WordPress. It is quickly becoming a favourite with my clients at Bitten By Design as a method of quickly developing the skeleton of their site. They can add all their pages and data as if it were a finished content management system. They can administer all the site and add in extra SEO functionailty very easily or change it as their needs require. For myself this means less time developing the backend of the site, and even if the client doesn’t want a blog option right now, the site can easily add it in with a few clicks. Less time working on install and setting up a CMS means more time can be spent getting the design right.

Even amongst my fellow designers there is a growing desire from our clients to use CMS and generally it is wordpress that they go for. Why? Well, pretty much every CMS can be designed to look however you want, the difference comes in the admin area. A lot of people want simple easy to use admin so they can edit their pages or add new ones. Joomla which is one of the other options is certainly better for bigger sites wanting to do lots more like maintain paid members, stores, enewsletters and for a greater range of options. But it is a much steeper learning curve over and above wordpress for someone. This has to be a consideration for a business which is just adding a bit of content here and there and can’t afford the time for one of their staff to learn the system.

I believe it is better to give the client the tools to maintain the site themselves so I can focus on the design work for them. It also means no ongoing maintenance charges for the client to update the content which makes for a much happier client. On the flipside, I have had clients who have had a wordpress based site built, and still come to me to do all the content changes as they are so busy they can’t spare staff to do it.
The strength of wordpress is in it’s popularity as new plugins and functionality are being added daily.
Plus being able to prepare blog posts well in advance and have them appear on a certain date means for a single days work you can have posts appearing over the following week/month/months. Which for any business is great as it maximises the time spent working on their site. This alone can help convince a client to go for a wordpress install over a static HTML site.

Yes, the initial setup is going to be a little bit more, but when spread over the lifespan of a site, wordpress is a clear winner. If you haven’t tried it out for yourself you can sign up for one of the free hosted accounts to have a play with the admin of it. But considering the install of wordpress is pretty quick, you could get a tech savvy friend to install a copy on your own webhost to have a play with. In fact a lot of webhosting companies already have the scripts ready to install automtically for you, you just have to ask.

Still not sold on wordpress? How is this then. If you have an iPhone you can get a free app that allows you to make changes to pages and posts or even generate new ones. Now that is handy, especially if something needs to be done immediately.