Usability and SEO: Use WordPress or Drupal as your site engine
Self-hosted blogging engines are a type of Content Management System. Which means that at its core, WordPress is an adaptable engine that can be tweaked or prodded into practically any shape and size—from media-centric designs like Teresacentric to I-don’t-know-how-to-classify-it sites like PaidContent.org.
Increasingly, as we work with clients on what they want their sites to do, we’re seeing concepts with community-oriented features that require a more robust system like drupal.
But the back-end functionality and the front-end presentation are not necessarily linked to one another. Just because you’re using WordPress doesn’t mean your site must necessarily look and feel like a blog.
I remember talking to an IT guy at Yahoo! hosting a while back, trying to get the information I needed to do a WordPress install for someone. He said, “WordPress? That’s a blogging thing. Why would you want to use that?”
To me, that’s like hearing a doctor go “screw this fancy x-ray thing, let’s open you up!”
We’ve been saying it from the beginning: the architecture and the content are two different things.
A few days ago DuctTape Marketing linked to a couple of places where you can buy premium WordPress themes. If you’ve got a WordPress install up and running, and you’d like to re-skin it so that it doesn’t look like a blog at first sight (maybe for your company home page), this is probably a good way to go. You still get the SEO benefits and back-end ease-of-use that comes with WordPress, but your web site doesn’t have to draw up immediate associations to the blogosphere simply because of the layout.
Of course, if you don’t have a WordPress install already, or you want something more robust with an engine like Drupal, you can opt for a custom site build.