NOTE: As of 2016, I recommend a simple website builder such as WIX or SquareSpace for smaller projects. Let’s talk about your specific needs.
Microsoft Word gives you the ability to edit content. Your email program allows you to send a message out to the internet. WordPress is software that is accessed through your web browser.
It allows you to edit content (like Word) and send “messsages” (content) out to the internet.
WordPress is a free and open source blog publishing application. We highly recommend using WordPress as an addition to your company website, or to revise your static brochure style site. This website runs on WordPress.
WordPress acts as a very powerful content management system (CMS), storing images, audio, video, pdfs and other documents for easy insertion into your pages. This scalable model can be used to build a simple brochure-style website, a business blog, an eCommerce site or a multi-level membership site.
Can your current website can do that?!
WordPress is software that is installed on your web server. To create or edit your website, just login the site from a web browser and access the backend admin panel. This acts as a control to do everything from change the look & feel of the site with 1 click, to add new pages or posts, change themes, edit comment and more.
A site running on WordPress is optimized for easily publishing and changing content. Fresh, unique content is essential for getting good search engine rankings. You can boost your SEO ranking if you publish new content on a regular basis. (NOTE: Most of my clients don’t have time to do this!)
Themes are a “skin” of a look & feel that can be changed with 1 click! View our recommended themes.
With some customization, themes can be updated to match your brand. They provide more than just a pretty color:
Content that is presented as latest entry first, organized into archives automatically. This is the “blog” format, but businesses can use this to present latest news or product updates.
Pages allow you to manage non-blog content easily, so for example you could have a static “About” page that you manage through WordPress. On our website, “pages” are the links across the top gray bar.
There are literally hundreds of plugins that extend what WordPress does, so the actual functionality is nearly limitless. My favorite plugins include Twitter integration, eCommerce solutions, Membership management platforms and advanced photo galleries.
Blocks of content and mini interactive features that can be placed on the sides or bottom of your template. See the right column of my site for examples.
Visitors to your site can leave comments on individual entries, and through Trackback or Pingback can comment on their own site. You can enable or disable comments on a per-post basis.
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.
WordPress has a built-in user registration system that (if you choose) can allow people to register and maintain profiles and leave authenticated comments on your blog. You can optionally close comments for non-registered users. There are also plugins that hide posts from lower level users.
If you’ve dealt with systems that convert new lines to line breaks before you know why they have a bad name: if you have any sort of HTML they butcher it by putting tags after every new line indiscriminately, breaking your formatting and validation. The function for this intelligently avoids places where you already have breaks and block-level HTML tags, so you can leave it on without worrying about it breaking your code.
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.
For more information (and credit for some of these descriptions), visit: www.wordpress.org/about/features
I recently attended WordPress Mid-Atlantic 2009 to network with other WP developers and learn the latest tips and tricks.
TAKE ACTION: Are you thinking about using WordPress? Be sure to work with an expert!! It IS software so it needs to be kept up to date. In recent years, other website builders have been developed, and these work better for SIMPLE brochure-style websites. Let’s talk about your options!