I have been in the design business since it was in it’s infancy; 20+ years. I have seen all types of trends come and go. Some were good, some were not and some just plain over utilized.
One of those over utilized, was the use of Flash to build a website. Yes, they were cool and they looked great (most of the time) but they were tough to work with, not easy to maintain and required very specialized skills. This put clients in a very tough position of being “married” to their designer or having to locate another designer that specialized in the same program(s).
Back in the day, a nice looking website, if not built in Flash was usually built in HTML and needed extra programming to make it functionally useful. Such as forms and other widgets that needed to be built and maintained by a programmer. This was another area that put clients at a disadvantage and put others in a very powerful position. If you lost your key players in a design process, you either had to find someone capable of the same skills or scrap the project.
Over the years I have seen the design field become much more client friendly. With the introduction of Content Management Systems, clients no longer needed a full team of designers to reach the same highly functioning web site.
I am self-taught in all of my skill sets from HTML, Graphic design, to Joomla and WordPress, so I have been able to sit back and assess what is good about them all.
Joomla came on the scene back in 2005 and really opened up the high functioning website possibilities for the client without having to have a huge team of developers.
This gave the small business owner the ability to have a first class website without many of the headaches. However, Joomla had its downside; it was quite difficult for the client to learn how to keep it updated and use it’s many functions. That left the client at another disadvantage, they needed to retain a Joomla expert. The upside is designers saw the direction the industry was headed and learned the skills needed accordingly. So finding a Joomla person was not tough.
In steps the humble WordPress; the little blog CMS as it started out, has grown into the industry standard and has become one of the most widely used platforms out there. Joomla still has its place, but I do not see it as a long term solution.
WordPress has taken the web design field by storm. The reason, they have kept it simple.
There is not much you cannot do with a WordPress website; with a good template and the right plugins, the possibilities are endless. There is a place for everyone within WordPress, from the small mom and pop business to the high end retailer and huge news sites.
Clients deserve to own their websites and WordPress puts this option back into the hands of the business owner by keeping it simple.