Over the past few years there has been a trend of major websites dropping traditional HTML based websites in favor of CMS (Content Management Software) sites such as WordPress. This is good for the company, the web designer, and whoever is responsible for maintaining the website.
Some of the major websites using WordPress for their content management include:
- eBay – The eBay Ink blog is the company’s main blog. eBay’s Social Media Strategist and Chief Blogger told me the blog was launched in 2008 and WordPress was the right choice from the beginning. You can read more about the project and how it came together at http://vocecommunications.com/portfolio/web-development/ebay/.
- Blackberry – Inside Blackberry is the company’s main blog powered by WordPress.
- Ford – The Ford Story chronicles articles, user stories and plenty of car photos!
These are only 3 of the major WordPress sites that caught my eye. There are many more at WordPress Showcase, including news sites, fashion sites, and music sites.
So why do major companies trust a free blogging platform like WordPress to run their business sites? There are many reasons and several benefits to using a CMS to manage your website.
- No HTML coding experience needed to update: Users do not need to know HTML just to add a simple post.
- No Proprietary Software Needed: Website users do not need to have special software installed on their computers to update the site. All they need is access to the internet.
- No major coding experience necessary for maintenance: Once the customer is trained in the basics of maintaining things like sidebar widgets and ad placements, they should be able to quickly update relevant info in that area without contacting the web designer.
- Multiple users can update the same site: This is awesome for group blogs or other sites where more than one person is responsible for adding site content. Each user gets a unique login. And, more than one user can be logged in at the same time updating the site.
- Permissions can be customized: You may want to give one user access to do more than another user. Some users may get admin access, while others only need contributor access to add articles. There can also be editors, or only subscribers.
- Quick content updates: In order to add new content, there are very few clicks involved.
- Less overall maintenance cost for the company: Since it is less likely that someone will break the site trying to do something simple like add new content, there is less cost to the company. There will be less calls to the web designer to fix an oops.
- Ease of extendibility through plugins: Features can be easily added to WordPress through the thousands of available plugins. Many of them free. You can easily add ecommerce, a forum, or other functionality with a few mouse clicks.
Yes, there are other options out there for building a website. But, I have used self-hosted WordPress since 2005 and I will not leave it. The ease of setup, ease of customization, and user friendliness make it a great option for setting up almost any type of website.
If the idea intimidates you, or not quite ready to invest in the hosting costs to get your site up and running, you can head over to WordPress.com and get a free account to familiarize yourself with the software. WordPress.com is not as feature rich as the self-hosted version, but it is still a great start.
For more information on the benefits of using self-hosted WordPress, visit WordPress.org.