One of the most common questions I am asked is, “What program to you use to develop your site?” That answer has changed a lot over the past decade of designing and maintaining different web sites for student use, professional development, and different classes that I have taught.
In the late nineties, I was a FrontPage fan. When that began to go the way of the dinosaur, I studied HTML and basic coding. Dreamweaver was the next web authoring tool I spent my hard earned money on. This had had infinite possibilities, but had a steep learning curve and even steeper price tag.
Over the past few years, I have become a WordPress devotee. Originally created as blogging software, I have found that it has the functionality to serve as a content management system, blog, or even establish a static web site with ease. Additionally, Word Press can be used by those with just levels of digital literacy. At the same time, senior web designers can use their coding skills and CSS knowledge to create elaborately complex web sites using the same software. Best of all, you can get started with WordPress for free. That’s right: free. Now, of course there are costs that you can begin to accrue as you develop your site, but you are in control of that. There is no cost, however, to join the blogging world. That’s a definite plus for teachers. Despite its ease of use, economical appeal, and growing popularity, I did not recognize the extent to which WordPress had emerged as an industry standard. Just this month Microsoft and WordPress announced that WordPress will become the official blogging platform for Windows Live. There are over 30 million users on Windows Live.
For those of you that follow Microsoft, this may seem like an odd marriage. Microsoft rarely concedes when it comes to competing for market share of anything digital. Dharmesh Mehta described this approach as one of finding and partnering with the best tools out there, rather than reinventing the well. Read the full article from Mr. Mehta (Microsoft) and the complementary article from WordPress welcoming the Windows Live users. The juxtaposition between the comments on these two articles is startling. I look forward to what this means for the Windows Live brand and the blogging community. Stay tuned!