WHY WE CHOSE TO WORK WITH WORDPRESS
In 2012, when I started Xava, I chose to work with WordPress as the main tool for client website development. However, the seeds of this choice had been sown multiple years beforehand when I started using WordPress as a hobbyist.
In 2005, I decided to set up an online community for Indians in Ireland and to organise cross-community events, I found that most Indian events were very localised by geography but also by the community that organised them. Growing up in Northern India, I had always loved South Indian food. I struggled to find that flavour in Ireland because I did not know the right people despite an ever-growing Indian community in Ireland. So I took matters into my own hands and set up India2Ireland.com.
In my plan, India2Ireland.com would grow to become a hub in activity online for Indians in Ireland. I wanted to have the following on the website:
- Regular social content – remember Facebook and the Smartphone hadn’t been born yet
- Forum for people to interact with each other and share ideas, thoughts and plans
- Regular physical events that would be listed and celebrated on the website
- A vibrant online community
I wanted to be the conduit of making things happen and I had to start with selecting a tool that would allow me to grow the website. So I shortlisted Joomla, Drupal and WordPress for my experiment.
I set up a self-created version of WAMP on my desktop and started serving local websites on my home network. This setup allowed me to evaluate all 3 CMS for performance, ease of use and finally (as the owner of the site), ease of customisation. For me, the ability to add new features without needing massive outlays was important. My background in Electronic Engineering, programming and data manipulation had equipped me with the right experience to be able to write PHP code to customise my website.
The Start of my WordPress Journey
While the live site never transitioned to WordPress or Drupal or Joomla as I used vBulletin to deliver a customer forum on India2Ireland.com. In the background, I spent countless days looking at the 3 CMS platforms. Even in V1.5, I found WordPress to be easy to use.
It did not have the customiser, the block editor or a truckload of themes but, even then, it had a large community of programmers creating plugins and extensions for WordPress.
I broke all 3 CMS systems apart and looked into the code and I found WP the easiest to understand and get a handle on. I was looking at is an end user not necessarily a programmer because my intention was never to be a developer but a user-developer of and for WordPress.
Unfortunately, the test site for India2Ireland.com never saw the light of day because the project died due to other commitments on my part. I had taken up a Masters’s program, met Denise and as a result, I had less and less time to devote to I2I (as I fondly called it).
I was hooked to WP as the CMS of choice and stayed up to date with newer versions as they were launched. I even used it for internal projects at my employer to create an employeee only online forum to help disseminate knowledge within the team in my department.
When I started Xava, the choice was simple, WordPress. By 2012, the world had changed because:
- Smartphones were commonplace
- Facebook and other social media platforms were becoming pervasive
- E-Commerce was starting to grow exponentially (at least in Ireland)
- Everyone wanted a website
The choice of CMS for me, at least, was WordPress. Over the years, I had taught myself the ability to customise a website using WordPress to add to the capabilities that it already had. I was never a heavy developer of features but always a problem solver for my clients. I always tried to find the most economical (in programming terms) solution for my clients and the ability to customise the platform was a great tool at my disposal.
Today the Xava team is still helping clients solve their problems using WordPress as the tool of choice. So if you have any website-related concerns, I am confident that we can solve them for you using WordPress.