WordPress As A Platform: The Three Components That Are Leading This Transformation
Some simple statistics: WordPress currently is behind 50% of the top 100 blogs, as well as 14.7% of the top million blogs worldwide. In the US alone, for every 100 new domains, 22 use WordPress. Although it began as a simple open source project and blogging platform, WordPress has evolved and grown significantly since. With increasingly sophisticated platforms and themes, by 2004 WordPress had become a fully developed content management system. Today, WordPress serves more as a development framework or PaaS (Platform as a Service). In the last year alone, a few new services have come up that have matured WordPress into a true platform. The following provides a description on these previously missing pieces and how they have help propel WordPress forward.
Common traffic measuring sites include Google Analytics, Parse.ly, and Chartbeat. The native WordPress analytics were lacking before. However, PressTrends now provides a great example of forward thinking WordPress analytics. It allows publishers, designers, developers and consultants to all understand just how their plug-ins, themes, and entire sites are actually being used. The dashboard even allows users to track several WordPress instances at the same time.
The various features PressTrends provides allows for much more than measuring traffic (Google Analytics) or content performance (Parse.ly). It measures the performance around the platform itself-in other words, the elements and functions that only WordPress has and needs, providing an extremely important qualitative aspect of analysis.
Commerce On WordPress
The fact that money is changing hands on and through WordPress is an important testament the to the serious evolution the site has undergone.
On a basic level, this shows that WordPress has the level of technology necessary for these transactions, as well as the required privacy and security. WordPress has advanced beyond simple postings of images and texts, and can now allow for the complex processes, payment gateways, and cost flows between different countries. WordPress now has the capacity to build professional shopping sites and include designs and customizable features. The fact that large and small companies alike view WordPress as a mature, viable long term platform option speaks volumes.
Previously, there was a serious gap in the middle ground between those who could afford WordPress VIP and those who wanted more than self-host and self-serve options.
Today, several simple yet powerful options offer a solution. One important company is WPEngine, offering everything you may need at reasonable prices, and with the added assurance of the expertise of WordPress technologists. Page.ly is another competing well-managed service which also offers WordPress hosting.
In addition to hosting, these options include backup, themes and plug-ins, automatically configured caching, as well as integrated content delivery networks.
With all of this, WordPress’s middle ground (representing the majority of its websites), now have the appropriate hosting options to match the development WordPress has undergone and continue to move this platform forward.
What Is Still Missing?
At this stage, some would argue that all the pieces needed to finalize the vision of WordPress as a platform. However, they hold that integrations such as shared data models and API calls are needed to combine these elements into one experience. This will allow WordPress to fully compete with other platforms such as AWS, Heroku, and Azure. Despite its impressive current state, WordPress can still continue to improve beyond this.