Website Design – WordPress? Html? or ??

I like to think I keep an open mind about most things.

Working for a variety of clients in many industries, you get to hear all kinds of opinions.  Not that I believe it all.  But I need to not dismiss the thoughts, beliefs and ideals of the people I work with (no matter how dillusional they seem to be).

web design strategyOne area that there is lots of discussion is around the tools and underlying format to use when building a website.  This debate has been going on for some time.  I remember the discussions I had with my brother-in-law years ago as we debated Front Page vs. Dreamweaver and the resulting code created by each.

I went through a phase where I developed many sites using Dreamweaver’s revolutionary templates with editable areas.  I have tried php based sites, using content management systems like Joomla and Drupal, and have done lots of sites with static html. One area that I have always tried to use very little is template based sites.

WordPress I believe has revolutionized the web design industry.  Not that it solves each and every need in web design, but it has morphed into a tool that does a superb job of quickly and efficiently building a high quality customized site.

A year ago, if you would have asked me, I would have said that unless there is a very specific and unique need for something more complex – WordPress is the solution for every business big and small.  And with the additional power of WordPress MU (I am currently working on two projects that use MU and it is amazing the power WordPress now has) – I could easily slip into that dream world of ‘WordPress Every Site.’

BUT . .. .

That infamous But.

Recently I have been having some reservations about WordPress.

Now if you are an active business, expanding, looking for new prospects and client through the latest marketing channels – which MUST include the internet – then I 100% support a WordPress site for you.

Where I am having some reservations is with the small operations.  Those part time businesses, hobbies, even consultants.

The reason for this is the fact that even though WordPress is a great tool, easy to set up, get going, and optimize – WordPress does NEED regular maintenance.  And with security, privacy and online brand awareness becoming a larger factor – can even small operations put their site at risk.

WordPress continually gets better, and the plugins and themes continue to evolve along with it.  GREAT for those of us who actively use their sites and want to tweak and optimize until the cows come home.

Not so good for the (and forgive the stereotype) 56 year old Luddite who just wants to have their business on the net so no-one laughs at them for not keeping up with the times.

I set up a nice WordPress site for them today – and six months or a year later when they need some help and I open up the dashboard I am overwhelmed with little red update dots!

So what is the solution for these small operations?  Static Html – possibly but I don’t like to put a fixed box around anyone.

Maybe it is WordPress.org or Blogger, or Hub pages or some site like that.

Or maybe someone will come up with the ultimate solution . . .

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