On this site, the designers and developers site of ICanLocalize, we want to develop a resource library for those who want to use WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS). Using WordPress as a CMS organizes the content as a conventional website rather than as a blogging platform. With the growth of WordPress and the many people writing themes and plugins, the platform is becoming a very viable alternative in the CMS arena. Here are 5 reasons why I think considering WordPress for your CMS makes sense:
- Cost. When you get down to the bottom line it is always about the money. That is why it is called the bottom line. If you have the knowledge you can get a $100/year hosting service, spend $10 for a domain name, install WordPress, find some free themes, add some free plugins for the features you need and you are in business. Conversely, if you want a professional looking website and do not have the skills, you can hire a designer to just do the design work and not have the high nuts and bolts cost of having a built from scratch website.
- Ease of Use. Once the WordPress based website is set up, the admin section is very easy to use to add or change content. Anyone who is familiar with word processing can write and publish a new page or post. A website owner can manage many of the functions of his site without having to call/e-mail the designer for every little change.
- Great, creative Themes. If you take a look at websites that use some of the other open source CMS platforms, you start to see a sameness to their look. WordPress theme writers have made thousands of themes available for free or a premium and I am constantly amazed at the creativity. Your website definitely does not have to look like a blog.
- Plugins, plugins, plugins! WordPress plugins can make your website do just about whatever you want. I often see something cool on another site, google that feature+wordpress=plugin and find the right tool to add that feature to one of my sites. Just upload to my hosting service and activate in wp-admin. I have done everything from change languages to live stock market quotes with plugins. Statistics, advertising, social media, custom menus, photos, videos, the list is almost endless.
- Online help and support. With the growing use of WordPress there has developed a tremendous Internet database of knowledge on all aspects of using WordPress. I personally have no background in programming and was able to learn and set up several WordPress blogs and websites. For the more knowledgible than I, there are blogs and forums where the solution to any troubling issue can be found.
- Bonus feature: WordPress comes with a blog attached. If you want a CMS for a website you probably want to include a blog. If you want your website to include a blog for your latest news and ideas it is easy to set up. If no blog is desired, that is quite easily done also.
As I stated in the opening, we want to become a resource here for those who are considering or already using WordPress as a CMS. We will be discussing some difference between website and blog design and would like to highlight some sites, developers and designers who are using WordPress as their CMS. ICanLocalize currently has several plugins available to enhance CMS usability. If you are using WordPress in CMS applications we would like to hear from you about your experience.