At it’s core, WordPress is a blogging platform. It enables easy content creation, so that anyone with a business idea can communicate their ongoing story in words and pictures. It’s famous “one-minute install” implies exremely simple and quick site setup. WordPress generates both the public-facing web site and a backend “Dashboard” for web site management. Site design is accomplished by applying ready-made “Themes” that define a site’s look and feel. Site behaviour is highly extensible through the use of “Plugins,” which add functionality. Themes and Plugins are easy to download, install, try out, test and compare.

Want to add an online storefront to your web site? There’s a Plugin for that. Want to create a private forum for your customers? It’s a plugin. Build a subscription-based service? Download the plugin. Build your email list? Plugin.

How about a periodic design refresh? That used to cost several thousand dollars of webmaster time. Now my clients can do it themselves by downloading a few new Themes and trying them on like a new set of clothes.

It still takes time, thought, planning and attention to detail to develop a well-built WordPress web site for a specific purpose. My role in that process is now more as a trainer, coach, and mentor rather than as a code wrangler and design jockey.

The WordPress Dashboard puts my clients in the driver’s seat so they are able to update, change and add content to their site without any webmaster intervention. After some initial training site owners can craft their site to meet their specific needs, and modify and revise functionality at will, in response to a constantly changing online marketplace.

Using WordPress, I can offer web site development at a fraction of the cost of custom-designed web sites — which have become almost unaffordable for the small- and home-based businesses I cater to.

I am now deep in the midst of automating web site setup on my server, so that potential clients visiting my business web site can quickly sign up for web/email hosting services, make their first payment, and immediately have a web site Dashboard they can log into and begin creating content.