Over the past 8 years, we’ve had the opportunity to test and use many open-source content management systems for websites we’ve developed. More commonly known as a CMS, we’ve crossed paths with the likes of Drupal, Exponent, Silverstripe, Dot Net Nuke and Joomla!. While several of these are considered more “powerful” than WordPress by some programmers, none have compared to WordPress in terms of being “client-friendly”.
A majority of Biscuit’s clients are looking for a website they can manage in-house and with that comes the need for us to provide instructions and tutorials. The more well known CMS software pieces are all very well documented but searching for video tutorials for WordPress, whether it through YouTube, Vimeo, or another service, proves just how large the WP community is today. With that kind of community support and a very clean, easy to learn admin interface, the WordPress creators have really provided a wonderful service to website owners and bloggers.
So really, why WordPress?
As you’ve figured out by now, WordPress is web content management system that allows you to manage and control just about every aspect of your website with ease. You can securely log in to your website anytime, anywhere, and make updates. Things like adding and removing pages, modifying the main navigation and updating text are as easy as sending an email. With the intelligent content editor, you can effortlessly create content or cut and paste from sources like Microsoft Word.
The functionality of your WordPress site is only limited by your imagination. Everyday new plugins are being created allowing for more and more interface enhancements between a site and it’s visitors. Features like calendars, forms, press release publication systems, and hundreds of others are available to use and implement in many different combinations.
WordPress is not only a free and open source web-content-management-system, it is also one of the most powerful blog publishing applications available on the market today.
Below are just a few of the features worth noting. You can find tons of information at wordpress.org.
WordPress is a state-of-the-art publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. WordPress’ highly advanced user system allows up to 10 levels of users, with different levels having different (and configurable) privileges with regard to publishing, editing, options, and other users.1
Integration of Social Media
Easily integrate your WordPress site with social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. For example, easily cross-post your blog posts to your Facebook Wall while your Facebook “Boxes” tab will show your most recent blog posts. For Twitter, write a post and have it automatically generate a tweet that is sent to your followers.
Allow viewers to quickly share your posts, projects, and web pages with a click of a button by re-posting, re-tweeting, and even sending emails to their friends or colleagues.
Blogroll (Links Manager)
Display a list of links to your favorite or related websites. These links can be put into categories, imported, exported, added, deleted, and edited with ease. After all, it is about the web and the more links you provide… the better visibility.
WordPress has gone to great lengths to make sure every bit of generated code is in full compliance with the standards of the W3C. This is important not only for interoperability with today’s browser but also for forward compatibility with the tools of the next generation.1
SEO & XML Sitemaps
Search Engine Optimization is an important aspect for every website project these days. By using key WordPress plugins, a compliant sitemap of your WordPress site is built each time the website is updated and is automatically submitted to Google, YAHOO, Ask.com, and Microsoft Bing.
This plugin provides complete integration with Google Analytics, the enterprise-class web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness.2
Adding photos, audio, & video to your website is a breeze. From YouTube videos to galleries with hundreds of photographs, WordPress plugins simplify the uploading process, as well as, allowing you to display these items with a click of a button.
Out of the box, WordPress comes with very robust tools such as an integrated blacklist and open proxy checker to manage and eliminate comment spam on your blog, and there is also a rich array of plugins that can take this functionality a step further.1
You need more? Here are some interesting tidbits about downloads, who uses WP, and costs.
WordPress is one of the most downloaded pieces of web software in the world. For the past two years running, WordPress averages ~2 million downloads per month.
Some of the most prominent brands around including eBay, Yahoo, Digg, Ford, Wall Street Journal, Sony, People Magazine, Samsung, Playstation, New York Times, Mozilla Firefox, CNN, Flickr, and General Electronic use WordPress for their blogging sites.
Some notable institutions using WP include Harvard Law School, University of Florida, Duke University, Cornell University, University of California, MIT, Emory University, Texas Tech University, University of Virginia, Oregon State University, University of Melbourne, University of Berlin, and Boston University.
The software is free and open source with a very large community supporting its development and with each new release the extensibility grows. If your site is hosted with Biscuit, the only ongoing cost associated with using WordPress is a monthly hosting fee. Biscuit does all the software updates for you.