WordPress, WordPress, WordPress

What’s the big deal about WordPress?

Well I wrote my own content management system a few years ago because at the time WordPress was a blog (not a CMS), and Joomla! was always being hacked and too big a risk for me to run my sites. I didn’t even look at Drupal because my sites were relatively small.

So none of the popular open source systems were suitable. I stopped development on my own system and temporarily swapped to Joomla! However IMHO (in my humble opinion), it was too confusing to use and train clients on. People like simple looking user-friendly systems.The control panel for Joomla! is fragmented and inconsistent, but WordPress is the opposite being simply and easy to use.

So in the last year I re-evaluated WordPress and it came out on top. They have improved many aspects of the CMS and is now very well supported, but above all …

WordPress is easy to use and train people on

… and that’s the bottom line when your a self-employed person. Happy clients also mean clients are happy to come back to you and pay you on time (in theory anyway!).

Developers will give out that WordPress is difficult to create plugins for and that they don’t like you tampering with the core. Fair enough I say. It’s not for everyone but I’ve written a couple of plugins myself and didn’t find it too cumbersome once you got to know the framework.

The quantity and more importantly, quality, of plugins for WordPress has greatly improved in the last couple of years and is starting to surpass Joomla! There have also been very useful improvements such as multi-site installations and now the control panel is coded in HTML5.

My only real gripe is the speed of the system. It does seem a little slower than it should be but there are a couple of useful plugins to help us out such as:

Outside of the WordPress system itself your WordPress template and surrounding bits and bobs should employ the normal speed techniques such as:

  • Packed JavaScript and CSS files.
  • Compressed images.
  • Images must have dimensions so that the browser does not have to ‘re-paint’ the window.
  • Sprites (combined image groupings) should be used for many small images to prevent multiple HTTP requests.
  • PNG graphics should be used not GIFs, as they compress more efficiently.
  • Caching should be enabled on your server and browser.
  • Asynchronous resources should be used.
  • Downloads should be parallelised across hostnames.
  • Static resources should be served from a cookieless domain.
  • And many others …

Anyway, I’ll be sticking with WordPress until something better comes along.