WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the Internet, now powering over 30% of all websites globally and nearly 60% of all CMS driven websites that are trackable according to W3Tech. Whilst its popularity with SME’s is ever constant, in recent years WordPress has seen an upward shift within the enterprise sector and is now favoured by some of the world’s most reputable brands & organisations including Facebook, CNN, Sony and Microsoft.
First, let us define what we mean by enterprise.
There isn’t really a concrete definition of what it means to be ‘enterprise level’, but in business terms it means a large organisation that operates across multiple geographic locations, often with many different departments or divisions.
When we consider the websites of enterprise level organisations, they usually reflect a degree of complexity, often very large sites that cater for large of amounts of visitors and that can also accommodate smaller sub-sites. These types of sites are often built in multiple languages for a varied target audience and due to the size of the business, teams or several members of staff manage the site (as opposed to one single website owner), so their websites need to accommodate different groups of users with scalable permission levels.
So, now we have defined an enterprise level business and the scale of website that defines them, let’s take a deeper look at the features and capabilities of WordPress that make it an excellent choice for organisations of any size:
The core functionality of WordPress can be easily developed with the use of custom themes and plugins, this makes it a far more flexible option compared to other platforms that require building everything from scratch. Dedicated plugins for specific industry related technology has paved the way in satisfying customer demand while still allowing to keep the core of the platform streamlined. This helps enterprise level administrators have complete control, they can create custom code if necessary.
Here at Wider we often develop our own bespoke plugins for our projects and rarely rely on third-party plugins to achieve what our clients need. With our in-house knowledge of WordPress and expertise in coding it allows our projects to work in the most efficient way possible, along with giving us long-term benefits of easier management and maintenance.
This means that anyone can modify and enhance the core code of WordPress, which is something the Wider development team are highly involved in. Whilst many businesses view using WordPress as a free licensed software an attractive option, it can raise concerns by some procurement departments around the lack of accountability and the ability to deliver results.
That’s not to say that being locking into a proprietary, licensed software platform is a guarantee to achieve the result a business is looking for, often these types of software can be more difficult to move away from especially if a large investment has been made. However, for businesses that don’t want to be bolted into a platform with little or no flexibility and are happy to adopt the culture, transparency and flexible working practices of the WordPress community, this platform is an attractive, long-term solution.
There is no doubt that security within the WordPress ecosystem is taken very seriously, but in today’s challenging times, no software is 100% risk free. The most important things to consider here are open disclosure – to this end the WordPress foundation actively encourage and reward security experts to find flaws in the platform through the Hacker One platform.
It’s easy to find a lot of information about security issues with WordPress – but the fact is that the codebase of WordPress is reviewed on a daily basis by thousands of developers around the world every day – which can’t be said for more proprietary, bespoke CMS systems. Often what people claim are security flaws are caused by either poor passwords, security vulnerabilities at web server level or inadequate internal IT/systems security policies and actually, WordPress is not at fault – it is clearly a well developed and secure CMS.
Here at Wider, we ensure the highest level of security precautions are taken with every website that we build. With new releases of WordPress coming out anywhere between 10-15 times a year which include vital security updates, introduction of new features and improvements to overall performance, website maintenance is vital to ensure risk is kept to a minimum. We also host all of our websites on high quality web hosting service providers with regular backups and stringent internal security policies.
WordPress is available on an international scale; this multilingual platform is available in more than 100 languages making this a very attractive option for multi-national organisations. The best part is that WordPress can be customised to fit the individual language requirements of both the administrators and visitors of the site.
Although the admin area of WordPress is available in various languages, the public ‘front-end’ of a website is the developers responsibility. Our team at Wider has extensive experience of delivering powerful, bespoke multi-lingual WordPress websites that allow not just text content to be localised, but entire site structures and even down to content images that appeal to different market segments.
Although over recent years WordPress has distanced itself from being perceived as a blogging platform, there is no escape from the fact that it remains a highly powerful publishing tool. WordPress allows non-technical staff to create and publish content easily, without knowing even one line of code, through an easy to understand admin area. This makes it an attractive option for organisations that want to produce content more efficiently and scale up quickly. The in-built media library in WordPress makes content creation even easier for writers and editors to manage images, audio and video all in one place.
WordPress offers lots of features to accommodate the larger organisation requiring teams of people to manage their website. The core user management system in WordPress is built to be extended by developers such as Wider to provide very fine granular editing control of content, which means that different departments can have access to very specific content, or we can even control the ability of what an individual can or can’t publish to the live website.
Another powerful feature available in WordPress is Multisite. This basically allows multiple websites to be built under one installation of WordPress, with content relationships and even shared content or features that have their own individual admin areas and even different appearances. It’s a very attractive option for large scale organisations with numerous divisions that require a single, centralised management function.
Working with the right team to build your large-scale WordPress website is vital to ensure your site can scale-up to the size you require and support large amounts of traffic. It’s popularity means that almost every web development agency will claim to be experts – where as the reality is that often they are somewhat lacking in actual expertise.
Our team at Wider can truly claim to be WordPress experts – we develop our own unique high-performance code to extend WordPress and Jonny, our Digital Director has been working with WordPress since 2005. If you are considering WordPress for your next website, we’d love to talk over why it’s an ideal solution for your organisation, regardless of size.