WordPress is a well known and popular CMS (content management system) for running blogs however it is also a solid CMS for running a website (even more so if it has a blog). While its true WordPress is targeted towards running a blog its more then capable of running a website as well. This website has been created using WordPress and at Simpons Creative (a creative agency i work for in Bishop’s Stortford) we are creating more and more websites using WordPress to power the CMS section of the website.
What are the benefits of using WordPress as a CMS?
There are several benefits of using WordPress as a CMS for a website project, firstly the code is in use on thousands and thousands of websites around the world and it is open source this means that there are allot of other users out there testing the CMS and making sure it works as expected. It also means that if there is an issues with the CMS anyone can submit updates for it to patch the issue, it means that there are developers all over the world working to make the CMS better, faster more efficient but also secure. If you had a bespoke CMS created by a website developer for your website and then they chose not to support it or you wanted to move developers its going to be allot harder to find someone to take over the CMS – not to mention more expensive as the new developer will need to spend time familiarizing themselves with your system.
With WordPress you don’t get this issue because its open source and incredibly popular finding someone else to take on the support of your site will be easier and because the developer does not need to spend as long getting to know the CMS its cheaper as well.
WordPress features two very useful features called themes and plugins between these two features a user can change the look of the website within minutes and add features that would otherwise take hours in no time at all. Themes are templates for a website and will change the appearance of the site, WordPress comes with a default theme that users can edit to meet their needs, install another theme from the WordPress theme library for free or if they want something bespoke and unique to their needs have a custom theme created for them by a website developer.
Pluigns let users add features to the website using pre made snippets of code that developers have created and released into the WordPress plugin library which contains hundreds of free plugins. These plugins can do something simple from adding a twitter feed to your website to adding more complex features such as a shop, the best example is adding SEO pluings that lets the user teak the title and description for each page – a task that is made so simple by the plugins that users do not need developers to help maintain the SEO (a large cost saving in the long run).
WordPress is a very flexible CMS and can run blogs, websites and even online shops! The fact that it is open source means it will be up to date, reliable and secure. The popularity of the CMS means that developers all over the world are creating and releasing plugins and themes for the CMS meaning maintaining the website will be as easy as possible.
How to get started
While WordPress is very easy to use setting it up and installing a theme or creating one from scratch can still take some know how, if you are not comfortable with HTML, PHP and CSS and want a custom theme creating i would recommend talking your website through with your local website development team.
If you are after a themed website i would suggest looking first at the WordPress theme database which contains over 1,500 free to use themes, all of which can be installed from within WordPress itself.