If you know anything about corecubed you know that we invest heavily in building websites which run on WordPress. There are many reasons why we recommend it for our clients, such as its inherent ability to play well with search engines, its integration capabilities with popular social networking and bookmarking sites, and its ability to allow our clients to easily manage the content on their own website without having to learn code or rely upon a web designer.
Without a doubt, WordPress is a powerful tool in many regards, but as we have worked with clients, we have learned that there are some common misperceptions about what WordPress is and what it can be used for.
Myth 1: WordPress is not a Content Management System
WordPress started as a blogging tool, and it is used widely in that capacity on sites such as Ebay, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, so it’s no wonder that people still associate it with blogging.
It was once true that WordPress was not very adept at being a true content management system—a tool which can be used to easily update, edit and maintain a website. However, this has all changed drastically in the last couple of years as WordPress has evolved, and many companies are seeing the benefit from building their site upon WordPress whether they blog or not. We have built successful WordPress sites for clients who don’t use the blogging features of WordPress, but they are able to create new pages, add images and video, and update their website with ease.
Using some of the thousands of plug-ins available for WordPress, such as the Page.ly MultiEditor, and some of the menu management features made available since WordPress 3.0 came out, it is now possible to build a WordPress site that provides true content management system functionality.
Myth 2: WordPress is Software I Run to Manage My Website
Since the dawn of Macromedia Contribute and Dreamweaver (now Adobe products), many clients we’ve worked with have become accustomed to installing these tools on their computers then managing their websites through a clunky, limited interface of uploading and downloading files.
This has fostered a misconception that WordPress works the same way, but it really doesn’t. WordPress runs on the web server where the website lives, and the website is dynamically driven from a database. This means that to make edits and updates to a WordPress website you use your web browser to log into the WordPress administrative interface online rather than having to install software locally and upload files, hoping you don’t accidentally overwrite or delete something.
Myth 3: WordPress Helps Me Design a Website
WordPress is not web design software, rather it is a website management tool. You need someone competent in WordPress to design and code a theme for your site. However, once it is up and running, you have the ability to create new pages for your site which automatically inherit the design and layout of your WordPress theme.
There are thousands of free and paid templates available for WordPress, but in many cases you don’t know what you are getting behind the scenes, and you can often end up limited by a poorly written theme that may even contain ads for the person or company that developed it.
At corecubed, we like to take advantage of all that WordPress has to offer by building smart WordPress themes that are uniquely yours and using clean code that is snappy and search engine friendly.
Myth 4: WordPress Sites All Look the Same
This myth is probably based on the fact that a very large percentage of the free themes available all have a similar layout—a header at the top, a sidebar on the right or left, the main content area, and a footer at the bottom. Also, most of these themes were written to be used on blog-centric websites rather than for businesses.
While this common layout has its merits for ease-of-use, it’s not mandatory. In fact, an experienced WordPress developer can build just about anything you can dream up for a design to run on WordPress.
Myth 5: WordPress Costs Money
This is flat-out false, we are happy to report. WordPress is open-source software which is bound by the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). The word free not only means the software has no cost, but more importantly it refers to freedom:
- the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
- the freedom to change the software to suit your needs,
- the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors, and
- the freedom to share the changes you make.
The GPL ensures that WordPress is free and stays free, and that it allows you to alter it as you wish. The only costs that can be associated with WordPress are for web hosting, certain custom plug-ins and themes, and paying someone to develop a custom theme for you. But none of those have anything to do with WordPress itself having a price.
If you began this article believing in any of these myths, hopefully I have been able to separate the facts from the fiction. If you’d like to find out more about building your website on WordPress, or even converting your existing site to run on WordPress, don’t hesitate to let us know!