WordPress

Content Management System

Updated November 3, 2018

6 updates


SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

25/25

Cost

25/25

Differentiation

20/25

Effectiveness

20/25

Pros

  • WordPress is the professional standard for free, open-sourced CMS and is easy to onboard
  • WordPress is simple, fast, and free
  • WordPress provides an entire market of free and paid upgrades

Cons

  • Limited back-end analytics capabilities without plugins
  • WordPress can be clunky, slow, and difficult to optimize for websites at scale

WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS) and front-end website design platform. Considered the world’s most popular website builder, the software powers over 25 percent of the world’s leading websites. WordPress is an exceptional CMS for a variety of functions and can deliver solutions for organizations of all types and sizes.

Let’s be clear: it’s WordPress.org, not WordPress.com

As highlighted above, WordPress is an open source content management system, meaning the system itself is free to download and deploy. It is not WordPress.com. Though the hosted solution from the San Francisco-based web development company Automattic is hands down the most popular means for users to access the WordPress ecosystem, it merely serves as a resale channel of the software.

UX and dashboard

WordPress is a surprisingly simple platform to learn. Users can rely on a comprehensive body of work covering the basics, advanced web design, and other website-related topics like SEO and SEM. This body of work is hosted via WordPress.org and across the global user community.

There is no need for users to have experience in web design or top funnel marketing to utilize the full power of WordPress. After extensive use, users will be able to navigate the lightweight, browser-based dashboard. Under the latest update of the WordPress dashboard, the back-end features a comprehensible sidebar that facilitates navigation in the “Wordpress Admin” area. Front end design may be challenging for those without prior CSS or HTML experience, but satisfaction appears to increase as users become more familiar with the platform. But, there are open source drag-and-drop style website builders such as Visual Composer that simplify the web building experience.

It’s quite simple: The more you use the software, the easier it is to use it. We firmly believe WordPress is easier to learn and deploy than other open source or low-cost CMS frameworks like Drupal, Joomla, and Magento. Plus, there is an entire catalog of thousands of themes that can be installed onto a WordPress framework for free or at a nominal cost.

Plugins, “bloat,” software flexibility

WordPress is a lightweight software. Focusing on the basics for content management and web design, users need to utilize external software and web tools to create a “full” WordPress website. At WordPress.org, users can sift through thousands of software integrations, or “plugins,” so that a website can be a connected component to any marketing stack. For example, there are plugins for marketing platforms, CRM tools, analytics, eCommerce, and augmented content management solutions. Most plugins are free to install; however, if users are using a managed or hosted WordPress solution, there may be additional costs to have the ability to install plugins on a site.

Keep in mind that attaching too many plugins to a WordPress site can cause a case of “bloat.” In the world of digital marketing and web design, the term bloat refers to a website having too much software connected in the back-end. On such an occasion, the load speeds of the website are elongated, and the overall experience for users is reduced. For example, if a user has a massive analytics dashboard tracking site visitors and traffic, there will be longer load times to ensure that the front and back-end products are appropriately rendered in the browser, and the connections for the tracking software are established.

The actual WordPress software is very flexible and accessible across operating systems and hardware. There are WordPress management apps built for Apple and Android mobile devices. Plus there is downloadable desktop software for Windows, Mac OS, and all Linux distributions. Cloud-based computing is also available. For example, any skilled developer can launch a WordPress framework on a virtual server so that tab and CPU heavy workloads can be reduced.

Pricing

Given the open source nature of the WordPress software, it is free to download. Costs will only be incurred if an individual creates a WordPress site through a managed service like Automattic’s WordPress.com. Plus, there are additional costs to consider when developing a website. These include domain names, DNS mapping, plugins, and whether an individual or organization hired someone to build a WordPress site on their behalf.

What we think

WordPress is free and extraordinarily flexible. If that isn’t enough reason for an individual or organization to deploy a WordPress site, then what is? There are some technical hurdles to overcome, but, there aren’t too many downsides to employing this CMS software.

Disclaimer: Telegraph’s website is built on the WordPress framework.

If you have any feedback on this review or you would like to suggest an app for us to review, please drop us a note – telegraph@joinlincoln.org.


Screenshots

SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

25/25

Cost

25/25

Differentiation

20/25

Effectiveness

20/25

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