WordPress is a free, open-source Content Management System (CMS). It is responsible for driving nearly a third of the world’s websites and used by some of the largest brands out there. Released in 2003 and initially designed for blog-publishing, the WordPress system has grown to be one of the most popular for all types of websites, from learning systems and messaging forums, through to B2B, B2C and eCommerce. The system uses a template, or theme system and plugin framework through which websites are developed.
In recent years Quinn Creative has been using WordPress as the basis for most website projects undertaken. With the importance of responsivity across devices now paramount, WordPress provides a quick, affordable solution for all types of businesses. It removes the need for a different front-end design for each device, as well as the time and costs involved developing a bespoke Content Management System. Plugins offer a simple and cost-effective way of improving functionality, whilst the CMS has a simple and easy to use interface with a huge library of supporting documentation and tutorials online.
Bespoke websites will always have a time and place, but WordPress is now a very feasible solution for most businesses regardless of industry and size.
The look and feel of WordPress websites are driven by the ‘theme’. A theme is typically a pre-built front-end design of a website that dictates the look and overall appearance. It determines the design framework of the website including page structure, backgrounds, colour palettes, headers / footers, and typography to name a few.
Depending on your budget, pre-built themes can be purchased at a one-off cost, or unique themes can be created for you, using bespoke coding. When it is time for a new website, you can simply install and calibrate a new theme, as opposed to starting a whole new website from scratch.
Existing platforms or systems such as WordPress provide a base starting point, the Content Management System, through which a website can be created. This removes the need to design and build a content management system specifically for your website, and as a result saves a lot of development time on something only you (not your customer), will see.
This base content management system allows you to easily create and manage content as well as extend and customize functionality.
Functionality is primarily driven through various ‘plugins’ – a small piece of software that is installed to provide specific capabilities and features. Many of these are already developed and freely available, with premium features often involving a small subscription fee. The beauty of this is the ability to add functionality at very little cost, with setup and configuration, as opposed to development, being the main time constraint.
Where necessary custom functionality can be added through bespoke code, if not already available through a plugin.
As WordPress is such a widely used system, often involving plugins to drive functionality, it is important to keep on top of maintenance. New updates are released periodically for the WordPress system itself, themes and associated plugins – in order to keep the system secure and up to date with the newest technologies. Keeping these elements up to date is vital to ensure security, performance, and continued functionality.
Quinn Creative offers ad-hoc as well as retainer maintenance support for all WordPress websites.
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