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Opinions on Wordpress for website creation

Discussion in 'Computers and Internet Geekland' started by mathsboy1975, Jun 26, 2013.

    Jun 26, 2013
  1. mathsboy1975

    mathsboy1975 Senior Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    software engineer
    Location:
    UK London
    I know there are a number of people here who run their own affiliate websites so I am looking for an opinion on whether Wordpress is any good or not. I am in the position where a friend has asked me to create an affiliate website (not remotely gambling related so don't think that I am looking to push it here) as I have some HTML, CSS and PHP skills. From research I have done on this, Wordpress seems to be very popular indeed and also Wordpress sites seem to perform well with regards to Google search ranking and search engine optimisation. I am somewhat dubious about using it though as it seems that it is a very rigid template for a web design and that you need to pay for anything other than very basic layouts.
    I feel confident creating and hosting basic websites so I am keen not to use it and do it from scratch the old fashioned way. My friend wants a forum section so that visitors can make posts on the site which is quite an extensive task to create from scratch. Here Wordpress may help me out somewhat but I also have also discovered that there is a tool called PHPBB that is specifically used to add forum functionality to a website.
    Would any of the webmasters or web designers that are members here be kind enough to offer some advice on what they use or features of Wordpress that they like/dislike to help me decide which direction to take from this point?
     
  2. Jun 26, 2013
  3. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    Wordpress is a very useful tool for content management but if you know how to code, and your friend doesn't need a content management system, personally I always think it's better to design your own.

    Phpbb is decent for a firm but not as good as vBulletin but that's why you pay for vB (Casinomeister uses vb). I'd suggest visiting a couple of phpBB forums and seeing how they work.

    One big issue with Wordpress and phpBB and any "off-the-shelf" software is it is prone to hacking. You need to make sure you get all the security plugins in and working. If uou do your own site you need to protect against php and sql injection if you use those technologies.

    Bt that is probably not a major concern until the site is ranking well and attracting attention to be honest.

    Don't underestimate wordpress though. The extensive amount of themes and plugins do enhance it a lot and make it a good choice for many people.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Jun 26, 2013
  5. mathsboy1975

    mathsboy1975 Senior Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    software engineer
    Location:
    UK London
    I had never heard of vBulletin and I will certainly take a look at it. I had heard that Wordpress sites are often targeted by malicious software and that was another reason that put me off it. I know about SQL injection but I would probably need to read up on it some more if I were doing this from scratch. Never heard of PHP injection though so that is something else to go and read about also. Thanks for your replay anyway - it is very helpful and gives me a few more things to consider.
     
  6. Jun 29, 2013
  7. mathsboy1975

    mathsboy1975 Senior Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    software engineer
    Location:
    UK London
    I have another question that is not related exactly - after reading your message again I saw the links in the footer of your post. I was interested in the Iron Man 3 slot which I did not even know had been released, so I linked to (what I guess is your own) site. I saw some images on the site and I was wondering if you had to get permission from the slot manufacturers to use them or whether they just waive it as essentially it is free publicity??? I agreed to do this website for my friend and it occurred to me that if I have to do any work getting copyright permission to display product images or company logos etc then I am opening a can or worms. In that case I am going to have to increase my labour costs and hourly rate.
     
  8. Jun 29, 2013
  9. chayton

    chayton aka LooHoo CAG PABnonaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    Freelance Designer
    Location:
    Edmonton Canada
    Awhile back I came across a forum plugin for wordpress and it surprised the heck out of me. But since then I've found a whole bunch of them. Obviously some are better than others and I'm assuming you'd need a pretty robust server to have a forum AND wordpress working.

    This one is supposed to be pretty good: You must register/login in order to see the link.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Jun 29, 2013
  11. bsilva028

    bsilva028 Banned : multi-account fraudster PABnoaccred PABaccred

    Occupation:
    salesman
    Location:
    portugal

    for who dont know anything about code,
    you recomend some special program?
     
  12. Jun 29, 2013
  13. mathsboy1975

    mathsboy1975 Senior Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    software engineer
    Location:
    UK London
    Thanks for that link. If I do end up going the wordpress route I will certainly give that a look. At the moment I think I will try and code and host the site myself. But that may change depending on how large the site is going to be. I think wordpress could save me a lot of time but it seems that you have little control over the layout. The notion that wordpress sites attract a lot of hacker attention also worries me a bit.
     
  14. Jun 29, 2013
  15. chayton

    chayton aka LooHoo CAG PABnonaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    Freelance Designer
    Location:
    Edmonton Canada
    Wordpress is actually quite secure as long as you keep it up to date, a lot of security issues arise with plugins and/or themes. If your theme or any plugins you use aren't well coded or aren't being updated then there's a potential for hacking. Plus of course some of the free themes you get online already have exploits built in when you first download them.

    As far as layout, you can easily change and make custom page templates if you know some PHP and CSS. So if your theme has a sidebar on the right and you want to get rid of it or put it on the other side or do anything else on some pages you can.

    It just depends on what you're more comfortable with. Wordpress has a bit of a learning curve but if you're already familiar with coding you can usually create a child theme and tweak it to get it to do what you want. As long as you start with something that's stable to begin with. :)
     
  16. Jun 30, 2013
  17. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    In general you are OK ( oh and thanks for the link btw :thumbsup: ) when using images and logos for the casinos and games you are presenting. Where the risk comes is if you use images that aren't part of the game or casino's promotional materials. Usually you will be OK but occasionally you may get asked to change imagery. In my 7 years doing this I've only had that once to date. If in doubt, just ask the casino/company first :)

    If you don't know code then I'd definitely start with Wordpress because you can get a basic site up quite easily with little knowledge if you get a suitable template that doesn't need modifying (and there are thousands out there). Then spend some time as you go learing how it constructs the code.

    There are coding programs that help with HTML/CSS out there but I don't really use those now so I can't really advise on what is good. I still use a program I first started out with back around 1995 called Homesite LOL. That's no longer made anymore but there are some very good alternatives I'm told.

    You do have a big advantage if you can program so it's worth learning if you are in it for the long term. It's very satisfying to be able to do the complex stuff. For example, if you check out the Casino Comparer site in my sig, I helped develop that for a friend of mine from scratch using jQuery (javascript), Twitter Bootstrap (CSS) and PHP...all things that take time to learn but make doing fun stuff easier (sort of!). It was a big project but lots of clever stuff happens when you click checkboxes, do searches and sort results that were challenging to code (the most challenging yet most rewarding bit was the "Switch To Grid View") but satisfying to complete when you are a nerdy coder like me :D
     
    2 people like this.
  18. Jun 30, 2013
  19. mathsboy1975

    mathsboy1975 Senior Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    software engineer
    Location:
    UK London
    Thanks for that info. What I am doing is not casino related at all but as I am just doing the web front end for my mate I will actually just let him worry about the legal stuff and do all the chasing. But this is useful info anyway and my be of use to me in the future if I ever try my hand at running my own product oriented site. After reading all of your helpful advice I have decided to code it all from scratch using a CSS template of an old site I designed. I think it will be useful and to get the site up and running I don't think a forum is needed at the start. Should it take off I will probably go with the vBulletin stuff. I like the way that the forum here at casinomeister looks/feels and if vBulletin is what is used here then I think I will use that (unless my mate is too tight to cough up for it in which case I will go with phpbb). Thanks for all your pointers and suggestions anyway - it has been very informative.
     

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