WordPress as a flexible development platform

WordPress.org logoIt’s an understatement to say that there are many ways to build a website in 2011. The tools available to web developers for building websites, web tools, apps, sitelets, widgets, etc. are plentiful. In many cases, we are not limited by the tools used for hammering out ones and zeros, but by the platforms and applications in use by our clients.

For the brand new Donordigital website and blog, we had an opportunity to choose a platform at the outset of the project. We took advantage of WordPress to build out our company site, for a handful of reasons:

  • Fosters Collaboration: We wanted to build out our site with the intent of making it easy to collaborate, not just for our production team, but for everyone in the company. WordPress combines a great content management system with top-notch blogging software which allows for anyone to contribute.
  • Enables Dynamic Content: Our site pages are built to pull content from the blog posts that we write. This helps us to keep the site content relevant and dynamic, while focusing mostly on blog post content. We categorize and tag our posts so that they’re distributed in various locations on the site.
  • Welcomes 3rd Party Tools: We use the power of widgets and plugins, such as the AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget, List Category Posts, and FeedBurner FeedSmith plugins. These tools do some of the heavy lifting for us, in order to connect via social media channels or to keep information better organized.
  • Develops Quickly: Through modifying some themes available, building the site in a dynamic fashion, and utilizing powerful third party tools, we are able to build out sites and applications quickly on the WordPress platform.
  • Leverages Open Source: There is no cost to use WordPress. It’s an Open Source project with a very active community of supporters and developers. There are many online resources available to the community— forums, documentation, example sites, plugins, etc.

Donordigital regularly develops websites for its clients using the WordPress platform. At year-end 2010, we built a Gift Catalog for Catholic Relief Services using WordPress that showcased giving opportunities for its supporters. We connected the Gift Catalog via the Convio API to allow for full donation functionality. PETA Presents is another good example of a client site that we built recently using the WordPress platform.

Jesse Kelsey is a Web Developer at Donordigital, the online fundraising, marketing, and advertising company. Contact: jesse@donordigital.com.