Today, WordPress is the world’s most popular Content Management System, and is used by millions of websites. Supporting the likes of MTV, UPS and Blackberry, WordPress indeed is a global phenomenon, and its popularity on the internet is unparalleled and unmatched.
However, even though today WordPress is the best in its league in terms of popularity, it had humble beginnings and it was once just a modest blogging tool. In fact, the success story of WordPress is like no other.
So, what lessons can one learn from the monumental rise of WordPress in a short span of a little over a decade?
To help you assess the popularity of WordPress, simply check out Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word 2015 address.
WordPress today powers more than half of the CMS market share, and its nearest competitors in the CMS hemisphere are Drupal and Joomla!, with their market share at 13% combined. Quite obviously, WordPress is way ahead of the competition, and this in itself is an impressive feat.
Let’s go back to 2004, when WordPress began as a fork of a simple blogging tool called CafeLog or b2. As such, WordPress was a replacement to an existing service.
Over the course of few years, WordPress grew in popularity, and the rest is history.
Community is Important
WordPress has a very active and dedicated community, and that is a big reason behind the popularity of the CMS.
The success of any software depends on how dedicated the community is, and without that, even the best of software might fall flat. However, this is not just the folks who contribute a patch to the WordPress core. Instead, it includes several other people, thousands around the world.
Take up the case of popular WordPress publications — WP Tavern, WP Lift and of course, Torque Magazine — that play an important role in the development and propagation of WordPress. Similarly, translators, theme makers, plugin developers, and many others — everyone has a role to play behind the success of WordPress.
Your software is only as good as the dedication of the community behind it.
WordPress has risen at a great pace in the past few years, and a good reason behind this is that many sub-economies depend on WordPress.
For example, many firms now have their business models dependent entirely on WordPress. Managed WordPress hosting companies, WordPress development agencies, premium plugin and theme shops, and so on — all of these rely on WordPress, and its popularity
As such, it goes without saying that if your software is capable of sustaining an economic system of its own, it has a better chance of success.
Scalability and Adaptability
Quite possibly the biggest and most important lesson one can learn from the rise of WordPress is that it is scalable, and it adapts well to changes.
WordPress has evolved into a proper Content Management System with REST API on board, and probably is headed towards becoming more of a framework in its own right.
What does this show about WordPress?
- It is scalable. WordPress was something that you could easily use to create your first blog, and WordPress is something enterprises can easily use to power their projects.
- It can adapt to change. Look at the Theme Customizer. When it first arrived, it received a mixed ovation. But over a period of time, with changes and iterations, it has adapted and responded to criticism, and is today a very useful feature within WordPress. In fact, a look at the WP Time Machine will show you how the user interface of WordPress has evolved over the years.
Therefore, for any software, scalability and adaptability is very important. Being able to respond to criticism from the community and act accordingly, and being able to meet the needs of your target audience without breaking anything — this is the biggest lesson that one can learn from the growth model of WordPress.
WordPress does not exist in a vacuum. It rose to popularity because it filled the void of a proper blogging platform, and served the needs of many users. As a result, if a software is indeed useful, and has a loyal community, is willing to adapt and respond to positive feedback, and lastly, is something that can possibly be the cause of a sustainable business model — it has every chance of success.
What do you think of the growth and rise of WordPress? Share your views in the comments below!