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WordPress versus a wysiwyg html editor

Before we discuss the problems that can develop when you use WordPress to make static pages for a website, let’s take a look at some of the pluses and minuses of using Word press in the first place:

•    Minus number one: with WordPress, you have a lot of active code on your site. This makes it easier for hackers to slip things in that can cause you problems.
•    Minus number two WordPress comes with a bunch of overhead. If you only have one WordPress site and not too many visitors this is not a problem. However the more visitors you have and the more sites you have, which share the same IP space the more this becomes a problem.
•    Minus number three: the visual editor in Word press is fairly limited in what it can do, resulting in a loss of control of where you place the elements on the page. This can be overcome by hand writing HTML in the code editor, but obviously that is a lot more difficult than being able to create a HTML page with a visual editor. There is a plug-in available to give you a slightly better editor.
•    Minus number four: because WordPress uses active code, it needs to be constantly updated to the latest version to protect against security flaws. This means you need to constantly be checking your sites whereas if you build it on another platform you wouldn’t have to do this. The worst part about upgrades, is that if your site depends on plug-ins, an upgrade may break the plug-in, by that I mean that the upgrade may be incompatible with the plug-in, so you may have to find a replacement -more work.
•    The last flaw is that because of the way WordPress is structured, it can be hard to tell which file is controlling the placement of an element on the page. In theory, because CSS operates the opposite of a top-down army organization in that the orders from the general, that is the definitions that are applied to everything, can be overridden by the company commander (writing code that applies only to the page). That in turn, should be easily overridden by the sergeant in the field (applying code specifically, to a div or a paragraph). In practice, depending on the scheme and how it’s written, sometimes things don’t work the way they should. In other words you cannot expect consistent results by writing things the same way across a bunch of sites which have different themes.

Now let’s look at some positive reasons for using Word press to build your static page:

•    Number one, if you have a WordPress blog on your site, you can get a more consistent look between the static pages and the blog. Number two, depending on how the scheme is set up you will get automatic tabs with a menu to every page and a drop-down list of links to sub pages.
•    Number two: WordPress can be great for SEO, because of pings, comments and trackbacks. Because of tagging, and categories and all the reasons that people use WordPress in the first place.
•    Number three, you can get some really neat functionality pretty easily by using plug-ins and widgets. You can get calendars. You can make contact forms, you can do all kinds of things more easily initially, than you can by, creating  a static page in HTML editor and adding some JavaScript or calling CGI scripts from the server for functionality.

Problems making static pages:

The first problem you have is making sure you don’t get two links to your home page on every page.
There is are many excellent tutorial here on how to remove one of them. Just do a search on ‘remove double home page WordPress’. If the instructions don’t work for you try another tutorial as different themes require different solutions.

WordPress does not have good table support, The professionals will scorn at using tables for positioning elements and insist that the positioning should all be done with CSS, I disagree- the load time on a table is not long enough to make more than a slightly longer loading time for the page, and it is so much easier for the average person to position elements with a WYSIWYG program using tables than using CSS. Now you may be tempted to use an html editor to create your html and then paste it into WordPress. This may work, but experts frown upon it as it may give strange results as WordPress may recognize some of the code but not all. If you insist on trying this, remember to strip out the html headers. Also do not use tables with more than one row in them-instead use multiple one row tables and remove all the space between them. And finally be sure to check our page in a number of different browsers at least as far back as I.E.6