Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Cracking code

I have spent far too much time today trying to figure out WordPress, the so-called “full content management system and so much more” and “elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system”. It’s open software (in other words free) that allows people to create sites and post content on the web.

The problem is, WordPress is designed for bloggers, not for organizations – and I’ve been asked to manage an organization’s website that has been created with this software and is completely jumbled and full of broken links and horrible design/layout. It may not be the software’s fault – but figuring out the software in order to fix these problems is not simple. I don’t know how long I have spent today trying unsuccessfully to simply change the width of the main navigation menu.

Now I do not claim to be have mastered web development, but I have created a few websites and have managed several different ones (i.e. for organizations and restaurants). Most of my work has been with Dreamweaver and I feel quite comfortable with the basics. I may not be able to do dancing hippos, but I can make a clean, user-friendly site.

But I have been stumped by WordPress. It’s like this software is designed for either those who know nothing about scripts and source code – or for people who are such experts that they can design their own templates and fiddle with open-source php, css, wtfs, etc.

I spent much of the day and much of my evening fighting with software that may look slick and all bubbly-clickable – but is a fortress of incomprehensibility if you try to dig below the surface. And now that it is after 10 p.m. I am throwing in the towel for the day. Tomorrow I am going to read up on integrating WordPress with Dreamweaver so that perhaps I can design the site with a software that lets me adjust such things as column and menu width, and then manage it in WordPress (the concern being that other people in the office do not know how to use Dreamweaver).

If there are any experts on this subject out there, I would love to hear from you. Help. Please help.

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