WordPress; It’s Not Just Blogging Software

In this series of posts I want to tell you why I think WordPress is a valid business tool as a website content management system and not just a blogging platform.

People Think It’s Just  A Blog

Too often people dismiss WordPress as “oh, just that blogging platform, I couldn’t run my website on that.”

Throughout this series of posts I want to dispel that myth and many others which are stopping businesses taking up WordPress as a serious website content management tool.

Business Is Scared Of Open Source

It has been my experience that a lot of businesses are scared of open source solutions, they like the idea of accountability,  that there is someone to shout at if things go wrong, that there is someone there to cover IT arses if things to t*ts up.  You don’t get that with open source, there is no expensive support contract, and no one to haul across the coals if things go wrong.

I used to work in a multinational that was happy to pay it’s content management provider 10k per processors per year for software, let’s just look at that again, 10 thousand GBP, about 15 thousand USD per processor (each server was multi processor) per year for a solution that was not too dissimilar from WordPress.

I know many businesses are coming around to open source, but it is my experience that they are still the minority, please feel free to contradict me in the comments, this is my opinion, and the corporations I have worked in were just not into free software.

The small and micro business, which make up the majority of my clients are more than  happy to use free open source software, but why not medium to large?

It’s Small Business Software, It Won’t Scale

Yes it is, if it’s installed on small business hosting, which is what the majority of bloggers use, but if you need a high volume CMS solution, you simply need to look to a service like VIP hosting from Automattic, the people who developed WP http://vip.wordpress.com/

You can scale your site up to millions of hits per day and have the good people who wrote the software support it for you.  WordPress scales.

It’s Insecure

WordPress has it’s fair share of security issues, but it is not inherently insecure.  It is a victim of it’s own success, there are millions of WP sites, find a vulnerability on WordPress and you have the keys to millions of sites.

I’ll add to this and say the majority of hacks I see are not due to WordPress, they are issues with

  • Insecure hosting
  • Badly configured sites
  • Sites not updated when a security flaw is identified

Solutions To All The Problems

There is a vibrant community developing the core of WordPress and tens of thousands of plugins

  • Need a mailing list sign up – there’s a plugin for that
  • Need members only content – there’s a plugin for that
  • Need a job board – there’s a plugin for that too, the list goes on and on

WordPress is an evolving beast there are features being added all the time, it gets better with each new plugin I find and release I install.

Unique Design

If people think they cannot get a unique look and feel for their WordPress site, they are highly mistaken.  Hire a good designer, I recommend Jonathan Woodward by the way – http://jonathanwoodwardstudio.com.

WordPress theme design can create a unique look and feel for your site, be it an avant garde art site or a conservative business site, a good designer and coder can create the look you need.

There are excellent companies out there developing premium themes, Headway, Woo themes and Thesis to name just three.   For a small cost you can get a very professional looking theme.

Multi User

You can have a content creation team of any size, if you leverage WordPress users and roles you can have many people adding and editing content for your site securely and with pre defined permissions on what they can and cannot do.set

Support Is Plentiful

There are a lot of people out there who can support your WordPress site.  You are not buying into a niche service that will cost you thousands of dollars per day for support.

Just look at me as an example, I’m based in the UK, but have clients throughout the world.  The beauty of WordPress is that it can be administered from the same interface that is used to display content to your users.You don’t need contractors in your office behind your firewall to do work for you.

Most Importantly Of All

It’s cheap as chips, the hosting is standard and easy to obtain, the software is free, themes can be free or a premium theme can be obtained for a few tens of dollars.

If that is not reason enought for business to start using WordPress as their CMS I don’t know what is.

What It Can be

In the rest of this series I want to take a look at the other things WordPress can be other than a blog, including:

  • A fully grown CMS
  • An e-commerce Site
  • A multi Media Platform
  • A Membership site

Leave links to sites in my comments section of WordPress isntalls doing ununsual non-blog things.

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