At Umi Digital we are very proud to use WordPress to power our Umi 360 hotel marketing platform. WordPress is stable, flexible, easy to use and is has an ever-evolving community that ensure that it remains the best and most popular CMS on the internet. At Umi we are frequently asked about why we choose WordPress for our platform; hopefully in this short post I’ll be able to explain our reasons and why we have been and will remain strong advocates for the WordPress.org project.
WordPress is now 13 years old if you can quite believe it! Its humble origins as a mere blogging tool seem a distant memory now but many of the core concepts such as easy content management have remained front and centre of what WordPress is all about. This age is often counted as a negative point to some but we all see it as a huge benefit. We see WordPress as a mature platform, not an old one. Sure, there are fancier and faster frameworks out there using React and Angular JS but there is no substitute for the natural maturation and the critical evolution of a platform over many years through thousands of WordPress Community members. This maturity now offers us an absolutely rock solid foundation on which to base our hospitality focussed creativity.
Despite its age, the development community within the WordPress community has never been stronger. The recent release (WordPress 4.7) boasted some great new features such as a native ReST API. This makes it much easier for third parties to integrate with web content. Apps can talk directly with WordPress or perhaps you may want to integrate data from third parties such as booking engines and PMSs. At Umi we feel that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to WordPress capabilities and we are all really excited about working with the WordPress community to create some amazing new features in the years to come.
The diverse ecosystem of plugins and documentation means that so much functionality is now possible from within WordPress. WordPress can be tailored and tuned to fit all sorts of purposes. Umi Digital have created our own custom plugins to support easy integrations with a number of booking engines whereas The Sun newspaper have created custom plugins for user management across their hundreds of journalists. Now that the stability and documentation are there, the possibilities really are endless. The first thing that you will notice on our Umi 360 dashboard is that it is highly tailored for hospitality; rather than seeing the generic add page/post, we have created room types for beds, menus, offers and more.
Ease of Use
Many webmasters and marketers see WordPress as second nature to them with novices finding it very easy to get to grips with. This is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it saves a huge amount of time when something just ‘works’. The amount of time we lose trying to battle with badly designed software is atrocious; in the hospitality sector, this is time that people just don’t have. Secondly, if the task becomes enjoyable then we are far more likely to keep content fresh on our websites. This keeps our visitors interested and offers many SEO benefits as well. This simplicity and ease of use has certainly not come overnight. There is a dedicated team on working on WordPress that focuses purely on accessibility so we will hopefully see many more user-friendly additions evolving in the future.
Being a bit of a Worpdress enthusiast I could prattle about the benefits for a whole lot longer but points above provide the essence of why Umi uses WordPress and are so excited to grow Umi 360 with it. If you’re interested in contributing to WordPress or seeing what everyone is up to just head over to make.wordpress.org!