Why Choose WordPress for Web Development ?


In a nutshell – cost, time and ease of use. Development of a website using WordPress is quick (compared to older methods), because of it’s modular nature, and is therefore relatively inexpensive.

Once operational it’s a very very easy system for the website operators (probably you !) to use, whether publishing a blog, running an e-commerce site or perhaps teaching with an e-learning site.


DonCharisma.com-logo-4These are the reasons why we at DonCharisma.com recommend WordPress for almost all websites that we build.


 

Firstly we will clear up some common questions and distinctions, which will help your understanding of web development with WordPress …

What’s Difference Between A Web Developer and Web Designer ?

Web development and web design are often confused – they are two separate things, and two separate functions !

The web designer and the web developer, both have a place with a WordPress website. In fact they could be the same person for a small site.

DonCharisma.org-Web-Design-Vs-Web-Development

With WordPress here’s the differences between web design and web development :

  • Web design is concerned more with aesthetics and things like look and feel, more the arena of a graphic designer. In WordPress terms this is more about the “theme” that’s chosen and how it’s configured than anything else.
  • Web development is more concerned with the nuts and bolts. The code and programming that makes it do what it does. In WordPress terms this is the “plugins” – they extend, change, add to the functionality of the WordPress website.

There is some cross-over between the web designer and the web developer using WordPress, but they are different things.

What’s Difference Between A WordPress.com And A WordPress.org Website ?

Also we should make the distinction here between a WordPress.com (WP.COM) website, and a WordPress.org (WP.ORG) website.

DonCharisma.org-WordPress.org-vs-WordPress

The (free) WordPress software that drives a WordPress website, is the same software used on both WP.COM and WP.ORG websites.

The differences between a WP.COM website and a WP.ORG website are :

  • A WP.COM website is free and is hosted by WP.COM, usually something like mywebsite.wordpress.com. WP.COM primarily provide free blogs. However they do also encourage businesses too, so websites for businesses can be established with WP.COM. Upgrades can be paid for to add extra features, and premium themes. However flexibility is limited, because WP.COM don’t allow you to change the code. Which leads us nicely to WP.ORG …
  • A WP.ORG website is also free for the software, and is often called a “self-hosted” WordPress site. The self-hosted part means that one must host one’s website somewhere, and this is usually done with a web hosting company. These days a WordPress installation is often done with a “one-click” installer, so usually it’s fairly straightforward to install. Then add a theme for aesthetic and how the website functions. Then add plugins to add features like enhanced security, e-commerce, spam protection, etc etc ad infinitum – There are thousands of WordPress plugins to do almost anything, really it’s a vast array of features, often available for free.

Most people who “just need a blog” or a simple website, could use WP.COM for this purpose. WP.COM does not allow things like affiliate marketing, advertising or e-commerce, so these are examples of where a WP.ORG/self-hosted website would be required.

In the rest of this article we will be talking about WP.ORG/self-hosted websites, as they offer the most flexibility. It is the route which most serious web development using WordPress takes anyway.

Why Choose (And Use) WordPress For Web Development ?

The long version !

Typically in the past websites were developed by creating HTML pages. This is a very cumbersome and time consuming way to build anything more than a one page website. Changes to something like the font on 1000s of pages, well it’d just be too much work. In WordPress if we wanted to change a font it’d be either a change of theme or a modification to the CSS, which would take minutes rather than months.

Also enter PHP, the programming language used in WordPress, and MySQL the database system used by WordPress. In layman’s terms, posts and pages for a WordPress website are stored in the database. PHP then does all the “clever stuff” which produces the website, with help from the MySQL database. Basically when someone requests a page from a WordPress website, the website produces that page for them dynamically, that is – at that instant.

A WordPress site can be used as a blog, which is what it was originally designed for OR a CMS. CMS means Content Management System, which is a fancy way of saying one’s posts and pages are stored in a database.

WordPress is straightforward to install, it’s standard code that’s maintained, and has commercial backing. We also understand that around 80% of websites on the web are based on WordPress – so extremely popular.

DonCharisma.org-Web-Development-Web-Design-Web-Dev

The web design in WordPress is mostly done through choosing a theme that suits the purpose. We’ll cover this in more detail in another article.

The web development in WordPress is relatively straightforward :

  1. Install WordPress on the web host.
  2. Select plugins for security, anti-spam, e-commerce, e-learning, WP.COM integration (Jetpack) etc.
  3. Configure above plugins, and configure the website.
  4. (Add content)
  5. Publicise/SEO/Marketing.
  6. Maintenance/Upgrades/Updates.

Many of our customers could setup a WordPress website themselves – it’s fairly straightforward, just time and patience needed really. Not everyone has the skill, the time or the patience to do it themselves, so this is were we at DonCharisma.com come in by :

  1. Reducing the time to build the website – we’ve done it countless times before.
  2. Expert knowledge on what plugins are the best to use, and what are the right plugins to use for each purpose.
  3. Web design if required, from choosing a theme to graphic design.
  4. SEO, promoting and marketing the finished site.
  5. Maintenance and support.

An Example – An e-School/e-Learning Website

A client recently asked us for help in modernising their existing site. Their site was dated and had therefore been vulnerable to attacks from hackers, so security was an issue.

DonCharisma.org-eSchool-eLearning

A clean fresh modern look and feel was also requested – WordPress fit’s perfectly. Here’s what we did for them :

  • We helped our client choose a web hosting company.
  • We setup WordPress on their web host for them.
  • We installed plugins for security, anti-spam, Jetpack for WP.COM integration etc.
  • We installed an e-learning plugin which allows the site to used for teaching. The e-learning plugin we chose incorporates the e-commerce side of collecting payments from students, so an all-in-one for an e-school.
  • We configured the e-learning plugin with one of the client’s courses – so they could see how it was done and get them started.
  • We tested and linked PayPal for receiving payments.
  • We provided help documentation, detailing the process necessary to add more courses to the website, how to run and maintain the website.
  • We installed a forum plugin, and configured for our client.
  • We installed and configured social media plugins, for integration in Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • We installed and configured a plugin for sending out newsletters, via our client’s chosen service.

We estimate that the end costs for our client were a fraction of the cost of their previous website. Their previous website also took many months to complete (not built by us). We setup their new WordPress website in a couple of weeks including waiting on emails, other delays (outside our control) and weekends !

Our client now has a fully functioning e-school/e-learning website, which is highly secure against hackers, has a modern look and feel, easy to maintain, backup and update. Job done, thank you WordPress.

Other Types Of Websites

WordPress has plugins for just about every scenario it’s possible to dream of !

DonCharisma.org-WordPress-Site-Uses-x850

Here’s some examples :

  • e-commerce (eg WooCommerce) for online shops
  • e-learning (eg LearnDash)
  • forums
  • chatrooms
  • blogs (obviously)
  • directories – perhaps a business directory or web directory
  • dating sites
  • brochure websites – showcase yourself, your products or your business

Or by purpose :

  • Business – launch a business website, build your brand, promote your business, or sell your products/services.
  • Informative site – creating a website to offer instructions or anything you can think of.
  • Reviews – build a website to review products, movies, music, whatever you like.
  • Personal sites – perhaps a family website, or a self-promotion site.
  • Photo gallery or shop – create a photo gallery or portfolio of your work, sell your art or photos.

There are thousands of plugins designed to customise any installation of WordPress. If you can think of it there’s probably already a free (or paid) plugin to do what you want to do on the web. Literally virtually anything is possible.

If you have a purpose which doesn’t already have a plugin to do it, then we have the facility to build one for you. The only limits are your budget and imagination.

Where We Wouldn’t Use WordPress

There’s only a few scenarios where we probably wouldn’t recommend WordPress :

  • Very large or very heavy traffic websites
  • A specific scenario where a custom built website would perform better, or cost less for the client
  • Our client insists on a different CMS such as Joomla, Drupal or TYPO3
  • Our client needed redevelopment of an existing installation which isn’t WordPress based

DonCharisma.org-WordPress.org-vs-WordPress

Final Note – SEO With WordPress Websites

Search engine optimisation is very very important for any website wishing to get found, and receive traffic from search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. WordPress is very these days very “search engine friendly” right out of the box. The major search engines recognise the structure and nuances of a WordPress website – well they have to really with so many websites based on WordPress.

There are also a number of great plugins available for WordPress which enable fine tuning and putting one’s website ahead of the competition.

So WordPress is great for SEO !

Summary

WordPress is in our opinion the best of breed for developing small to medium sized websites. It’s relatively inexpensive to develop due to the modularisation of the plugins (and themes). It’s fairly straightforward to install, maintain and use. In fact we use it for *ALL* our own websites, and wouldn’t even consider using anything else.

WordPress – it’s simply the best, no question, no contest.

(c) DonCharisma.com 2014 and DonCharisma.org 2014


DonCharisma.com-logo-4DonCharisma.com for web design and web development – you dream it we built it … because – “anything is possible with Charisma”


Resources & Sources

Photos – morgueFile
WordPress Logos – WordPress.com and WordPress.org
Everything else – (c) DonCharisma.org and DonCharisma.com 2014


Notes for commenters:

Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button. 

Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.

I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.

Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.

Warm regards, Don Charisma



41 thoughts on “Why Choose WordPress for Web Development ?

  1. Wow, impressive site indeed Don! Thank you for following my blog and I have subscribed to your blog too. There are tons of things that can be learned here at your site. I will take my time looking and learning from your blog. 🙂

  2. Does wordpress pay you for advertise their product? Hahaha I’m sorry but you describe as if it’s the best product without problems! (Yes, I use wordpress and I’m so happy with it :P) I have a silly day today. I like a lot this post it reminds me a sweet week in a digital marketing course 😀

  3. Yep. WordPress.com is the best when it comes to making a nice, quick blog. I actually had thoughts on making a WordPress.org blog, but I felt like my blog isn’t gonna get structured enough (basically saying I don’t update regularly enough, or reorganize my site frequently) to be hosted on one of the big boy’s hosting clients.
    I also use Google Sites for making drafts of HTML pages I’ll post on my site at a later date. I’d say the best thing about Google Sites is that it’s more of a “blank slate”, and is good for coding in things yourself (lots of HTML practice there).

    1. LOL, you’re right Google does like sites that get updated regularly !

      I’ve not used Google sites, I’ll have to have a look at that, thanks for the suggestion 😀

      Cheers

      D

  4. Wonderful Article! I switched from custom building/PHP/CSS utilized websites to WordPress about 3 years ago – the savings for the customer are so significant and allows me to provide service to my niche – small government, non-profit and mom-pop business websites and it’s so nice to know the data is stored in a database, meaning, if the customer grows, the data is nice and neat and ready for transfer to another websmaster for a custom built site – 🙂

    I did want to ask you about installing JetPack – I had quit doing that because it was causing conflicts a couple years back with other plug-ins I use, but maybe I need to revisit? It’s so wonderful all the things JetPack provides and I would love to start using again – –

    🙂

    1. Thanks, much appreciated.

      I did my research before trying WordPress, and have been super impressed at every step 😀

      We’ve had no problems that I’m aware of with Jetpack, it adds a great number of features that are on WP.COM in a single “blow”, things that I take for granted day-to-day on this blog … however I don’t know exactly which plugins you’re using, so hard to say, sometimes we do have conflicts between plugins, it happens … perhaps install on a test site, and see how you get on, WP will install also locally on you local PC if you don’t have webhost space …

      Cheers

      D

      1. Well you could be brave and chuck it in on one of your production sites, but the voice of experience with IT shows extreme caution is always best … the garden may forgive you for such foolishness, your website may not !

        What’s growing in your garden ?

      2. Still not much – Jerusalem artichokes, sunflowers coming along nicely – Golden and Burgundy Amaranth’s are up and looking good to choke out the bit of bindweed I’m in the 2nd season of trying to choke out –

        Native plants I saved from wholesale weeding/cleaning up projects about the place last year via weeding/transplanting/mulching – going gangbusters (irises, rhubarb, current, parsley, purslane, and some ground cover that puts out beautiful purple flower stalks an is useful for relaxing tea/spring salads that I can’t remember the name of right now… LOL)

        Salvaged from the “Buy Now at Reduced Price when you have pneumonia Last Minute Shelves at Nursery” yarrow and some succulent I forgot to write in my garden diary going gangbusters! 🙂

        Decided recently, (as I swear, no one wants a website when it’s NOT gardening season!) that I will focus on foundational plantings of perennial herbs, veggies, fruits and trees this year and try the ‘grow all my own annuals’ next year in the spots deemed for annuals!

        Gotta make hay while the sun shines and since my website work pays for my garden dreams, seems prudent to get long term perennials in the ground instead of those pesky/picky/need weeding every 2 days/annuals – 🙂

      3. Never rains but it pours, sounds like you have your hands full … make hay while the sun shines I guess, and autumn/winter you can enjoy fruits of you labour … dunno how many “sayings” I managed to get in there but was more than one !

      4. There is a reason why ‘sayings’, ‘cliches’ and such are prominent – they hold kernels of truth – or the whole truth – or wisdom for the ages – – 🙂

      5. LOL, understood, often I agree with you … occasionally there’s some that contain the dumbest logic and people live by them … devils advocate perhaps !

      6. The only reason I have my small website business is because the Big Boys think everyone needs a $3,000+/year site and most in the rural area I live in just do not — 🙂

        Web Presence – YES
        Functionality akin to Amazon – RARELY

        🙂

      7. Ok, makes sense, and I guess the big boys are pitching themselves toward larger customers, which means you’ve found your niche 😀

        We use Amazon AWS a little, probably more going forward, as I’d prefer to be wearing their hardware out than my own, plus I like the pay-as-go idea.

      8. The rural area of my childhood, that I moved back to in 2011, is nearly 15 years behind on the curve – we still have many folks who don’t even have internet access in their homes – it’s a continual exercise in meeting the customer needs via online/offline preferences and a juggling act – and yet, because of the economy of the area, a need to have a web presence and top search link result when you are competing with big sites that don’t actually service the area you live in, but have done the SEO’d entries, nonetheless – 🙂

        Not big money, but a stream of income that allows my customers to have what they need, serve their customers and stay within their limited budget 🙂

        I like what I do – enhances the communication in my community and gives me a small income stream – the only reason I can do so is purely because of WordPress and the wonderful tools that are donation/low-cost license/lifetime license available – the WordPress community rocks!
        🙂

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