Here are a few of the benefits of using the industry ‘best practice’ approach of CMS (Content Management System) based web design, specifically using WordPress:
- Rapid design, deployment, updates; get and keep your site going in a fraction of the time/cost of earlier techniques
- Flexible site, page and navigation architecture; easy re-organization and dynamic re-design ‘on the fly’; adapt to changing needs
- Multi-author, multi-editor, etc. log-in accounts permit routine maintenance by non-technical staff and site owners; about as easy as word processing but with far more versatility including video, audio, animation, photography, graphics and other media. Do as much or as little yourself as you like
- Provides a way for staff with complementary skills to maintain different parts of your site – at the same time! Sections and pages of the site can be independently edited by different teams and/or individuals; structure, graphics and text content can all be edited independently, yet default to consistent ‘look and feel’, navigation and other thematic elements
- Content (e.g. serials, tutorials, RSS feeds, news, updates) can be uploaded automatically at regular intervals; allows invisible ‘vacation mode’ for authors who want daily updates while in remote locations without web access
- Portions of the site can be password-protected for limited and/or eCommerce access
- High degree of standards compliance due to XHTML/CSS/PHP database foundation ‘under the hood’; solid architecture minimizes browser compatibility issues and coding errors common with older approaches
- Fast and easy updates to stay current with latest best practices and technology; e.g. 1-click updates for Genesis and WordPress
- Enormous variety of open-source plug-ins and widgets that provide an astonishing depth and breadth of capabilities and enhancements; the capabilities of an environment like WordPress now match (and in most cases exceed) those of the older conventional web design tools and approaches for both blogs AND regular websites
- Anywhere, anytime access for editors, authors and admin staff; from mobile hand-held devices to laptops to desktop machines; anywhere there’s web access, the site can be updated – you can maintain your site and blog remotely!
- Highly customizable using stylesheets, graphic and typographic design and other contemporary tools
- SEO-friendly architectures (e.g. StudioPress Genesis) offer excellent search engine, social networking performance, social media integration
- Ubiquitous availability of popular, open-source WordPress themes and templates (many of them free like WordPress itself), as well as an ever-growing global community of designers, webmasters and CMS-savvy professionals allows easy transfer/migration to different web admin/design/maintenance staff; minimizes risk of obsolescent technology or support
There are many other CMS choices, such as Drupal and Joomla. Here’s a graphical comparison of these 3 popular CMS options. While other architectures can be better suited in some cases for specific applications, we find that WordPress meets the needs of the vast majority of individuals and small-to-medium businesses, and is unparalleled in ease of use for both ‘hands-on’ clients and designers, which explains it’s dominant and growing popularity world-wide. Here is a free tutorial on WordPress that we recommend, especially for those who plan to do some of the basic routine editing, blogging, etc. of your site yourself.