I’ve been working with WordPress for a few years now, and have developed considerable expertise delivering a surprisingly varied array of sites on the WordPress platform. It’s a joy to work with.
WordPress was traditionally a pure blogging engine and not much else. It was best suited as a bolt on blog, and not as a content management system. Over time though, it has evolved into an incredibly scalable CMS. It’s strengths include the speed with which it can be deployed (the famous WordPress 5 minute installation), the vast array of themes, a huge library of free plugins available at the WordPress plugin repository, and the ease with which clients can get to grips with the back-end administration system. It’s also free and open source.
I use WordPress a lot when dealing with the smaller jobs. When the budget is low for a job (we’re talking under £1000 here), it’s important not to consume precious time and resources deploying and configuring a more complicated system. WordPress lets me get straight into the important stuff – creating the page layouts, inputting and styling the page content, getting the navigation system set up and working, and generally theming the system in line with the brief I’ve been provided by our client.
One of WordPress’s strengths is the ease which even a complex site can be themed. In an ideal world I would have the time to take a blank theme and build the customer’s site from scratch. However, if the budget is tight, I would normally buy a theme that is roughly similar to the requirements and then customise it to suit. I’ve learned from bitter experience that it does not pay to take one of the many free themes available and use that as a basis for a site. Free themes tend not to have been tested very well across the various browsers, and there’s no support.
Plugin availability is another massive bonus. Very often there will not be a plugin in the WordPress repository which specifically matches the requirements. However, there is often one which is pretty close. I can take it and, because the source is available and not encrypted, I am able to customise the plugin to cater for the needs of the client, often in a fraction of the time it would take to write a plugin from scratch.