Before you launch a blog or real estate website, it’s important to figure out how you’re going to manage everything once it’s built. In web development speak, you’ll need a CMS (Content Management System) to give your site structure. A good CMS will help you simplify all the activities associated with your site: publishing, search, editing, plugins, layout and structure, SEO, etc.
Of the free CMS systems used for business websites, there are three main contenders: WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Of these, WordPress is the clear leader. Currently the most popular CMS in use on the Internet, WordPress is used by over 14.7 percent of Alexa Internet‘s top 1 million websites, and as of August 2011, manages 22 percent of all new websites.
As of December 2011, version 3.0 had been downloaded over 65 million times, while version 3.3 has already been downloaded over 9 million times. All in all, almost 15 percent of all websites are on the Internet are powered by WordPress.
So what, you might ask? Why does WordPress’s popularity make it the best CMS for me to use to create my real estate website? Here are a few reasons.
- More developers means more updates. WordPress is open source, which means that hundreds of thousands of developers can contribute to improving its quality. This is one of the reasons WordPress became so popular in the first place. It’s also the reason WordPress releases updates to its software far more often than most technology companies, helping to keep your site secure.
- More site owners means—you guessed it—more updates. Developers aren’t the only ones who contribute to the quality of a software application. By using WordPress from the front end, site owners can help developers spot problems and inefficiencies that they’ve overlooked. The more site owners there are using it, the more feedback the software receives, and the quicker bugs are fixed. It’s the “squeaky wheel” effect, on a very large scale.
- More developers and site owners means more competition. The market for plugin developers and theme designers is robust and profitable. This compels developers to create great high-quality themes and plugins. As of August 2011, WordPress has over 17,000 plugins and 1,500 free themes, created by several thousand developers. This creates competition among developers, which, in turn, helps create excellence in the finished products.
So go ahead—join the popular crowd. You’ll be glad you did.