There are many advantages that WordPress has over your previous system.
WordPress is constantly improving. There are hundreds of volunteers around the world giving their time to make the system better and easier to use. They all use the system themselves and when they see a way to improve it they don’t complain, they write the fix. Others test it and if it is good it comes out in the next release. There tends to be a release every three to four months. Don’t worry about a constant change being a problem for you. The changes are very incremental and it is not starting afresh on a learning curve each time.
Better Google Performance
About 90% of UK web searches use Google. Most people navigate the web via search engines. It is difficult to over-estimate the importance of being Google friendly with your website.
According to Google Consultants, Google relies on three key elements:
WordPress is designed to make your content (words and pictures) very easy for Google to see. So you need to write the correct content, which will basically involve using your town or parish name frequently, and write it often -the new system will make that easier. If you do that then other people will link to your site increasing it’s reputation at Google. Success.
Easy to update
The admin side of WordPress is designed to be simple and clear to use. The screenshot is from just before I wrote these words. There are a few buttons to format your text and add pictures, and a great big publish button which quite simply makes your content visible on the site. Job done. There is more detail in the Training section of this site.
You should find WordPress more flexible than the previous system. The menu system is can be customised, the right hand column containing widgets can include a wide variety of elements limited by what you can find.
In the Sample site you’ll notice that we import local Norfolk news from the BBC’s site using a technology called RSS. This means that whenever the BBC change their headlines, they are changed on our site too without any work from us.
It works in the other direction too. Wordpress will output RSS feeds for your site so that other people’s sites can re-publish the information that you produce, for example, events in the town.
Some people use RSS feeds to check when a site has been updated but email is a far more common way for people to get notified of updates. As a standard every council website will allow visitors to sign up for email updates. Those who do sign-up will get emailed whenever you add extra information on your site.
Millions of sites use WordPress. That means there are millions of people you can ask for advice. Wordpress themselves offer how to pages and support forums, and an experienced WordPress user is unlikely to be far away.
The reason for many of the advantages above is that WordPress is open source. And ultimately that means you can export your site and reinstall it elsewhere within an hour. You can choose where to host it, how to design it, and what to add to it. You are in control.