Blog of a Freelancer – October 10th, 2017 Wordpress as a CMS

​I’ve been developing and customising Wordrpress for a long time. It’s the go-to for smaller projects due to it’s zero cost, thousands of (mostly free) plugins and flexible themes.

It’s either the client-requested CMS, or the best fit for the budget.

Wordpress a great way of pulling something together - you know it’s flexible, it’s almost guaranteed that a plugin or solution exists for every client request. It Can Be Done.

My go-to Wordpress Plugins:

  • Advanced Custom Fields (this lifts Wordpress’ CMS capabilities enormously)
  • Sucuri (because Wordpress needs security)
  • BackupBuddy (unless I can set something up on the server)
  • WP Fastest Cache (let’s speed things up a little)

Those are the no-brainers that I will install for just about every Wordpress development project. They allow for a better admin experience, and a safer and faster site.

Over the years I have been asked to use (and edit) existing Wordpress themes. They can be a great way of getting something ‘acceptable’ quickly and cheaply, but I do prefer to create my own. Regardless if it’s a bought theme or bespoke, time is required to make the content and layout work. To make it look professional, coherent and credible.

While I enjoy getting my hands dirty with any Wordpress project, it’s not my favourite content management system. It can feel messier, more chaotic in the code wrangling. And the admin experience is not great - it feels like I’m always fighting against the ‘this creates a blog’ paradigm.

If I get to choose the CMS, I recommend ExpressionEngine or more-likely CraftCMS. They offer a cleaner slate and were created to be ‘anything you want’ content management systems. The admin experience is much cleaner and customisable. I feel like I’m building up to the end goal with these two, as opposed to Wordpress where I’m removing things, hiding bits and wrangling others.

All that said - it’s a great tool - there’s a reason it’s used so widely! If you need someone to create something from scratch or tweak an existing Wordpress project, let me know.

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I've been a freelance interface designer, UX / UI guy and front-end developer for over 16 years, and a full-time freelancer since 2006. Contact me if you're looking for a help with your project, or your freelance setup.

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Quick facts

  • Freelance web designer based in the Blue Mountains (just outside Sydney)
  • Prefer to work from my office
  • Hour rate: $ contact me
  • Project rate: $ will quote
  • I'm passionate about quality
  • Married, with two great kids

Read more about me...

Skill & software overview

  • Trained graphic designer
  • 19+ yrs commercial experience
  • User-centred approach
  • Advanced Photoshop & Illustrator
  • Advanced HTML & CSS
  • W3C & WAI compliant
  • Responsive / Mobile friendly
  • WordPress customisation
  • ExpressionEngine customisation
  • Craft CMS customisation

I have a few PHP, Javascript and CMS experts that I work with when required – which is handy.

Right now I am...

  • Designing and front-end coding an online software service for the Australian real estate / strata industry. This electronic strata voting app allows lot owners and strata managers to setup & vote on strata agendas.
  • Working with Signet to lift their online presence. Interface design & code, EdMs and digital graphics are all part of the suite of changes underway.

Testimonials

Thanks so much! We all love the new website and content management system... A very creative and strategically spot on solution. Thanks! Anna, HeartKids
Mate just wanted to thank you for all your help throughout the second half of 2010. You've been a great help to us and very responsive. I hope we get to continue to use your skills in 2011. Chris R, NRL
Thanks Dave! Definitely more than happy to recommend your work in the future, you've made our emails at signet 100 times easier! Jessica S, Signet
Perfect... the sticky nav scroll etc looks great! Victor, Fox Symes & Associates
I found Dave Rayner to be excellent. Fast, efficient and relatively cheap for website changes. Peter R, Balmain Sailing Club
Dave interprets a brief really well and most often gets it right straight away which leads to great client satisfaction. He's easy to work with, has great suggestions and ideas and gets the job done quickly and efficiently. I highly recommend his services. Chris, CKWEB
Thanks Dave, all looks perfect... The site is looking absolutely brilliant and is exactly as hoped for it to look and function. Tony M, NRL Wellbeing & Education
A1 Dave!", "Boom!!!!", "Yeah that’s the ticket! Ben, Cognify

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