WordPress has become the industry leader in content management systems. It’s extensibility, simplicity and usability are paramount to its success and it can be used in almost any scenario or project base. This article touches on some of the benefits of using WordPress in today’s technological climate.

WordPress has become the industry leader in content management systems. It’s extensibility, simplicity and usability are paramount to its success and it can be used in almost any scenario or project base. This article touches on some of the benefits of using WordPress in today’s technological climate.

Gone are the days of highly proprietary custom content management systems that were built specifically for a purpose of a single website. With the arrival and development of such content management systems such as WordPress, Drupal & Joomla, there is now little need to invest in such customised solutions.

For me, I began down the Joomla 1.5 path and celebrated it’s structure and organisation. I loved that fact that this framework was pure MVC and for once I felt like I could develop a code base that was organised and orderly. I created a number of websites for my clients built on Joomla 1.5, however, I overlooked it’s usability and whether my clients would consider it user friendly or not and whether they could adapt to such a complex system.

As a developer, it’s easy to overlook or not consider how a client will respond and interact with the management system that controls their website. As developers, we have a job to do, code the website, give the customer access to the backend, deliver the site and move on to the next project. To be honest this was my way of thinking for a long time. I adopted the mentally that the client would just need to learn the system. This was a bit of a false utopia when I would receive regular emails and phone calls as clients could ‘just not remember’ where this feature was or that feature was.

In today’s climate we live in a microwave culture. We want everything now, and when we can’t it we kick and scream until we do get it. It seems, that our clients are actually busy running their businesses and they don’t have the time, nor do they want to make the time to get to know how to administer their website. “It should just work and it should be easy” is a comment I have heard on more than one occasion. This is a primary reason why it’s important to choose a CMS that will work well for you and more importantly your client.

After learning this fact through experience from multiple clients, this took me down the path of searching for a solution that I could use to benefit my clients. That’s when I found WordPress. 

What I like about WordPress from a client’s perspective…

Logical

From a management point of view, WordPress is structured and ordered. The layout is presented in a logical format and ‘things are where they belong.’ It’s easy for a user to distinguish the difference between a blog post and a page and know exactly where to click to access what they need to. The WordPress administration side menu is split up into logical sections which helps the user find what they need quickly.

User Friendly

In the years of using websites and the internet, I believe we have developed a mentality of looking in certain places to find certain things, and when we can’t find what we are looking for, we get frustrated, this might only be for a split second but it still happens none the less. You don’t want clients thinking less of you because the system you chose doesn’t look right do you?  

WordPress answers this concern by delivering us a system that places things where they should be. Editing and reviewing content and resources is very user friendly. Each screen has simple options with clear action buttons to help minimise confusion which allows clients to be speedy in doing their updates and then moving on with other aspects of their business.

Extensible

WordPress is now deployed to approximately 1 in 6 websites world wide. It’s wide community base who are actively involved in forums, coding and support along with a huge array of community based and commercial plugins further solidify my choice in the software. 

The WordPress way from a coders perspective is centered around hooks/filters which at first I did not like, however I have now become accustomed to and offers plugin authors and theme developers phenomenal interoperability opportunities for extending default functionality both within the core and also within custom plugins and the likese.

Take for example the plugin Advanced Custom Fields, which in my mind has revolutionised how I code my WordPress sites. Through a simple user interface in the WordPress administration panel you can create additional custom fields for particular resources such as posts/pages/users etc.. These fields are then displayed when creating or editing these resources.

In fact I use ACF to serve custom layout templates which give clients variety in their content to help minimise user boredom.

Dashboard

The Dashboard which is the main screen you first see when you log in presents a number of ‘summary panels’ which communicate to the user the most important information about their website. Many plugin authors such as Gravity Forms & Edit Flow make use of this screen to give the information they need without need to navigate through the administration to find what they are looking for.

Community 

The community is huge! Being that the community is so large this makes a plethora of training resources and support available at your finger tips in addition to the already mentioned large plugin base!

Conclusion 

At the end of the day, you need to choose a solution that will work for both you and your clients. WordPress, Drupal & Joomla have come in leaps and bounds in a relatively short period of time, however, due to everything mentioned above, my clear choice was WordPress.