Many people out there already use content management systems for blogs or portfolio sites, along with many companies, both big and small for business uses, including e-commerce sites. The most popular CMS currently being WordPress, which currently has a 24% share of all websites live on the internet right now. That’s a lot as websites are currently being launched each second, two per second in fact, which means the total number of online sites will reach 1,095,000 by the time I’ve finished this post!
The purpose of a content management system is for a user to easily be able to add something to a site (like a post for a blog etc.), by logging into the back end of the website and using a graphical user interface (GUI) to add media, maintain and generally manage everything. This means no delving into code if you don’t want to. This makes a CMS the perfect tool for many web developers to use where more than one person needs to maintain the site. This brings us to the main benefits of using WordPress – Firstly, because of it’s popularity, it has tonnes of support. WordPress is a free, open source tool for developers and blogger a like additional info. There are tens of thousands of themes and plugins and themes available to help mold a website and ease the overall maintenance and upkeep. Whilst many themes and plugins are free, the better ones as you’d expect, are to be paid for, but most come with a guarantee and support and reviews are always easily found on forums.
So, WordPress has been developed for the masses, but does that make it easy to use? Yes. The development of WP has been driven for a long time by bloggers, a lot of which have no coding or web development experience. This makes it all important the the visual interfaces are easy to use in the back end of websites. Again, plugins will help with all this. Take Visual Composer for example. This is an extremely popular plugin, also used on this site, which aids in ordering the layout of text and media on a page.
After just mentioning that bloggers are probably the reason why WP has been so successful, it won’t surprise you to know that this system is easy to use to keep a blog. Very easy to use in face and it looks great too. The latest version of WordPress comes with settings to change the look of the control panel, or the Dashboard as WP have named it. Tabs for all the options you will need to run your site are situated on a collapsible sidebar to the left which will contain “Posts” and “Pages” tabs. Posts will help add and manage articles and the Pages will do the same for every page on the site, a page for the blog will already be included in the default pages when the CMS is installed on the server.
So WordPress is easy to use, has massive support and looks great. Are there any downsides? As with most things, there are a few downsides, but in this case, very little. Firstly, the installation can be done with someone with little technical know-how, although it isn’t really recommended. A content management system needs a My SQL database set up on the chosen server in order to be installed. Whilst this may be child’s play to most web developers, all the settings and requirements needed just for the install and get started can be a bit overwhelming for those less used to doing this.
WordPress can also be quite hard to bend to your will when implementing. As you might expect, there are a lot of files that make up the whole system when installed. These files all have to communicate with each other to present the end product, and what you see before you on a web browser. This filing system gets infinitely more complex when adding more themes and plugins and can make for a frustrating afternoon when things go wrong.
All in all, WordPress is the content management system of choice for tens of millions of people and companies alike, including being my preferred platform and the current tool of choice for SA Graphics. With the World Wide Web growing at an exponential rate and WP still on the rise, continued development will keep us all interested with fresh tools and updates constantly, withe new themes and templates released every time the design trend changes.