When I started creating websites, several alternatives were available to me. Flash (at the very beginning… it seems so far away!), the “hard coded” site in html, online platforms that allow you to create your site in two-steps-three-clicks. I finally started using the WordPress platform, and the choice is clear now: I see no reason not to offer this platform to my clients. And here’s why!
1. It’s free
We like free things! But yes, WordPress is what we called an “open-source” and free platform. Although some plugins or themes are paid, and you will have to pay if you hire a designer and/or a developer, the platform is basically free. If you have a mini-budget and want to create your site yourself, this is also a very good solution.
2. It’s enriched by plugins and themes (often free too!)
An open-source platform brings other advantages. Since developers have access to the code, they can easily create plugins that will meet their needs. Which gives us a gigantic bank of plugins to do, in the end, just about anything. The same goes for themes, which allow small businesses to have a professional-looking site at little cost. Note that some more advanced extensions are paid, some themes too, and sometimes it’s worth paying the little extra to have the desired features. You still have to be aware that this means that both good and less good developers can create plugins! So it’s worth shopping around, and using plugins from recognized developers.
3. It’s supported by a community
Forums and information sites on WordPress abound on the net. The developers work together to evolve the platform and there is a lot of documentation, which facilitates our work and that of the users.
4. It’s a transparent platform
With WordPress, everything is clear and at hand: the database, and the files. By using certain online creation platforms (two-times-three-clicks), our site is quickly ready, but impossible to migrate, save, or sometimes even modify. These platforms often have pre-determined features, and it is impossible to get out of these limits. It’s very difficult for a developer to modify a site without knowing “what’s going on behind it”.
5. An effective management console
For the user, the management console is definitely the big plus of WordPress. If the site has been well developed, it will allow the end customer, even if he knows nothing about the web, to update his site himself. The management console can also be customized according to a user’s rights. A user can therefore be authorized to publish articles, for example, without having access to product catalogs.
WordPress can be used by someone who has no idea what CSS is supposed to mean. But it can also be taken very, very far by an experienced developer/integrator. It’s for this flexibility that I love it: it can be useful for a site with a small budget as well as for large projects. Do you use any other website building platform? Which ones, why?