Web Talk

In my last column I discussed the benefits of project management when developing a sizeable web project and three important factors to consider when managing a web project.

This month we take a look at WordPress, a popular, open-source (free) content management system that can be used to build and manage websites and discuss the pros and cons of using it in professional website development.

WordPress

With its 77.5 million (and counting) websites, WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform.

But far more than blogging, WordPress’s openness to coding and scripting means that, with a little creativity, many have created fully-functioning websites from WordPress, which has made it a popular platform for techies and non-techies alike.

The pros

WordPress has a friendly user interface meaning that more-or-less anyone is able to use it, regardless of technical capability.

That said, however, with some knowledge of coding allowing you to take advantage of its largely open-source nature, a WordPress blog is able to transform into an impressive, eye-catching website.

In fact, a lot of official websites – such as that of Sony Music and Sweden’s official website sweden.se use the WordPress framework.

WordPress is completely free. Optional upgrades such as enhanced themes may cost you a little more, but hosting your own ‘premium’ site on WordPress with its own domain will cost as little as £60per year, which is great value.

There are 77.5 million individual WordPress sites in the world, making it the web’s most popular blogging platform.

It’s because of this that WordPress can boast an enormous community of users with whom to share your posts with and, if you take the time to integrate yourself into it, can provide you with great insight into how to improve your own site and make the most of the technical workings of the platform.

The cons

WordPress sites are notorious for being at a high risk to attacks from hackers. Although the future looks bright in this sense, with each new version of WordPress upgrading security features and overall integrity, this can also be its downfall.

With the vast amount of WordPress sites in the world running so many different versions, a lot are at risk. Ensure that you keep your version of WordPress up-to-date.

For those just looking for a blog and aren’t necessarily technically-minded, WordPress becomes quite a basic blogging platform which would struggle to do much else.

To get the most out of WordPress as a website platform you need to work with a website developer.

Despite its potential for plug-ins and customisation, if your site heavily relies on modifications, they are likely to be from a number of varying, independent developers which means that your plug-ins don’t always work together properly.

For larger sites running on WordPress, or if you want to moderate a project such as a web portal, plug-ins are essential, and getting them all to work together could involve some intricate technical work.

WordPress is definitely a powerful platform and is great for starting out; however, those aiming for a larger, more interactive site – perhaps one that also relies on user-generated interactivity – should consider bespoke.

• To read more on this and other

subjects, please visit the blog at www.ascensor.co.uk/blog.

For more information contact andrew@ascensor.co.uk

Follow me on Twitter: @andrewj firth.

Connect on LinkedIn: andrew jfirth

• Ascensor are a digital agency providing

website design,

ecommerce and search engine optimisation.

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