Building a website wasn’t so easy earlier as it is now. Fortunately the time has passed when you had to hand-code HTML and PHP scripts in order to get an easy and fully functional website. Now content management systems (CMSs) do most or all of the heavy lifting for site creators. There are a number of CMSs for serious site creators, but the most common for websites today are considered to be three open-source tools: Joomla, Drupal and WordPress.
WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a CMS based on PHP and MySQL. It got its start as a blogging platform in May 2003 and gradually evolved, first into a blogging system that let users add Web pages outside of the blog and then into a full-featured, popular CMS. Of the three most popular open-source CMSs – WordPress, Joomla and Drupal – WordPress is both the most popular and the fastest growing by far, according to Web technology tracker W3Techs.
Earlier anyone could hardly think of using WordPress as the blogging platform. But now the situation has changed completely. Every second site owner using a CMS chooses WordPress. But to be objective let’s see what the facts are that speak in favor of this star-CMS. And what are there against it?
It means you get access to its source code and can study, modify and improve it according to your needs. However, it doesn’t mean you can do anything at all with the code. WordPress is issued under GPL license, which restricts certain actions (like limiting access to the code for others etc).
* Installation doesn’t cost anything
However, you may need to pay for customization, app development, premium themes etc, but the basic installation is at no cost.
* Easy set-up
That’s not even advertised anymore. It is simple and it is also quick. WordPress is known for 5- minute’s installation time.
* “Friendliness” with users
What can be a better way to gain popularity among users that become friends with them? WordPress is well suited for all types of users, even those who had never suspected a site can possibly have a backend. If you are able to google WordPress site and register your account, if you know how to use a text processor, you’re sure to get well with your new WordPress blog or website.
* No problems with customization
With the number of free themes and plug-ins for adding functionality to your site bigger than in any other CMS, a user gets the rich choice of website appearance and features that don’t come by default. And their integration is usually as easy as installing WordPress itself.
* Community support
WordPress has the enormously big community of users – from new born WordPressers to seasoned pros. They do great job helping each other via community support forums and discussion boards. Apart from that, WordPress provides exhaustive documentation on every possible issue, to ease the life of its followers.
* Multisite feature
WordPress allows its users not to be limited with just one website or start every new site with the new WordPress installation. With Multisite feature that’s available with all versions starting from WordPress 3.0 you can manage your several sites within one admin interface. However, to use this feature successfully, you need to study the WordPress codex well and have certain administration skills.
The security of WordPress leaves much to be desired, as with majority of open-source software. The thing is, when anyone gets access to the code, it’s easy to find flaws in it and use them to get into a site. But it doesn’t mean you’ve got to buy the most expensive software, you just need to use the techniques to enhance the protection of your site integrity.
– Advanced theming/features
If you know no HTML and coding and are satisfied with the looks of your blog by just switching to a new theme – you’ll be fine. If you desire to start off by changing everything to your taste – you may be in need for professional help. As to adding more functionality to your site via various plug-ins, in most cases, the common ones work out great, but if you experiment too much with them, you may get stuck when one plug-in is not compatible with the other, some need upgrade and some require tweaking the code to work correctly.
– Maintenance Costs
Although considered one of the most affordable CMSs, WordPress still may require money to be running successfully. For example, you pay for hosting, if it’s not self-hosted, exclusive themes or plug-in development in case nothing free suits you.
WordPress: what to expect?
During 2012, WordPress didn’t undergo any major changes. There wasn’t much new in WordPress 3.4 except easier theme customization. WordPress 3.5 had a mildly different new theme, some media improvements and not much else. In contrast, WordPress 3.6, which is set for a release sometime in April-May 2013 feels like a big step forward. There’s a bold new theme and several useful new features.
• Twenty Thirteen:
Twenty Thirteen will be the new default WordPress Theme with increasing support for post formats. Unlike previous default WordPress theme this theme is going to have lots of bold colors and will be fully responsive.
• Navigation Menus:
Lots of beginners complain that WordPress Menu system is quite hard to understand. In WordPress 3.6 this navigation menu options have been simplified and it will become easier to create and manage Menus in WordPress.
• WordPress Post Formats:
In WordPress 3.6 there will be a new User interface for Post Formats and theme authors will also have access to template the individual functions to change the structured data.
• WordPress Auto Save:
There will be some great enhancements related to Auto Save function. Posts are now auto saved locally so if the browser crashes, the server goes down or internet connection fails you will not lose the post and you will be able to resume editing right where you left it.
• WordPress Post Revisions:
Upcoming WordPress version will be a better handler for your post revisions. The changes will be highlighted with different colors so you can modify the usual things easily.
• Post Lock:
WordPress 3.6 will have a better editorial feature built in called Post lock. It will allow the authors or website administrators to lock a post to kick other person out of the editing and gambling between posts.
No site or platform is perfect, but WordPress has so much to offer and is very easy to use. In my opinion, the advantages outweigh disadvantages and with new version of it things are only getting better. Do you agree? Are there any other pluses and minuses of WordPress that are essential in your opinion and that I didn’t mention in the article? I’m eager to see your comments.