From newbie bloggers to seasoned business owners looking to solidify their online presence, just the thought of building a website can seem pretty daunting. With all of the options out there, some may not even know where to begin. So before venturing into anything permanent and spending money unnecessarily, you should first have a clear indication of what your website will be used for. How will it function? Will it be an interactive site, where products will be sold? Or will this be more of an informative site, where you just share content? Once you have an answer to these questions, you can begin your search into world of website creation.
Two of the more well known in this arena are WordPress and SharePoint. Though both platforms can be used to create user-driven content sites, their modes of operating are vastly different. For this comparison we will look at WordPress 2013 and SharePoint 2010.
On SharePoint 2010, between remoting to a server, running a set-up software program, THEN creating the website, to finally uploading it for activation, it can take the average person a day or possibly two – depending on ones frustration levels – just to get a live website. If your attention span is equivalent to a toddler, your best bet is to cue in the IT Guy who dreams in html code to help with this project. For them, this initial set up is only a matter of hours. Now cue eye-roll from the exhausted business owner trying to figure it out on their own.
WordPress 2013, on the other, more time-saving hand, only takes a matter of minutes to activate. Simply peruse through the hundreds, if not thousands of themes readily available (and a great deal of them for free). Then pick one. Hit activate. Voila. Ten minutes later you have a live website!
In all honesty, one of the more tedious tasks on WordPress 2013 will actually be sifting through the variations of themes that catch your attention and then selecting the right one for your site.
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And Speaking of Themes
WordPress 2013 is a great option for all those commitment-phobes out there who cringe at the thought of forever. Before permanently selecting any theme you can actually preview it to see how it would look with your content. If you don’t like it, however, you simply go back to the pool of never-ending possibilities and your site is left unscathed. A quick note, it is always a good idea to preview the site for mobile and Ipad views. Not all themes translate the same across the mediums, and you want to be sure to love every digital way your site is displayed.
Unfortunately, Sharepoint doesn’t have this same luxury. You make the site, you upload it, and if you don’t like it, you are left with only three options. One, spend another few hours creating a site to upload and activate on the servers. Two, deal with the website as-is. Or three, pay someone else to do this. An alternative to scenario number one, which actually could save some minutes on the clock, is to create the website using PowerPoint and then uploading it to the browser for customization.
It Looks Pretty, Now What Can It Do?
At the core of the differences between these two is the functionality of each platform. WordPress is geared towards a blogging platform, where uploading and posting content, images, and videos are the central functions. Though obviously more user-friendly to the newcomer, it lacks in complex functions, and this is the arena where SharePoint shines. All SharePoint sites have built-in lists, polls, discussion boards and other collaborative features that only need to be activated at the users discretion. WordPress requires plug-ins to just come close to such features already set as defaults in SharePoint.
Now What About Plug-ins?
Plug-ins provide a great way to make your site your own and interactive for users. It’s really no surprise here that WordPress wins again in this comparison. Because of the lack of built-in features, it seems developers went into overdrive in providing users with over 10,000 plug-in variations to choose from.
Of course SharePoint has its own contenders, but the quantity is much lower, and installation required is again tedious.
Got Questions. Got Answers?
The WordPress community comes in first under this comparison to Sharepoint. The WordPress.org site is where to go for new information, tips, and tricks. Its users are constantly uploading content. Have any issues? Odds are you’ll find the answers on this site, and they will be coming from first-hand experiences with instant resolutions.
As for SharePoint, Microsoft forums are where you will need to go to get some help. Any information found on other sites may not be as credible. Your best bet is to stick with the professionals and try to find your answer in those forums.
At the end of the day, whether WordPress 2013 or SharePoint 2010 is the better platform for your site is totally dependent on your own preferences.
WordPress provides incredible variety for customizing the aesthetics of a website, and is hands down just plain easier to use. It is made for the average person that doesn’t live by html codes. So if you want a site with minimal maintenance and creative front pages, you are a WordPress baby and should go forth quickly to enjoy the myriad of theme options available.
But, if you need a website to handle complex functioning without the extra bells and whistles, sign up with SharePoint immediately.