The trouble with Wordpress and other templates
Shortcut URL: http://t.conquent.com/i400
We just completed a project which included the installation of Wordpress; while Conquent doesn't usually use Wordpress, the client has a volunteer team working on content and they all have familiarity with the system, which made Wordpress the right choice to get the content up and running.
The project helped me to articulate why Conquent, philosophically, doesn't embrace any single platform or tool to get projects done. The problem isn't necessarily from the programming or the tool itself but stems from the very fact that tools are designed to simplify problems.
To simplify the management of content you have to create rules. To create those rules, you have to make assumptions. Those assumptions will ultimately sacrifice flexibility.
That's fine when you have a straightforward need. But systems like Wordpress try to be "all things to all people." As soon as you start adding things, you start to conflict with the idea of simplifying the system.
Instead of a basic content system, you end up with plug-ins, special pages, and a bunch of add-ons that make sense in their own context, but create a mess for people who don't need or use those functions, and even a bigger mess when you start combining these unrelated tools.
At the same time, you're still limited by the constraints of the system. So, now you have an environment with its own set of rules getting in the way of making things look and work the way you want at the same time you're dealing with a complex framework.
Keeping this in mind at the beginning of a project is really important. Don't start with the rules of the content management system, instead start with the rules of your business strategy and marketing. Technology, by the very definition of the word, is to apply science to solving problems.
Too often we apply technology without really understanding the problem we're trying to solve. Then people spend all their effort solving problems that wouldn't have existed if they had just picked the right tool at the beginning of the project.
In this case, Wordpress was the right tool, and having a team that's able to "get under the hood" helped us make that decision and advise future clients when they have a problem seeking a solution.
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