At WebSanity we have used many Content Management Systems over the years, and we’ve even written a few of our own, but we are currently using WordPress as our default (although not exclusive) web development platform.
WordPress developed from a blogging platform and has evolved to the point where it powers over 25% of the websites on the internet.
It isn’t a perfect system, not by a long way, but it is:
- Easy to use
Most importantly it’s easy to use for a non-technical website owner – which is, after all, the whole point of a website Content Management System!
- Open source
So it is easy to customise and maintain.
- Very popular
There are many developers who who use the system so you aren’t stuck with one (not that we’ve had any clients leave us in the past!), and there are lots of blogs, information sites and WordPress books on how to use it, many aimed at the non-technical user.
With many developers working on it it is continually developing and evolving – with 3 major update releases every year adding extra functionality or making it slicker.
- Very extensible
The core system is extended by the equivalent of apps on a smart phone. Many/most of these are free so it can lead to very rapid development and elements you just wouldn’t be able to afford to pay to have developed specifically for you.
The design is generally kept separate from the implementation so it’s fairly easy to take an existing website built using it and swap to a new design with minimal disruption.
- Search Engine friendly
Well, out of the box it is OK, but with the addition of a plugin or two (in our standard setup) it’s as good as it gets!
Which reflects in the price we can charge our customers.
It does suffer from some weaknesses however:
- It’s a big beast
Because it is such a general system, designed to be easily modified, it can be a little slow at times, so you have to be careful where you host it and how you extend it, but there are free caching plugins that can give it a real boost if needed.
- It has evolved from a blogging platform
There are a few things that are a little bit ‘clunky’ when it comes to working with page content, nothing serious, just a few things where you have to do a couple of steps instead of one. We mitigate this by a selection of plugins to help make things slicker.
- It is popular
The more popular you are the more people will try to hack you. The biggest impact of this is that, just like you ought to do on your desktop machine, you need to keep updating it as new patches and fixes are released. There are quite a few things we do to ‘harden’ the basic system – from the seemingly trivial to esoteric technical things – when we see some developer’s WordPress installs it’s a wonder they don’t put a message on the site saying ‘hack here’!
WordPress is a game changer
We think that WordPress is a game changer. The speed of web development is phenomenal – pressed, we’ve got 3 separate basic Content Managed websites out in a day for a company in Peterborough – and its level of capability/sophistication is growing continuously. For the first time ever we can see people having websites developed for them in WordPress, content added to them over the years, new functionality added, new design applied over the website – all whilst sticking with the same familiar Content Management System. Gone are the bad old days of needing to start from scratch every time you want to make some big updates to your website. WordPress IS a game changer!
See some recent examples of WordPress web design.