What do the websites for Variety, BBC America, Usain Bolt, Katie Couric and The Rolling Stones all have in common?
Give up? They are all built on a content management system (CMS) called WordPress.
While WordPress has historically been associated with blogs or some other type of personal publishing, the product has matured into a platform that can host virtually any type of web content. Through one streamlined, relatively simple interface, you can access all of the major aspects of site operations including content, design themes, media elements, traffic data and social interaction. Many companies and groups have taken notice of the capabilities of the platform, and according to BuiltWith, WordPress is used on 65% of the top million sites. For the top 10,000 sites on the Internet, 53% of them were built with WordPress.
The benefits of WordPress as a CMS are many. Here are the top five:
- Web-based CMS – All management tasks can be performed through a Web browser in either a desktop or a mobile environment.
- No Coding Required – After the initial development of a site, users do not have to possess any programming skills to update content.
- Plugins – Though the base install is quite powerful, the platform is extensible through the use of plugins to add various bits of functionality.
- Theming – The look and feel of a WordPress site is based off of a theme, and with some development knowledge, it’s possible to create a fully customized theme. (Of course, there are pre-built themes available from many vendors.)
- Streamlined Development – With popularity comes standardization – and a common approach to fulfilling the typical requirements that arise during the planning and development of any web site.
WordPress is truly versatile; however, there may be instances where it wouldn’t be appropriate to use as a CMS. For example, if a particular site must function in a largely nonstandard way, needs to be connected to a backend homegrown database for content (though this one is more of a roadblock than a deal killer), or is heavily dependent on e-commerce, WordPress may be too cumbersome or too limited to use.
Have you had any experience with WordPress? Let us know.