When I signed up for my first WP blog years ago I hadn’t the vaguest notion that WordPress is a content management system (CMS) for all intents and purposes. I understood what a blog was, ’cause I’m a smart cookie, but never thought of blog and CMS together though it’s pretty bloody obvious now. Anyway, back then, I never thought of content management systems at all ’cause I was an exclusive Dreamweaver and notepad hand coder. Anyway, since I like tinkering with code, especially when I have no idea what I’m doing and where it will all lead, I started learning and figuring out how to use plugins, tips I learned on the web and all my web design and development knowledge to make WordPress do more, whatever “more” meant and continues to mean per project. I realize now that WordPress is just like another fabulous company whose services I use almost religiously, Netflix. WordPress is as useful and resourceful as you make it.
According to the folks at WordPress, WordPress was initially built as a very simple content management system. Netflix was once upon a time just an online DVD rental company, but now you can watch entire movies online, read and write your own film and TV reviews, rate films, share your queue with family and friends, see their activity as well, buy DVDs, watch previews, and network with millions of other film and TV fanatics without leaving the website. Yet, if you wanted to, you could just stick with using Netflix to rent DVDs online. WordPress works similarly, I think. We know WordPress as a blog publishing platform, but for those who like more, whatever “more” means to you, you know that WordPress is a content management system, an online collaborator, an events calendar, an archive portal, a portfolio publisher and more.
Using WordPress as a content management system (CMS), you can create a simple, more easily managable website like Poles Apart Design, an online magazine, a social network, an events calendar and more. It’s up to your imagination, really. If you think of a blog as a dynamic website publishing (for the most part) content with chronology and categories in mind, there are many reasons and ways to make WordPress do what you need. There are hundreds (perhaps thousands???) of plugins out there that can enhance your WordPress installation and there are thousands of themes out there that can make your blog, your portfolio, your magazine, etc. look good.
I won’t say WordPress can do everything, ’cause nothing and no one can. But, consider using WP as a CMS especially if you want sociability elements added and a tagging system to make categorizing and finding your content easier. Consider using WP if you like how PHP can streamline your productivity and save you time. Consider using WP as a CMS if you like free sh*t (plugins, software, tools and more) and don’t like paying tons of money or digging through tons of mediocre scripts. I’ve not yet seen WordPress used for very large sites or complicated ecommerce websites, but I could be wrong. Even if I’m not, it seems there are much more small to medium sized websites and uncomplicated e-commerce websites online anyway.