WordPress powers more than 25% of the world wide web, with good reasons for that:
- Worldwide Community of Contributors
- Free WordPress Blogs for everyone
- Free Open Source Software for anyone
- Moderate Learning Curve
- 3rd Party Markets
WordPress may have started as a simple effective blogging solution, while over the years it has blossomed into a powerful Content Management System (CMS) platform. While there are reasons to choose other platforms for website projects, we’ve reached a point where now professionals on web projects have to first ask:
Could we do that in WordPress?
The big question about computing technology used to be: BUY or BUILD? Now the choice is Buy or Build or CONNECT? Proprietary software still dominates some markets with giants like Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, and Oracle. But the Internet Age has brought new ways of building and sharing computing solutions. Rather than buy pricey licensed software and support, rather than hire staff or an agency to build a custom project, the best new solutions are Freemium offerings. Freemium means that the basics are free to use, like Gmail or MailChimp—then when you need advanced features or an organizational system, you upgrade to a Premium level that meets your needs.
Connecting to freemium offerings and seeing how the can integrate using common standards has become the most cost-effective route for most computing solutions. On the web WordPress has become the most common platform for sharing both free and freemium solutions for websites. Why buy or build, when you can connect to basic solutions for free and complex productions for affordable fees?
Why not ask: Could we do that in WordPress?
Here’s a small example: Word & Image recently performed a pro bono project for a neighborhood Art Crawl with no budget for web development. The group had over 100 artists, dozens of business sponsors, and excellent print graphics—but just a little placeholder WordPress site with a few static pages and PDF files of their printed materials.
At Word & Image we knew that WordPress could do much more for them. But without a budget, how could they achieve a complex website to accommodate the growing needs of artists, sponsors, and art patrons?
We surveyed the field of premium WordPress directory solutions, found an excellent theme choice Listable by PixelGrade based upon the popular WP Job Manager stack of WordPress plugins. It combined a slick UX with customizable listings and mapping. It was easily affordable, and best of all, the developers at PixeGrade provide excellent documentation and support.
While the solution needed some customization for the particular needs of this project, the them/plugin stack provided about 90% of what we needed, including responsive mobile views and complex interactive mapping for all the artist and business sites. It’s amazing what WordPress solutions can provide out of the box. Add the extensibility of Open Source Software and the expertise of the WordPress community, and the results are amazing.
That’s the power of WordPress. It can quickly, effectively and affordably give a little neighborhood art crawl a big boost; and now WordPress has become the World Wide Press that powers more and more small communities as well as giant global projects around the world.