WordPress 101: Understanding the Technical Benefits

We’ve been building websites since 1997,
and we have fallen in love with WordPress…here’s why.

wordpress

What is WordPress?

Think of WordPress like software running on your computer.

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 Increases Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A site running on WordPress is optimized for easily publishing and changing content. Fresh, unique content is essential for getting good search engine rankings.

A brochure-style website that is never updated will be ignored by Google.

Build a Blog, or a Whole Website with WordPress

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?!

We love WordPress as part of a Social Media strategy because it elegantly integrates with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter!

Very Easy To Use

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.

WordPress Control Panel

WordPress Control Panel

Standard WordPress Features

Themes

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:

  • Multiple page layouts (home, archives, single column, etc.)
  • Photoshop files (to be edited to match your brand)
  • Widget Ready with custom widgets (blocks of extra functionality)
  • Ad Monetization (strategic place holders that you can use to sell ad space or promote your own products)
Clutterridders.net uses a similar plugin setup to the SMW website, but has a very different look & feel.

Clutterridders.net uses a similar plugin setup to the SMW website, but has a very different look & feel.

Posts (Blog Content)

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 (Static Content)

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.

Plugins

There are literally hundreds of plugins that extend what WordPress does, so the actual functionality is nearly limitless. Our favorite plugins include Twitter integration, eCommerce solutions, Membership management platforms and advanced photo galleries.

Widgets

Blocks of content and mini interactive features that can be placed on the sides or bottom of your template. See the right column of our site for examples.

Comments

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.

Spam protection

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.

Full user registration

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.

Intelligent text formatting

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. Our 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.

Multiple authors

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

WordCamp Mid-Atlantic 2009

Our team recently attended WordPress Mid-Atlantic 2009 to network with other WP developers and learn the latest tips and tricks.

SMW goes to Camp!

SMW goes to Camp!

Social Media Works for Business – Training, Services & Marketing Strategy

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Virtuallinda (Linda Schenk)

I work with highly-motivated coaches, consultants and experts to turn scattered ideas into a profitable business model, brand identity and marketing message. Get started with my 7 Steps to Increase Profits & Reduce Overwhelm »

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