Platform of the Future…

116641-20130221Choosing a new website platform is not as easy as it sounds, or is it?  I have spent the past several months researching, choosing and putting a new website into place.  My previous platform was a CMS or Content Management System.  A CMS allows a user the opportunity to maintain their website after the system is built.   Like most programs a CMS comes with its limitations.

A CMS was created to allow users to make simple changes and keep more complex features like the header hard coded.  This allows the user flexibility to change content without altering major components of the site structure. The problem with this type of system is that you can’t update the look of your site without a rebuild, and your layout options are limited. My goal was to find a solution to the issues or a better system to replace it.

Several of my friends in the Industry pointed me to WordPress.  At first, I was hesitant that this platform could meet all of my needs.  The main function of WordPress is to build a website from a library of premade themes at a low cost.  This system allows a low tech user the opportunity to change the look and feel of their site on their own.  The pages are laid out in a simple click and fill format.

WordPress was also smart enough to leave their platform open to programmers who want to create their own themes.  With the help of a local company, I was able to create a custom theme website with some CMS functionality.  I have three sets of page orientations for each level of pages throughout the site, and I now have a dynamic header.  Even if I get tired of my current theme I have options to rearrange and freshen it up within the theme I already built.  If I am still not satisfied I can create additional page orientations to add to my library.

The only downside to WordPress being so flexible is that you have to go either custom or premade.  If you get tired of your custom theme and want to purchase a premade it can break your structure.  You definitely want to make sure you sit down prior to your build and understand all of your options.  A good site map can definitely help you prevent future disasters.

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