WordPress is a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. What a mouthful. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.
More simply, WordPress is what you use when you want to work with your blogging software, not fight it. http://wordpress.org/
The fact that you are reading this post right now is enough of a testament to the power of the blogging revolution. Even though I am a web designer and and have the ability to design and code my own websites with the assistance of fancy tools to make the job easier for me I have still chosen to use WordPress for my personal and professional publishing purposes.
I am relatively new the the world of blogging having started my first blog a little over a year ago. I had always planned to develop a website where I could share my thoughts, showcase my design work, discuss matters of interest and engage with like minded individuals on a global scale on issues affecting society on many different levels. The thing which held me back from taking the necessary steps to get this going was firstly my lack of web development skills, meaning I would always have to physically go and create each new page for the website, manually place the content into the pages, reformat the content using html & CSS, resize the images using photoshop and still I would not have the power I wanted to freely express myself with many other constraints like time and money.
At first, being a graphic designer, I was stuck on the idea of designing ever little pixelated detail of my site to perfection, because I know the value of well crafted communications. This ended up being the main thing preventing me from communicating, from making connections, from publishing my work and telling people what I wanted to say. Slowly I had to come around the idea that due to my lack of time I just had to start somewhere and craft as things move along. The current approach is to just get something going, get out there, start something and then work on the details, fine tuning, testing, fixing, and this does not just apply to web application development. WordPress allowed me this opportunity.
I first started out with a blog as a secondary section to my website still maintaining the custom page layout and design which I had originally created to display my design work. I soon realised that wordpress could be used for more than just posting articles or daily news and starting investigating how I could integrate more of my needs into the blog area of my site. This included imagery, which is one of my core requirements which I have now integrated using flickr and video which I have added from YouTube.
I started finding a wealth of functionality provided by the open source community in the form of plugins and widgets and set out to make the complete move to a 100% wordpress powered website. Though my personal wordpress site is far from what I want it to be it’s working harder for me than my previous static manually edited html site ever did. So I’ve been speaking to a few friends, colleagues and even family.
My Father who is an estate agent needed a website which I quickly set-up using wordpress and he was up and running advertising properties online at www.furlongproperties.co.za. He recently sold his first property through his website without the buyers ever visiting the property.
Bettina Moss recently approached me to assist in setting up a simple website for her Strategic Brand consultancy, and again I suggested wordpress because of its ease of use, powerful pre-built functionality, customizable themes and last but not least, open source freeness. It took very little time to get somethign workable going where content can be easily uploaded and published without any html knowledge. BettinaBranding.com is up and running with a custom contact form plugin and soon to be added a newsletter plugin which will allow Bettina to automatically send out a newsletter with new content or content chosen form her website to a selected database of customers.
What I like also like about wordpress is how easy it is to give ones site a custom design. there are literally thousands of free themes to choose from for starters, many which allow one to easy change the top banner image to one of your choice. Personalising and branding these themes to suite ones Corporate Identity of personal taste is relatively simple as well and will save many thousands of bucks of specialized design fees & web development fee.
Another friend who started his own internet marketing consultancy (www.jayz.co.za) a while ago is also using wordpress to power his online communications.
A few months ago I also set up a free wordpress blog for the company I am employed at for internal communications, sort of like a simplified intranet where we could share our thoughts, post discussion, share research, whatever we wanted to. WordPress allowed us to have a private space accessible through a secure login where users could be notified about updates as well.
So you want a list of reasons to start using wordpress as your blogging tool of choice? Here are a few:
- It’s Free
- It’s easier to set up than most other web based software
- Its packed with tons of powerful features
- Its open to being extended with even more add-ons
- Its back by an excellent support community
- It’s easily searchable & findable by search engines
- Content can be easily tagged & organized
- Tons of free themes are available and the large majority are extremely easy to modify
- It’s being upgraded constantly to keep up with the development of the web
- You Can set up a free hosted blog via wordpress if you can’t afford hosting fees
- It allows for visitors to easily interact with you and your content via comments
- It comes with built in anti-spam protection
- It’s got one of the best wysiwig editors around making it as easy to format you content as it is to write a simple word document
- You can even post blog articles form your email or your mobile phone
- It’s just great, great, great!!!
So Go on over to http://wordpress.com and try out a free wordpress hosted blog to get the feel of it or gimme a shout if you want a custom blog set up for your specific needs and I’ll be happy to help you out, for a fee of course 🙂