Continuing on the topic of using WordPress as a CMS, which we discussed earlier, running a website doesn’t always mean using standard HTML files.
With WordPress, you can set your website up however you wish. First, the settings allow you to structure the “permalinks” however you wish. You can set them up according to popular methods that WordPress does for you, or you can set up your own structure.
For example, you can set it up so that your website looks like this:
It’s really quite easy to use WordPress to build a website, and the best part is that if done correctly, it won’t be obvious that you’re using blogging software.
But that’s only half the beauty of WordPress. With the recent release of version 2.7, you can automatically add “plugins”, which offer additional functionality. In previous versions, you’d have to download the plugin, and then upload the files to your server. All that is a thing of the past. Now, what can plugins do for you? Pretty much anything.
You can browse through the available plugins in the “Plugins” section of the administration panel. You’ll find plugins that provide mail forms (cforms is perhaps one of the most versatile and popular plugins for that), a way to display the number of views an article has had, you can show recent comments, and you can even integrate your blog/website with your Twitter page.
Do you want statistics? No problem! There are numerous plugins available for that as well. With plugins such as StatPress, combined with WP-UserOnline, you can know exactly who is on your website and what they are doing minute by minute. This can provide valuable feedback as to what’s working and what is not working on your website.
There are hundreds of plugins just waiting to be tried out. That, combined with the ability to design your own theme, or use one of the numerous themes that are available on the WordPress website, makes WordPress a versatile, popular, and easy to work with choice.
One of the obvious beauties of using this method to run a website is the fact that you can update pages and post blog entries from anywhere with an Internet connection. You can also start a blog entry from work, for example, and then save it as being under “review”, only to finish it at home.
Using WordPress offers numerous advantages over the “old school” methods of designing and maintaining a website, and considering that the software is strongly supported and very much under development, one needn’t worry about the company, Automattic, disappearing, which is a nightmare for any web designer.