WordPress is the most used Content Management System (CMS) for developing a website. WordPress has become popular because WP users find it easy to create and maintain their websites. WordPress is open source software, so it’s code base and features are continually evolving by web developers worldwide. Currently, of all new domain websites created, 24% are built with WordPress. Few websites are coded or designed anymore by one web person. In the same vein, the site content (articles, images, forms, links, comment moderation, product orders) of the website are usually contributed by multiple authors and editors; the so-called content providers. Websites are so complex nowadays, no web designer, web programmer, or content provider has the skill set or time to develop an entire site alone. Website creation is a collaborative experience, with many different users doing different tasks for the final site experience.
WordPress being a content management system (CMS), the content of the website resides in a database. The webpages are created on-the-fly when a specific page or query is requested by the web browser. Keeping the website content in a database is much more efficient and expandable, than keeping static webpages on a web server directory.
The beauty of a WordPress site is that it is ever-evolving from many developers worldwide. There is the core functionality WordPress code and there are WordPress themes associated with each WordPress installation that control the design and style of the site. This site uses a Bootstrap theme. The beauty of this theme is that it is responsive to all web devices with varying device screen sizes. The Bootstrap theme is a “mobile first” theme; meaning it was designed to be readable and interface-friendly on all mobile devices, when displayed on a larger or wider screen, it elegantly expands to fit larger displays. With a responsive WordPress theme only one version of your site needs to be created and maintained, and your site looks great on any device it is viewed. As of April 2015, Google will penalize sites that are not mobile-friendly.
WordPress stores your website content in a database running from a web server. There is no software to buy or install on your computer. A WP site is created, viewed, and managed entirely from any web browser. There is a public side (like your homepage) and a private side to your WordPress site. The private admin pages are where the content provider(s) create and update your WP site. WordPress’ Dashboard is the password protected entrance to working on your website. The Dashboard is very adjustable and flexible to how content providers wish to work. WordPress’ new post/page editor can create new blog posts or new pages in a visual view (no coding) or the Text coding view (markup code shown). The WordPress Dashboard is also where you can periodically update your WordPress installation and WordPress plugins software as needed. Updating of WordPress files can be scheduled automatically if desired.
Organizing your site’s menus is a drag and drop task. In the past, this required a web programmer and coding. No more, the content provider can easily create or adjust the site’s navigational structure visually with cursor-dragging of menu items. It is entirely possible to create multiple menus positioned in various site locations.
In Dec 2012, the WordPress 3.5 core added a much improved Media Library which includes the capability to have photo galleries and organize your photos.
Widgets generate smaller blocks of web content. Most WordPress themes have widget enabled areas for assigning additional content (example; a sidebar column can have a calendar widget). By simply dragging and dropping selected widgets, the content provider can customize a sidebar column. Examples are sidebar calendars, Twitter or RSS feeds, or maybe a localized weather widget. Widget content can also be displayed to link browsers to site content that might not be readily visible on your homepage.
One sentence that sums up getting good search engine results: “Create awesome/unique content, write good headlines, use WordPress.” This is 90% true. You don’t need a SEO specialist to get good search engine optimization (SEO). By far the most difficult task is having good content. Most sites fail miserably with getting quality content and Google knows this. If your site content is interesting and you categorize and tag your WordPress posts per WordPress guidelines, then, you are well on your way to realizing good SEO results. There are number of WordPress SEO plugins that are necessary to help with the SEO process as well.
What’s the number two search engine? YouTube. What’s your video presence there? Video content on YouTube is another opportunity to improve your SEO results.
WordPress also has some sophisticated event calendars that allow your viewers to see upcoming events. The sidebar widget calendar on the left shows upcoming events.
Below is a full page event calendar for a touring company. Clients can browser the calendar for trips and available dates. Full trip descriptions can be accessed by clicking trip names. Trips can be reserved by paying a trip deposit all within the Calendar interface.
Ecommerce needs to work on all devices, desktop to smartphone. Easy Digital Downloads allows ecommerce that requires a minimum of clicks to get to customer payment. Their CSS styling stays consistent with the rest of the site too.
WordPress integrates well with all of the social networking options. You can publicize directly to any or all of your social networks. Plus, your browsers can easily share your WordPress content to their social networks.
- WordPress installations and hosting
- Bootstrap theme framework within WordPress
- Redux options framework for WordPress themes
- WordPress Responsive Child Themes
- WooCommerce or Digital Downloads Ecommerce
- Google Map API in WordPress
- PHP, SQL, HTML, CSS, JSON
- Graphics Gallery
- PayPal or Authorize.net Payment integration