In speaking last week with friend and colleague Alan Rimm-Kaufman, he told me of his company’s plans to switch their company’s site to WordPress. Very timely that he would mention that to me given my recent post about WordPress for non-blogs. I asked Alan to write these points up, they were so good. He agreed, and blogged it. In summary, Alan says WordPress provides company site owners with:
- editing without needing to know HTML
- easy handling of “rolling events” like speaking engagements
- post-dating of articles so they can automatically “go live” on the scheduled date (as is required with embargoed articles until their print publication date)
- reader participation through comments
- organization of the content using tags
- seamless handling of pre-existing URLs
- easy addition of new functionality (because it is “open source”)
- free support by the very responsive developer and user communities
I’ll just piggy-back on Alan’s points a bit:
- Because WordPress is such a popular blogging platform, it’s easy to find developers to work on it. It also certainly doesn’t hurt that WordPress is written in PHP — the most popular programming language on the planet!
- WordPress is easily extensible through the use of plugins. Many hundreds of plugins exist already. It’s also pretty easy (if you’re a developer) to write your own plugins. That’s a lot more elegant that directly hacking the WordPress code base.
- Maintaining inlinks to former URLs can often be accomplished just by making the “post slugs” (filenames) consistent with the old site then adding a rewrite rule to the .htaccess file that maps to the new URL structure. If that’s not possible, you can always create a comprehensive list of 301 (permanent-style) redirects to add to your .htaccess file.
So I made my case for running WordPress on non-blogs, based primarily on the positive impact on SEO that you’ll get out of doing so. This rounds out the reasons for switching to include compelling reasons beyond just search rankings.
Actually, I’ll add one more. WordPress allows you to add cool sidebar widgets, such as the Swicki buzzcloud, with the greatest of ease. I love widgets! (A swicki, by the way, is a custom search engine, like this one, and a buzzcloud is a tagcloud type thing but of popular searches rather than tags, like the one in the right column on my daughter’s Neopets Cheats site.)