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Features Give WordPress the Edge Over the Rest

WordPress is the most popular blog creation software in use today with over 73 million websites built using the script1. That is over twice the estimated use of its nearest rival Content Management System (CMS), Joomla, which estimates put at somewhere between 10 and 30 million sites. There are a number of reasons why so many people use WordPress to build their websites but the main difference between WordPress and the rest is the user friendly features that it employs to make WordPress the most flexible web design tool available.

In technical terms WordPress is a free, open source dynamic CMS that uses PHP and MySQL to create an almost endless variety of web pages. It is based on an intuitive interface that is very similar to many word processing applications and works exactly the same way. This makes WordPress the easiest of the major blogging tools; it also has several other advantages that make it the premium choice.

WordPress pages are based on transferrable themes that handle the look and functionality of the website across all of its pages. The advantage that comes with using WordPress themes is that changes to the theme being used for a website are made across the board automatically, allowing users to easily switch between themes as they optimize the design of their site without having to deal with individual pages. There are hundreds of free themes available from WordPress for free and hundreds more that are available for a nominal fee. As open source software these themes are also able to be modified by users that have the ability to do so, and therefore, they can be further adapted to meet users’ exact needs.

The most useful feature of WordPress is the ability to use plug-ins to modify the site to suit your purposes. There are over 18,000 plug-ins available2, usually for free, that can modify the base WordPress installation to create any sort of website that can be imagined. The plug-ins add a wide range of functionality to WordPress themes, from monitoring SEO, to creating pages for forums, or adding extra widgets to the page. The combination of the variety of themes and the huge number of plug-ins makes it possible to create an almost endless number of unique and practical web pages using the WordPress script.

Almost all blog design scripts use some types of widgets to add extra features to the side bar of web pages. With the huge number of widgets available online, many of them through WordPress.com, it is possible to find a widget to add almost any sort of content that you would like to the side bars of your website. From simple text, to images, visitor counters, like buttons, blogrolls and every other kind of feature that can be imagined, someone somewhere has created a widget to do it for you.

On top of these features WordPress also makes it very easy to create stand-alone pages, like an ‘About Me’ page or a blogroll. This not only adds depth to the page for the reader, it also creates greater depth for the search engine crawlers. Perhaps the feature that makes WordPress most stand out from the rest is the one that can’t be seen on the dashboard at all – the clean permalink structure that makes WordPress pages highly visible in the search engine results pages. In fact, because WordPress doesn’t use tables to create its pages, the search engine’s spiderbots really like WordPress pages, which have all of their tags and keywords lined up to make it easy for them to be accurately indexed. This alone gives it an advantage in the web design game.

References:
1. http://en.wordpress.com/stats/
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WordPress

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