WordPress is becoming a very popular content management system (CMS), being used by web developers for much more than the blogging platform that it was originally intended as. As with other popular CMS’s, WordPress creates a backend for your website, making tasks such as adding new content, and managing a site wide theme much easier. WordPress started life as a pure blogging platform, designed to publish posts in a reverse chronological order, with most themes publishing the latest post first. In more recent times we are stating to see themes that are aimed to be used for a newspaper or magazine type site. These themes give developers much more flexibility about how content is displayed. This article will look at magazine themes, and why they have moved WordPress up in popularity.
What is WordPress
WordPress is a content management system used by bloggers since its first release in May 2003. WordPress is open-source, and was originally developed by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. The platform is powered by PHP, and has a SQL database backend. Late in 2009 conservative estimates have WordPress being used by 202 million users’ word wide. The CMS is used by WordPress.com users, a free self hosted blog service, and is also distributed from WordPress.org and a free platform for web developers.
Advantages of using WordPress
The main advantages of WordPress are very obvious. As with any CMS, site wide management becomes much more manageable when compared to static html sites. As development of the platform has become so wide spread, there are literally thousands of free and premium themes for users to use. There is also many plug-ins and widgets available to provide functionality to the CMS, and provide easy feature additions to your site. Adding features such as search boxes, tag clouds, category and post listings becomes a simple drop and drag activity. This makes WordPress an easy platform to use, so beginners are also favouring the platform.
A WordPress theme is divided into several files, typically including header, 404, index, sidebar, function, search, page, single and footer files. Style is added to themes using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), so all themes also come with a style.css file. Themes use php quick tags to add WordPress functionally, and formatting is added as div tags, normal in any CSS site.
Why are Magazine themes so popular?
With the introduction of magazine themes developers now have the ability to extend WordPress well beyond just a blogging platform. Themes are able to be manipulated to display content from different categories in different forms within pages. Excerpts are commonly used, and thumbnails, and homepage features are common. This extra functionally in themes provides developers with a greater range of options in how the theme can be used, and as content can be displayed in a range of different ways, it makes the platform more appropriate for different uses other than blogging, which is important for wider adoption of the platform. Sites that require a static front end, or to display a range of content other than the most recent post, now can easily take advantage of WordPress. As blogging has limited real world appeal, this extra flexibility means that WordPress now appeals to a much wider target audience, and as a result is growing in popularity.