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by James G. Barr

Docid: 00021083

Publication Date: 1805

Report Type: PRODUCT


WordPress is an open-source publishing platform that enables the creation and
maintenance of multiple Web properties, including simple Web sites, blogs,
complex portals, enterprise Web sites, and Web applications. While
unfamiliar to many users, WordPress is utilized by more than 30 percent of the
Web. Its adoption among new sites is even higher at 35.5 percent.

Report Contents:

Related Faulkner Reports
Microsoft SharePoint Product
Web Design Programs and Tools


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"From the
standpoint of a content management system, we found WordPress to be far more
powerful than SharePoint and, because it’s built on PHP, it was very easy to
find a developer if we needed one."

– Scott Brousseau,
CTO, PBG Networks

An alternative to Microsoft SharePoint and other content management systems
(CMS), WordPress from Automattic is an open-source publishing platform that enables the creation and
maintenance of multiple Web properties, including simple Web sites, blogs,
complex portals, enterprise Web sites, and Web applications.

Name: Automattic, Inc.

60 29th Street #343
San Francisco, CA 94110 US
(877) 273-3049 (Voicemail)
Web: https://automattic.com/
Type of Vendor: Web Development
Founded: August 2005
Service Areas: Global

Developed in 2003, WordPress is built on PHP and MySQL, and licensed under the
General Public License (GPLv2 or later).

WordPress is utilized by more than 30 percent of the
Web. Its utilization among new sites is even higher at 35.5 percent.1 As the most popular content management system on
the Internet, WordPress benefits from a dedicated user and
developer community that regularly extends, curates, and, as
necessary, repairs the platform.

Current Release

The WordPress core developers share a love of jazz, and all major
releases are named in honor of musicians they personally admire. The
current version, WordPress 4.9, released November 15, 2017, is nicknamed
"Tipton", in honor of Billy Tipton. The next planned version, WordPress
5.0, is scheduled for release sometime in 2018.

User Features

Although WordPress boasts a large number of standard
features, there are literally thousands of plugins available
that can expand the platform’s functionality. Among the
more prominent standard features are:

With WordPress, you can create any type of Web site: a personal blog or
Web site, a photoblog, a business Web site, a professional
portfolio, a government Web site, a magazine or news site, an online
community, or even a network of Web sites. You can even build
your own application.

Full Standards Compliance
Every piece of WordPress generated code is in full compliance with the
standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This
means that your Web site will work in today’s browser, while
maintaining forward compatibility with the next generation of

Search Engine Optimization
WordPress is optimized for search engines right out of the box.

WordPress is available in more than 70 languages.

Own Your Data
Using WordPress means no one has access to your content. Own your data,
all of it – your Web site, your content, your data.

Developer Features

In addition to user-oriented features, WordPress offers options aimed at

Plugin System
The WordPress APIs
make it possible for you to create plugins to extend the platform.

Application Framework
WordPress provides many of the features that your app
will need, such as translations, user management, HTTP requests,
databases, URL routing, and much more.

Custom Content Types
WordPress comes with default content types, but for more flexibility you
can add a few lines of code to create your own custom post types,
taxonomies, and metadata.

The Latest Libraries
WordPress comes with the latest script libraries. These include jQuery,
Plupload, Underscore.js and Backbone.js.

Platform Security

While WordPress has a poor reputation for security, especially among its early
adopters, recent releases are considered safe, even for enterprise clients. Analyst Thomas Ewer acknowledges that
while WordPress
has "suffered some less than stellar years," particularly 2009, "its recent
track record is solid, especially considering the size of target that it
represents. Best practice steps for locking down the platform are commonly known,
security releases are prioritized and speedy, and the WordPress Security Team now comprises 25 experts including lead developers and
security researchers. Third-party themes and plugins remain a possible attack vector, but the
core software has never been safer."2

Enterprise Experience

Once viewed as a blogging or small Web site development platform, WordPress has evolved into
a full-service enterprise offering, scalable and reliable enough to accommodate
organizations like The New York Times, CNN, TechCrunch, and even Microsoft.3

In terms of blogging, WordPress has been embraced by major firms like eBay, UPS,
Best Buy, Izod,
IBMjobs, Samsung, Forbes, MTV, ESPN, TED, Vogue, Time, and Mercedes Benz.4

When compared with Microsoft SharePoint, WordPress is often preferred because

  • Is not open source.
  • Has a steep learning curve.
  • Is expensive.
  • Has nothing equivalent to WordPress plugins. With SharePoint,
    users cannot change their entire Web site with "just a click of a button."5

According to analyst Nick
Schäferhoff, "Using WordPress for
enterprise-scale Web sites is becoming more and more commonplace. [WordPress] is reliable, secure, scalable and meets a whole host of other requirements
of enterprise clients. In addition to that, the non-existent price tag is
appealing factor and good news for the bottom line. This development will likely continue in the future, so we will only see more
enterprise Web sites built with WordPress as the CMS."6

Scott Brousseau, chief technology officer of PBG Networks, an
solutions, infrastructure services, and applications development firm,
echoes Schäferhoff’s sentiment, selecting WordPress over SharePoint for
critical PBG operations. As Brousseau observes:

  1. "At PBG, WordPress now runs on one server, with SharePoint we have six
    servers. There is a huge cost savings from the perspective of
    resources that can now be reallocated.

  2. "WordPress
    can perform many of the same functions as SharePoint and, if you need a
    special capability, you can most likely load a plugin from the WordPress
    Plugin library. To date, I saw over 55,000 plugins in the library.

  3. "Examples of plugins include CRM, Portal, Help Desk, and Document
    Management, to name a few.

  4. "The biggest advantage of WordPress over SharePoint is removing any need for
    outside contractors."


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WordPress is a publishing platform that enables the creation and maintenance
of multiple Web properties, including:

  • Simple Web sites
  • Blogs
  • Complex portals
  • Enterprise Web sites
  • Web applications

WordPress is delivered via two Web sites: WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

Users can download the WordPress software for free from WordPress.org, but it must be installed on a
Web server before it will work.

Users who want to invoke WordPress without downloading the software, paying
for hosting, or managing a server, can go to WordPress.com, a commercial
WordPress provider owned by Automattic. In addition, many Web hosting
providers offer a one-click installation of WordPress. There are also many Web development agencies that
specialize in building WordPress sites.


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To run WordPress, Automattic recommends that your host support:

  • PHP version 7.2 or greater.
  • MySQL version 5.6 or greater or MariaDB version 10.0 or greater.

Automattic further recommends Apache or Nginx "as the most robust and feature-full
[servers] for running WordPress," although any server that supports PHP and MySQL will

In a legacy environment that features older PHP or
MySQL versions, WordPress also works with PHP 5.2.4+ and MySQL 5.0+. but since these versions have reached end-of-life, their use may expose
vital content to security vulnerabilities.


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WordPress is supported via:

  • Community-based support forums.
  • The WordPress Codex, an online manual and "living repository for WordPress information and documentation."
  • The WordPress Support Handbook, which represents more than ten years of WordPress
    support experience.

WordPress.com features a "Need Help?" page staffed by "Happiness Engineers." Their pledge: "If you need help, don’t sweat it. We’re here for you!"


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WordPress.com pricing ranges from free to $25 per month.

Usage Fee Description



for life

Just start creating: Get a free site and be on
your way to publishing your content in less than five minutes.


$4 per month
billed annually

Best for Personal Use: Boost your
Web site with a custom domain name, and remove all WordPress.com advertising. Get access to high quality email and live
chat support.


$8 per month
billed annually

Best for Entrepreneurs &
: Build a unique Web site with advanced design tools, CSS editing, lots of space for audio and video, and the ability to
monetize your site with ads.


$25 per month
billed annually

Best for Small Business: Power your business
Web site with unlimited premium and business theme
templates, Google Analytics support, unlimited storage, and the ability
to remove WordPress.com branding.


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WordPress’ main competitors are two open-source content management systems,



, and Microsoft

a Web-based, collaborative platform that integrates
with Microsoft Office.7


1 Matthias Gelbmann. "WooCommerce and the Power of the WordPress
Q-Success. April 9, 2018.

2 Thomas Ewer. "WordPress for Enterprise: Why Your Enterprise Business Should
Use WordPress." Kinsta Ltd. March 16, 2018.

"WordPress for Enterprise: Why Your Site
Should Use WordPress." WPEngine, Inc. June 14, 2017.

4 Fritz. "SharePoint v.s WordPress: 9 Reasons to Choose WP."
WP vs. Blogger. March 25, 2018.

5 Ibid.

"WordPress for Enterprise: Why Your Site
Should Use WordPress." WPEngine, Inc. June 14, 2017.

7 Karol K. "The Most Popular Alternatives to WordPress – Compared."
WinningWP. April 9, 2018.

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About the Author

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James G. Barr is a leading business continuity analyst and business writer
with more than 30 years’ IT experience. A member of Who’s Who in
Finance and Industry
, Mr. Barr has designed, developed, and deployed
business continuity plans for a number of Fortune 500 firms. He is the
author of several books, including How to Succeed in Business BY Really
, a member of Faulkner’s Advisory Panel, and a senior editor for
Faulkner’s Security Management Practices. Mr. Barr can be reached
via e-mail at jgbarr@faulkner.com.

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