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When choosing a CMS (Content Management System) you should first evaluate your needs. Are you looking for an ecommerce site where users can browse products and place items in a shopping cart? If so you should probably use Joomla or Drupal. However, if you’re trying to post your thoughts on the internet or really do almost anything else WordPress would be a strong choice.

ADVANTAGES

Why do people use WordPress? Mainly because it is user-friendly and open source. Most bloggers don’t want to have to pay for an expensive system and don’t want to have to deal with a steep learning curve. This means that the amount of time necessary to have the website designed, developed, and launched is as long as it takes for you to write content and pick a template. Speed and efficiency make WordPress the most popular CMS for blogs.

Popularity comes with a great deal of perks for its users. Since there are a variety of different people experiencing the same issues, there is a very helpful community that organizes around the CMS. It is easy to find high quality templates that have been created by other WordPress users, which makes installation easier. In addition, help forums of web developers and casual users have sprung up all over the place, making it easy to learn from others’ past mistakes and experiences. WordPress comes with a user-friendly interface and a helpful community making it very accessible software.

DOING MORE

WordPress is an ideal blogging platform. However, some people who are familiar with WordPress have found that it can do more (even though Joomla may be better as mentioned earlier). WordPress offers plugins that make it more dynamic, but before you bite off more than you can chew, there are a few things you may want to consider.

The most obvious consideration is whether or not the core functions of WordPress would allow you to fulfill the objectives of your website. Although there is not quite as much flexibility to WordPress as there may be with Joomla or Drupal, the number of options you have is greater than you think. If you were trying to make a classifieds site with listings that include texts, images, and dates there is a WordPress plugin that makes that possible. Image galleries, article repositories, and exclusive listings of almost any variety are possible, as long as you’re creative and find the right plugin.

An important consideration for many who appeal to an international audience is the language packs that are available. If you were to create a site in English for a German client, WordPress would be a great CMS because there is a translation that makes it accessible to them. However, if their dialect is not supported by WordPress then you may want to choose a system that gives your client a better experience.

GOOD IDEAS

By default a WordPress website will show you the latest blog entries in chronological order. However, some bloggers don’t want to throw content in their visitor’s face but would rather have a static page that allows their users to navigate to topics they are particularly interested in. This process is easy enough. In the admin area go to “Setting” and click on “Reading”. The resulting screen will ask what your front page will display. Here you can choose “A Static Page” which is subject to further customization.

Often times it is good to have a sitemap that allows users to navigate your site easily. One of the best plugins that has been created to this end is Google XML Sitemaps which will not only creates an XML Sitemap for you, but also notify major search engines whenever you update a post. We at A Small Orange have dealt with developers who like that it is compatible with WordPress created pages as well as custom ones. Look over this sentence.

One way to greatly enhance the flexibility of your WordPress site is to execute PHP code in your pages and posts. Originally this was done by creating a page entirely in PHP and then linking to it in your site. This method of adding content was fairly laborious since you have to create a template file for each page and editing them can be incredibly time consuming. However, using a useful PHP plugin you can add code to any posts or pages and then edit them with the rest of your content.

CHOOSING A CMS can be something of an art and the future of your site [can hang in the balance.] I don’t know what this means. If you are looking for more control over your coding kingdom then Drupal or Joomla may be right for you. However, that is not to say that WordPress doesn’t come with options.

WordPress is fantastic as a blogging platform but with some dedication you can find a plugin that will give you more flexibility than you knew you could have.

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  • Dave

    Hi,
    Interesting article, and as a WP person, I largely agree. (I very strongly dislike Joomla, but for an ecommerce plugin, you may have a point there).

    But gosh, I think you have some editor’s comments above in your copy. You might want to look at that. I’ll let you find them. :-)

    Cheers, Dave