Well…I should clarify…I love the self-hosted version of found at WordPress.org). The WordPress.com version is quite good but you lose the ability to do some customization over there (unless you’re on the VIP platform…and you’re still limited in what you can do there).
Why do I love WordPress?
It’s so much more than a blogging platform. It’s really a framework. It’s a framework for building websites.
Take a look at my site. It’s built on WP using the Genesis Theme Framework (affiliate link) which I’ve customized to meet my needs. I added a customized version of the WP Featured Articles Slider to the front page to highlight previous articles.
Could I have done this with other platforms? Sure. Would it have been free? Perhaps. Would it have been easy (given you know a little web design/development)? Maybe.
But…every other platform I’ve used in the past would have required much more development to get the basic structure built. I could have used Drupal or Joomla but neither of them are as easy and straightforward as WordPress is for me.
The real strength comes from the Theme developers like StudioPress (the folks behind Genesis), Thesis or Headway. With these frameworks, you can really extend the power of WordPress as a platform.
Personally, I’m a fan of Genesis due to the ability to build child themes for customization. These child themes allow the core Genesis framework to be upgraded without affecting the custom design / functionality. I love the genesis framework so much I decided to customize one of the child themes to rebuild my Photography Minute photo blog.
WordPress…for more than just blogs
But…WordPress can be used for more than just an individual’s blog / website.
For example…take a look at the Boy Scouts of America’s Boys’ Life website. It’s built on WordPress and hosted with the VIP program. I’m happy to say that I was a part of the team that built the site last year….it was quite a learning experience for me and an eye opener to the power of the WordPress platform.
In addition to my own blogs and the work on the Boys’ Life website, I’ve been working on building a new website for Silicon Valley Expert Witness Group using WP as a Content Management Systems (CMS) for the underlying technology to run the website. That site (planned go- live in early Sept 2010) is using a ton of custom development and Custom Post Types to handle the hundreds of Expert Witnesses and litigation consultants listed on the website as well marketing and corporate information.
I’ve got another stealth project going right now that uses WordPress, a Custom Theme and the PHPurchase shopping cart plugin to manage sales and subscriptions. Still putting the finishing touches on that project…maybe I’ll talk about it more in the future.
I’m finding WordPress to be an extremely flexible and wonderful framework to build websites with. Not only do you get WP and themes, but a ton of developers and help from other WP developers and users. The power of Open Source in action.