WordPress part 1: more than just blogging software

WordPress

Jake Clegg-Reed

Digital Developer

Posted on June 11, 2015

WordPress may have started as a bloggers’ platform, but it certainly didn’t stay that way. Since its launch in 2003, every update has given it bigger muscles to flex and new capabilities to pit against other web-building platforms. And boy is it looking good these days. Today’s version 4.2.2 offers an almost limitlessly flexible, secure and creative system for building varied and powerful websites, all backed by a CMS that, in our opinion, is unmatched by any other on the market.

Despite now powering 60 million websites, however, it can’t quite shake off the old image as ‘just’ a hobby blogging platform.

If you’re still overlooking WordPress’ potential to grow your web presence, here’s some encouragement to give it some serious consideration.

Design

WordPress isn’t limited by its templates anymore. Custom post types and custom fields enable designers to craft individual pages to look and behave in completely differently ways. This means design can be married to functionality, whether you need portfolio pages, galleries, search tools, forms or news feeds.

There are still thousands of beautiful templates on the market, however, many fully customizable and designed to make it easy to tweak the odd bit of code here and there. But built from scratch or adapted from an existing design, there is never a need to think WordPress is going to hold you back from making that design in your head a reality.

CMS

However you achieve the look you want; it’s once you start looking behind the scenes that WordPress comes into its own. The WordPress dashboard is friendly, intuitive and easy to navigate; designed to give you direct control over your build without overwhelming. Once your theme has been unpacked, the WordPress CMS empowers you take over and update, edit, add, delete, and move content around, add photos, videos, audio recordings, new pages, blogs, menus, forms – you name it.

Working with your design code rather than disrupting or competing with it, you’ll able to put your content first, and play with it boldly. You’ll never be ‘scared to touch something in case I break it’ again.

Security and reassurance

On the off-chance that something does go wrong, peace of mind is built into WordPress from the ground up. The page revision feature means a log is kept of all changes to content, letting you pull up an older version with a click. Variable levels of access and admin privileges let you control who can make changes and to what. Back-ups can be saved easily, and security plug-ins give you the ability to set up monitoring of every line of code of your site, so you’ll be alerted if anyone is trying to tamper with it or gain unauthorised access.

Plug-ins

WordPress is trusted by a vast range of 3rd parties who have developed plug-ins to enhance its functionality. Working with partners such as HubSpot and Woo Commerce, you’ll be able to integrate other high-quality services and reap their benefits. In part 2, we’ll be talking you through our favourites.

User experience

Unlike some other CMS choices, WordPress puts usability first. It wants to make websites that are easy to use and manage by real people, not just coders. And this isn’t only for the benefit of content managers; this usability is about making websites more attractive to your audiences, too.

Mobile responsiveness is built-in to most templates, and a developer will be able to make use of easy to access @media stylesheets to ensure your website looks good on whatever device it’s viewed on. RSS feeds make it simple for readers to subscribe to content, and social plug-ins make sharing a doddle.  What’s more, SEO keywords and optimisation can be easily incorporated into every piece of content to ensure that the right people will find you online.

All in all, the result is a powerful crowd-pleaser. Get a good designer on board early to help establish what you need your website to do and look like, and then you’re away. Everything else you need to build an audience, create and show off great content, and offer useful functionality you’ll be able to do yourself, and do it well.

Need anymore convincing? Many high profile financial services companies are now building their websites in WordPress. We’ve recently built modern websites for Mitsubishi UFJ Fund Services and HPC Investment Partners which ensured ease of use for future updates, as well as a site that is compatible with mobile devices, responsive and optimised for SEO. Our website here at Talisman is also built entirely using WordPress. Have a click around and see how well it works in action.

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