Every business needs a website, but just being online isn’t enough. Your website has to look great and perform to the highest standards to appeal to your visitors.
Your site’s design and performance depends, to a great extent, on the CMS system that you are using. That’s why many site owners choose to build their site on WordPress.
According to W3techs, over 35% of sites on the internet are using WordPress as their content management system (CMS). This means that every fourth site you visit will be powered by WordPress.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at what makes WordPress so popular. Then we’ll examine a number of examples of big brands that are using WordPress to power their websites.
Benefits of Using WordPress
For a beginner, choosing a CMS might be a real struggle. If you’re not familiar with the different CMS systems, it’s easy to get lost trying to identify all the advantages and disadvantages of a particular solution. So, to spare you the hassle of researching WordPress, we’ve listed the most significant benefits of using this open-source CMS.
Ease of Use
WordPress is easy to use even for those who are not familiar with website development or coding. Every element can be easily adjusted via its user-friendly interface. That means, no matter your experience level, you can build a site on WordPress.
Many other CMS solutions, like Drupal, require extensive knowledge of web development, while others require at least basic knowledge. WordPress, on the other hand, is ideal for both beginners and experienced developers. Additionally, WordPress’ vast online community can provide support and guidance to help resolve any problem you’re facing.
For many CMS platforms, even the slightest modification of its native functionality requires substantial coding efforts. And if the platform doesn’t have a necessary layout element — and you don’t have a developer to help you out — you’re pretty much doomed to live without it.
WordPress, on the other hand, has an extensive, easily adjustable formatting kit. It includes all the elements that an editor might need, from social media sharing buttons to headline styles. Plus, its page editors include all the necessary formatting features to ensure that your future posts have a great layout and a professional, polished look.
WordPress’s rich user management features also sets it apart from other platforms. If your site accepts guest posts, WordPress has one of the simplest and most convenient systems to help you manage external contributors.
In particular, it lets you easily add new users and assign roles with particular permissions, which is a life-saver for a website that works with many external writers. This way, the admin or blog editor doesn’t have to manually upload all the posts they receive — instead, the freelance authors can do it themselves. This division of responsibilities drastically improves efficiency of the editorial team.
As your business grows, you’ll face new challenges. You may want to add a login feature to help customers save products in their carts, as well as save payment and shipping information. Or, you may need to accept additional payment methods on your ecommerce site. If not addressed in a timely manner, these growing pains can negatively impact the visitor experience, conversions, and your bottom line. The good news is that some issues can be easily solved with the help of the right WordPress plugin.
Adding new plugins is a matter of choosing the one that fits you best from WordPress’s vast plugin catalog. There are more than 50,000 plugins out there.
Let’s imagine you made a decision to sell something on your website. If you’re not using a CMS, then you’d have to hire a developer to set up an online store, create a new billing system, and so on. But if your site is powered by WordPress, all you need to do is to install WooCommerce or another eCommerce plugin.
The same goes for contact forms, capturing leads, improving website speed, advanced analytics, and much more — WordPress offers extensions to nearly every third-party tool you’d need to run your website.
WordPress was initially created as a blogging tool, but over the past decade, it has grown to be much more. Today, it’s a powerful open-source CMS that is used across multiple industries to host all types of sites, from personal blogs to corporate sites.
The platform is becoming especially popular for eCommerce businesses, largely thanks to the amount of themes and plugins shop owners can use to build their online store. According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce, the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress, powers almost 7% of all the eCommerce sites on the internet.
In addition to thousands of themes and plugins, you can also edit the source code of WordPress to extend the functionality and customize the design of your site exactly as you want. Because of this flexibility, WordPress is popular among Fortune 500 Companies, such as Walt Disney, BBC America, Vogue, and Microsoft News Center.
Now that we understand a few of the benefits of using WordPress, let’s take a closer look at WordPress sites created by some of these big brands.
14 WordPress Website Examples of Big Brands in 2020
There are 27 million websites powered by WordPress. Some of these sites are major brands, like The New York Times, BBC America, and Sony Music. Let’s examine how these and other big brands are using WordPress to deliver the best digital experiences to their audience.
The New York Times was one of the first media outlets to fully leverage the power of the user generated content feature provided by WordPress. Back in 2012, they introduced a plugin for the CMS that allowed multiple journalists to work on the same article — it allowed changes to a post to be tracked and then accepted or rejected.
As a result of their efforts, they were able to reach 70 million unique monthly visits by May 2018. By February 2020, monthly visits climbed to 330 million.
In addition to using WordPress to publish and organize thousands of articles, NYT also features gated content on its site and has a billing system for subscriptions.
Furthermore, to accommodate their large international audience, NYT enables readers to switch from English to Spanish or Chinese with the click of a button. You can see these buttons at the top of the home page, right above its brand name.
Many bloggers admire the NYT clean layout, also known as “NYT theme”. You can add one to your website by downloading and installing it on your website or blog.
Reuters is a huge media company that delivers breaking world news every day. Powered by WordPress, the site is updated by the minute. On every post, Reuters includes the publish date and time so you know exactly when it was published. That way, you can stay on top of all recent events.
To stay updated on the stock market, Reuters lists share prices at the top of the homepage by using widgets that update automatically. There are dozens of WordPress plugins that do this — for weather, real estate listings in your area, traffic, insurance quotes, retail sales, and more.
Right above, you’ll see a navigation menu with categories like Markets, Business, and World, which are displayed in the navigation menu at the top of the screen. By clicking on any of these categories, you can find all the content Reuters has published on this topic.
Reuters upper menu invites you to switch between different countries’ coverage through WordPress’s customizable menu options.