WordPress Website CMS
WordPress is both a blogging platform and a content management system (CMS), designed for easy editing by people who have no training in coding.
Below is an explanation of WordPress websites (for instructions go to WordPress instructions).
WordPress started life a blogging site for professional writers to promote themselves. Its popularity led to its development as a content management system (CMS) capable of supporting entire websites
Nowadays, we can use WordPress to create CMS websites with a blog page, offering the best of both worlds.
What is CMS?
A content-managed website is a website that can be edited by a non-specialist. It works like this. Applegreen Websites arranges the hosting and set-up of WordPress, creates the design and structure in discussion with you, and hands over. You do the regular updating through WordPress's editing facility, the Dashboard.
From the Dashboard, you can edit text, add photos, upload documents and write blog posts with events, news or longer articles. Some areas, such as the sidebar, are more complicated and require confidence to edit. We provide extensive support including written instructions. These instructions are also available on our WordPress Instructions page.
Should I choose a WordPress website?
The decision to design in WordPress must be made at the start of a project. Choose this option if you are confident that you, or someone in your organisation, will spend time mastering the editing system. Below are some pointers and examples to help you decide.
Applegreen offers its clients three website options:
- A hand-coded website;
- A hand-code website mixed with integrated WordPress blog/news page;
- A website entirely powered by WordPress, set up and designed by us.
The hand-coded option offers the greatest flexibility in design together with light, fast-loading pages. Updates are carried out by us though our tailored follow-up service which is fast and affordable (see Costs). This is the best option for people would rather not, or do not have time to, learn how to update. Among others, YouByYou Books relies on Applegreen for all its updates.
The mixed option provides a space where website owners can add their own news or events, or write a blog, while other pages are updated by us. The editable WordPress page is seamlessly integrated into the navigation and styled to resemble the hand-coded website as closely as possible. This option is useful for business people who wish to blog about their work, or for organisations that have regular events or special offers: see the News page at Camden Community Nurseries.
The full WordPress website option offers the website owner access to all the pages, including the ability to add new ones. This is useful for organisations like churches and small charities where several people may wish to update different areas, or where new initiatives may lead to the need for more pages in the future. See Smarden and Biddenden Churches. It's also the option recommended for e-commerce.
What else is good about WordPress?
On the design front, we tend to avoic the hundreds of ‘themes’ that have been written for WordPress (themes are templates that structure the design). At Applegreen we sometimes modify a default WordPress theme if we think it'll do the job nicely, but more often these days we create bespoke themes specially for our clients. That is what you pay us for.
An extensive system of plug-ins adds extra functionality to WordPress websites. These may offer search-engine optimisation, Google analytics or photo slide-shows to name but a few.
Do you wish to set up a web shop for selling online? Several e-commerce platforms help integrate a shopping cart with a WordPress website. We have worked with WooCommerce, which enables users to upload and present dozens of product lines and variations. WooCommerce is a free system with paid add-ons that provide extra functionality (see Agilityk9s).
Case Study: Frieda Pruim, journalist
Frieda is a Dutch journalist living in Utrecht, where she has exercised her profession for more than 20 years.
A few years ago she went freelance, continuing in journalism. At the same time, she became a professional organiser (helping people ‘de-clutter’ their lives).
To cope with a mix of commitments including writing, editing and professional organising, she decided to present all her work in a single hub: a WordPress website. She had www.friedapruim.nl designed by a local developer (not an Applegreen project) and launched it in 2012.
She explains: “I was shown by my developer how to use WordPress. Some things I worked out myself. If I need help I can still ask my developer to explain things, or pay him to do extra things for me.”
Asked how difficult she found it at the beginning, she says: “I found it very easy. I am used to computers, but wasn't used to updating websites. That is, I sometimes had to do it at Opzij (my last job) but that was an extremely complicated system. I am also webmaster for a Joomla site and I find Joomla terrible.” (Joomla is an alternative CMS to WordPress)
Frieda spends about half an hour twice a month adding news items and links to her home page. She updates her home page most frequently but has edited all the pages at different times. She is comfortable adding photos and uploading pdf documents. With extra instructions she has been able to add new pages to the main navigation.
In conclusion, Frieda is enthusiastic: “I would certainly recommend WordPress!”, she says.