Little question that WordPress has become the content management system of choice for innovative law firms — worldwide, large, medium or small.
German entrepreneur and blogger, Nick Schäferhoff shared thirteen surprising WordPress statistics, many of which he picked up from WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg’s recent “State of the Word” 2014.
Here’s eleven of the statistics of which law firms should make note.
1. WordPress sites around the globe publish 17 posts every second.
That comes to 1,023 blog posts per minute, 61,391 an hour and 1.5 million per day. And this number, as with many of the below statistics, only includes those sites which WordPress can track.
2. The combined traffic on WordPress sites is 14.7 billion monthly pageviews.
For this year alone, blogs in the WordPress network garnered a combined average of 14.7 billion pageviews per month.
3. WordPress blogs receive 5.5 million comments per month.
The WordPress comment system or the Disqus comment system integrated into WordPress can handle a big load – especially when you consider there were about 100 million spam comments that were filtered out by software.
4. WordPress 4.0 has been downloaded 14.1 million times.
Just released a few months ago, 4.0 is the latest version of WordPress. Though not all of these 14 million are running on all live installs of WordPress yet, you can see the the amount of current development being done on WordPress.
5. Less than 20% of WordPress sites are up to date.
This is a huge one for law firms. WordPress is susceptible to hacking and security concerns, something which WordPress tries hard to address quickly with new and improved versions.
I have seen large law firms running a good number of WordPress blogs, all on separate installs. Each of the blogs had separate plug-ins for features their lawyers requested. This made it a nightmare, or impossible, for the firms’ tech teams to keep the blogs running on up to date versions of WordPress.
Blogs in large firms have been hacked as a result, in one case resulting in porn being placed on the blog.
Though WordPress is open source and free, law firms need to have competent and seasoned WordPress developers or a reputable WordPress development partner for running WordPress custom blogs and websites.
6. There are 51 translations of WordPress.
The number of languages in which WordPress is available in is steadily growing.
This is big for certain niche focused and larger law firms. At LexBlog we’re running blogs in probably a dozen languages and dialects already.
Multi-language availability is also important for LexBlog, not only for serving our existing client base, but also for supporting our growth overseas.
7. 34,000+ WordPress plugins and no end in sight.
One of the main reasons WordPress is ahead of other platforms is its extendability. Plugins are available for just about any feature you’d want to think of.
This is good and bad for law firms. Plug-ins are a little of the wild wild West. Plug-ins come from WordPress developers of various skills located anywhere in the world.
As a result, many plugins are unreliable to start with, interfere with plug-ins you are already using, are not get kept up to date, and prevent you from upgrading to the latest version of WordPress. Add to this that many plug-ins interfere with optimum hosting and site speed.
LexBlog runs over 1,000 law blogs. Historically, we used plugins to meet most of the features desired by lawyers. As with leading large WordPress developers and hosts, we’ve whittled down the number of plugins considerably to provide a more robust and secure platform for our clients.
Also, whittling down your plug-ins is not a trivial task. It can take months or even a year for larger installs. Law firms need to be systemized and strategic with plugins.
8. Akismet is the #1 plugin.
With more than 24 million downloads, Akismet is the most popular spam protection plugin. Akismet is owned by Automattic, which owns and operates WordPress.com.
Akismet and a few other spam filters which integrate nicely into WordPress keep you, as a blog publisher, from seeing the huge amount of spam comments hitting your blog.
LexBlog uses Akismet and related filtering systems. Law firms doing their own development should do the same.
9. WordPress has been downloaded more than 46 million times.
By July 2013 the free version of WordPress had been downloaded 46 million times, which means that since 2003 it averaged one hundred downloads per day. With blogging becoming more and more popular the average downloads per day this year is significantly higher.
10. 25% of WordPress users make a full-time living off of it.
This and many of the other stats should impress on law firms that building blogs and website content management systems on other than WordPress could result in future problems.
The WordPress development community is sophisticated and seasoned. With more companies and people working on WordPress than anything else you’ll be able to more easily update and re-do websites and blogs built on WordPress at a reasonable price.
Migrating from other systems later on could be a difficult proposition. You may even find you cannot find someone to maintain a dated content management which people no longer work on.
By not using WordPress you are limiting future options and looking at higher costs.
11. WordPress is most popular with businesses, least popular with news sites.
Among the top one million websites in the world, the lion’s share of those powered by WordPress are related to businesses. They greatly outnumber news sites, where the usage of WordPress is least popular.
The reason is one, marketing. Online marketing professionals and companies much prefer WordPress to other content management systems. Sure, there’s optimum search engine performance, but WordPress is easy for professionals, like lawyers, to publish on directly.
Second, news sites are slower to adapt. Unlike companies, including law firms, news publishers have huge legacy publishing platforms that cost millions to upgrade. Publications such as The New Yorker, Time, and The New York Post have already migrated to WordPress though.
The importance for law firms to use WordPress as a blog and website development platform is becoming more and more important as it becomes the content management system of choice for almost everyone world-wide. These stats ought to drive that point home.
Image courtesy of Flickr by Armando Torrealba