WordPress is a popular, free, open-source blogging application that can be installed on a domain either as part of a site or as the basis of the entire site. It allows the site owner or contributors to make additions to the site themselves. It can be used as a content management system (CMS) for small to medium sites. In fact, you can ignore the blogging part and just have pages, making it look like a normal website – and one you can log into and edit from anywhere. WordPress templates, or themes, are ready-made designs which can be used as is or be customized. Many plugins are available that offer a wide variety in function.
Most of the new sites and redesigns that I’m creating nowadays are built on WordPress.
I also offer WordPress lessons and coaching in person or on the phone.
WordPress is a very active platform that is going to be around for a long time. Like Windows on your PC, it issues regular updates, including security updates (this is a good thing), which are easy to implement from the backend.
WordPress keeps getting better. I changed this site to a WordPress platform in March 2011 (still in progress, like a carpenter’s house).
WordPress allows you to organize and display information in different ways, and to change how information is displayed as your site grows or your needs change.
WordPress sites are more future-proof than most, because the core of the technology is updated regularly, while other functions can be added by choosing the most appropriate plugins.
The Mahone Bay Pool website (top of page, right) was built in 2011 and is kept updated over the summer by the swimming instructors and lifeguards. What a boon it is for parents!
Above left: Lunenburg MLA Pam Birdsall posts regular news items to her site and wants them found by search engines. So I switched her site over to a WordPress platform for SEO purposes (search engine optimization) more than any other reason. Now it’s working almost as hard as Pam does!
Right: The Blockhouse School Project has a growing blog and integration with its Facebook page.
Above left: I’ve been taking care of the website for our local French school near Bridgewater, Centre scolaire de la Rive-Sud since 2005. In 2010 I moved it to a multi-user WordPress network. The network gives every teacher and every committee the opportunity to have a website and/or blog. The community centre associated with that school also has a WordPress site that I built, as does another French community centre in Truro. These community centre websites are being updated by their managers, whom I have trained in person and over the phone.
Boss Solar (above, middle) installs solar thermal and photovoltaic systems in and around Toronto. Mike, the owner, writes blog posts on his area of expertise, but most of the site is like a regular site with pages.
(Above right:) My old labour of love, the Nova Scotia Photo Album, which I started in 2000, has a WordPress blog. I’ve designed the main part of the site and the blog to match each other. Now I plan to move the whole thing to WordPress.
Another fun WordPress project of mine is Spiro Graphic Art, in which I get to play with my Super Spirograph.
I’ve set up many other WordPress installations. My husband has four blogs: one concerning his professional interest in regulatory affairs which is attached to his website, one on Civil Aviation, Civ Av, a French blog about sailing, Voile pour tous, and an English blog about sailing, Popular Sailing.
Other family members have blogs and websites, including my music therapist sister at Deep Soul Singing and my late father at FlemmingHolm.ca where his many letters to the editor and to politicians are preserved in electronic perpetuity.
If you want a website you can update yourself from any computer, if you’re willing and able to climb a relatively small learning curve so that you can maintain it yourself, if you’re interested in the functionality available through the wide variety of plugins and themes available, then WordPress may be for you.