As our intern Drew wraps up another week at Roundpeg, an Indianapolis web design company, he is enjoying playing with WordPress

One of the coolest things I’ve learned so far in my first few weeks at Roundpeg is how to use WordPress. WordPress is a free, open-source content management system and blogging tool which is now a powerful foundation for any web site. I originally discovered WordPress through a prior consulting project, and was impressed with the customization that was available through different themes.

The most exciting thing to me is what is under the hood. WordPress is a fully customizable, user friendly CMS. The most recent statistics I found from August 2011 said WordPress was powering 14.7% of the top million websites in the world. As more and more people realize the need for an easy to use CMS, I am sure that number is only going to rise.

I’ve spent some time with WordPress, and am amazed with the range of available features the software has while still remaining so user friendly. WordPress currently has 19,729 plugins available for further customization. One of my favorites so far is the Jetpack plugin, which shows the user how many people have visited a website, where they came from, and what they’ve clicked on.  This is a scaled down version of Google Analytics, with just enough information for quick decisions.  The other benefit is it is available every time we open the dashboard.

Another interesting plugin is the Social Metrics plugin by Riyaz. This plugin allows us to monitor how our content is shared on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Google+. It’s interesting to see where and how frequently people share our content. One post might be shared often on Twitter but may not be shared much on Facebook, and another post might be ignored on Twitter but be popular on LinkedIn. The results are often surprising. The most popular recent post is Allison’s advice on why vacations are important. It’s a great post, but I was surprised to see that it has been so popular because it doesn’t directly fit within Roundpeg’s focus on marketing, social media,  graphic design and web design.  We had strong traffic from Facebook which we expected, and LinkedIn.  (I guess most professionals like their time off.)

These are some of my favorites so far.  Which plugins do you find most valuable?


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