WordPress, originally developed as a blogging platform, is an easy-to-use, FREE content managed system that is available to anyone with a domain name and web host (and even those without).
WordPress is the ideal solution if you just want to add a blog to your company’s existing website (or for personal blogging), but WordPress is not just a blog.
It can also be used as a standalone website with “static” web pages that you can quickly add and change at any time as long as you have an internet connection.
Working off a database, the default WordPress installation comes packaged with a number of features and is constantly being developed to improve user experience (both that of the owner and visitors) as well as to maintain a high level of security for your website.
The latest version of WordPress comes with two customizable themes, TwentyTen and TwentyEleven. With TwentyEleven, you can change the header image, background colour, create custom menus, change the link colours and even choose to have one static banner image or several random banner images.
Hundreds of developers also offer thousands of free plug-ins for additional features and functionality, such as contact forms, video players, image galleries, and social media as well as thousands of free or cheap themes for personal or commercial use.
And, if you want a website that matches your personality or company’s brand so that it stands out from the crowd, WordPress can be customized with a unique design that includes your logo, artwork, photography, preferred fonts and colour scheme, and a variety of other custom graphics and plug-ins.
Although not as robust as some content managed systems, WordPress is also not as complicated to use; the editor ribbon is similar to the one with MS Word and is much more intuitive than other CMS systems. Once installed you can be adding content immediately.
I do, however, recommend making a number of changes to the settings, such as the permalinks, time zone, image sizes, privacy settings, front page display, etc. and do make sure to remove the sample page, post and comment included with the installation.
I also recommend adding a few plug-ins, such as the All-in-one SEO Pack, Easy Sign Up or Quick Subscribe, particularly if you plan to use the installation as your company’s main website.
One plug-in I especially like for commercial websites and have used for a few clients is the WP e-Commerce plug-in. This plug-in integrates with PayPal and enables quick and easy shopping cart set-up for online selling of workshops, classes, courses and one-on-one consultations, as well as downloadable software, videos, books and of course physical products.
Some of the free plug-ins I have used for my clients or on my own websites that you may also find useful are:
- Appointy Appointment Scheduler
- Exclude Pages
- Facebook Tab Manager
- Fancy Box for WordPress
- Image Widget
- Meta SEO Pack
- Meteor Slides
- Share Post
- Simple Contact Form
- Simple Video Embedder
- Social Media Widget
- TinyMce Advanced
- Wickett Twitter Widget
- WP eCommerce
- WP Image Flow 2
- WP Fancy Zoom
- WYSIWYG Widgets
Need help installing, setting up or customizing your WordPress website? Contact Kaz Design Works now!