How Does WordPress Compare to Drupal and Joomla?
There are a few good content management software (CMS) tools out there, Drupal, Joomla and WordPress being the big three.
We have a site built with Joomla. It's fairly easy to use and there are many fine add-on tools available as well as ample free support forums with up-to-date information and active and helpful participants.
And we have a friend, charleslinart.com who is a Drupal guru and he thinks that's a great tool. He addresses objections in a provocatively titled blog post, "Drupal Sucks" (http://www.chucklinart.com/drupal-sucks).
There's really no resolution to the question of which platform is better because they all have slight differences and at the end of the day the choice comes down to what best meets the site owner's needs.
However, today we build all our new sites in WordPress and I can give you some examples of why I think WordPress is extremely helpful for a "newbie" or a small business owner.
To clear up any confusion, WordPress can be a blog, but it's also capable of working as a regular website, including a site with ecommerce abilities.
Is WordPress A Good Website Platform For A Beginner?
We think it is a great platform for new or experienced site owners here are a few reasons that jump out at us right away.
Although we could probably go on a lot longer making the case for WordPress we think a better way is to highlight just a few WordPress plugins that show how quick-with-the-answer the software is.
The best thing about WordPress is ease of use, exemplified by the availability of plugins. Plugins are free or paid tools that are easily added to WordPress to serve a specific purpose. There's almost always a plugin to do what you need done, and usually they're free. And often the paid versions that cost as little as $10 are quite powerful.
Here is a small sampling of handy plugins off the top of our head.
Essential WordPress Plugins
Today we got an email from Small Business Newz, a site and newsletter that we read and respect. Today's topic was how to find broken links on your site. The article referred readers to a site that offers a free download for a Windows-based program that runs from your PC to check for broken links on your site (whether internal outgoing to an another site).
Want An Easy Way to Check For Broken Links?
There's a Plugin for that. It's called Broken Link Checker. It will put a red message in red in the Admin area of WordPress and send you an email when any link on your site doesn't connect to an active site. Compare that to downloading and running software, even if the software is free...
How Can You Keep Your Website's Content From Being Copied?
Worried or frustrated that anyone can copy and paste the text and photos on your site?
Outside of WordPress, there are two good tools to control control and track content people lift from your site. One is called Tynt, it automatically adds an attribution link when content from your site is pasted onto another site. You may have seen this happen when copying from a newspaper site, for example.
Tynt also sends you an email and tracks the links back to you site. BUT, what if someone just deletes the link back to your site? There's nothing Tynt can do in this case. Your content is gone without attribution and you don't know where it went.
Another similar tool is Repost.us. It adds a button to your site encouraging people to click to get a link they can use to legitimately share your content and give you credit.
Think of all the work that went into creating these tools to fix a problem that people must be looking for a solution to.
WordPress Plugin To Prevent Content Copy and Pasting, Image Taking
Or there's a WordPress plugin for that. It's called Blog Protector and it's free.
Visitors won't be able to highlight text or right click to View Source or Save Images. You can even put in a note in a pop up window when they try. Perhaps something like, "Looking for something?". Pretty cool, huh?
How Do You See Search Terms "(not provided)" In Google Analytics?
We have a site that "not provided" accounts for 9 to 15% of our search terms! It's obviously very frustrating to wonder what words are drawing the largest chunk of hard-won visitors to your site. It's devastating to knowing what working with your internet marketing strategy.
Well, there's a free plugin in for that. It's called Search Terms Tagging 2. It will tell you which terms are landing people on your pages and how often those terms are used. It's easy, and again, free.
"The Simpson's Did It"
We could go on but we think the point's been made. This is starting to be like that episode of South Park when the boys are looking for something outrageous to do only to be reminded that the Simpson had already done it.
Although we like WordPress, this isn't a knock against any of the other CMS tools out there. In fact we're able to rattle these plugins off because we're most familiar with WordPress. Undoubtedly a Drupal or Joomla whiz could dazzle us with the capabilities of those systems.
Should I Be Able to Edit My Website Myself, Or Leave It To My Webmaster?
More import to us is not which content management system a business owner uses, but that they have access to one.
Even if you plan to leave all the site work to someone else, it's essential that person not be the only person who can get in there and work on the site.
We've seen too may times business owners unable to make even minor changes to their site and instead being reliant on webmasters who disappear or get busy with other projects or clients. Not a good position to be in because it makes it hard to even turn the work over to a new website person.
And if you're thinking of becoming more hands on, WordPress is a good way to go for even a limited tech-skilled user.