Surprising the Snobs- Big Names that use WordPress
- Owen Radford
- November 18, 2014
WordPress is an incredible platform: versatile, easy to use for all but the newest of site owners & free. This has lead to it being immensely popular and like pretty much everything that’s popular it has its detractors. You may have experienced this, as I have, over the last few years. In this article I’ll take a look at the common arguments against WordPress and show examples of some of the biggest companies in the world that are using WordPress to deliver fantastic user experiences.
It’s too easy…
The fact that it’s easy to use gets turned into an argument that you can’t be a ‘proper’ web designer/developer if you work with WordPress. As if you should have to suffer for your art! Mind you, aren’t these the same people that are into frameworks in a big way?
That WordPress is easy for beginners is a great thing. It can be part of the learning curve for the next generation of web designers/developers. It’s a great system in its own right, but I can’t imagine taking a novice and dropping them straight into something like Drupal!
It’s not secure…
It’s true that there have been issues with WordPress and security. The thing is these days there’s issues with security and pretty much any Internet facing computer system. The fact that it’s so popular does arguably make it into a bigger target, but the flip side of that idea is that ‘security by obscurity’ is largely no security at all. The clever, greedy and determined will find some way to break into a system if they think it will be worth it, regardless of what that system is.
It’s not versatile in the same way that XYZ CMS is…
The fact that there’s thousands upon thousands of (largely abandoned) identikit wordpress.com blogs out there makes detractors think that all you can do is deploy a pre-packaged theme and have a few pages and a blog feature. Not so! In this next section I’ll take a look at some of the great sites out there that go beyond this basic format.
Big names using WordPress include: AMC’s The Walking Dead, Reuters, Washington Post, Walmart, IBM, Wired & many government sites.
Perhaps my favorite example of this is the companion site for AMC’s The Walking Dead. What they could’ve done is a few informational pages and a companion blog for each episode plus any series news. What they actually did was something very different. It’s a media-rich website with full episodes, video extras, online only ‘webisodes’, insider information, games and interactive features. Perhaps the standout feature is the ‘story sync’. This allows you to play along with the episode, sending you relevant trivia, additional content and taking opinion polls on events from the show. This year it’s been given a facelift and can tell you, based on your choices for the characters, if you would’ve survived!
Any big organization will go totally bespoke…
Not necessarily so – amongst the big name companies deploying WordPress are IBM, Walmart and Sony Music. Not bad company to be amongst! There’s also the matter of the work they do for the government, which goes some way to countering the ‘WordPress is insecure’ argument.
Hopefully that’s helped to counter some of the common criticisms of WordPress. Have you encountered WordPress snobbery? Have you been a WordPress snob? Seen any stellar examples of this CMS in use? Let us know in the comments!
Owen works for Elementary Digital, a digital agency in London and Leeds
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