What is WordPress? WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. But in non-geek speak, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today.
Who uses WordPress?
You’re in good company if you use WordPress to publish on the web. Many famous blogs, news outlets, music sites, Fortune 500 companies and celebrities are using WordPress.
If you’re ever curious about about who uses WordPress, head on over to the WordPress site showcase and you’ll be impressed by the number of well-known sites and famous people using WordPress to power their websites.
How do I get started using WordPress?
Now you’re probably asking, “how do I get it?”
WordPress is free. Yep, that’s right – it’s 100% free.
WordPress can be downloaded for self-hosted installations from WordPress.org or you can easily install it on almost any WordPress web hosting account. We offer a 1-Click-Auto-Installer for WordPress on our web hosting account.
Matt Mullenweg (Mr WordPress himself) announced that the upcoming version of WordPress: 4.8 will drop its support for IE 8, 9, and 10. Core contributors have been discussing browser support for the past two months in relationship to setting technical requirements for the new editor.
Microsoft already discontinued support for IE 8, 9, & 10 in Jan 2016, this means that they no longer get security updates. Mullenweg repeated that continue support for these browsers is holding back development of WordPress .
“I realize that folks still running these browsers are probably stuck with them because of something out of their control, like being at a library or something,” Mullenweg said. “Depending on how you count it, those browsers combined are either around 3% or under 1% of total users, but either way they’ve fallen below the threshold where it’s helpful for WordPress to continue testing and developing against.”
Dertimining how many users are on these obsolete browsers, Jonathan Desrosiers put together data from 3 different places. Here are numbers for IE usage published by StatCounter’s GlobalStats, Desrosiers said these are nearly identical to WordPress’s numbers:
IE8 – 0.41%
IE9 – 0.26%
IE10 – 0.26%
IE11 – 3.79%
WordPress will not stop working entirely in these browsers, but after the 4.8 release contributors will no longer test new features against older versions of IE. Some capabilities in wp-admin may be more limited. Mullenweg confirmed that the next versions of TinyMCE will no support older IE versions.
Global IE usage has declined from 7.44% in March 2016 to 4.18% in March 2017. IE marketshare has been shrinking as mobile device usage has gone up. October 2016 marked the first month in history that mobile and tablet traffic exceeded desktop usage worldwide. As this trend of declining desktop usage continues, IE will likely be buried within a couple of years.
“I have been hard pressed to find a U.S. government agency running a version of IE less than 11,” WordPress lead developer Andrew Nacin commented on the announcement. “Government agency websites similarly see negligible traffic from IE < 11.”
The decision to drop support for IE 8, 9, and 10 was met with celebration from the WordPress developer community. Focusing on browsers that still receive security updates is a better use of open source contributors’ time and resources. Developers who do client work can also refer to WordPress’ IE support policy when pressured by clients to support insecure browsers.
Naturally, the topic of raising minimum browser requirements resulted in developers lobbying to drop support for PHP 5.2, which reached end of life more than six years ago. In March 2015, WordPress stats estimated PHP 5.2 usage at 16.6%, but that number has dropped steadily to 5.1% today. The task of updating a browser to the latest version was designed to be easy for users, but upgrading PHP versions is still somewhat complicated for those who are not receiving help from their hosting companies. The 5.1% on PHP 5.2 represents millions of users who would need to cross a significant hurdle into order to stay current with the latest version of WordPress.
WooCommerce and Shopify meet head to head as features go. Here are the differences that we think are important:
WooCommerce vs Shopify Pricing:
WooCommerce is free, and you pay for the addons you will need.
Shopify has a monthly base price, with monthly addons priced separately.
WooCommerce works with WordPress, and can be hosted at almost any quality web hosting provider.
Shopify is a hosted, all-in-one solution. You don’t own your website. Miss payment and you site is gone.
WooCommerce, where you host where you want to, will need an SSL Cert for secured transaction. $125/yr
Shopify includes SSL with their monthly price.
WooCommerce seems to be more flexible, and more extensible than Shopify. Especially with the customized look and feel of your website. Shopify being a hosted solution is attractive where you don’t have to worry about updates, however MHS offers WordPress Managed Services that covers all your updates and much more. Pricing seems to be somewhat less expensive with WooCommerce in the long run since most addons are one time fees.
Which Platform Should You Choose?
As you can see, both platforms have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. This will help you narrow down which is the best eCommerce software for your new store. Let’s briefly summarize them to make your decision a bit easier:
WooCommerce – Pros
It has user reviews and ratings.
Nicely organized reports which are categorized by date, product, category, coupons, etc.
WooCommerce is a free plugin which means there is no extra cost if you need basic store functionality and you already have a WordPress website.
WooCommerce – Cons
If you’re starting from scratch, you need to sign up for hosting separately and then download, install, and set up WooCommerce.
If you want an SSL certificate which proves your website is secure, you will need to purchase it separately.
WooCommerce is the most logical choice for those of you who are already set up on the WordPress platform, have your hosting taken care of, and you don’t mind paying extra for an SSL security certificate. Integrating WooCommerce is as easy as installing any other plugin and the most basic setup of the store can be completed in just five steps.
With that in mind, WooCommerce is easy to use, and it allows you to set up a testing environment to make sure everything works before you start accepting payments on your site. As long as you’re familiar with WordPress, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Shopify – Pros
Free hosting which means your store can be up and running as soon as you sign up for Shopify and start adding your products.
Slightly better SEO capabilities than WooCommerce, most notable being page loading times and the fact that it comes with a free SSL certificate.
Includes social media promotion and sharing which helps with both product and website promotion.
The admin area is modern-looking, easy to use, and very intuitive—even for a novice user.
Shopify – Cons
On the con side of things, Shopify doesn’t offer more than their three default product attributes whereas WooCommerce offers unlimited product variations. The products in Shopify are defined by size, color, and material which can have additional options but you cannot create new product variations.
With that in mind, Shopify is a great choice for those new to the world of eCommerce, and those who don’t have a website already. It features a friendly design and walks you through the process of setting up your store which makes it beginner-friendly, while some of the more advanced features will meet the needs of more demanding users.
Shopify offers an effortless way of getting your store up and running as quickly as possible. To minimize the costs upfront all you have to do is sign up for Shopify, pick one of their free themes, customize the design to match with your brand, add the products, and you’re good to go.
If it comes to down to cost, Woocommerce is the outright winner.
Maine Hosting Solutions thrives on providing the best WordPress hosting experience for their clients. WordPress users crave a backend that’s fast and easy to use. This is where CloudLinux and PHP7 come into play. Over the past 6 months the WordPress Core has expanded it’s dependence on utilizing the speed enhancements inherent to PHP7. While most WordPress sites run fine on PHP5.6, the standard PHP build on most servers, we now offer a feature in cPanel to easily change the PHP version your site is using; all the way up to PHP 7.1. We’ve found that running WordPress sites on PHP7 you can see up to a 2.5x speed increase on core processes. This relates to a faster downloading site, faster site searches, and faster rendering of complex layouts.
All of MHS Servers run CloudLinux that provides you with the PHP Selector in cPanel. On all of our hosting accounts you can easily select any version of PHP from 5.4 up to 7.1.
Cachewall offers all our users on-the-fly serverside caching. This takes the most common front end files that are delivered by your website and holds them readily available to deliver in a lightening fast compressed version.
Over the past month we have set PHP 7 as the default on all hosting accounts, and made available the Cachewall Icon as well as the PHP Version Selector in cPanel.