Why You Should Use WordPress For Your Website?

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Note: There’s are web designers who will build WP sites. While I don’t offer web design services myself I do offer consultation by the hour for those that need advice or want to manage it themselves. You can find that here.

By Gavin Seim. Updated 01/10: With a Word Press site I can probably do anything you can with your site and more. It’s a good platform with great add on’s and it’s easier for me because I have control. I can pick from thousands of free themes on the net, mod them how I want and get my own look.

Besides Pro Photo Show here’s a few of my other sites built entirely in WordPress.

Word Press is a platform that many bloggers use. Many photographers use it for their blogs in fact. What many don’t realize is how much of a content management system WP is, and how good it is for building a complete photographers website. It’s like the simplicity of blogging, but for your entire website.

I use it on all of my sites and can make my blog and website all one. I like that integration a lot. Images can be posted equally easy on static pages or blog posts via your online admin panel. Flash or HTML slideshows can easily be made in Photoshop, or one of my favorites ShowIt Web, and embeded right into the pages for my galleries.

Here’s some thoughts on using WordPress for your next website. Besides the fact that it’s FREE.

  • 1. Ease
    I could go on all day about the cool things you can do with WP. It’s not just function, it’s simpicty. Granted to really customize things you either need to be willing to take the time to learn, or simply get someone who’s a web geek. As an example. I can start with a theme, and build a good looking site in an afternoon. After that making changes is only a web browser away, and can be done without much experience. It’s so much more powerful than a traditional HTML site, and far easier to manage than a flash site.
  • 2. Design
    You start by installing WP on on your hosting account and then adding a theme. Then modify the header and things in the theme to get the look you want. The colors and such are controlled by CSS. It’s a single file that defines colors, fonts, borders, etc. You can edit this file and it effects your entire site. HINT… If you have a Macintosh, get a program called CSS Edit. It allows you to edit CSS with a visual interface. You can go crazy with CSS, without knowing code.
  • 3. Backup.
    I use a Database managing plugin called WP Database Manager. It backs up the entire content of my WP database every day and sends it to a gmail address I have just for backups. It’s all automatic!
  • 4. Add On’s
    I have a load of plugins. Plugins are what make it all so powerful. Plugins are add on’s (kinda like a Phogtoshop Plugin) that can make doing realuy cool stuff really easy. They do things like work with Google Analytics to track visitor stats, manage information, add a contact form ect. There’s lots plugins, and most are FREE. There’s even a WP plugin directory.
  • 5. SEO
    There’s many steps to getting a good Google rank. The link exchange we have on PPS helps, but Google also seems to love WP sites that have fresh content on them. Why give your precious content to a blogger page when it can be part of your own site content? I use a plugin called Platinuum SEO to make it all simple.
  • 6. Flash?
    Photographers all want flash sites it seems. They look shiny I guess. I did to, but I’m coming to find that viewers don’t always want to hear our music and Google does not love flash. Also flash is complex which leads to not making changes that often. Guess what? your site soon get’s boring, and google looks even less because there’s no fresh content.

    If I see a something I want changed on one of my pages. I can literally log in and have it done in 60 seconds. Besides all this, I’m finding that photographers sites are actually looking alike, because their all doing flash. Non flash is actually looking different and unique these days.

I could go on all day. I think WP styles sites are the next Flash. As photographers we want to be ahead of the curve. Take some time and go look into to WordPress. Whether you learn it yourself or hire a designer to lay the foundation, you’ll still have control at your fingertips. You’ll love what you can do with WP. If you’re clueless about design or setting up something like this, look for a friend who understands WP. If you don’t mind spending a bit, I also offer private consultation on the topic. More info about that right here.

Gavin