July 29, 2009

Spend any copious amount of time on this site and you’ll see me talk about WordPress.  Spend any time in conversation with me, and WordPress will come up.  I have a WordPress sticker on my laptop and my Official WordPress iPhone Case is on its way to my doorstep as I type.

So, really, what is WordPress?  And why should you care about it?

This post is meant to be the first of a series dictating just how cool WordPress is, and why you should consider switching / converting your old, static HTML site over.

So, back to the question at hand… what is WordPress?

If you look at the WordPress.org site, here’s the official definition:

WordPress is a state-of-the-art publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.

It’s pretty cryptic, but the next sentence explains it in a nutshell:

More simply, WordPress is what you use when you want to work with your blogging software, not fight it.

So, how is it different from a standard website?

In a standard website (.html based), a developer/designer creates a template shell, saves each individual page as a separate file, and uploads the content.  When an item needs to be changed, it has to be changed on the individual file and re-uploaded.  If you’re a small business with a small web-budget, you don’t have resources to have someone change a single word every time you need one changed.

staticvswordpress

WordPress does things differently. Instead of storing the content in files, it stores the content in a database.  The database is either stored on a different part of the server, or sometimes on a different server altogether.  Whereas a static page contains both structure and content, the WordPress theme envelops and wraps the content in the theme files – meaning you can change, edit, delete, and add new content using one set of template files.

OK, it seems cool, but is it for me?

Do you:

  • Have a small 3-5 page site that you want to have more control over?
  • Do you have content that changes on a regular basis (events calendar, etc.)
  • Do you want to add a blog to an existing site?

Then YES, absolutely WordPress is for you.

Over the next few posts I’m going to be talking about hosting, installation,

  • Mitch,
    Thanks so much for this. I'm really interested in incorporating WP into a marketing/blogging strategy but find that I am completely ignorant 2 inches below the surface. I look forward to your future posts and will engage you in the near future about helping more fully.
    Len

  • Mitch,
    Thanks so much for this. I’m really interested in incorporating WP into a marketing/blogging strategy but find that I am completely ignorant 2 inches below the surface. I look forward to your future posts and will engage you in the near future about helping more fully.
    Len

  • Mitch,
    Thanks so much for this. I’m really interested in incorporating WP into a marketing/blogging strategy but find that I am completely ignorant 2 inches below the surface. I look forward to your future posts and will engage you in the near future about helping more fully.
    Len

  • kshahrukh

    Do you think WordPress is good for a corporate website with links to various product details etc.

    Or do you consider having a CMS like Umbraco or OpenCMS will be more helpful there??

  • Kshahrukh,

    Honestly, I've used OpenCMS, and it's a pain in the butt to customize once you get over a certain page limit (and it costs more money once you get there as well.

    With the correct settings in WordPress, you can create a site as big as you want it with no barriers such as page limit or scalability.

  • kshahrukh

    My thoughts on OpenCMS 🙂

    Last query…Drupal or WordPress ??

  • WordPress is great for quick deployment and great setup. Drupal has way more features than WordPRess out of the box, but (honestly) you may not need all of the functionality Drupal gives, and it would sit there taking space. WordPRess doesn't have a lot of stuff out of the gate, but you can add plugins in as necessary to make it work.

    Or, if you need a bigger site, use WordPRess MultiUser (MU).

  • Anonymous

    Do you think WordPress is good for a corporate website with links to various product details etc.

    Or do you consider having a CMS like Umbraco or OpenCMS will be more helpful there??

    • Kshahrukh,

      Honestly, I’ve used OpenCMS, and it’s a pain in the butt to customize once you get over a certain page limit (and it costs more money once you get there as well.

      With the correct settings in WordPress, you can create a site as big as you want it with no barriers such as page limit or scalability.

      • Anonymous

        My thoughts on OpenCMS 🙂

        Last query…Drupal or WordPress ??

        • WordPress is great for quick deployment and great setup. Drupal has way more features than WordPRess out of the box, but (honestly) you may not need all of the functionality Drupal gives, and it would sit there taking space. WordPRess doesn’t have a lot of stuff out of the gate, but you can add plugins in as necessary to make it work.

          Or, if you need a bigger site, use WordPRess MultiUser (MU).

  • kshahrukh

    Do you think WordPress is good for a corporate website with links to various product details etc.

    Or do you consider having a CMS like Umbraco or OpenCMS will be more helpful there??

    • Kshahrukh,

      Honestly, I’ve used OpenCMS, and it’s a pain in the butt to customize once you get over a certain page limit (and it costs more money once you get there as well.

      With the correct settings in WordPress, you can create a site as big as you want it with no barriers such as page limit or scalability.

      • kshahrukh

        My thoughts on OpenCMS 🙂

        Last query…Drupal or WordPress ??

        • WordPress is great for quick deployment and great setup. Drupal has way more features than WordPRess out of the box, but (honestly) you may not need all of the functionality Drupal gives, and it would sit there taking space. WordPRess doesn’t have a lot of stuff out of the gate, but you can add plugins in as necessary to make it work.

          Or, if you need a bigger site, use WordPRess MultiUser (MU).

  • patbham

    I have a friend that has a energy drink recpie. He wants to sell the recipe. I have some knowledge of things IM. But will wordpress help me to make a Landing Page that will release his recpie when someone clicks. He was a pize fighter and he used this recpie to give him the edge.
    Pat

  • patbham

    Please help, this is so easy I do not know how to go about doing this for him.

  • Anonymous

    I have a friend that has a energy drink recpie. He wants to sell the recipe. I have some knowledge of things IM. But will wordpress help me to make a Landing Page that will release his recpie when someone clicks. He was a pize fighter and he used this recpie to give him the edge. Pat

    • Anonymous

      Please help, this is so easy I do not know how to go about doing this for him.

  • patbham

    I have a friend that has a energy drink recpie. He wants to sell the recipe. I have some knowledge of things IM. But will wordpress help me to make a Landing Page that will release his recpie when someone clicks. He was a pize fighter and he used this recpie to give him the edge. Pat

    • patbham

      Please help, this is so easy I do not know how to go about doing this for him.

  • Ray

    Mitch thnks for this blog. i need some advice im building a site entertainment news/videos/music would you suggest i use wordpress or is dreamweaver the best way to go? im still new to all this on both dreamweaver and wordpress. i'll take anyones point on this. please. thank you.

  • Ray,

    Dreamweaver isn't an actual platform – it's a tool. I actually use dreamweaver to design/develop WordPress themes (HTML) before I slice them into the appropriate WordPress files. If you're really new, get your feet wet with WordPRess.com (free) and then either get a theme and customize or hire someone to design a site that does everything you need.

    Mitch

  • Ray

    Thank you mitch very help full. now my next question is can i create the look of my site on photoshop and use wordpress with it? sort of like a template.

  • Absolutely. You can slice it once you're finished (using the slice tool) and build your page from the top down using CSS.

    Mitch

  • Ray

    thank you very much. tis is great help. oh one more thing is there any books you might recommend for noobs?

  • Haha, books won't help you – it's out of date by the time it prints.

    Check Smashing Magazine, the WP Tavern, and do a search for “WordPress Theme Development” all the tutorials you could ever need are there.

    Mitch

  • Ray

    thanks mate very help full input… Cheers

  • Ray

    Mitch thnks for this blog. i need some advice im building a site entertainment news/videos/music would you suggest i use wordpress or is dreamweaver the best way to go? im still new to all this on both dreamweaver and wordpress. i’ll take anyones point on this. please. thank you.

    • Ray,

      Dreamweaver isn’t an actual platform – it’s a tool. I actually use dreamweaver to design/develop WordPress themes (HTML) before I slice them into the appropriate WordPress files. If you’re really new, get your feet wet with WordPRess.com (free) and then either get a theme and customize or hire someone to design a site that does everything you need.

      Mitch

      • Ray

        Thank you mitch very help full. now my next question is can i create the look of my site on photoshop and use wordpress with it? sort of like a template.

        • Absolutely. You can slice it once you’re finished (using the slice tool) and build your page from the top down using CSS.

          Mitch

      • Ray

        thank you very much. tis is great help. oh one more thing is there any books you might recommend for noobs?

        • Haha, books won’t help you – it’s out of date by the time it prints.

          Check Smashing Magazine, the WP Tavern, and do a search for “WordPress Theme Development” all the tutorials you could ever need are there.

          Mitch

      • Ray

        thanks mate very help full input… Cheers

  • Ray

    Mitch thnks for this blog. i need some advice im building a site entertainment news/videos/music would you suggest i use wordpress or is dreamweaver the best way to go? im still new to all this on both dreamweaver and wordpress. i’ll take anyones point on this. please. thank you.

    • Ray,

      Dreamweaver isn’t an actual platform – it’s a tool. I actually use dreamweaver to design/develop WordPress themes (HTML) before I slice them into the appropriate WordPress files. If you’re really new, get your feet wet with WordPRess.com (free) and then either get a theme and customize or hire someone to design a site that does everything you need.

      Mitch

      • Ray

        Thank you mitch very help full. now my next question is can i create the look of my site on photoshop and use wordpress with it? sort of like a template.

        • Absolutely. You can slice it once you’re finished (using the slice tool) and build your page from the top down using CSS.

          Mitch

      • Ray

        thank you very much. tis is great help. oh one more thing is there any books you might recommend for noobs?

        • Haha, books won’t help you – it’s out of date by the time it prints.

          Check Smashing Magazine, the WP Tavern, and do a search for “WordPress Theme Development” all the tutorials you could ever need are there.

          Mitch

      • Ray

        thanks mate very help full input… Cheers

  • Ray

    Mitch thnks for this blog. i need some advice im building a site entertainment news/videos/music would you suggest i use wordpress or is dreamweaver the best way to go? im still new to all this on both dreamweaver and wordpress. i'll take anyones point on this. please. thank you.

  • Ray,

    Dreamweaver isn't an actual platform – it's a tool. I actually use dreamweaver to design/develop WordPress themes (HTML) before I slice them into the appropriate WordPress files. If you're really new, get your feet wet with WordPRess.com (free) and then either get a theme and customize or hire someone to design a site that does everything you need.

    Mitch

  • Ray

    Thank you mitch very help full. now my next question is can i create the look of my site on photoshop and use wordpress with it? sort of like a template.

  • Absolutely. You can slice it once you're finished (using the slice tool) and build your page from the top down using CSS.

    Mitch

  • Ray

    thank you very much. tis is great help. oh one more thing is there any books you might recommend for noobs?

  • Haha, books won't help you – it's out of date by the time it prints.

    Check Smashing Magazine, the WP Tavern, and do a search for “WordPress Theme Development” all the tutorials you could ever need are there.

    Mitch

  • Ray

    thanks mate very help full input… Cheers

  • skywalker847

    What is your opinion on using posts vs pages when it comes to SEO. Also, any help with SEO would be appreciated. Really confusing and can seem to get listed well. Thanks