In our last article, I discussed why a website has become such an essential part of of any business or organisation. In this article I want to discuss how modern websites are built.
Websites have evolved exponentially from the turn of the century when you could sit down and slap together a quick website using a 5 minute HTML primer. These days, HTML is but a small part of what goes into a website; CSS, PHP, databases, and dynamic content are only some of what contributes to the modern smorgasbord that is a website. The complexity is jaw-dropping, but the trade-off is everything we have come to expect from the internet: rich, immersive content, advanced functionality such as membership and e-commerce, and of course- social media integration. All of these things are possible due to the complexity of CSS, PHP and all of their acronymed cousins.
It sounds like you need a computer science degree to build a website. But fortunately, just as there are hardware and software programmers in computer science, there is a similar structure in the world of web design. We can think of the hardware programmers in the field of web design as those who are creating the ‘system software’ for web designers. This system software takes the form of content management systems(CMS) such as WordPress and Joomla. Web designers take these systems and use them to create websites- they are akin to software programmers. Do website designers still have to know how to write code? Yes! But a lot of the code can be written for them in the form of the CMS. They only need to write the code to customise individual sites.
There are still web designers who will hand code a website, but they are quickly giving way to designers using CMS design.
At GrongTech, we design exclusively using WordPress, the most popular CMS on the internet. It has been estimated that more than 19% of the websites on the internet today are powered by WordPress. Web designers love it, and more importantly Google loves it! Why is it so important that Google loves it? Because Google is in the business of helping people find websites, and if a site is easily indexed and has relevant content, Google will give it a higher score; it will sit higher in the rankings, and more people will find it.
But is that the only benefit of WordPress? Hardly! Here are a few of the main benefits:
- Consistency: WordPress uses consistent, streamlined code which is not only attractive to search engines like Google, but it makes a website much more robust and less likely to crash.
- Plays well with social media: Social media is almost as essential as a website and WordPress easily facilitates the integration of social media with your website.
- WordPress is open source: This has two benefits: one, open source is free so web designers and their clients don’t have to pay licensing fees to use it; and two, it is upgraded constantly so is always at the forefront of internet technology. This is good for stability, security, and your pocket book; you will have to contact your web designer less often to make changes and upgrade your site.
- More than just a blog: WordPress started out as a blogging platform, but it can now seamlessly integrate such advanced functionality as membership, e-commerce, and dynamic content. If you want your website to do something, WordPress has you covered. PLUS, it still does blogging very well!
That’s all and good for web designers but maybe you’re not a web designer and are wondering what the benefit might be for you. Well, the biggest benefit is that WordPress, with a little effort is very easy to learn! At GrongTech, once we finish a site, we offer to spend time with our clients to do some basic WordPress training. Once this is complete, clients are able to build basic pages on their own, modify content, and post their own articles. Clients no longer have to contact their web designer for every little change or modification. We are still there for the bigger jobs and advice however.
Give us a call to find out how WordPress can transform your online presence.