You may have noticed that most of our recently completed sites are built on WordPress, and you’d be right. As blogging has really taken hold, blog platforms have become exponentially more sophisticated, with components for integrating social media, eCommerce and much more. WordPress is now a full scale content management system (CMS).
WordPress is Open Source
We chose WordPress as our go-to platform for all of the above reasons and one more very important one: unlike many other blogging and CMS platforms, it’s open source, so it’s continually being developed and improved by members of a worldwide community of developers and contributors, and new plug-in components are being added all the time. Being open source also makes it easy to make customizations to core code and/or plugins here in the shop. This makes the platform highly flexible. In addition, the folks who manage the core of WordPress are highly security-conscious and responsive when a vulnerability is detected.
Add to that its great ease-of-use for the customer, and you have a truly winning combination. Once the primary design and customizations are complete, the customer can manage their own content–after all, the client is the subject matter expert in their particular business, so they should be able to leverage that expertise on the web without having to also be experts in HTML and web design.
DIY or agency?
Now, you might ask “Well, then, why bother hiring an agency to do the work if WordPress is that easy?” And that’s an excellent question–many small businesses and individuals do choose the DIY route, which costs significantly less to build and launch. However, the degree to which a novice user can customize WordPress can be limited–the learning curve is steep in many ways–and the resulting DIY site tends to look an awful lot like every other WordPress site out there. Choosing and fully utilizing a theme can also be a daunting challenge, as each theme has its own complexities.
The point of hiring an agency isn’t necessarily to have us do the work that you could do yourself (although sometimes it is, if your resources are stretched too thin). What an agency offers is deep expertise in the platform, as well as creative design, expert content authoring–including SEO considerations–marketing principles, and overall user experience, tailoring it to best suit the needs of the intended audience. There might also be integrations that need to be enabled to social media platforms, bulk email/marketing automation systems, and so on.
Our platform of choice
We are such fans of WordPress that we built our own site on WordPress.com–a great way to demonstrate the value of the platform (what some call “eating your own dog food”), and another viable option for many companies.
Instead of paying for separate hosting, WordPress.com gives users the ability to build their blog on the WordPress servers for free. The fees come in when you use custom domain names, customize your theme, add component extras, create an especially large site, and so on. WordPress.com is still a viable and cost-effective solution, and one that we have recommended to a number of our smaller clients who need a streamlined web service.
And no, WordPress did not pay us to say these nice things; we’re just fans. 🙂