Using WordPress For Content Management
For many years we encouraged clients to steer clear of content managed websites. Too many content management systems were either cumbersome or required frequent complicated security updates or took up too many server resources and were very slow. Many clients did not need the complexity of a CMS when all they required were occasional updates to prices or details that we could do for them at no cost in any event as part of their hosting and support package.
Then it all changed when WordPress came along. WordPress was developed as a blogging platform, but it has since blossomed into a fully fledged content management system. We watched its development closely, and by the time WordPress 3.0 was released in June 2010 we decided we were happy to recommend it to almost any client wanting a website they can manage themselves.
So we acquired the software and the expertise to allow us to create custom templates and tweak the stylesheet to create unique, good-looking sites. We learned what plug-ins really enhance the functionality of WordPress and what ones to avoid. We learned that WordPress is so much more than a blogging platform and can even be used for e-commerce and download sites. Finally the CMS had come of age. Today, WordPress powers something like 15% of the top one million sites on the internet.
As with any CMS (Content Managment System) there are limitations and using the editor to get exactly the layout of text and images you want can be frustrating – remember the first time you used Word? However, with practice and/or support and with judicious use of suitable plug-ins (‘bolt on’ bits of software that enhance the functionality of WordPress) you will be amazed at what you can create.
Some clients prefer the complete design flexibility of a bespoke hand-coded website, so for them we can design a bespoke site then a matching WordPress template to create a client-controlled subsection of their website. The main content that requires infrequent updating remains managed by us, but dynamic parts of the site – special offers, news pages etc – can be kept updated by the client and integrated with social media such as Twitter and Facebook. The advantage of this approach is that we can create a matching WordPress site for clients with existing sites, linked in to the main site’s navigation menus.
For new starts on very limited budgets a customised and hosted WordPress site with a bit of tuition to get you going represents an ideal compromise between the inadequacies of proprietary systems like Spanglefish and the cost of a full bespoke website plus management. Both time and cash outlay can be kept low, and you are in control of a professional looking website from day one.
We will be writing many more articles on WordPress in the coming weeks and months – ‘How To’ articles, case studies and more. In the meantime, see our main website
for more information.