Welcome to Strategic Website 2016

Strategic Web Development and Digital Marketing

It has been about two years since I did a major website revision, which is about the maximum lifespan for a website. Instead of just reworking or redesigning my existing website, I decided to make a big move from Joomla to WordPress. I also totally revised the content to be more of a gallery style portfolio showcase of my web services and work. The written articles will be reserved for blog posts, which is one of the reasons I decided to move to WordPress. Over the next few weeks, I will be consolidating and reposting many of previous articles, as long as they are still relevant.

Why move to WordPress?

Well, I had a number of reasons to switch my website to WordPress. Here are a few reasons I switched my website CMS to WordPress from Joomla:

1. Blogging.

There is nothing wrong with Joomla for blogging, especially for one who is familiar with Joomla. You can do pretty much the same things as WordPress for blogging in Joomla using Joomla’s blog menu types. If you add the EasyBlog component to the Joomla CMS, you get even more blogging options bundled together than using the default WordPress blogging tools. So why switch?

The fact is, WordPress was built as a blogging tool prior to becoming a full fledged CMS. It was branded and marketed as a blogging tool. And it has created the largest community of bloggers within the WordPress.org blogging network. By becoming a regular WordPress user for my website’s blog, I both (a) get involved and exposed within the WordPress blogging community and (b), although I might not be an immediate fan, I familiarize myself with the regular usage of WordPress’ blogging tools, putting me in an excellent position to help others.

Coming from Joomla, where I was perfectly happy with the toolset I had used, I get a unique perspective on both the advantages and shortcomings of blogging in WordPress. Over time, if I find that there are some tools I had which I just can’t blog without, I can develop them as plugins for WordPress.

2. Content based websites should generally use WordPress for their CMS.

I’ve written this before. I divide websites into three categories: content, service, and product. When I recommend a CMS, I first try to determine whether the website is going to be primarily content, service, or product based. From there, my typically proposal starting point will be WordPress for content based websites, Joomla for service based websites, or Magento¬†for product based websites. There are, of course, other considerations such as the availability of ready made add-ons to accomplish all the desired functions for the website, but generally my categorical analysis works well.

So when it came to my own website, a website about web development, website design, and digital marketing… a content based website by all standards!… I had always gone with Joomla! This should be embarrassing since it is contrary to what I recommend to my clients. And the real main reason is that I like Joomla better. I find it easier to customize, design, and develop within. Since it’s my own website, I should be allowed to choose the CMS I like best, right?

Well… yes and no. While I am actually very familiar with WordPress from its core frameworks and API to its administration interface and settings, my familiarity is entirely from developing websites in WordPress for clients. I have no familiarity of the benefits and headaches involved in the regular use of WordPress for my own website. That creates a little bit of a gap between me and my clients, the majority of which are familiar with and prefer WordPress. So I decided I needed to move beyond my own preferences and put the client’s user experience first.

3. Annoyances can inspire innovation.

As a professional web developer, I do much more than just create and customize websites. I also write plugins for frameworks and content management systems. I enjoy coding a new plugin from scratch with only a problem, annoyance, or desired feature in mind. It reminds me of the good old days when everything on the web was programmed from scratch.

There is no denying that WordPress has become the most popular content management system, if not the most popular platform in general for creating websites. With my background, skills, and attitude, I expect that when I run across something I can’t do in WordPress, or something in WordPress which really annoys me, it will inspire me to innovate a wicked solution. And when I have solution, I can release it to the largest community of developers, designers, and content creators on the web.

4. Blog content.

While I do have a ton of content categories to blog about already, I thought that transitioning to WordPress from the perspective of a “new user” but with the experience of a web developer would make for an interesting blog content category. So I plan to keep you posted as learn WordPress again as if it is for the very first time. I will post about my headaches, as well as tips and tricks as I (re)learn them again as if from scratch. This approach should be able to produce the some of most useful tutorials and walkthroughs available for WordPress.

So that’s it for now! If you have any of your own good or bad experiences with WordPress, why not share them below? Also let me know if there are any topics of particular interest to you. They might just find their way into my next post!

Quinn Rusnell

Quinn Rusnell

I have been designing and developing websites and web applications since 1997, and programming software since 1982. I am have expertise in multiple scripting languages, as well as open source technologies and frameworks such as Wordpress, Joomla, Magento, jQuery and Bootstrap. I also have extensive server-side knowledge of Apache, myPHPAdmin, SQL databases, search engines, and Webmaster Tools. I am a Google Certified Qualified Individual in Analytics with extensive and current knowledge of SEO and digital marketing. On the design side, I am an advanced level user of Adobe applications for graphics, brilliant in CSS3 for web design and layout, including CSS frameworks like Bootstrap and UIKit for mobile first responsive design. When I am not working on something for clients, I am either doing research on current industry trends and technologies in web development and digital marketing, or practicing the trade by working on a personal project of interest.

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