Website or WordPress?

By Laurie

Often the question asked by people embarking on an online prescence but asked from the misunderstanding that they are different.

You can produce a very successfull website using using WordPress. So, lets take a look at the different type of website and their strengths and weaknesses.

Imagine an axis with the most flexible site type at the left hand end and the most rigid at the right end.

At the right hand end we would find the site builder type site and at the left hand end the traditional html designs. WordPress sits between the two. So, lets look at what they offer as the axis is not linear.

Sitebuilder

A sitebuilder site is often provided by the interent service provider (ISP) who supplies your hosting option.
Sitebuilders are true to their promise which is to have a site up and running in 10 minutes even if you have no experience.
Usually there are a number of colourful useful templates from which to chose and the the user simply selects and continues. Often the ISP will provide lots of useful add ons, which are usually free, to enhance the site functionality.

So right now you are probably thinking to yourself “Sounds perfect, where do I get mine”. Well hold on just a minute. If you have now finished with your website and will never want to upgrade or tweak it, then you’re done.
Most likely, you will want to make some changes and this is where sitebuilders start to become less useful. If what you want isn’t on the menu then you cannot have it.
From my experience I would say that a sitebuilder package is just fine for your family website or local community site as they are quick and easy to implement and maintain

HTML

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, it is the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web.
Tim Berners-Lee was the primary author of html, which was developed around 1991-92, at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland.
The initial idea was to allow researchers to share information amongst themselves.
(Note that the internet, ie the network part had been around for some time before this but was restricted mostly to research and governement organisations.)
HTML is used to define the structure and layout of a Web page, how a page looks and any special functions. HTML does this by using what are called tags that have attributes.
For example <p> means a paragraph break. As the viewer of a web page you don’t see the HTML, it is hidden from your view, however, you do the results.
So html is the base language, that is, the lowest level at which you can work.
In its base form html is what is known as stateless. So, when you access a web page it is downloaded and appears in the browser on your PC. Sometimes referred to as fire and forget. No linkage is maintained between the server and the PC.
Most useful sites use Dynamic HTML. This is acheived using something like PHP (The name is derived from Personal Home Page:Hypertext Preprocessor) which is open source or ASP which is an active server page from Microsoft.
These dynamic languages run on the server but allow the page to be changed before being delivered. It may deliver information from a database or change the colour and style of the pages.
A very basic html page could be produced in about 10 minutes. Very basic meaning a white page with black writing and some headings. Learning html would not take too long but to be really useful you would probably

need to also learn one of the dynamic languages.
The dynamic languages have a form very similar to traditional programming languages such as C or C++.

WordPress

WordPress is a free program written in PHP and it is available to download. WordPress claims a 10 minute installation time and this is probably quite accurate for most users. WordPress is a content managed system

(CMS) which is where it differs greatly from html. The whole point about WordPress is that the user can access WordPress and make updates to the site information with virtually no prior experience. When adding
information there are some editing tools which are easily used to add headings, bolding or underlining.
Wordpress requires an ISP package that has a database. For WordPress sites for the complete novice you should find an ISP that supports WordPress and maybe one that has Fantastico. Fantastico is a one click
wordpress installer. These sites have the databases (MySQL) and Fantastico does the rest.
Worpress functionailty really comes into its own with the use of Themes and Plug-ins. For example, you can quickly and easily download and install another theme and completely change the appearance of the site.
Likewise you can download and install additonal functionality with a plug-in. So, if you want a membership site or a shopping cart then simply download and install the relevant plug-in. Both themes and plug-ins can be purchased or downloaded free. In this regard you generally get what you pay for. Until now WordPress has sounded pefect, so whats the catch? Well, PHP, WordPress and many plug-ins and themes are open source.

PHP and WordPress have very professional design and release groups. When you get WordPress it tells you which version of PHP you need and which MySQL Database. Whilst plug-ins will specify which version of
Wordpress they work on they do not usually say which other plug-ins they work with. Not surprising really as there are so many. One easy way to overcome this issue is to have two installations and use one as a
test system to check plug ins and themes before utilising on the live site.

categoriaUncategorized commentoNo Comments dataJune 12th, 2015
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