We have extensive experience with customizing WordPress. If you are considering using WordPress to deploy your site, you should contact us for a consultation first. We can also help you make the decision as to whether or not WordPress is right for you. We can also give you a good estimation of what it will take to construct a site to meet your needs.
Prior to contacting us you should read the rest of this page. It outlines some WordPress basics, and will hopefully generate more questions than answers. Please write them down! That way when you contact us, we will be able to clearly address your requirements, and / or any concerns that you might have. If you don’t understand any of this, feel free to contact us. We are here to help.
Again….What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source (i.e. free) Content Management System (CMS) which is often used as a blog publishing application, powered by PHP programming language and the MySQL database engine. currently WordPress is a very popular option for managing web sites About 20% of the the 1,000,000 biggest websites are using WordPress, and it has been downloaded tens of millions of times by a wide variety of site owners. Its uses vary from personal web sites right up to large corporate sites & newspapers.
WordPress can be easily deployed to a hosting environment. Generally, the current version of WordPress is downloaded from WordPress.org for free. From there, it is simply uploaded to your web site account, and configured to run using the servers database engine.
WordPress has 2 basic components The WordPress Core, and The WordPress Template. Both are separate. The WordPress core core is the part that does all of the heavy lifting. It connects your site to the database, and retrieves all of the relevant site data from the database based upon the links that are clicked. This core should not be changed.
The template system / processor is very versatile an can be customized to meet your needs. This requires skill with PHP, HTML and a knowledge of the WordPress template system specifications.
If you use a template right out of the box (and there are many to choose from) there are some customization options that you can carry out from your WordPress control panel in your browser – without any programming skills. You can download / change templates at the push of a button. You can literally change your entire site look and feel in minutes. You can also download and install plug-ins called widgets. These are pieces of code that can be activated immediately. No more days (or weeks) of programming are required to do some pretty neat stuff!
Advantages of Using WordPress
- Rapid Deployment: For the simplest deployments, you can basically drop your company’s logo into the upper right, define a few categories, add a few pages of content and you are ready to go! You can literally have a site in a few hours. We have literally set these up the day before a trade show for clients[MORE].
- WordPress software allows anyone to create and edit new web pages and blog “posts” using only a web browser: Once we have set your site up for you it can be maintained by any person in your organization. The editing interface is very easy to use. It resembles a very simple word-processing software. and since the interface is web-based, creating and editing pages can be done by anyone provided they have an access password, and an Internet connection.
- Advanced Blogging Features: One of the great things about WordPress is the blogging features. These features literally allow you to have content on your site in minutes. If you have your content written, you can log on, paste your text and publish as fast as you can click the “publish button”. WordPress can even be set up to publish via email, so that you can email a post from your Smart phone, no matter where you are.
- Templates or Themes: WordPress uses “themes” or “templates” to control how your content looks. This is a very important feature. In older web designs the content of your page as well as all of the page layout and text formatting was built in to each page. The problem with this is that if you want to update the look of your site, sometimes the entire site had to be re-done, which was costly. WordPress doesn’t work this way. The content sits in a database, while the look and feel of your site sits in another set of “template” files. The net result is that all that has to be done to change the look of your site is to change your template files. Your pages, and web site structure, menus etc. don’t need to be touched. Another advantage of this setup is that once a new template is created, it can be deployed in less than an hour! No downtime.
- Extend-able Using Plug ins: WordPress has a rich plug-in architecture which allows users and developers to extend its functionality beyond the features that come as part of the base install. For example you can get newsletter plug-ins that will allow you to start acquiring emails from your viewers quite quickly. You can also get plug-ins that will pull RSS content from other sites, with a fairly minimal amount of setup.
- Search engine-friendly: WordPress features a clean automated linking structure that automatically ties all of your sites pages together. Search engines love this, and will crawl every page of your site.WordPress also supports the Trackback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or article.
Disadvantages of Using WordPress
- A Bit Code Heavy: If you are planning on making use of a lot of widgets and plug-ins, you will need good high quality hosting. If you don’t your site will likely end up being somewhat slow because all of this stuff requires a fair bit of the servers resources . This a definite no-no if you are running a business. You must have quick loading pages, or your prospective clients may simply click the back button – and they will be gone forever.
- Somewhat Restrictive: For the most part, all CMS systems will restrict your design somewhat. WordPress is no exception. There are certain things that can’t be done very well (or at all) by WordPress. Custom database applications are one of them. But there is a (albeit short) list of site types you shouldn’t use WordPress for. For example, Classified Ad Web Sites.
- Looks Like a Blog: One of the earliest complaints regarding WordPress as a CMS was that all of the sites looked the same. To some extent, this definitely used to be true. However, with the advent of WordPress version 3, that has become much less of an issue. I can still spot WordPress sites. It is a lot harder than it used to be, but I can. The general public however can’t….provided your template is customized properly so as to avoid that look.