One of the most frequent questions we get from new clients is, “Should I use WordPress?” The hesitation in knowing whether or not WordPress is the right platform for your business stems from the notion that WordPress is just a blogging platform. While that may have been true at the beginning (WordPress got its start in 2003), it certainly isn’t true in 2019. WordPress supports many other types of web content from news articles and media galleries to forums, directories, and online stores. It can be customized to do pretty much anything you need.
Used by more than 60 million websites (including 30.6% of the top 10 million websites on the web), WordPress is a free and open source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. It features a template system and a plugin architecture that can be customized by users and web developers to fit branding and functionality/feature needs.
We wanted to provide a few examples of larger brands that use WordPress – and highlight some of the unique functionality that they offer. We hope that this will give you a better understanding of what all WordPress can do, and hopefully help you decide if WordPress is the right platform for you.
Brands That Use WordPress
So many high profile news sites use WordPress – Fortune, CNN, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Variety, CBS Local, NBC, New York Observer, New York Post, USA Today – and so many more all use WordPress. Whether you’re running a news corporation or a personal blog, WordPress comes with built-in tools and additional plugins that help you automate processes and makes your life of creating content more manageable. From the use of categories and child categories to tags, from editorial calendars to the ability to schedule postings and push content automatically to social media, WordPress makes the lives of the entire writing staff much, much easier.
Mercedes Benz uses WordPress to manage its official international website. The German automobile giant needed a way to easily showcase a massive amount of multimedia content (high-resolution images and videos of vehicles), and WordPress provides a built-in media library that allows for categorizing and editing media effortlessly. We’re sure there are many additional reasons that they decided to go with WordPress as their platform, but Mercedes Benz’s website is an excellent example of how media can be showcased and managed.
The entire BBC America website now runs on WordPress, before 2013 their content was spread across four different CMSs. BBC America knew this wasn’t efficient and needed to consolidate their support efforts into just a single platform.
One of the unique things to highlight with this use of WordPress is that each BBC America show has its own branding and theme. This was accomplished by using Multisite and child themes that BBC America was able to customize to match the show’s content as well as branding. Multisite is a WordPress feature that allows users to create a network of sites on top of a single WordPress installation.
According to David Anderson, Senior Product Development Manager at BBC Worldwide, using WordPress has allowed them to streamline about 80% of their work which previously had occupied a team of four editors.
“The result is that editors now have more time to focus on content creation instead of figuring out how to edit (or troubleshoot) code.” Anderson explained in an interview with WordPress. “Our previous platforms locked us into very rigid options. Changes were expensive and took a long time to implement. Now, we have a solid platform that is flexible and constantly being improved.”
One of the world’s top job websites, Glassdoor is a great example of creating a custom platform that interacts seamlessly with WordPress. Users can flow from job searches into blog articles effortlessly with no gaps in the user experience. The company’s blog is a strategic part of their marketing efforts to feed people into the site to perform job searches and to encourage companies to post job listings.
With around 400,000 employees, Home Depot depends on their career site to attract the best of the best when it comes to new talent. This use of WordPress highlights the use of a number of plugins that we personally love – including Yoast (the #1 SEO plugin we use on our clients’ websites), the WordPress Pro Event Calendar (which you can see in action here), and Font Awesome (which is what generates the icons you see on Home Depot’s Career site).
As a part of Microsoft’s transition into open-source software, they researched the best CMS to use and landed on WordPress. In late 2014, Microsoft’s News Center (along with several other critical websites for the brand including Microsoft Europe) relaunched on WordPress. It was a rather complex data migration from a proprietary CMS to WordPress – it involved 38 sites in 16 different languages.
WordPress is no stranger to the world of entertainment. The platform makes it easy for movie studios, television networks, and record labels to have a web presence (for their films/series/artists) that is highly customizable with a solid user experience.
The Walt Disney Company offers information about their company (including their stock price which updates in real-time), a career center, their social responsibility missions, and a newsroom that gets updated regularly with company news (as well as press releases for media).
The site also uses a number of plugins including Yoast (again our favorite SEO plugin) and W3C Total Cache (our favorite WordPress performance optimization plugin – which helps improve your Google PageSpeed score).
We know, this last example isn’t a brand, but bear with us. We wanted to showcase it because it’s a U.S. government agency, and there are many government agencies (U.S. and foreign) that trust WordPress with their online presence. WordPress powers The White House, U.S. Army, The Official Site of Sweden, and so many more.
Interested in seeing if WordPress is a fit for your company? Or just want to geek out with us over WordPress? Reach out to us – We’d love to offer you a free consultation – or just nerd out with you over the best WordPress plugins to use!