Just as Word has replaced WordPerfect as the word processing solution of choice for law firms, WordPerfect is likely to replace other content management systems for law firms, both large and small.
In fact, WordPress arguably already has.
- WordPress is used by 28.4% of all websites — that is more than one billion sites.
- WordPress is used by 59.2% of all websites with a CMS (content management system). Its closest competitor, Joomla, is used by only 6.3 percent.
- WordPress sites around the world publish over 24 posts per second. This is measured by sites that are part of the WordPress network (meaning sites hosted either on WordPress.com or externally-hosted WordPress sites that have the Jetpack plugin installed).
- WordPress sites receive 22.17 billion monthly page views (just within the WordPress network). That’s three times as many as people on Earth.
- There are 2.7 million global monthly Google searches for “WordPress.” This does not take into account people looking for “WordPress templates,” “WordPress plugins,” and other WordPress-centric information or under the abbreviation WP. Google Trends sees WordPress as 5.5 times more popular than Joomla and almost nine times more in demand than Drupal.
- WordPress 4.6, its latest version as of the end of 2016, has been downloaded 21.7 million times.
- There are 72 translations of WordPress. In 2014, non-English downloads already surpassed English downloads. You can set your WordPress dashboard to (almost) any language you like.
- There are more than 47,000 WordPress plugins. One of the main reasons WordPress is ahead of many other web platforms is its extendability. Plugins are available for all means and purposes.
- The WordPress development community is steadily growing. There were 89 WordCamps, locally organized events for developers and users, in 34 countries with more than 21,000 participants in 2015.
- WordPress is most popular with businesses versus news sites. Among the top one million websites in the world, the lion’s share of those powered by WordPress are related to business.
I had the honor of sitting down and talking with WordPress co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, a few years ago. Among a lot of things, we talked about the future of WordPress. He saw WordPress reaching near ubiquity as a digital publishing platform. Mullenweg wasn’t boasting, just expressing something that would happen naturally, as a matter of fact.
I took that as an 85% to 90% market share. We’re probably looking at 2020 to get there from the current 60%.
I thought then of a young software executive whose father was a prominent lawyer in a leading law firm. He had to wonder if he could replace WordPerfect as the word processing software for law firms with software of his own, that he’d be on his way to deploying his operating systems in most every law firm, and the companies who dealt with them.
That was Bill Gates and Word. Of course, as lawyers, we all dismissed Word as a lower-cost tech product that was more insecure and less stable than WordPerfect. No one would ever use it. We’d have our consultants and IT staff install what we knew and what they advised using.
Sure, the debate of WordPress versus proprietary and small open source solutions will continue. People and companies have skin in the game.
Ten or 15 years after I thought WordPerfect was dead, I found a piece this year on Corel WordPerfect versus MS Word: Which is Best?
California Attorney, Jeff Benion, wrote for Above the Law a couple years ago that:
Every couple of months, I get a legal technology newsletter that mentions the Word vs. WordPerfect debate. It’s not so much a debate as it is a handful of lawyers arguing with everyone that WordPerfect is better than Word.
WordPerfect is like Latin. It’s dead and used only by lawyers. When I see people arguing why WordPerfect should still exist, I always picture that person as someone who still has a Gore/Lieberman bumper sticker on their car. It’s over. Decisively over. It is the betamax of word processing software. It has lost the race.
No time to get into all the details now, but if your consultants or IT folks are proposing a CMS other than WordPress, it’s akin to them having proposed WordPerfect over the last number of years.
Kevin O’Keefe (@kevinokeefe) is the CEO and founder of LexBlog, which empowers lawyers to increase their visibility and accelerate business relationships online. With LexBlog’s help, legal professionals use their subject matter expertise to drive powerful business development through blogging and social media. Visit LexBlog.com.
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