Concerning WordPress

You’ve probably heard of WordPress.  And you may have wondered if it is right for your website.  You may have heard it does amazing things.  You may have heard it’s just a toy.  I have found that WordPress is a wonderful thing for some people because it is small and easy to manage by themselves, but it does everything they need their website to do.

The discussion about the value of WordPress is a tricky one.  There are a lot of companies that want to make any website out of WordPress.  There are also companies that make the types of websites that people shouldn’t be making out of WordPress.  As we have no desire to build a WordPress for someone who should have a true Content Management System, we’re going to lay all this out as impartially as we can.

Web Company “A” says: “WordPress is cool, and at our company, we can make WordPress do anything those fancy Content Management Systems can do!”

Web Company “B” says: “We do real Content Management Systems, and WordPress sucks.” says that Web Company “A” is missing the point of WordPress, and that Web Company “B” is at least partially correct, as long as they are talking about a byzantine system that was based on WordPress, but frankensteined into something quite different like the one Web Company “A” would hack together to deliver on their grandiose claims.

WordPress is a publishing platform, not a CMS.

The last time I installed a WordPress (this site, not co-incidentally), the installer treated me to this little blurb:

WordPress is a state-of-the-art publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. 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.

WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on hundreds of thousands of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.

Simple websites made with WordPress are simple to build, simple to update, simple to improve, simple to move, simple to own.  And they can be as stunningly beautiful as any website of any level of complexity.  Their simplicity is their appeal.  Adding content is simple.  Adding plug-ins for new functionality is simple.  If you want a simple website that you can update yourself, that looks great on any device, a WordPress from is perfect.