I don’t know how many of you build websites or write content for websites that are not blogs, but I’m sure some of you do such things. If so, you may already have a template or a method that works well for you, but I don’t know whether you’ve thought about this idea: WordPress, the software that powers this blog and about a zillion others, ALSO works for “non-blog” websites, and has some real advantages over a standard website template.
I mention this because I now use WordPress almost exclusively for building just about any website, and those I have made with some other templates I am converting over to WordPress. Here are some reasons how this works and why it has advantages:
1. There are thousands, probably tens of thousands, of free WP themes available to easily find and change just the appearance you want for your website. Do you want something with a wide column on the left and a narrow sidebar column on the right? How about putting that sidebar on the left? How about a sidebar on BOTH the right and left? Or perhaps you like a wide content column with two narrow sidebars on the right? Looking for something in a basic black and white? How about every possible combination of red, blue, green, yellow, orange, etc.?
You get the idea.
2. WordPress is so easy to install your trained monkey can do it. Okay, maybe not quite that easy — and my apologies for the lame humor if you DO have a trained money. Many webhosts, however, offer a service called “Fantastico” which makes WP almost a one-click install. Even if you do it on your own by downloading the software from WordPress.org, it’s really pretty doable if you build on maintain any sort of website.
3. WordPress is so versatile you can have easily editable pages set up and published in a flash. You can add content to your website as easily as writing a blog post. You can also have pretty much “static” unchanging pages, as many as you like, in the form of WP pages instead of posts.
4. You can use WP “as is” or you can pretty easily modify a WP theme/template so that no one will see “date,” “time,” and “author” information and other stuff that makes your website look “bloggy.”
5. WordPress is generally much easier to learn than the more popular Content Management System (CMS) software packages out there. And it can do most of the things such CMS heavyweights as Joomla and Drupal can do — only it does them in, I think, simpler fashion. If you’ve learned to use Joomla, Drupal, or any of the other CMS installs, good for you. I have tried repeatedly to learn those two in particular and had no luck. No matter what I do and how I do it, I can’t figure out how to add modules, modify modules, make them visible or hidden, and just generally get through all the other mayhem to make anything look good. With WordPress, there are only four things to learn and you can use it as a CMS: posts, pages, permissions, and themes.
Anyway, if you’ve only thought about WordPress as blogging software, think again. You can use WP to put an entire, complex website together with just about any content you wish to write.
[tags]Internet writing, WordPress, CMS, using WordPress for websites, templates, writing tips at garyspeer.com[/tags]