These are notes are based (loosely) on talks given to Oxfordshire FHS and to the Pedigree User Group in late 2013.
These links are to pages showing various sites using WordPress.
Why use a CMS?
A Content Management System (CMS) essentially separates the management of the content from the management of the appearance. It makes it easy to leave the appearance in the hands of the webmaster while devolving the provision and updating of content arund a group of contributors.
To a degree, this separation is the same in a CMS as it is in a Wiki. In general though, a Wiki allows all contributors to change the live web site whereas a CMS typically puts pages through an approval process before they become public. The origins of the two systems mean that, generally, a CMS is more appropriate for producing a ‘glossy’ site with little technical knowledge. A Wiki may require more technical knowledge toproduce the same level of ‘gloss’. Such generalizations are, of course, rather risky!
There are commercial CMSs, and there are free CMSs. The most common free ones are Joomla! (note the ‘!’ is part of its name), Drupal, and WordPress.
WordPress has its origins in the blogging world but has evolved into a system in which the blog component can be dominant, be secondary or be suppressed altogether.
Free or, well, free!
You can sign up for a free site on wordpress.com – the free site will have a URL like http://yours.wordpress.com but you can pay to have your own URL associated with the site.
If you have your own webspace (with PHP and MySQL available) then you can have your own installation using the download (and instructions) on wordpress.org
For the time being, these notes assume the former (wordpress.com) option is being taken.
Read the manual!
Getting Started guide: http://learn.wordpress.com/get-started/
Get the Most from WordPress.com: http://learn.wordpress.com/
Here are the 200+ themes available on a free (wordpress.com) site:
Compare that with the 2000+ themes available if you host your own wordpress site: