Is Wordpress right for us?
October 26, 2009 2:20 PM   Subscribe

I'm constructing two websites that display the progress of social science research currently underway. I need a system that allows ease of use for all involved student researchers. Is Wordpress the way to go?

One of the projects had its own HTML/CSS website but the researchers were frustrated with having to go to the webmaster in order to make even the slightest changes. The webmaster then converted the website into a wiki (via MediaWiki). Although this alternative allows for easy modification, it is limited when it comes to posting multimedia content and tweaking the interface.

I recently took over the web aspect of the projects and believe that Wordpress-based websites will be the best compromise in terms of being easy to modify but being flexible enough to allow for more than just text (I have handy widgets in mind, google maps, youtube videos, etc). Unfortunately, my knowledge of Wordpress only extends to what I've picked up from various blogs raving about this platform.

My concerns are:
-will it be easy for student researches with no coding experience to login from any browser and manipulate the content? (I don't need to worry about various permissions so one login ID will suffice)
-how easy is it manipulate a standard Wordpress website that is best suited for blogs into a static page with text and pictures/videos?
-am I right to think that Wordpress is better than a wiki platform when it comes to posting multimedia content such as youtube videos?
-how does a Wordpress site handle flash animations?

I basically want to make sure that Wordpress is the better alternative to wikis and HTML websites for student researchers with no coding experience, but who can manipulate content on a web interface as if it were their facebook page.

If not, what else is out there?
posted by mahoganyslide to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
 
There are a lot of CMSes out there and you'll likely get some other suggestions like Joomla and Drupal but honestly, WordPress is good enough for most people. I've been in about the same situation as you and settled on WP. It's no muss, no fuss, easy to set up, not much of a learning curve, and a well-designed admin GUI. And very customizable too. Pretty much anybody can figure out how to use it in a few minutes with no prior HTML training.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:24 PM on October 26, 2009


I've set up WordPress-based sites for quite a few people over the past few years & recommend it for most of my freelance projects now.

-will it be easy for student researches with no coding experience to login from any browser and manipulate the content?

Yes, as long as they aren't trying to do anything too funky & they aren't afraid of the system. Basic text edits, adding images & pdfs, etc. are very easy. I usually give them about 15 minutes of training & they're good to go.


-how easy is it manipulate a standard Wordpress website that is best suited for blogs into a static page with text and pictures/videos?

Very simple. (None of the sites I've created are blogs.) Just create pages rather than posts. I like using the PageMash plugin so that it's easy to reorder the pages. Adding images & videos isn't hard.
posted by belladonna at 4:39 PM on October 26, 2009


Go with a wiki. I've set up work platforms for grad students before. It needn't be Mediawiki, but this one will be most familiar to most users and that will help you build critical mass.

A wiki will work where Wordpress won't. Or my name isn't Edward Woodward.
posted by Sutekh at 6:21 AM on October 27, 2009


@Sutekh -- Can you please specify why that is the case?
posted by mahoganyslide at 11:32 AM on October 27, 2009


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