A modern marketing website needs to tick a lot of boxes: flexible, easy to update, stable, and secure. It can be a little overwhelming, especially if you don't have experience with content management systems or choosing web platforms.
Edge trusts WordPress to power the sites we build. There are many reasons why, but here are some of the ones we cite most.
Mature, open source codebase
From its beginning 20 years ago, the software powering WordPress was available for anyone to view. It is also open to anyone with the right skills to make contributions or suggest better methods. This is known as "open source" software. It's why the Edge team has decades of combined experience working with and developing WordPress.
Proprietary software is often compiled in a way that hides the underlying code. It protects intellectual property, but makes it difficult to understand how the software works. Also, a limited number of developers have access to the source files. That means changes or improvements can be time consuming and expensive to perform.
WordPress is also distributed for free, which is often - but not always - the case with open source software. Free distribution has contributed to WordPress now powering more than 60 percent of websites in use today. Many of those are small, often personal sites, but WordPress also powers nearly 30 percent of the top 10,000 most visited sites in the world. Even the White House website runs on WordPress.
Robust security infrastructure
With a mature community of developers, the WordPress core team maintains a regular release cycle for software updates. This includes public planning and beta test versions to ensure new features behave as expected.
WordPress also publishes security updates when necessary. WordPress partners with HackerOne to uncover vulnerabilities in both current and beta releases. HackerOne pays developers a "bounty" for finding potential issues. The WordPress core team then reviews the issue, verifies it, and releases a software patch to the WordPress Community.
It's also important to choose a website host that understands the software. At Edge, we partner with WP Engine, a hosting company dedicated to supporting WordPress sites. They optimize their servers to run fast and secure WordPress sites. They provide threat detection and blocking, daily backups, regular WordPress updates, caching to boost page speeds, and more.
Flexible and built for SEO
Site structure and content determine how a marketing website is optimized for search engines. Luckily, WordPress prioritizes both.
WordPress offers some key items that contribute to SEO right out of the box. Marketing teams can easily apply the correct structure to information and optimize images. And, the advantage of the platform is that there’s nothing you can’t do to optimize a WordPress site.
WordPress uses "plugins" to add functionality to its core software. There are more than 59,000 plugins available to choose from. Obviously, there's a functional limit to how many to install on a site, but we have a few go-to plugins that we use all the time.
Embracing design and content
The newest development in WordPress is the new block editor, known as "Gutenberg." (Get it? Movable type...) Until now, WordPress used a word-processing style interface to add content and a set of templates to display it on pages.
Gutenberg completely changes page creation by moving to a block-based approach. Reusable and configurable blocks offer more options for customizing content. It also eliminates the need for shortcodes to add forms and other elements to the page.
This allows anyone in a marketing department to create, design, and update pages.
It also changes the way we design and build sites today. In most ways, it’s great, as it truly allows the content to dictate how to organize and build a page. In a site redesign project, it requires more collaboration between teams to develop the block elements as they’re needed.
Gutenberg’s powerful content and design tools, both in the original site design process and for continued content creation, are worth the learning curve and changes to established site design processes.
Go with WordPress for your next marketing website
WordPress has a low learning curve, endless customization, and minimal costs. There's no need to learn any code to use it, it can help improve visibility in search engines, and is a secure option. It should be at the top of your list as a content management system for your next website.