After using WordPress for seven years in a row, it’s hard to consider switching to another publishing platform. I have my gripes about WordPress and there are plenty of things that can improve the publishing process. However, after testing a few other open source alternatives, I was reminded of how many things I take for granted in WordPress. Here are seven WordPress things I take for granted.
The Visual Editor
For the longest time, the visual editor in WordPress has been the bane of existence for so many users. It has a reputation for screwing up code snippets and ruining the formatting of text. In the past two years, there have been several improvements to the editor that make it my favorite way to write a post. These are just a few of my favorites, some of which are slated for WordPress 4.0. oEmbed support, oEmbed previews, sticky toolbar, automatic resizing based on the amount and type of content, and the ability to easily edit inserted media.
After using a few different themes, I’ve determined support for visual editor styles to be a killer feature. If executed properly, content within the visual editor looks the same as it does on the frontend of the site. After using a theme that executes this feature properly, it’s hard to use a theme that doesn’t support it.
One Click and Automatic Updates
As far as I’m concerned, any content management system that doesn’t have an easy way to upgrade within the software is stuck in the past. WordPress 2.7 “Coltrane” introduced the ability to upgrade WordPress with one click. Gone are the days of manually uploading files via FTP. Being able to upgrade plugins, themes, and WordPress with the click of a button is a huge time saver. If you want to fully automate the process, you can configure WordPress to automatically update core, themes, and plugins.
Vast Amount Of Plugins and Themes To Choose From
Considered a negative by some, I think the large amount of free themes and plugins to choose from is a huge benefit. It gives users across the world a chance to turn WordPress into their WordPress. Because of the wide assortment of themes and plugins available, the chances of two WordPress installations being exactly the same are slim. Sure, there is a lot to choose from, but I’d rather have too much choice than too little.
Despite Akismet not being 100% accurate in determining who spammers are, it’s saved me a lot of time (24 days to be exact) and grief. It’s available for free for non-commercial use and ships with WordPress. There are plenty of alternatives to handle comment spam but I’ve never had a reason to switch. Other content management systems I’ve tested either don’t have an anti spam solution built-in or are tied into the Akismet service. At the time of writing, Akismet has protected the Tavern from 109,288 spam comments with an accuracy rating of 99.19%.
An Abundance Of Resources
Being used on over 22% of the web has its perks. If I don’t know how to do something with or in WordPress, the answer is usually a Google search away. Someone has either written a tutorial or knows about a plugin that has the functionality I’m looking for and a lot of the information is free of charge.
The WordPress Community
The WordPress community is global. People all over the world are helping each other go farther with WordPress. People who don’t know each other are showing up to local area meetups and becoming best friends. I’ve seen first-hand veterans of the community stop what they are doing and provide a helping hand. More often than not, if we see someone struggling with their WordPress website, we do what we can to help them.
The Time So Many People Spend Improving The Project
Notice how I didn’t say improving the software. That’s because WordPress is more than just software, it’s like a big tree with several branches. There are a ton of people all over the world helping to make the project better through individual and team contributions. Most are not paid but simply want to improve their favorite part of the project. This includes documentation, organizing meetups, WordCamp planning, improving the core of WordPress, and other initiatives.
Many of the contributions go unnoticed and contributing to WordPress can be a thankless job sometimes. Not every contribution is world-changing; some are more important than others. The bottom line is, every contribution no matter how small, makes a difference.
What Do You Take For Granted?
@wptavern not code related, but the thousands of volunteer hours and personal sacrifices that go into making it great.
— Ryan D. Sullivan (@ryandonsullivan) July 30, 2014
@wptavern The installation and upgrade process. Other pieces of software are an absolute nightmare compared to WordPress.
— Philip Arthur Moore (@philip_arthur) July 30, 2014
@wptavern beautiful hook system, plugin api, theme system, and install system for core, themes and plugins. Next inline would be admin UI
— Jeff Behnke (@validwebs) July 30, 2014
@wptavern Still have to go with CPT's and the ease of creating them.. It really I think what drove WP from "blog" to "CMS"
— RoyBoy789 (@royboy789) July 30, 2014
@wptavern You can type anything into google followed by "WordPress" and someone has already asked (and answered) it
— Jared Novack (@jaredNova) July 30, 2014
@wptavern : Licensing GPLv2+
— VibeThemes (@VibeThemes) July 30, 2014
@wptavern If you can dream it you can do it in WordPress.
— Teri Williams (@teri_williams) July 30, 2014
What aspects of WordPress do you take for granted?