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  1. #1
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    Question [Study] Do people choose WordPress because of the big variety of themes?

    Hello,

    the name of this forum is 'CMS & WordPress', not just 'CMS'!
    This alone shows how popular WordPress has become, and how far other systems are behind in terms of user numbers.

    I'm currently working on my master thesis, and I need your insight and opinion.
    The objective of my study is to determine why people choose WordPress over other systems.
    The main hypothesis is that they are partly influenced by the sheer plethora of themes and plug-ins (free and premium).

    What do you think? How important are ready-made themes for you, do you even use them?

    I would really appreciate if you could spare 3 minutes of your time and fill out my questionnaire:
    bloooming.polldaddy.com/s/mt

    The results will be published as a info-graphic, and sent to those who provide an e-mail at the end of the questionnaire.

    Thanks for your help
    Last edited by Mittineague; Jun 19, 2013 at 10:03. Reason: fixing link

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    Quote Originally Posted by bloooming
    This alone shows how popular WordPress has become, and how far other systems are behind in terms of user numbers.
    I wouldn't say that other systems are behind Wordpress because every system out there caters to different markets. Wordpress is popular simply because it was one of the first of the kind to offer blogging for average users. In a way where it takes very little to no technical skills to set-up a blog. Especially when one uses the hosted Wordpress service. There is little to no technical investment when setting up a blog in that way. Everyone and their brother wants to heard via a blog. Hence, why Wordpress became so popular.

    Than somewhere down the line people became so reliant on Wordpress that they began to turn it into things it wasn't really meant for like stores, business directories, etc. I really think that just comes down to ignorance and an unwillingness, incapability to use other software.

    it is important to point out that Wordpress from a technical standaoint is built like this building in Bangladesh. The reason why it is so popular is timing, marketing and ease of use for none-technical users.

    If anything is behind the times it is Wordpress. The architecture of Wordpress hasn't changed very much since it was first conceived. Still there isn't debating it is a popular platform. From a none-technical stand-point I undertand why it is but from a technical one, coming from someone who appreciates innovative, modern software solutions it is not.

    I myself find it hard to take anyone seriously in the technical realm who bows down to Wordpress for any and all projects. People like that in my opinion don't care one bit about matching up proper software solutions to real world business problems. Those people are just simply hooked on Wordpress like cocaine or any other drug. I see it all around, especially in this very forum and it makes me sick. People selling Wordpress as the optimal eCommerce package out there… give me a break. Try placing millions of products in that serialized database and see how great you're system is than.
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    Thanks for your response, you have some interesting points.

    I'm mainly focused on the question why people prefer to use WordPress as a CMS, and ignore other systems, which would would be more appropriate for their project.

    My theory is that they aren't even looking at other systems,but are partially blinded by the variety of themes they find,
    because in their eyes, finding a theme is taking away 80% of their work.

    Parts of my survey are focused on the question, whether or not they would use other systems, if there were more themes available for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bloooming View Post
    My theory is that they aren't even looking at other systems,but are partially blinded by the variety of themes they find,
    because in their eyes, finding a theme is taking away 80% of their work.

    Parts of my survey are focused on the question, whether or not they would use other systems, if there were more themes available for them.
    I think you make a good point. However, more impact comes from the amount of 'inertia' certain products accumulate.
    For example, there are numerous choices in Search Engines (and Driving Directions). But, through marketing - both deliberate and social - most people instinctively turn to Google for these services.
    They are not the only. I could easily argue they are not the best. But Google has gained that "household word" status.

    Many people associate Wordpress with CMS (especially those who do not have any concept of what a CMS is). This is a result of a cultural recognition that has developed over time.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkinT View Post
    I think you make a good point. However, more impact comes from the amount of 'inertia' certain products accumulate.
    For example, there are numerous choices in Search Engines (and Driving Directions). But, through marketing - both deliberate and social - most people instinctively turn to Google for these services.
    They are not the only. I could easily argue they are not the best. But Google has gained that "household word" status.

    Many people associate Wordpress with CMS (especially those who do not have any concept of what a CMS is). This is a result of a cultural recognition that has developed over time.
    This may be right from the perspective of non-professional users, because they might not have the right skill set to evaluate and compare content management systems.
    But what about the professionals? They are very well capable of doing an analytical decision making.
    So, why aren't they doing it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bloooming View Post
    So, why aren't they doing it?
    Because, as you stated, they are people. They are victims of the same opinions, ideas and prejudice that afflicts all humanity.
    In other words, you are being a bit 'generous' in your assumption that people focused on business apply more logic and diligence to their choices than anyone else. That may be a mark of the truly successful business people.
    Think about the influence(s) you get from advertising. When making a decision to purchase a brand of cereal for an automobile. Your ideas, opinions, instincts are really colored by numerous 'messages' you have received about the choice of products. This is the same effect that causes US voters to choose a candidate based solely on "their party".

    Secondly, to all but those of us who design/develop/maintain software systems the choice of CMS does not carry much significance; does not warrant a large investment in study and investigation. It is just another tool (or burden, depending upon the level of computer expertise) that must be located and mastered. The word FREE is usually the very first thing that attracts attention - particularly for a [small] business owner.

    Lastly, think about the value we all place on any product or idea that has been widely accepted. "If so many people find it useful/fun/interesting/valuable it MUST be the right choice!"
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    That's an interesting angle to look at it.

    I wasn't referring to 'business professionals', but rather to professional web-designers and developers,
    who understand every aspect of a content management system, and are therefore able to chose the right one for their respective projects.

    Instead, they 'squeeze' everything into WordPress. They (consciously?) disregard the fact that this means doing a lot more work, than choosing a different system, that offers the required functionality 'out of the box'.

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    I wasn't referring to 'business professionals', but rather to professional web-designers and developers,
    who understand every aspect of a content management system, and are therefore able to chose the right one for their respective projects.
    Most people who use WordPress are script kiddies not software engineers. They are just interested in getting things done in any sloppy quick fashion without regard to scale, efficiency or quality. Though Wordpress has always been marketed mainly to bloggers and designers. Notice all the questions in this very forum that come up in this various forum due to lack of programming knowledge with Wordpress. Well that is because the audience the software appeals to most are not engineers they are bloggers and designers. Most people who use Wordpress enough sooner or later get over their head thinking something can perhaps easily be done but they come to find out that this isn't perhaps the case. That is why there are so many questions about Wordpress in this various forum because *most the people who swear by it are not enginers capable of solving or even judging proper programming principles let alone crawling through core or various plugins to resolve their own problems. Where as this is not so much a problem with other systems such as; Drupal or Joomla that are marketed more toward the development/engineering crowd.
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    I would venture that most people use WordPress for the same reasons that people choose Apple over other, more appropriate solutions.


    1. It's more user friendly. I admittedly only have experience with Drupal and Wordpress (with the PHP-centric CMSes), and I found Wordpress to be much easier to use for 90% of what I needed. Drupal was hands down more flexible and powerful, but it was far more difficult to configure and work with it.
    2. They got early adopters to tout it's horns. And with that early adoption, it became the default "standard" - not to go back to my original point, like the iPhone. They weren't the first to put a smartphone, but they were the first to truly make it easy for developers and users alike to get apps up and running on the devices.
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    It looks like most of the bases have been covered:

    Ease of use, community support, good documentation, flexibility for developing plugins/themes, availability of themes/plugins, update frequency, market timing, word-of-mouth advertising, ignorance of other platforms or unwillingness to explore other platforms (because of all the previous reasons and because of the comfort of familiarity).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Force Flow View Post
    It looks like most of the bases have been covered:

    Ease of use, community support, good documentation, flexibility for developing plugins/themes, availability of themes/plugins, update frequency, market timing, ignorance of other platforms.
    Let's not forget that WORDPRESS is a whole lot easier to pronounce than JOOMLA. <g>
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    Barefoot on the Moon! silver trophy Force Flow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkinT View Post
    Let's not forget that WORDPRESS is a whole lot easier to pronounce than JOOMLA. <g>
    Drupal isn't much easier either
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddz View Post
    It is important to point out that Wordpress from a technical standaoint is built like this building in Bangladesh. The reason why it is so popular is timing, marketing and ease of use for none-technical users.
    Wordpress has been using "code is poetry" as their tagline for years, much to the amusement of experienced developers everywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by oddz View Post
    If anything is behind the times it is Wordpress. The architecture of Wordpress hasn't changed very much since it was first conceived. Still there isn't debating it is a popular platform. From a none-technical stand-point I undertand why it is but from a technical one, coming from someone who appreciates innovative, modern software solutions it is not.
    I've worked with Wordpress ever since it was just a blogging platform for pimply faced geeks, so I'm confident I know what I'm talking about. There are more than 20,000 plugins available for free on the official Wordpress website and most of those were written by folks who shouldn't be writing web software. It's a shame the Wordpress community still hasn't managed to come up with a useful way of certifying plugins, or at least coming up with an effective way to weed out the crap.

    Quote Originally Posted by oddz View Post
    I myself find it hard to take anyone seriously in the technical realm who bows down to Wordpress for any and all projects.
    I think most of these people who "bow down" to Wordpress come from a design background, so they have absolutely no idea about the the technical stuff. In fact, I'll go as far as to suggest most of those are somewhat intimidated by code. I've spoken to dozens of "designers" who don't even update their clients sites out of fear stuff will break when they do. Of course, this causes huge security problems for their clients but they're content with sweeping this under the carpet, so to speak. Which is a real shame because it makes the web design/development industry look bad.

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    I either build from scratch, customise a barebones theme or use a framework. There have been times when budget or time constraints have made ready-made seem attractive, but finding a good fit - visually, functionally and technically - has been time-consuming and unrewarding.

    That said, looking at the web suggests many clients are happy for their site to look like everyone else's. I suspect that the seductions of low budget and conformity win out. They are happy to squeeze into the off-the-peg suit, rather than visit the tailor, and when the seams come undone and the zip sticks, they start all over again.

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    I'd say that's one of the big reasons, yeah. Not only is Wordpress easy to use, but it's hugely customizable, both in terms of themes and plugins. Those are huge pluses for someone who wants to build his/her own website, but has limited experience.

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    I'd say yes, yes, the plethora of choices people have when it comes to themes, frameworks, and plugins are one of the most compelling arguments for quite a few people to use WordPress over some of the other platforms available. The popularity has given WordPress a huge advantage because the community, the people who write about it, the development speed and the developers' willingness to listen to people's needs continue to make WordPress a solid choice. At the same time, it is its popularity that is also its Achilles' Heel. Hackers do seem infatuated with WordPress, not unlike Windows, because they know that the damage they do really pays off on a large scale...

    In terms of code quality, I'd still say there are other, better CMSes out there, but WordPress has come a long way, particularly since version 3 and up, and has narrowed the gap considerably to other CMSes such as ExpressionEngine, MODx, and the like.
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    I would say that Wordpress is user friendly and very customizable. One good thing with it is that, it's very manageable and there are lots of plug-ins that you can use.

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    Since I am Using WordPress For Past 2 years,it is the easiest and most commonly used framework for developing dynamic websites, built on Php and MySql. Since lots of themes and free plug-in are available for integration. It is user friendly. Word Press themes plays very important role in changing the looks and functionality of a word press website.

    Some people choose WordPress because of the big variety of themes and plugins.

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    2 Main points why wordpress is used mostly;

    1. Easy to use, has many free and premium plugins, tempates
    2. From search engines point of view, Wordpress is the most clean coded and structured which offers very easy way for crawlers to crawl.

    Google also like Wordpress because it makes their job easier as well and the reason is the clean code and structure.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by royrobin
    2. From search engines point of view, Wordpress is the most clean coded and structured which offers very easy way for crawlers to crawl.

    Google also like Wordpress because it makes their job easier as well and the reason is the clean code and structure.
    Those are loaded statements from someone who is evidently married to WordPress. I would go as far to say WordPress itself is not search engine friendly without additional plugins. I mean the base system doesn't even provide a means of aggregating asset files to reduce the the client-side load foot print. It is just like the WordPress crowd to regurgitate marketing bs. I would really expect nothing else given the audience.
    The only code I hate more than my own is everyone else's.

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    word press is widely used just because it is easy to use .One can easily do blogging,development through this platform.It is extremely awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oddz View Post
    Those are loaded statements from someone who is evidently married to WordPress. I would go as far to say WordPress itself is not search engine friendly without additional plugins. I mean the base system doesn't even provide a means of aggregating asset files to reduce the the client-side load foot print. It is just like the WordPress crowd to regurgitate marketing bs. I would really expect nothing else given the audience.
    In my survey, there is this question:
    "What was the most important criteria that led to the decision for WordPress?"

    While 'SEO' is not an available answer option, some participants state that the main reason they chose WordPress is because of it's SEO capabilities,
    and because Google would 'index WordPress faster'.

    Google may treat dynamic and static websites differently, but it doesn't 'prefer' WordPress. I wonder where people get this idea...?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddz View Post
    I myself find it hard to take anyone seriously in the technical realm who bows down to Wordpress for any and all projects. People like that in my opinion don't care one bit about matching up proper software solutions to real world business problems. Those people are just simply hooked on Wordpress like cocaine or any other drug. I see it all around, especially in this very forum and it makes me sick. People selling Wordpress as the optimal eCommerce package out there… give me a break. Try placing millions of products in that serialized database and see how great you're system is than.
    Thank you! I'm in the middle of writing a blog post “Why I probably won't use WordPress for your website” as I'm sick to death of people having the reaction “Oh, you don't use WordPress?” The most frustrating thing is I have been using PHP/MySQL for 12 years and they talk down to me like I don't use it because I don't understand it. I like open source projects and don't do everything bespoke but to me, WordPress should never be used outside of simple publishing.

    It makes me cringe when people refer to WordPress as a full-fledged CMS and make it do things like eCommerce. I have also found those that are the most enthusiastic about promoting it are the ones that are least qualified to comment (designers, SEOs, et al) as they can't program and have never used anything else. If you're recommending WordPress—or any system—before listening to clients' requirements first, your business model has major flaws.

    The reason my new blog post is “Why I probably won't use WordPress for your website” is because for simple blogs, it's okay. For anything else, there's almost certainly something better out there but for now, here are some good reasons to leave it well alone:

    1. It has created a community of non-programmers attempting to program
    2. You need a plugin for just about everything, and I mean everything whereas “proper” CMSs do most of it out of the box
    3. It's slow
    4. The code base needs rewriting to use objects and a proper design pattern
    5. It insists on hard coding absolute URIs making it difficult to move from dev to live
    6. It serialises too much data
    7. It has no in-built spam prevention or brute force attack prevention
    8. It's not particularly great for SEO (see below)
    9. It clutters the database with draft posts

    And don't get me started on it being “good for SEO”. What does that mean exactly? I thought SEO was mostly about content and links. True, WordPress allows you to have rewritten URLs but so what? In this day-and-age I'd be more surprised if it didn't do that. If fact, I've used a few systems like Concrete5 and CMSMS and I'd say WordPress is the worst for SEO.

    These are just a few off the top of my head. A full critique of WordPress is coming soon.

    The next time a WordPress shill extols its so-called greatness, ask them what their yardstick of comparison is. Nine times out of ten, they won't have one. I have nothing against it per se so long as it's a) used by people who know what they're doing and b) if used as it's good for a site's requirements.
    Last edited by DrQuincy; Jul 19, 2013 at 05:19. Reason: Typos

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    Hey DrQuincy,

    I'd really like to read your blog post.
    Since it fits the context, maybe you could post a link here when its's online?

    Cheers

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    Will do, and great question, by the way.


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