I decided to use the very popular Wordpress blogging system to create my home page. Even though it is aimed at creating and organizing posts, it does a decent job as a regular website with static pages. Since I might start blogging too, it will serve a dual-purpose.
Prior to that I created several websites using PHP, CSS and databases. I even created a sort of XML engine so that I could easily enter pages with concise structure, which were then converted to HTML by PHP. But the web technologies really worn out my patience, between the poorly designed CSS system, web browsers bugs and differences, and languages that are not as robust as regular languages. Consequently I decided to go for a complete CMS for this website, and Wordpress seems to be a good choice even though it is far from perfect.
- very easy to set-up, administer and backup.
- Handles all features of a blog and can also be used as a regular website.
- Easy to create and edit posts from anywhere.
- Tons of plug-ins available.
- Tons of themes available.
- Easy to hack the outer PHP scripts to customize your site.
- Management of uploaded files is limited and bad, especially for images… The management of images is erratic and if you look at the source code handling that you realize it is very ugly and thus difficult to fix. Some plug-ins have been created to handle images, but are not good, especially for batch operations. I ended up managing my uploaded files with scp, ssh & some scripts..
- Management of links is lacking. There is no easy way to link pages of your own site together. If you plan on linking a lot, go with a Wiki. Also, default links are full URL which means that if you change your web server name, you might have to update a bunch of your posts.
- Most of the themes are nice looking but have ugly CSS (ok, clean CSS doesn’t exist). You will usually get different results on different browsers, and if you try to change a dimension somewhere by even one pixel then all hell breaks loose. You will probably try a couple dozens before choosing one.
- The regular editor (the advanced one where you don’t see HTML) is good if you only want to type regular text. If you want to include code or formula, after much frustration, you will switch back to the good old editor with tags.