Nearly every web site development agency has its preferred content management system. We choose to use WordPress. Here’s a bit of a story about how we came to use it (and why we have stuck with it since).

When Clever Starfish first started back in 2006, we would recommend Adobe Contribute for small sites.

Contribute was a desktop application that worked on both Windows and Mac OS. Back then, web-based systems were quite clunky. Contribute, being a desktop client, was fast and responsive, and great to use. Per user-license, it was really reasonably priced.

It also had other features we liked. It had built-in image editing capabilities, and it worked on all kinds of servers.

In time, however, the price of Adobe Contribute increased to over A$300 per license, and web-based content management systems started to improve. WordPress, which we’d previously used in conjunction with Contribute for powering news sections, was one of these.

The WordPress blogging platform had started to see some seriously beefy features being added. Eventually, it became a fully-fledged content management system in its own right. As web-based interfaces got better and better, desktop clients started to become less attractive.

There are heaps of reasons why we like WordPress. Some of them are that:

  • it’s free and open source. The only cost to our clients is the time it takes us to customise the WordPress installation and theme, and there are no ongoing licence fees
  • it runs on PHP and MySQL. This combination is readily available on almost all low-cost, shared hosting accounts
  • there are literally thousands of plugins and extensions for it. You can add every kind of functionality are available, often for free
  • it’s used by hundreds of thousands of web developers world-wide
  • it’s easy to use, easy to install and customise
  • it’s a very easy to update.

The latest version of WordPress – version 3 – was released in mid-June 2010. This new version is better than ever. It has:

  • vastly improved image editing capabilities and built-in gallery features
  • a customisable admin interface, so web site administrators don’t need to see things they don’t use
  • a cleaner, easier to use admin interface – something that gets better with every release
  • custom post types
  • built-in, editable navigation menus
  • new core functionality, which has allowed plugins to become more advanced. There are now really good plugins for contact forms, navigation, search engine optimisation, and embedding audio and video… and much more.

If you’d like more information about using WordPress for your site, or on how the latest version has changed, contact us.