After attending a web design-related event about the up-and-coming WordPress website/blog building platform, I decided it would be a great idea to give a basic introduction and explanation of what WordPress is and why it is becoming so popular. During the event, the speaker talked about how many designers, and even their clients, ask for websites made in WordPress without knowing exactly what it is and what having a WordPress website means for the client or backend user.
WordPress is the result of the collaboration of developers from all over the world. They have created and continue to build what is now a highly successful, user-friendly blog and website building software. It can be used to create a free, hosted blog on WordPress.com or a non-hosted website (not free since one must pay for selected hosting services), which is supported via WordPress.org. When creating the blog and/or website, the user is able to select pre-made templates, also known as “child themes.” These themes are very basic and can be altered by the user through an extremely easy to use, back-end interface called the “dashboard,” which is very similar to the interface of Blogger. New posts, media (photos and videos), pages, sub-pages, widgets and plug-ins can be added without the help of a developer/coder, making updates to a website or blog easy and fast for both the designer and the client. Not to mention a decent amount of built in security, search-engine-optimization (SEO), globalization capabilities, CSS coding options, and many more fun and helpful tools.
Another benefit is the ability of WordPress sites and blogs to utilize widgets and plug-ins. These enable the designer to pull in information from other websites or databases for display and interaction on the designed website, i.e. Twitter, news feeds, and anything that is updated frequently, plug-ins will serve as a window to those updates on the website. This makes sites more functional and because many of the WordPress templates are already designed with places for widgets and plug-ins, adding them to the site often does not interfere with the overall website design.
All of those things make designing a website quick, cost effective and make content management easy for the client to control once the designer has completed the website. But this does not conclude the list of benefits of using WordPress. WordPress is powered by PHP code. This means that graphics and images are supported in a way that doesn’t compromise their resolution so the site looks clean and sharp. This is great news for designers who have long struggled with keeping their designs as close to their original design as possible. All too often, after going through all the flaming formatting hoops that other coding platforms often require, designs are squished, bitmapped, and otherwise distorted if things are not saved or built just the right way. Long story short? WordPress helps accommodate for small human (designer) mistakes to make the site look as good as possible with as little coding and fussing as possible.
The functionality of WordPress doesn’t stop there. If a designer is able to collaborate with a developer versed in PHP and the ins and outs of WordPress website design, then the sky is the limit. Here at Bop, our developer creates custom templates to fit our client’s needs more specifically. The result is a large portfolio of visually stunning and communicative websites that can be created in less time than ever before. And as WordPress grows and becomes even more user-friendly, I’m not sure why anyone would want to use anything else to build their websites.