Be Good Not Bad by Brian Warren

22 August 2005

Wordpress, or “How I finally built the website I needed”

Three years ago, two friends of mine and I started to build a content management system for building and maintaining websites. We didn’t really know what we were doing but we had a few very forgiving test clients that gave us a great opportunity to learn a lot. And learn we did, but the project dragged on for years, forever changing in scope and direction, some features turned out great, others remained extremely unfinished.

All the while I was wanting to implement this system on my employer’s website. They paid to use it, and since it was a bit of a work in progress, I was only using bits and pieces of it while trying to find time to develop the rest of it.

It was soaking up tons of my time and energy working on this project and I finally started looking around at other systems to see if I could use someone else’s solution.

I ended up at WordPress. WordPress is primarily used to build and maintain blogs like this one (but not this one). WordPress is an extremely powerful tool. It’s very easy to create a bunch of web pages and your website just gets bigger and bigger very quickly. So quickly, that it took me about three weeks to build my employer’s site (nearly 200 pages) in WordPress. Three weeks may sound like a lot, but I knew nothing about WordPress to start. I had to do a fair amount of techie stuff to figure out how to do a few of the more complex things. I also took about a week off of this project in the middle of that.

I won’t get too detailed on all the nuts and bolts of WordPress, but the reason I chose to use WordPress boils down to a few reasons:

  1. You can have a post be in multiple categories. This means that in our People section of the site, someone can reside both in Asia and in our headquarters in Colorado. Believe it or not, but that’s a desirable thing.
  2. You can have a page be the parent of another page. This parent-child association with pages, is vital to web design.
  3. It’s free. I work for a non-profit.

Do I have any gripes about WordPress? I’m sure I do, no tool is perfect, but the only one that I care to mention now is this: When I’m in the admin area, it refers to the website you’re running as a “weblog”.

So, that’s a nitpicky thing. All in all, thanks to the WordPress development team. I finally got the site I needed. Oh, want to see the site? Cadence International