WordPress The Pros and Cons

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. It was released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. While WordPress.org is a completely free posting service, its companion site, WordPress.com, is a blog hosting site. You still have the option of posting for free, yet you will more than likely want to upgrade or get a premium theme to take advantage of every feature WordPress has to offer.

WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.

Sketch Dupe

While WordPress is Sketched to be simple enough for non-coders, it does allow you to customize templates. There are many open source templates out there for you to choose from, or if you like (and you have knowledge of CSS), you can alter your own to fit your needs.

Once again, if you are new to blogging, you can go with a standard setup in your chosen theme and it will look great. WordPress leaves it up to your experience when it comes to appearance and customisation.

Themes

WordPress users may install and switch between different themes. Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website and they can be installed without altering the content or health of the site. Every WordPress website requires at least one theme to be present and every theme should be designed using WordPress standards with structured PHP, valid HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). If WordPress users do not have sufficient theme development knowledge they may download and use free WordPress themes from wordpress.org.

Plugins

WordPress' plugin architecture allows users to extend the features and functionality of a website or blog. WordPress has over 40,501 plugins available, each of which offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs. These customisation range from search engine optimisation, to client portals used to display private information to logged in users, to content management systems, to content displaying features, such as the addition of widgets and navigation bars. Not all available plugins are always abreast with the upgrades and as a result they may not function properly or may not function at all.

Other features

WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine–friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign multiple categories to articles; and support for tagging of posts and articles. Automatic filters are also included, providing standardised formatting and styling of text in articles (for example, converting regular quotes to smart quotes). WordPress also supports the Trackback and Ping back standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or an article. WordPress blog posts can be edited in HTML, using the visual editor, or using one of a number of plugins that allow for a variety of customised editing features.

Development, Help & Support

Key developers
Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little were cofounders of the project. The core lead developers include Helen Hou-Sandí, Dion Hulse, Mark Jaquith, Matt Mullenweg, Andrew Ozz, and Andrew Nacin.

WordPress is also developed by its community, including WP testers, a group of volunteers who test each release. They have early access to nightly builds, beta versions and release candidates. Errors are documented in a special mailing list, or the project's Trac tool.

Though largely developed by the community surrounding it, WordPress is closely associated with Automattic, the company founded by Matt Mullenweg. On September 9, 2010, Automattic handed the WordPress trademark to the newly created WordPress Foundation, which is an umbrella organization supporting WordPress.org (including the software and archives for plugins and themes), bbPress and BuddyPress.

Support

While you may never need to refer to any support channel while using a WordPress theme, the fact that there are several resources out there is good insurance. The help section directs you to a knowledge base where you will deal with the majority of your problems, the dashboard. There are also expansive community forums, where there's a good chance that others have run into the same problems as you.

You'll also find troubleshooting tips and FAQs. If there's one problem with WordPress, it's that there are so many customisation options that you may get overwhelmed. We found that the FAQs and the WordPress advice blog cleared up common problems.

PROS - The dashboard and design tools are crisp-looking and top of the line. It is also Easy Content Updates, SEO Integration, Flexible E-commerce Options and Built-In Blogging.

CONS - You will most likely want to buy a premium theme or host your own site, making the experience no longer free. Custom Layouts and Themes Can Be Tricky and WordPress Software Needs to be Updated Regularly.

Summary

If you want to eventually make money just by writing a personal or business blog, WordPress is the best place to start. They offer free blog hosting, but you will quickly be tempted into spending a few dollars more to get a premium theme or to host your own site using the WordPress dashboard. We highly recommend this blog service to new and experienced bloggers looking to maximize and capitalize on their site traffic.

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