WordPress originated as software for blogs. The one most prominent quality of blogs (the name originates from web-logs) is that content (like journal entries) is placed on a timeline that starts with the most recent content (displayed first) and ends with the oldest/earliest content (displayed last). WordPress has come a long way from its days as a software for blogging but in my mind it still carries a subtle, often overlooked, quality of continuity. The idea of content-over-time implies that content is a continuous and living entity.
I believe that “business-card websites” that have a few static pages of unoriginal content are at best useless and usually harmful. In the Internet as we know it there is absolutely no reason to expect a few static pages to get any attention. There is reason to expect that quality, honest and original contact will. Using WordPress makes you susceptible to its blogging-karma. If you let it, it will pull you in the direction of a healthy, living and dynamic website.
Free & Open
WordPress is free in the sense that you don’t need to pay for it. WordPress is also free in the sense that you are free to do with it whatever you want, forever and that freedom is legally protected so that no one (including WordPress developers) can ever change that. There is no “business corporate” behind it that can choose to terminate it after you’ve become dependent on it. It is designed to protect your freedom.
WordPress is developed as an open-source project – a community of software developers striving to create constantly improving software. Their work is transparent, driven by a community and ultimately put to the test by many millions of people & organizations (personal blogs, businesses, non-rofits, publications, universities, etc.) who use it every day.
WordPress has a very rich (and growing) feature set built into it. Additional features can be added using plugins – which can be added to the basic installation. There is a repository of 1000′s of plugins that are also free and open-source which can be used to tailor a WordPress installation to specific needs and requirements.
WordPress has online documentation and forums (both maintained by an active community) to which you can look for support. You can also enter in any search engine a question on how to do something in WordPress and you will find lots of tutorials and discussions and creative ideas to help you.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
WordPress comes very much SEO ready out of the box. Essentially this means there’s nothing for you to worry about except for making good content. There are a few plugins which help to make it better. There are also some useful writing tips and habits that you can pick up as you go – you will find they are very much aligned with good writing.
WordPress can publish content in almost any language. In addition the WordPress administration software is available in many languages. WordPress is also built in such a way that makes it relatively easy to translate it to other languages. Plugins are a mixed experiences and you need to check for language compatibilities. Some plugins, like WordPress itself, are built in such a way that they too can be translated.
During the first year or two of using WordPress I spent some time looking at alternative solutions (commercial and open-source). I chose to stay with WordPress and haven’t looked back since. I am confident that the WordPress developer community are continuing to produce the best software they can.