As a consulting company, we help our clients find technical solutions that bring the best returns on their investments. For clients with complex needs, the solution is sometimes best delivered through custom software. For those with more generic needs, we regularly use off-the-rack software, saving us from duplicating past efforts and helping keep cost low.

WordPress, which we seem to use more all the time, is an open-source product — means the software is free and users can customize it in any way they see fit. It gained popularity as a blogging tool but in the last few years has grown into a full-featured content management system that competes with Drupal, Joomla and other major players. It was voted the 2009 Best Open-Source CMS.

WordPress is an excellent platform on which to develop sites with relatively little dynamic front-end functionality. We built and launched with WordPress earlier this year, leveraging the platform’s easy-to-use interface which allows non-technical users to update content, post stories, and add images to the site. At the other end of the spectrum, we launched a private intranet for the YMCA of Metro Chicago that involved writing custom code on top of the platform. The end result was a virtual water cooler for the organization’s 3,000 employees across the Chicago metro area.

As always, we continue to be on the lookout for new technologies that help make our lives a little easier. While WordPress is not a perfect fit for all content management needs, it has served us and our clients well.

How a code audit can rescue and build on your software