Hello, WordPress!

This is a story about migrating a website from Joomla to WordPress, my first encounter with WP, and comparison of WP with technologies I previously used.

Corporate websites in small business companies are often – let’s be polite – neglected. It really shouldn’t be that way since websites are the first thing new partners, employees, or general public see when they want to inform themselves about your company.

Etna d.o.o. is second company I am working for. Naturally, before applying for the job, I glanced the company site – and wasn’t overly happy about it. I simply knew, if I take the job, a website redesign will be my first task.

Since I have some background experience in writing articles, and I also worked on website redesign (on Microsoft SharePoint) for my previous employee, this task was a natural for me. Oh, I am a software developer too (but I don’t see how it relates positively to anything in this context). Above all, I enjoy working on something new and fun, so I said: let’s do it!

Problems?

  1. Which platform to use? Our old website was based on Joomla, but I heard about WordPress, so I googled the usual suspects – things like ‘cms showdown’, ‘joomla vs wordpress’, etc. One of the most important factors in weighing about this was usage: WordPress accounts for 60% in CMS market, Joomla for 9%. WordPress, so be it!
  2. At the time, except it was a blogging platform, I knew simply nothing about WordPress. After a few questions about the hosting we are using, I found official tutorial (in Croatian, thank you community), and after about 20 minutes or so, I had WordPress running on our subdomain!
  3. Time to choose a theme. I chose five themes for WordPress, and set up a survey for all employees to vote. Winning theme was not suitable (less included features, bad localization support, etc.), so we picked second winning theme. See, we are democratic company. :)

After that (it was Monday) I began to fill the new site with content. By the end of the week, we had usable site with localization enabled. I was pretty shocked (in a good way)!

Comparison

Let’s see a rough comparison between apples and oranges – developing a public website on SharePoint and WordPress (from my experience):

SharePoint WordPress
design hire a designer, slice a PSD… buy a theme ($55)
employees working 3 1
knowledge needed SharePoint, C#, web technologies… web technologies
infrastructure on premise or cloud, your pick (more $$) simple (read: cheap) web hosting
time required* 4 months 1 month

*Yeah, about the time consumed… did I mention I am a software developer, too?

Now, if you think it’s easy to dismiss SharePoint in this comparison… you are right! For this kind of website, WordPress is miles ahead of SharePoint. Of course, CMS is just a drop in a sea of features that SharePoint offers, so… choose appropriate tool for the job.

Now that we have a beautiful website (isn’t it?), I am looking forward working with WordPress even more. This was just a beginning.