Guest author Carrie Donalds goes through her perspective on WordPress, while I give you my take on this subject. There are many PHP content management systems out there, and we go through a few different perspectives.
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WordPress is a popular publishing platform that was primarily used for blogging purposes. Part of the widespread popularity of WordPress was due to the ease of use and quick setup. Users didn’t have to have a background in website programming in order to create and install an online platform to share their thoughts with the world. The downside to this popular platform in the beginning was the limited template designs and plugins that were available. The user could post blog entries or write articles, but were unable to customize the look and add other features to their WordPress site very easily.
Compared to other scripting languages, learning PHP is fairly easy, which makes getting down and dirty with with WordPress even easier. Over time, web designers and website programmers began using custom PHP programming in conjunction with WordPress to build websites. This allowed designers to use a readymade platform while having the ability to customize the look of their website, without PHP programming knowledge. This technique made it fast and profitable to build a website that was completely customizable according to the client’s preferences, without having to hand code everything. Another thing that is nice about using WordPress as a content management system is the availability of plugins. Plugins are like miniature programs that can be easily added to a website to enhance its use or functionality. For example, there are plenty of readymade plugins that can do just about anything from posting the current date and time, to allowing your site visitors to sign up for a newsletter. These can be installed quickly and most of them are simple to customize.
Not only is PHP hosting required for building a site with WordPress, but it is a good idea because it gives you access to other systems that also use PHP and MySQL. PHP has a great open source community that provides plenty of support to help with technical issues or other custom programming projects. All of the plug and play extras, such as forums and chat rooms are a piece of cake to install.
Chris Roane’s Perspective
I agree that WordPress is a powerful platform for building simple websites, like a blog. However, in the last few years, I’ve determined that Drupal is a more programmer friendly option when you really need to do a lot of customizations or implement advanced features. The module system in Drupal is much more integrated, and you can more easily modify deeper aspects of Drupal than you can in WordPress.
With that said, WordPress is more easily picked up by none PHP programmers (mainly due to the complexity of the Drupal API). Also, the admin interface for WordPress is more user friendly than Drupal, but now that is debatable since Drupal 7 launched (early last month). Both systems have active and large communities that provide tons of open source code to customize your website through plugins and modules. There are other options, but I would put Drupal and WordPress at the top of my go to list for the best PHP CMS systems out there.
This article is contributed by Carrie Donalds, a senior writer for WebHostingSearch.com. She has been writing since her school days–from academic writing to blogging. Aside from writing, Carrie is also into creating home-cooked meals.
What is your favorite PHP content management system, and why?