It has already been six years since the first version of WordPress appeared. WordPress is an open source blogging platform written in PHP and MySQL. Its underlying code is based on b2evolution and throughout the years it has grown into the most powerful blog system used by thousands of blogs and sites. WordPress has many built-in features and it is extremely customizable through the different themes and plug-ins available.
WordPress is now evolving into a Content Management Systems (CMS) of choice for many sites. Given that it is highly configurable, designers and developers are continuously tweaking WordPress themes and plugins in order to replace traditional CMS. One such talented designer is Adriaan Pienaar, (aka Adii or WordPress Rockstar) who has a lot of experience in customizing WordPress and is the creator of the Premium News Theme, a WordPress magazine theme. Sometimes last year, we interviewed Adii for our monthly newsletter issue, and below is a transcript of the inteview.
Adii, tell us more about yourself and your self proclaimed ‘WordPress Rockstar’ title?
Well, you might find this strange, but I’ve actually got an Honors degree in Business Strategy, which means I’m much more of an entrepreneur, than a WordPress Rockstar!
I’ve always loved the internet and this fascination eventually got me interested in new media / Web 2.0 technologies. Whilst exploring the different technologies available, I decided to get into WordPress. My title as a “WordPress Rockstar” is really just a marketing strategy…
What according to you has accounted for the success and popularity of WordPress?
I think it’s due to the open-source nature of the platform, which makes it super-customizable and very flexible at the same time. Also, the fact that WP was essentially built from the ground up, means that Matt Mullenwag & Co are super-involved in the future success and growth of the platform.
I quote from your blog “I don’t believe that any site should be without some WP love!” Why do you think that all web sites should be WordPress powered?
Well, I believe that every site should be built on a dynamic CMS of some kind, and WordPress is simply my platform of choice! Considering the amount of free plugins that are available, you definitely can’t go wrong when you run a site on WordPress.
I also believe that using WordPress is a long-term (sustainable) solution, since the developers are upgrading it all the time. I also believe that WordPress will eventually evolve into being a fully-fledged CMS capable of the same functions as ExpressionEngine.
WordPress is evolving from a blog platform to a CMS platform. Your Premium News theme is an excellent example of how WordPress can be skinned and tweaked into a magazine CMS. What makes it better than other CMS platforms?
I don’t think it’s necessarily better than say ExpressionEngine, but I think it does have a lot more potential than most of the other CMS’s currently available. WordPress will only continue to grow and evolve, which means that ultimately it will be THE best CMS out there. I also think that the open-source nature and passionate community behind the platform makes it so easy to find the help you need in customizing for WordPress.
As you mentioned – my Premium News theme is a prime example of what can be achieved with WordPress. And if proof is in the pudding, I guess it comes down to WordPress being so flexible and easy to code for… Choosing WP over other CMS’s is perhaps a personal preference for most, but in the future it’ll become the automatic first choice to many.
Does the WordPress development team handle updates, bug fixes and feature requests properly?
Oh yes! Evidence of this is the regular releases of updated versions of WordPress, which generally includes bug fixes and new features.
Where do you see WordPress going in the future?
I’ve probably mentioned my vision of where WP is going a few times already in this interview… But I definitely believe that WP will become a fully-fledged CMS that will rival the big, commercial offerings like ExpressionEngine.
Finally, do you have any advice or tips to share with our readers that just got started with WordPress?
Read and explore… Ultimately you need to play around with WordPress to master it, and, by reading and following top bloggers and designers, you will get the inspiration you need to push your WP-related skills to the limit.