WordPress as a CMS

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Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:20

WordPress was first released on May 27, 2003 and quickly became "a state-of–the-art publishing platform". It was virtually synonymous with blogging and became wildly popular primarily due to its ease of setup and use. It was the perfect tool for anyone who wanted to make their blogging presence known. And this was fine – just as long as a blog was all they needed. Back then, if you wanted it to operate as a 'fully functional' website and Content Management System then you were going to face some challenges.

Today, however, eight years and 15 major releases later, WordPress has grown from its simple beginnings as a "blog-centric" tool into a full blown CMS - and is used as such - by companies like Ebay, Ford, The Wall Street Journal, Sony, Samsung and Ben & Jerry's.

While it is true that the initial purpose - and continued focus - of WordPress is blogging, over the years there have been many built in features added to facilitate its use as a bona-fide, out-of-the-box CMS solution. Here are a few of the more significant reasons why you may want to consider today's WordPress for your business' website content management.

Complete Branding Capabilities
While WordPress templates are abundant, they, well, look like templates. That's no good for businesses that are serious about their branding. WordPress has powerful built in features that allow you to create custom pages that look NOTHING like blogs, and EVERYTHING like comprehensive, enterprise level websites.

Built in Development Features
Today, Wordpress allows you to create and edit pages, articles, forms and even whole sections of your site. You can easily create custom menus, add site search capabilities, embed media and generate SEO terms without having to download a single plug-in.

Search Engine Optimization Tools
WordPress provides great SEO code out of the box to help you get better Google search results. Although you may still need to add a plugin or two if you truly want to eliminate the need for an "SEO Consultant", the built in tools provided are a big improvement from the earlier releases.

User Friendly Interface
WordPress is extremely user friendly with a simple, intuitive interface. The built-in Dashboard allows quick access to all levels of your site including media libraries, forms, plugins and widgets. Content is easy to update through a simple yet feature filled GUI editor that allows you to edit text, upload images, embed links and, of course, create new posts.

Many of the earlier versions of WordPress got a bad name for having poor security measures. Every version of WordPress that is released contains more security enhancements and features than the previous. The last major security issue was corrected back in 2008.

Global Support Community
There are thousands of developers and users around the world and these support groups continue to grow every day. Chances are, if there is some type of CMS functionality you can't find in the base package then someone else has found a solution or developed a plugin already.

No out of the box CMS solution is perfect for everyone, however, given the evolution of the built-in functionality of WordPress over the years it certainly deserves consideration as a top-notch candidate.

~ Steve Barnes