WordPress as an Enterprise CMS: That’s why the open source solution is also suitable for bigger companies
The importance of WordPress as a content management system has increased significantly in the last decade. Web pages based on WordPress now account for almost 28 percent of the entire Internet. Although WordPress is currently (still) increasingly being used by smaller companies, especially start-ups, the open source solution is now being used more and more in larger companies or even corporations. There are many reasons for this.
WordPress currently shows that it is also dedicated for “Bigger Things “: Here are a few examples: The Smashing Magazine with its up to 5.5 million unique visitors per month shows that WordPress can also handle large numbers of visitors and does not have to hide from licensed CMS systems.
The well-known IT platform TechCrunch, which attracts around 15 million visitors per month, also demonstrates the runnability of complex WordPress-based pages every day in the IT sector. In addition, the information portals from SAP and the blog from Mozilla are WordPress-based and run reliably.
Even governments have opted for the open source solution in isolated cases. The official website of Sweden runs with WordPress, as do the websites of celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone, William Shatner, Justin Bieber, Tom Jones and the Rolling Stones. All these examples support the thesis: size is no longer a problem, WordPress installations can be scaled at will today. In addition, there are a number of other reasons for WordPress in the corporate context.
We have collected the most important ones here.
Argument 1: Flexibility through Open Source
Open source projects are seen by the public as the “good guys” of the Internet: more and more users are moving away from proprietary, closed systems and switching to open source and integrated solutions, driven by the desire for maximum freedom, flexibility and adaptability. While proprietary solutions often make updates and integrations more difficult, open source solutions eliminate the risk of vendor lock-in. This can pay off in the long run, especially if the costs for thousands of employee licenses can be saved.
WordPress also makes it easier for companies to make upgrade and innovation decisions at their own pace. A quick response to market trends and agile problem management are simple: As soon as a company needs to adapt to its web application, it is very likely that there is already a plugin that is almost exactly right for this use case. And if not, WordPress offers a large number of APIs (interfaces) with which the IT department can develop and integrate something for itself for almost every use case. The transparency of the (GPL-licensed) source code is of inestimable value to developers. Open means open.
Argument 2: Community is king
The developer community around WordPress plays a decisive role: it has grown considerably and exceeds the resources that a single software company can usually offer in many cases. If companies rely on WordPress, it is precisely because of former developments of an active community that development times are shortened considerably, as developers can access a broad spectrum of modular building kits, frameworks and plug-ins, which are continuously further developed and supported thanks to a constantly growing community. New plug-ins, frameworks or themes are always subject to mutual control and evaluation, which makes them continuously better.
The calculation is simple: If you can purchase software components within an open source plugin marketplace that are immediately ready for use, but at the same time can be shaped and modified, or you can purchase support for them, you will save a lot of manual development time that you can allocate more effectively elsewhere.
Argument 3: Easy to use for employees
WordPress can display ” static ” wonderfully, but it is especially effective for creating dynamic websites. The special strength is the so-called “WYSIWYG” (abbreviation for “What You See Is What You Get”): Documents, pictures or videos are already visible at the backend in real time on the screen during editing. The relatively simple and seamless user interface for adding and editing content can thus be quickly used by any employee – whether IT expert or not.
Various content layout editors – e.g. Visual Composer or Guttenberg – ensure that employees can work intuitively and creatively: WordPress acts as a kind of “typesetting box system” that also permits extensive copy & paste functions. What the “developer” once “builds” can later be duplicated and edited by the “editor” with just a few clicks. Employees can use WordPress – without programming – to make deep changes to a company’s website with little risk.
Argument 4: Security first
In fact, the WordPress core is very secure, and an updated version has never been the victim of a major cyber attack. However, since the WordPress plugin directory only performs a limited number of checks when new plugins are added there, there are always some plugins in the directory that are not compliant with the usual security rules. WordPress coding standards can detect many of these problems automatically.
Therefore, it remained indispensable for an experienced WordPress developer to audit every plugin to make sure it is safe, also because the above mentioned community control can replace – at least not completely – security expertise. Basically, a careful audit, the use of an experienced professional and automated testing procedures are sufficient to eliminate common vulnerabilities and attack risks.
Argument 5: Integration into existing infrastructures
As an open source project, WordPress offers full freedom to use the software and do whatever you want with it. If companies are considering switching to WordPress, this often happens in connection with the desire not simply to rebuild existing legacy applications, but to think about them consistently – especially with a view to future features and applications.
WordPress does not force anyone to develop something old, quite the opposite: The open source code can be easily integrated into existing employee databases such as SAML or LDAP and used with existing authentication systems such as OAUTH. One thing is for sure: employees of a company can use applications without having to worry about administrative or compliance issues. This saves time and money at the end of the day.
Argument 6: Fully scalable
A scalable infrastructure is all about eliminating variables and unknowns that disrupt smooth operations. If you run large, enterprise-level Web sites, a stable Web page is essential. WordPress offers endless frameworks and plug-ins. Many are well tested and have proven themselves at “baptisms of fire” even under heavy loads. With the right infrastructure, WordPress can handle hundreds of millions of page views per month.
Thanks to existing integrations in the latest server & database technologies (e.g. Docker & MariaDB), the move between small and large infrastructures runs smoothly. Even on a Black Friday, when not only the shopping miles but also the servers of customers are literally overrun, WordPress-based systems can withstand the “rush” by quickly scaling to new infrastructure. And especially when it comes to global markets: there, several servers constantly communicate across tens of databases and replicate the information to be processed. WordPress-based systems also provide suitable interfaces for this.
Argument 7: Last but not least: Sustainability
WordPress is also an ideal choice for companies because they can be confident that WordPress will remain a viable and modern framework for years to come. The figures for the last 15 years alone speak for themselves: ignored at first, smiled at for years and now? Yes, now the open source project WordPress dominates – depending on the study – between 60-70% of the worldwide CMS market.
The large and growing community of WordPress professionals is another sign that WordPress will continue to exist for a long time to come.
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