The Whats and Whys of WordPress

October 30, 2015
Josh Henderson

When building a website, thinking about a content management system that will work for you is an important decision. With many CMS options out there, how do you know you’re picking the right one?

Chances are WordPress fits all your content management needs. 

WordPress may have started out as a blogging tool years ago, but has long shed those old clothes to be a complete, versatile and stable content management system, as well as an industry leader. Developers are able to build custom, robust and complex websites and applications on WordPress. In fact, it powers nearly 60% of websites using a known CMS and almost a quarter of all sites.  Even popular and highly trafficked sites such as BBC, Google, The New Yorker and even Jay-Z use WordPress. There is no one particular use for the WordPress platform. It’s a versatile platform as it can handle most anything, whether it be a full-featured website, blog, photo gallery or e-commerce solution.

 

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One of the leading reasons why people choose WordPress is because it’s free and it is open source.

You are able to download it, install it and then modify it to your own needs. Open source means that the code used to operate the software is freely available for anyone to enhance and customize. Because of this, WordPress offers support from a large, diverse community of developers, with users worldwide. As a developer, using software with a such broad support has allowed me to easily learn new skills and improve them, whether through their talks on wordpress.tv or their WordCamp seminars. In fact, I had the opportunity to attend Philly WordCamp earlier this year. I gained valuable information and plan on attending their national seminar in December. The opportunity to meet and converse with hundreds of fellow WordPress developers and users allows the company to continue to push boundaries by developing features through user feedback.

 

The vast community that WordPress offers truly makes it a top CMS choice.

As mentioned, with so many developers actively using and modifying the software it has led to the creation of hundreds of themes and thousands of plugins, many of which are free. However, a word of caution on free themes. While created with the best intention, free themes can lead to headaches down the road. These free themes often don’t provide support. Over time, the site security falls behind, leaving the site exposed, and causing update issues. For example, a site I was working on posted a minor update which caused the front end layout to completely break. The same can be said concerning plugins. If you check the WordPress plugin directory as of now it has over 40,000 plugins.  Knowing which ones provide ongoing support is crucial to maintaining a working and functional site. At Push10, we offer ongoing support for our custom themes in order to combat those headaches.

 

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Another great feature of WordPress is that it’s SEO friendly.

Whether by creating custom search-friendly URLs, adding analytics scripts, or the ease of which search engine crawlers can navigate your site, you don’t worry about a dip in your rankings. In fact, you can even add a plugin to help check your data and and update the titles and meta descriptions. Additionally, WordPress takes its security seriously, with consistent updates that patch the latest security concerns. Staying up to date on their end is of utmost importance as keeping their users happy is the goal.

 

As a first-time user, all of this may appear overwhelming – but the truth is managing WordPress is easy! When a user logs in, their dashboard alerts any plugin or WordPress updates. Additionally, users can add pages and images, change content, and schedule posts to be shown in advance with ease.  Since it is so widely used, finding a tutorial for any questions you may have is as simple as searching on Youtube or Google. The answer seems obvious, whether you’re building your own site or working with Push10. While Drupal and Joomla may be ideal for more complex applications, WordPress is an ideal fit for a wide range of websites.