Why WordPress?

The Short Answer!

Blog based CMS systems are very popular, secure, fast and easy to manage and keep up-to-date. WordPress easily leads the pack with it’s huge installed base, , and this means that if you use WordPress for your site you will have not trouble at all in getting technical support, and a very wide range of plug-ins.

The Need for a Content Management System (CMS)

I have been building websites or project managing site development since 1995, and for most of this time the sites were all hand-coded. There were good reasons for this. HTML editors tend to create a lot of messy code, and were hopeless for complex tasks.

The other issue was content management. Once the site was developed the customers – particularly the less technically savvy – had big issues keeping their sites up to date.  ‘Web developer’ also seemed to mean ‘content manager’.  In an attempt to get around this, we built our own content management system (CMS). It was not unusual for web design firms to do this in the 90’s.

This labour intensive approach caused problems. It could take months to put together a large project. It was a struggle to meet deadlines, and costs could blow out. There were  issues with sites not being compatible with different browsers. Once the site was up, it was difficult for the customer to manage their own content. And so on.

The latest generation of CMS

What is needed is a solution that enables projects to go ahead quickly and cleanly. Developer and designer dollars should be spent on meeting the business needs of the customer, and coding specialised requirements that add value. Not grappling with technical issues. In addition, the customer should truly be able to manage their own content using a simple web interface.

In the last few years two or three CMS (Content Management Systems) have come to the fore. They are WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. They are all open source, and they are all free. They all represent 1000’s of hours of community development and have numerous plug-ins and attachments.

So why WordPress?

Well Word Press started as a blogging platform, not a full-blown website management system. This means it is easy to use. Easy to post content, without having to worry about a whole lot of templating and other issues when creating a new post or page. It’s also naturally a great platform for discussion and social networking.

Now WordPress has grown way beyond its blogging ancestry. With a huge user base, large number of plug-ins, and some great templates – called Themes – more and more people are using it for full-blown site development.

You may prefer to use Drupal or Joomla for your site. That’s fine there are probably situations where they will be a better solution – such as complex magazine style layouts. But WordPress is easy to use and quick to develop with. It is well supported and easy to integrate with complex PHP applications.

Keeping it simple

In any case online business should be about business processes, not technology. The technology should be in the background. Open source solutions work and are well supported.

Tony Pfitzner

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