If your company’s website is run using a “content management system” which allows new pages to be added easily by non-IT people, and which enables changes to the design to be made across the site quickly, then you’re lucky. If not, you may have had occasion to think “there must be an easier way”. And indeed there is.
WordPress began life several years ago as an application for publishing blogs; this blog is run with WordPress. The reason WordPress became so successful, apart from the fact it was free, was how easy it made “posting” new pages on your blog. WordPress is an open-source program, and a large number of developers around the world have added code to it, to enable it to be used in all sorts of ways. One of these, and perhaps the most significant, has been to use it as a content management system to run complete websites, not just blogs. And why not? Its main advantages (speed and ease of adding pages, and the ability to make sitewide design changes instantly) are what any site needs, not just blogs.
A couple of years ago I helped my old friend Morten Moller create a new website for his company, the industrial electronics specialist Sensor-Technik UK. We decided that WordPress was a great route to go down for a website of that size (it has a hundred or so pages at the moment). Because WordPress is used so widely, it would mean that almost anyone could pick up the website development in the future, and Morten would not be reliant on me, or anyone else for that matter. The site has worked exceptionally well, according to Morten – he has added and amended pages himself, and commissioned other people inside and outside of his company to add new material themselves, while he got on with running the business. The site doesn’t even have a blog yet: WordPress is being used just as an exceptionally straightforward content management system. When Morten wanted to add to the design site-wide (or on one occasion, change the address on every page), it took a web designer just a few moments.
WordPress won’t be appropriate for every company, by any means. But it’s a great benchmark if you’re ever listening to a pitch from a web design company for your own site. What can their system do that a WordPress site can’t do? It needs to be something good if you’re going to agree to tie your company into some proprietary system for the next few years at least.
If you want to explore this concept further, read The Rise of the Blog as a Business Gateway on SEO Scoop, and there’s a follow-up post there you might want to read too.