An interesting study released yesterday by Pingdom reveals that 49% of the top 100 blogs as ranked by Technorati are using WordPress as their CMS platform.
You can debate whether Technorati is still a decent ranking system, and it doesn’t include 8 sites for which information wasn’t available, but 40% of the sites with available information are on self-hosted WordPress (with 9% on WordPress.com’s hosted alternative). The article also has an informative list of what each of the top sites is actually running on – sadly TheWayoftheWeb just missed out on making the list, but for the record, I’ve been using self-hosted WordPress for a number of years now for pretty much all my sites (I do have one or two on both Blogger and Tumblr).
There are a number of reasons why I recommend self-hosted WordPress, including the fact that you have ultimate control over design, data etc, and as long as you’re backing up regularly, you’re better offer in the event of hosting/domain name failures.
It also gets increasingly easy to use – in addition to usability improvements to the core product, all the big third party theme providers and frameworks have made big steps in making everything quicker and easier to setup. Most of my sites currently run on the Genesis framework from StudioPress (aff link), but there are also great products I’ve been checking out from the likes of Headway and Pagelines, who are both offering drag and drop customisation.
More and more themes are now coming with responsive design as standard (meaning your site automatically works on mobile/tablets), and it’s really easy to find extremely talented designers and developers who are not only familiar with WordPress, but the relative ubiquity of it keeps prices fairly realistic. If you’re stuck for designers/developers I’m always happy to recommend several that I’ve enjoyed working with both on my own sites and client projects.
And that’s before you get into the various projects built on top of WordPress – for example, Jigoshop, a client of mine who produce a frankly amazing WordPress eCommerce solution. Not only can you install and set-up a fully functioning online store for free, but there’s an amazing range of extensions for it already which means your shop has all the services at a level you’d expect for a big online retailer.
And if you need some help, I can provide domain names and hosting, plus initial set-up for a low fee, having currently set up a number of sites for my own projects and for a range of friends and businesses, which regularly get many thousands of visitors each month, so feel free to contact me. I’ve also had experience of transferring sites from other platforms, and if you just want some quick tips, advice or reassurance, feel free to give me a shout!