We are very excited to have finally launched the IRO website! At the moment it’s still hosted on the free blog platform of WordPress.com, so we have the freedom to test everything. The IRO department launched this website itself, without any IT help. (so don’t panic when weird things happen, we’re probably messing with some settings) If all goes well, we hope to use our own URL in the future and use a theme design that better reflects the International Relations Office as well as our University. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know.
A little bit about WordPress
WordPress is known as an open-source CMS (Content Management System). Open source simply means that it’s free and supported by thousands of developers who continue to improve upon it. It’s also by far the most popular website platform in use today. Over 7.5 million websites were built with WordPress and 1.2 million of them are the most popular and most visited sites in the world.
WordPress is engineered to be as easy to use as possible. A vast majority of web servers support WordPress already, and installation is usually as easy as a one button click. If you can do basic edits to a Microsoft Word document, you have the skills already to edit web pages built on WordPress.
A text-only website can get very boring very quickly. You’ll need to engage your visitors with relevant photos, graphics, podcasts, maps, and videos. All of these are easy to manage, import, and use, thanks to WordPress’s impressive Media Library. Building a professional-looking photo gallery is just as easy, and you can do it in minutes without knowing a single line of code.
The theme is the overall look of the site. It’s the colors, the layout of all the different sections, and the navigation that takes you around the site. Themes are easy to install (again, one-click) and there are thousands of different ones to choose from, most of which are free. Whatever the purpose or mood of your site, there’s a theme out there to fit it.
WordPress has an amazing amount of functionality right out of the box. If you have more specific needs, the developer community has you covered. Plugins, which are simply packaged lines of code that quickly install and work with your existing site, help make your site more functional for your users. There are hundreds of free plugins that can provide all the advanced programming you need.
It’s your website and you decide how people interact with it. WordPress has a fully-functional user registration section which allows your visitors to maintain their own profiles on your site. You control what level of access users have, by group or the individual. You can even disable the whole registration system if you choose not to use it at all. Spam controls come standard with WordPress to keep out unwanted attention.
Powerful Blogging Engine
WordPress started as a blogging platform. Although it’s grown far beyond that to a fully-functional website platform, it hasn’t forgotten its roots. Your website is only going to survive if the content on it is fresh and relevant. The blogging engine built into WordPress allows you to effortlessly update your company’s blog (or ‘News/Events’ section), so that your clients or customers are always kept in the loop.
A website is only relevant if it can be found by your target audience. The higher your site ranks when someone searches for it, the more likely it will be read. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), involves properly coding your website so that search engines like Google and Bing will find it easier, and rank it higher. The code generated by WordPress has been engineered to give you the best SEO possible. Matt Cutts, the senior search engineer at Google, has even mentioned WordPress specifically as being capable of ranking higher in search results.
More information about WordPress can be found here ->