WordPress: A Free Content Management System

By Chandra McFarlen

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WordPress is a very well-known, free content management system. Here are the advantages as I see them:

  • Tons of resources from plugins, to themes, to tutorials available for this platform.
  • You can quickly setup and maintain your website without the help of a developer if it is something you are willing to put a little time and effort into. I know that some hosting providers even have one-click installs / wizards to install and setup WordPress for you in minutes.
  • Built for bloggers, so perfect for a website primarily focused on blogging
  • Plugins available to help you add functionality without having to know code
  • Ability to change the look of your site without changing code (depending on your theme).
  • Plugins are available for Search Engine Optimization

The biggest disadvantage to going with WordPress or really many of the free CMS choices is that they are trying to be everything for everyone so they become cumbersome. The initial learning-curve, especially for those that do not have time to devote to this kind of project, can become the reason the site is not continually updated.

A second disadvantage is that there are tons of plugins and themes out there. Wait? Didn't you just call that an advantage earlier? Yes, you read correctly. You could literally spend weeks browsing through possible themes for your site, reading reviews and previewing examples. And (if you are anything like me) always wondering...but what if there's another theme out there that would look just a little better.

As far as plugins goes, maybe I have just been unlucky, but having so many options makes picking a good one the first time difficult. There have been several times that I have had to try out several plugins before I find just the right one. But hey, at least they are easy to install.

All this to say, there are a lot of businesses out there where a WordPress website is a good fit. However, if you need a minimal interface with a strong emphasis on making it easy to maintain your content, I would strongly recommend a paid CMS instead.

To see some examples of websites we've built using WordPress, take a look at our portfolio. For a specific example, go to the Isom Fence website).

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