I like to develop prototypes as we discuss ideas. The use of these prototypes is more for whetting and sharing the ideas than for demos. Whatever the idea may be about, its usage is a big factor in its evolution. And there is nothing better than a prototype to test this.
A good side-effect of this is also that we can then defer the choice of technology for development of the Web site till we are clear about the idea.
- It is open source and easily available. As a developer, availability of the source code is a big benefit.
- WordPress is extremely easy to install, even on inexpensive shared hosts.
- WordPress Pages and Posts are basic content types, but they can be quickly hacked, along with categories, to represent different content types.
- With its templates it is very easy to generalize or specialize different contexts. You can literally build an entire Web site with just one theme file.
- It already supports authentication. Using the inbuilt roles and capabilities, it becomes very easy to test change of behaviour based on authentication.
- Permalinks, that is SEF URLs, can be quickly configured.
- The themes use standard techologies. You can choose to create the markup and CSS such that they can be reused with other CMSs or frameworks. This saves a lot of time and effort. This also makes it very effective to share ideas with visual designers, since they can easily use their tools – minimal PHP, HTML, CSS and JS to work on the theme.
- Quick availability of functionalities through its plugins.
But the killer feature is WordPress is very easy to use, as a developer or a user.. You can see the ease of use as a basic feature across all its advantages. This is the biggest ability you need in your prototyping tool – no time wasted in setting it up for our use.
The added benefit is that you gain a good lead if you continue to use WordPress even for development for a lot of Web sites.
I will also mention my other favourite tool, Django, which can be quickly used to build prototypes. But WordPress wins in the department of availability of inexpensive hosting and ease of deployment.