Did you know that Google has partnered with one of the web’s biggest web platforms? You heard us right – at the end of last year, the search giant announced that it has aligned itself closely with WordPress in order to improve the performance of this open-source CMS and develop a better experience for both developers and users.
WHY HAS GOOGLE CHOSEN TO PARTNER WITH WORDPRESS?
Both Google and WordPress are known for their commitment to creating a better web. The former is on an unrelenting journey to maintain a healthy, vibrant internet community for all; the latter’s mission is to democratise web publishing and continually improve UX on all WordPress-powered sites. It makes sense, then, that the two organisations have joined forces to accelerate results in key performance areas.
Alberto Media, Google’s Developer Advocate in the Content Ecosystems Team, praised WordPress in one of his recent blog posts. He listed the wide range of benefits it brings to the web, not least its ever-expanding range of themes and plugins, and had nothing but kind words for the passionate and engaged community that’s behind its success.
He then went on to detail why Google has chosen to work with WordPress, referencing the clear synergy between the two enterprises, and mentioning his team’s involvement at WordCamp US 2017. Google’s presence at the event was pivotal in assessing the stark performance gaps between WordPress and the rest of the web – of which, unfortunately, there are several.
THE LIMITATIONS CURRENTLY PRESENTED BY WORDPRESS
WordPress is one of the most widely used CMSes out there. About a third of all web content is supported by the platform, but, due to its open-source nature, it is not the most secure.
The system has presented webmasters with various security issues throughout the last few years, with thousands of sites succumbing to malicious attacks from hackers who have managed to worm their way into the CMS via vulnerabilities in core files, plugins, or themes that are out of date. Steps can be taken to prevent these hacks from happening, such as scheduling regular updates, choosing more complex passwords and investing in a more secure hosting platform, but no method (or combination of methods) is completely failsafe.
When you combine WordPress’ security weaknesses with its relatively high page load signals and slow speeds, there is clearly room for improvement within the platform.
Google has been very clear on what it expects from websites that want to be favoured highly within its index. Without considering all of the other well-documented ranking factors, and ignoring the actual content and user experience offered by the platform (its overall engagement), sites need to adhere to Google’s definition of a Progressive Web App (PWA): in short, they need to be reliable and fast.
Unfortunately, many WordPress creations are neither of these things, so there is certainly an opportunity here for Google’s engineers to work closely with WordPress to bring its ecosystem up to date and expand its capabilities for the benefit of WordPress developers and their clients worldwide.
IS THIS NEW PARTNERSHIP A POSITIVE MOVE FOR THE INDUSTRY?
Now that Google and WordPress have decided to combine their knowledge and pool their resources, change is inevitable. But as far as the team here at FSE are concerned, any alliance that leads to improved performance and better search indexing can only be a good thing!
Our WordPress developers will be following the progress of this unique collaboration and seeing what lies in store for WordPress in the coming months and years.