This morning I had a meeting at one of Oklahoma City’s hip coffee shops near downtown. It was buzzing with people (plus great coffee and conversation) and I glanced over a couple of tables to see a Mac laptop open and a guy writing a blog post with … WordPress.
So naturally I had to go over and tell him that WordPress rocks, and consequently learned he had been blogging with WP for over a month.
And it reminded me of how this neat little piece of online software called WordPress propelled my life and career 7 years ago. And the special place in my heart that WordPress will always have.
When I saw the unmistakable WP Dashboard on that screen this morning, it rekindled my passion and love and thankfulness for what this simple software is all about:
WordPress is a symbol of freedom
Although we’ve done a whole series on Why WordPress, I wanted to share some thoughts on Why WordPress is so special to me and a symbol of freedom in my life …
1. WordPress allows me to share my thoughts, opinions and ideas with the world easily.
It’s my trumpet, and my microphone online. I just start typing my post, do some edits and click Publish.
That’s literally how I got to where I am today … I just started using WordPress to blog about my career and offer tips to those who needed the expertise I had gleaned.
I still have a couple of blogs outside of iThemes that I still use to share my thoughts and tips … and my wife Lindsey and I are using WordPress to share our personal goofy fun lives and blog about our first child and to post pictures and memories.
2. WordPress allows me to build and maintain my own blog or site without having a computer science degree.
In 1998, I was using Claris HomePage to edit HTML files and publish my own personal site. It was labor intensive. Any time I wanted to change the date in my copyright notice, or put something in the sidebar, I had to manually edit and upload dozens of HTML files. It was a pain in the butt.
I remember the first blog post I did. It was so awesome (and frightening) to see my thoughts into the wild … but so exhilarating to be able to build my site without someone’s else help. I also remember tweaking my blog’s WordPress theme and how cool it was to be able to do that and see the change instantly.
WordPress web design is just awesome fun!
And now my mom uses WordPress for her high school alumni group and for her neighborhood association! In fact, just last week she showed me the second site and asked my thoughts. I was so excited seeing her be able to upload photos, edit her widget areas, set her layouts … all by herself. It was her own project, done completely by herself (and yes, she installed WordPress too!).
3. WordPress allows me to build my business and brand online.
Even if I wasn’t in the business of doing WP themes and plugins, I’d still say this. It’s equally applicable to those outside of WordPress design. We’ve seen thousands of people be able to do business online with WordPress. It just makes it easy.
With a WordPress blog, you can build your personal brand and share your experience and expertise with the world and potential employers. That’s my story. I went from unknown to known because I blogged.
With WordPress and a great ecommerce plugin, you can take your bricks and mortar store and sell online. That’s what a buddy from college is doing with his Wyoming parts store right now!
4. WordPress offers a solid platform for building other cool web stuff.
Ask Brad and Brian at WebDevStudios all the cool stuff they are doing with WordPress for some HUGE clients (the type of clients you see regularly on TV playing on Sundays!). They are using it as an engine to build apps and other cool stuff and it’s killer.
We use it for internal team communication (we have 7+ remote team members) and use a modified version of P2 theme to communicate with each other. And we also use it for our software repositories as well as blogging and content management.
5. WordPress promotes open sourcing your life.
Because WordPress is open source, it’s naturally fostered the spirit of sharing and openness in my personal and business life.
Thousands of people over the last 10+ years have contributed their time and expertise to build and make WordPress better and better. They’ve done that to make it free so anyone can use it.
That spirit is prolific in the WordPress community. You see it at WordCamps and WP Meetups. People helping each other.
So those are some reasons why WordPress is a symbol of freedom to me and why I love being able to help others experience that freedom and joy every day at iThemes.