So I, like a lot of freelance designers out there, work primarily in wordpress. If you’ve been shopping around for a designer for your project you’ve probably heard this mystical name bandied about a lot… and you may well be asking yourself what the heck it is! I’m often explaining the perks of the platform to my clients so I thought I might as well put it all down in a blog… you lucky things!
WordPress? Isn’t it just for blogs?
Well, it was, back in the early noughties when it first came into being. But its ease of use and popularity quickly saw it grow into a flexible beast that could be used to programme entire sites. It’s built using the best and most highly used programming languages meaning it can achieve anything that you might imagine a website is capable of.
What’s the difference between using WordPress and using pre packaged services like Squarespace or Wix?
Lots! Too many to squish in here so I’ve devoted the differences to their very own blog post. A lot of sites I design are for businesses who started out using one of these providers but became frustrated with the lack of options. Not to say these platforms aren’t great to get a project off the ground super quick and by yourself, but you may find you quickly outgrow what they can offer… They also often have quite immovable branding which means your potential customers / clients will know you used a DIY site rather than spend on a bespoke option. This may well not matter in your field, but in some areas this may make you look a little unprofessional!
Another one of those words bandied about a lot in web design… wordpress has responsive content which means that it will adapt to ensure that whatever your website has to say says it clearly and legibly whatever you’re using to view it on… That means the site will look different when you view it on your phone, to your laptop – but this is a GOOD thing – there’s nothing more annoying than trying to read TEENY TINY writing on a iPhone screen because the phone has shrunk your website to allow it to fit on to the different screen dimensions. Websites are now more frequently visited on phones than any other device – so you want to be darn sure that your content looks clear and professional! Non wordpress (non responsive) sites often require a whole different web site to be built for the phone view – which means more cost and fuss..
A responsive site also boosts SEO (there I go again… Search Engine Optimisation – basically where you rank on a google web search) – so it’s a win win.
As a piece of software it’s totally free! WordPress (and its updates) are open-source, which means you can use, and adapt, the software any way you like. The wordpress community is now vast which means lots of brilliant programmer and developers have created some incredible building blocks (some unbelievably free – some at a cost) which means that your web developer has a host of resources at their fingertips to build you a bodacious site quickly and at a much reduced cost to building a site from ground zero. The site of your dreams could be literally £1000s cheaper than it would otherwise be – as there are so many fantastic programming shortcuts available now!
But how is it real web development if you don’t hand-code?
WordPress developers work in a different way – sure – but their know how complements and over laps with more traditional developers. The biggest difference is that wordpress developers don’t start every project with a blank screen (urgrhgrhrh). Instead, they kick off with a proven, well-coded framework that means a lot of the heavy listing has already been done. And this off course – in turn – keeps costs down for you – and means everything can move more quickly! It also means theres more time and scope for the important things – like kick-ass design!!!
If you want to know more about the brilliant beast of wordpress then have a look at some of these articles!
(and then contact me about your new site!!!)