OK, so I recently started a new series of articles called “Designing a new site” and this is the second article in the series. Today’s article will be about choosing a platform for your new site.
What do I mean by “platform”? Well, I mean what kind of software will the site be built upon? Maybe you won’t have a software platform at all, but these days, most sites do. For me, I build nearly 100% of my sites on the WordPress platform. WordPress is blogging software, but these days a lot of people are using it for Content Management as well. What is Content Management? Well, generally, Content Management, or CMS (Content Management System) is a piece of software that will help you arrange all of the articles (content) that you write for your site, put it into a presentable form that people can read. Basically, it takes a bunch of articles that you have written and arranges them in a logical way so that your readers can have a nice experience on your site.
There are lots of CMS systems out there, and many of them, perhaps most, are free open source packages that anybody can use. In the earlier days of CMS, there were popular packages that were not blogging software, rather they specialized in doing nothing but CMS. Some names that come to mind would be Joomla or Mambo. However, these CMS systems proved difficult to use for the average user. They are complicated. Some people still use them today, but I would venture to say that WordPress is not only the world’s most popular blogging software out there, but it is also the most popular software for CMS as well. Let me point out that when I mention WordPress I am not talking about WordPress.com where you can set up a free blog on their site. I am talking about WordPress software that you can install on your own site.
Why would you want to use a CMS software for your site? Back in the “old days” of the web, you used simple HTML language to write your articles and the basic setup of your site. Well, when you use something like WordPress or another CMS package, you get not only your website that the public can view, but you get a backend as well, or an Administrative (or admin) area. What is the admin area? It is the place where you, the site owner, can go and write articles and do other things to control the look and feel of the site. You can set up how your articles will appear on the site. You can even tell it when the articles should appear. Basically, when you go to the admin area, you have an entire operation center for your site. This makes it easy to make your site look and feel the way you want it to, to give your readers a positive experience, the way you want to. If you are just coding your site with HTML you don’t get this kind of “operation center” for your site.
I said in my previous article introducing this series that I had recently built a new site for a customer, and that I built it with money making in mind. How does the platform play into the process of keeping money-making in mind during the construction of the new site? Well, not too much, but it does make it easier to make changes to the advertising on the site. You can quickly change out ads. You can easily embed code into your site that is needed for putting money-making advertising and other money making methods into play on your site. If you are using the old school method of coding HTML on your site, these kind of changes are a bit more cumbersome to do.
So, for a platform for your new site, my recommendation is without a doubt for you to use WordPress. But, it is a personal choice, and if you are in the midst of designing a new site, I would recommend that you look into a number of CMS packages to see which one works best for you. My bet is that you will settle with WordPress, but it’s good to learn before deciding. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that since WordPress has by far the biggest user base, you will find support more readily for WordPress, since the user community is very large.
Tune in again as we continue the Designing a site series here on Virtual Earner!