May 12, 2014 • Jessica Jones
Here at Slamdot, we build websites using WordPress. We’re big fans of WordPress. We have close, personal relationships with WordPress. You could even say we love WordPress. It’s entirely possible that yours truly owns a /wp-admin/ t-shirt.
It’s not just a company line, either - my personal site is built on WordPress. Whenever a friend expresses interest in starting a site of their own, I always recommend WordPress. But why? What makes WordPress so darned lovable? And, for those of you new to the idea, what the heck is it, anyway?
WordPress is what’s known as a CMS - a content management system. Content management systems were developed to make creating and maintaining websites easier and more accessible by allowing users to manage their website through a graphical interface rather than having to use raw code. Running a website used to mean writing code, and there was no way around it. As the internet became more and more heavily populated, however, tools began to spring up to help make it easier for people who wanted to have their own site but didn’t necessarily want to learn HTML.
When I built my first website on the now-defunct Geocities back in 1996, there were already some early attempts at content management systems out there, as well as some basic website building tools. Geocities had their own site builder tool, and wow, was it ever terrible. In fact, the clunkiness of that tool was what motivated me to first start learning HTML - which turned out to be a good thing!
Not everyone is going to take to code, though - and fortunately for those people, content management systems have come a long, long way, becoming both more robust and more user friendly. Content management systems are now used to handle most of the largest, heavily-used sites out there, as well as the vast majority of small business and personal sites.
Content management systems aren’t just beneficial for non-code-writers, either. A good CMS - like WordPress - provides a powerful framework and a large developer community to provide resources that web developers can use to build a robust custom website far, far more easily than they would if they were starting from scratch - and with more features than they would feasibly be able to develop on their own. A CMS takes a lot of the grunt work out of web development, preventing developers from having to reinvent the proverbial wheel.
While content management systems have made creating a new website far less intimidating than it used to be, if you’re not willing to dip your toes into the code waters, you’re going to be limited in what you can produce. If you would like to hire a professional (like the friendly folks over here at Slamdot!) to build you a sleek, functional website, but you want to be able to maintain that site’s content on your own once it’s been built, a CMS is absolutely the way to go.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to content management systems, and I’m certainly not going to say that there aren’t other high quality platforms out there - your situation, skillset and goals may make another system the perfect choice for you. WordPress, however, has risen steadily to the top of the pack, and by a wide margin.
Why is WordPress so much more popular than the other choices? Their team of developers have been working steadily for over ten years to continue improving the software and increase its functionality. The interface continues to improve as well - WordPress consistently comes out with updates that impress us with growing intuitiveness as well as sleek design.
WordPress definitely seems to have the advantage of The Big Mo at this point. Having such a huge base of developers working with it and continually creating new plugins and frameworks tends to attract even more developers to the platform, and so its user base continues to snowball.
At Slamdot, WordPress suits our process to a T. It’s powerful enough for us to use it to build a full-featured website, and then once the site is built we can hand the reins over to the client. After a training session most people are comfortable editing and maintaining the site’s content on their own, which gives them control over their site.
If you’re interested in having your very own WordPress site, give us a yell and let us usher you into the WordPress fanclub!