Looking to leave WordPress behind in 2021? You’re not alone

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Rising priorities like site speed and multi-platform distribution are driving enterprises to explore headless and hybrid content management systems, according to our new MarTech Intelligence Report.

Most of the Content Management Systems (CMSs) businesses use today were originally built for a single purpose — delivering content to a desktop web browser. Looking closer, WordPress — the open-source platform now used for everything from e-commerce to massive corporate sites and owning 65% of the CMS market (see the image below) — was built in 2003 as a blogging platform, competing with names you rarely hear today outside of a historical discussion.

The progress WordPress has made since its inception is undeniably admirable — it has nearly singlehandedly democratized web publishing and has remained incredibly versatile, in part because of a developer ecosystem responsible for nearly 60,000 plug-ins. This ecosystem enables the platform to be very responsive to trends — features often start as plug-ins and, as they gain popularity and utility, are later written into the core platform.

Looking to leave WordPress behind? You're not alone

The flip side of this strength is a debilitating weakness. Bolting-on functionality inevitably results in code bloat, which means slow-loading pages that could hinder high search engine rankings — the opposite of what marketers are looking to accomplish by focusing on Core Web Vitals. Meanwhile, this vast ecosystem of plug-ins brings with it a not-insubstantial number of security vulnerabilities.

Combine this with marketers’ need to deliver content to more platforms than ever before, and you’ll understand why many are looking for an alternative to “traditional” Content Management Systems.

Looking to leave WordPress behind? You're not alone

With a value proposition similar to a customer data platform or a digital asset management platform, the headless CMS serves as a repository for all of a company’s content — mostly textual, but also including images and other formats. It’s meant to be the “single source of truth” for content marketers and it incorporates an application programming interface (API) that allows the CMS to deliver content to any channel.

I’ll be sharing more of the results of this recently-launched research in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can download our MarTech Intelligence Report on Headless & Hybrid Content Management Systems!

Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces Martech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today and Digital Marketing Depot. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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