Before the first inaugural WPCampus took place last weekend, the organizing team conducted a survey to learn how WordPress is used in higher education. A total of 486 people responded to the survey. Modern Tribe has not only made the survey results available to the public, they have also published an in-depth review of the data.
There are a couple of items that stand out to me. Misconceptions that have plagued WordPress for years are affecting people’s decision to use it.
For instance, 18% of respondents said scalability is a barrier to being accepted at their school. Meanwhile, 37% of respondents said that WordPress’ reputation of being just a blogging platform hindered its ability to be the platform of choice.
The WordPress showcase is filled with sites both large and small that prove WordPress’ scalability. It’s also filled with sites that show WordPress is used for far more than blogging.
As WordPress continues to evolve from being a blogging platform to something capable of doing much more, it’s disappointing that this misconception still exists. Is there any hope that people can discover and realize that blogging is something WordPress is great at, but at its core, provides people the ability to go above and beyond?
Another fascinating part of the survey is the security aspect where 42% of respondents reported that they do not have a list of vetted plugins for their network. In addition, 13% of respondents said their networks are not running the latest version of WordPress.
How survey questions are asked can be the difference between receiving actionable or unusable data. ModernTribe acknowledges that the questions in future versions of the survey can be worded better to increase the accuracy of data.
If you take a look at the multi-part question we used to help qualify the institutions represented in the survey, you’ll that it could have been written much better. Since the main part of the question was mandatory, the survey also made the subsection where you could input your URL mandatory as well.
Other areas we can improve include better categorization for multiple-choice questions, including an option for ‘n/a’ or ‘I don’t know’ in more questions, and fewer write-in responses.
If you’re interested in reviewing the survey results, you can access them via this spreadsheet on Google Docs.
For those that didn’t get a chance to attend WPCampus in person or watch it live, I highly encourage you to read this review from David Bisset, who has organized a number of large WordPress conferences. There’s also this review by Josh Pollock of CalderaWP. Last but not least, Adam Warner shares his experience on the SiteLock blog.
What do you think of the WPCampus survey results? Is there any data that surprises you? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for the great follow up, Jeff. Anyone in higher ed doesn’t need a survey to tell you that the 2 biggest hindrances for WordPress in higher ed are security and scalability. I’m going to talk to the WPCampus community about brainstorming a few ways to help ease institutions away from these common misconceptions.