The pros and cons of WordPress as a CMS

WordPress was released in 2003, originally intended for use as a blogging platform. Thanks largely to its intuitive template and plug-in systems, the site quickly found another use as one of the most popular Content Management Systems.

The platform, which is based on PHP and MySQL, is free to download and depending on your requirements could provide you with everything you need to have a basic, SEO-friendly website online within a matter of just a few hours.

WordPress could well be the most easy-to-use CMS not just for end users but also developers and designers alike. Websites such as Techcrunch and Kara Swish's Wall Street Journal spin-off All Things Digital have made the best out of this simple, easy (and free) to use CMS.

I have been using WordPress for three years and at first was very reluctant to use an open source 'blogging' platform to develop sites, but after using it for a while, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. Once you get the hang of it, you quickly realise it is a fantastic solution for basic website builds.

Benefits of using WordPress

  • Low-cost website development
  • Easy-to-use for beginners and experts
  • Scalable – it works just as well for a 2 or 2000-page website
  • Highly customisable
  • Quick turnaround on development
  • Regularly updated and maintained
  • Secure code maintained by a community of thousands of developers
  • Thousands of themes and plug-ins freely available

Potential drawbacks of using WordPress

  • The platform is fine for basic websites, but not great for bespoke functionality
  • The CMS is set up for a blog system and can be difficult to customise at first
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