My First Encounter with WordPress…

I’ve been hearing about wordpress for a while now… it really caught my attention when I read an article in Time Magazine about it. It have been at the back of my mind and these past few days, it sort of clicked with what I needed in our company’s business website improvement. I have thought that perhaps wordpress can be used for business website with CMS… doing a quick google search, I saw the following interesting sites with wordpress as the backend:

This company is the first site I saw about it… Pixelita, althought the design was not totally to my idea of business website, whats interesting is they use a collaboration software called PHPCollab – I am looking into collaboration software to implement for our business as well – more on future post

ewebscapes site looks creative and they have a few interesting projects. goldbar looks ok as well with sample page Western Concrete and price for wordpress at US$299

And one of the nicer business website I’ve seen so far using wordpress – Hi-way Campers and Play Cover. I’m just not sure whether the online shopping of Hi-way Campers also uses wordpress.

Another site thats interesting in her comment about wordpress modifications to make it more like a business site – Developed Traffic but a bit on the high side in terms of price for our company now

Then there’s a guy named Brian Gardner who only discovered blogging a year ago and have some nice business websites already.

A more inexpensive designer using wordpress would be Zack Design – based in Australia

I’m sure there’s a lot more out there, but I need to shortlist what we want in my website… here’s some ideas of what the website for our companies should have:

Main Pages: Home, Products, Services, Support, About Us, Contact, Tools, Link, Customer Portal

Required:

  • HTML standards compliant and works nicely with different browser – IE, Firefox, Safari, etc.
  • Content Management System or CMS – so that we can update the site ourselves as needed
  • Very good web analytics – who visited, how they came in, which pages they seen, from which location, how long they stayed on each page, which website they go to after
  • Good Search Engine Optimization or SEO
  • Categories – for easier navigation to what the customer wants
  • Search by feature and site wide search
  • News and updates – for updates about the company
  • Site Map
  • Download page for users manuals, software updates with some items requiring password (registration)

Required in the Future:

  • Shopping Cart – somehow linked to our inventory system
  • Shipping Cost – linked to package size / weight and method of shipment
  • Online payment system
  • Order Status Tracking
  • Forum

Nice to have:

  • Wiki with password protection to view and edit – for our own use in updates on projects
  • Clock display – that linked to an atomic clock
  • Voice file playing on home page – can be disabled
  • RSS Feed and Email on update
  • Dynamic sizing based on user’s screen resolution

These days, there’s too many options available. Like just a few months ago, I was really looking into using Drupal (which is PHP based CMS) for our business website… But then I found wordpress and thought to myself I need to keep a blog even just for my own personal researches for technologies or gadgets for business or for my own pleasures… Then today is wordpress for business… well, if we can mix the 2 together with no ill advantage – why not? Perhaps if I can find enough justification that wordpress is even more advantageous for business website that other ways, I would go for it immediately.

Then there’s the question of whether to do it ourselves (which is possible enough) or to have someone like Zack Design or ewebscapes do it for us – with the advantage of time and expertise while we concentrate on other things…

We’ve been through so many website update plans but non have satisfied us – its either the technology limit or the people involved not being able to reach the expectation. The very first website we had was more than 10 years ago and its using frontpage from microsoft, then we had hired programmers and web designers to do it ourselves – they used PHP, ASP and other stuff, but always there’s major problem with updating… e.g. update on 1 area would not update on another area. Then we also bought ecommerce templates but then the programmer couldn’t get it to work properly plus the fact the to make it search engine friendly requires a separate step… having enough of all this with so much wasted time, I’ve decided to let real pro with experience do it without us losing control. So CMS would be the way to go… and hopefully wordpress is the right one at least for the next 3 years…

Looking further into wordpress for ecommerce, I found this blog by knowledge constructs with thoughts on why wordpress would be good for ecommerce. There’s a comment there with a website with shopping cart, photo album all made with wordpress – Swikmos Snakes. A plugin that works with WP is WP ecommerce with more than 30,000 users But the link with shipping is still on the works. There are also comments that WP E-commerce is very slow to load from foliovision… The frugal law student have a blog on how to setup WP for ecommerce in 30 minutes…

Found a lot of people with the same idea about WordPress like iface with a lot of comments supporting his view. Although it will be slower for heavier traffic site (which PHPNuke is more suitable for the likes of community type). chimp-simple have a nice site that uses WordPress and he also have a step-by-step guide on how he did it. One comment said that yahoo will always treat wordpress posts as blogs unlike google, which is why referrals from yahoo will be very few.

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5 Responses to My First Encounter with WordPress…

  1. […] post by Weird Knowledge Weblog Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and […]

  2. Joni Mueller says:

    You should also investigate Dean Allen’s CMS, TextPattern (http://www.textpattern.com). It’s very powerful and flexible and there are no shortage of resources for it. Also consider to a lesser degree CMS Made Simple (http://www.cmsmadesimple.org). It has a form builder that can generate the most complex forms in a manner of minutes. What I don’t like about it is that its blog and forum modules (called Blogs Made Simple and Forum Made Simple, respectively) are so lackluster that even the CMSMS site is using WordPress for its blog and Simple Machines Forum for its forum.

    You clicked into our blog, but check out our web site and more importantly check out our portfolio (http://www.pixelita.com). Our focus in 2008 is on small and medium sized business and professional web sites (e.g., lawyers and law firms) running WP or Textpattern.

    I highly recommend TextPattern and to give you just a peek into what it can do, check out this site featuring all kinds of web sites running on TXP:

    http://welovetxp.com/

  3. […] vs TextPattern As recommended by Joni Mueller on his comments on my previous post “my first encounter with wordpress” I will look into Textpattern applicability for business website. There have been a lot written for […]

  4. Sounds like you’ve been doing your research! Always good to see 🙂

    WordPress I’ve found is fantastic because of its extendability and malleability. I’ve used several other CMS solutions but I just keep coming back to WP. However, Joni is quite right also about the other two CMS he recommends. Eventually though, you’ll realise that often it’s not so much about the CMS used, it’s about how easy it is to get it where you want it with the least fuss. Sometimes that can be really hard to figure out especially if you’re unfamiliar with any of them…

  5. Dean Calvert says:

    Good info. and read. Will be back soon to read more of your information.
    Thanks,
    Dean

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