter of minutes.
While enabling everyone to constantly share their thoughts publicly doesn’t always work out in humanity’s favor (I’m looking at you Facebook), some people use that power to make a difference in the world and change it for the better.
People like Leo Babauta of zenhabits, who helps thousands of people lead better lives, find more fulfillment, take control of their health and more.
Or Marie Forleo, who has built a thriving business by helping other women succeed in business and life. Or how about Lori Deschene, who has built a community of like-minded people striving to find more peace and happiness in today’s hectic world? All of them started out from a simple WordPress blog.
Not to mention the many people who use WordPress-powered websites to bring about political change, fight injustices, and improve life in their own communities.
Being able to share you what you have to say, to be heard, to connect with others and learn from them is a gift that should not be underestimated or taken for granted.
The WordPress platform has had a large part to play in this development.
Because WordPress Offers Us Freedom
— Timothy Bowers (@TimothyKBowers) January 23, 2016
I think this tweet says it all. For many of us, WordPress has become a tool that helps us live and work on our own terms and create our own path in life.
And that’s what we’re all looking for, isn’t it? To be able to be ourselves and live life the way we want to.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the fact that I can take my office anywhere I go. To be able to work from the road, a cafe, my home, or wherever I choose to be at the moment (even an office).
Come to think of it, it’s quite possible that without WordPress I might not even be married to my wife. Since we lived in two different countries when we met, it was only because I work the way I do that I was able to move abroad and be with her.
And that’s just one of the many ways WordPress has helped shape my life.
What About You?
WordPress has transformed the world of web publishing by allowing millions of people to start and run their own websites. While we often cite features and technical reasons as the thing that we like about the platform — for many of us the impact is much more profound.
WordPress has generated the opportunity for millions of people to transform their work and personal lives, and, in turn, create a vibrant and passionate community.
It allows us to not only build websites but champion causes, start businesses and blogs, serve clients, and so much more. All of that with a brilliant, well-maintained piece of software that costs absolutely nothing to use.
While we are not always conscious of this fact, it is worth thinking about every now and then. I can honestly say that without WordPress, my life would be completely different right now.
I don’t know what I would be doing, but I wouldn’t be sitting at a computer typing these words, feeling grateful for the many opportunities the platform has created for me. And that’s the reason why #IloveWP. How about you?
Why do you love WordPress? How has the platform had a big influence on your life? Let us know in the comment section!