As I installed Wordpress and read the beginning documentation, the focus of it is about a "blogging site". I understand that is Wordpress's heritage, but I believe nowadays many people use Wordpress to build sites where blogging may not be heavily used or even used at all.

To me at the the top level -- just my thought, please clarify -- is Wordpress differs from other "front end" frameworks like JQuery Mobile in that it offers/includes a database. What all is the database used for at a high level is not clear to me. I want to create a site with basic menu structure, the ability to list/display articles well, the ability to take questions and feedback and put up a FAQ, but not support any kind of heavy blogging.

1) Can you please tell me, what does Wordpress offer "database-wise" at a high level -- meaning what high level capabilities does the database/setup in Wordpress have other than blogging?

2) Given my needs above, as well as a paypal plugin or link to receive donations, how do you think Wordpress would work for me over choosing another framework, perhaps JQuery mobile. (note I want to my site to support variable sized devices).

Thank you. I'm happy to give credit to all different insights, all are much appreciated.

  • Just my opinion: 1. WordPress has basically everything covered database wise. You can do most database actions with only few words e.g get_post_meta() instead of writing a long SQL line. You will need to write your own SQL only when you're making very, very complicated, topnotch and expensive sites. 2. WordPress has unquestionably the biggest selection of plugins + it's super easy to make your own. jQuery Mobile? Why? You can use Twitter Bootstrap or mark your own breaking points with CSS. Bottom line: WordPress is easy to master and even easier to code after that. – N00b Jan 18 '16 at 3:00
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    Many people get confused by the terminology used with Wordpress. Just because everything in Wordpress is a "post type" and you have functions like get_post_meta etc this does not limit Wordpress to just posts. – yobddigi Jan 18 '16 at 10:51

OK, let's try to explain that with clear words. First of all, your impression about WordPress is right : WordPress is suitable to build website and not just blogs.

WordPress, like any other CMS, use a database to achieve a clear separation between content and presentation. HTML / CSS has failed to achieve that properly because each time you want to change you website design, you have to change the HTML, no matter how well coded it was on the first place. Basically (this description is not complete, but you can get the big picture) WordPress stores the content of the website (pages, navigation menu, sidebar elements, ...) in the database, whereas display and presentation is done by the theme. That way, you can change your website design by activating a new theme without touching to the pages content.

jQuery Mobile is a frontend framework, so it is not incompatible with WordPress which runs on the backend. A wisely coded theme, or a use of the REST API, could make it possible to use jQuery Mobile as a frontend display, and WordPress as a backend to manage and edit the content.

I want to create a site with basic menu structure, the ability to list/display articles well, the ability to take questions and feedback and put up a FAQ

This type of website is easy to build with WordPress. Depending on your exact needs, you could create a custom content type called "FAQ" and use it to display a FAQ page, search through the questions and answers, or display the most popular questions.

Adding a donation link is also a common use case. You could use a widget to put it in your sidebar for example.

  • How do you bold a word in an article in Wordpress then, for example. Or how do you make a heading larger and underlined? – Ray Jan 19 '16 at 20:45
  • WordPress comes with a rich content editing tool called TinyMCE. This editor allows you to put a word in bold by selecting it and clicking on a button. The editor will then produce the corresponding HTML that will be saved into the database. Regarding the heading, I assume you are talking about the title of an article. In this case, the theme is formatting in (using HTML like h1, h2 and CSS like text-decoration:underline). But you can also insert headings in the article content and make them underlined using the editor. – Fabien Quatravaux Jan 19 '16 at 20:59
  • I see, thank you. Can you recommend a theme or layout that has most of what I need setup? – Ray Jan 19 '16 at 21:00
  • @Fabian, wordpress has given me a "little scare" in trying to customize TinyMCE -- just to have a custom style with a little jquery code to do what I need for the reader. Multiple articles didn't show how and Wordpress says I need to learn how to do different types of plug-ins. Thoughts? Secondly, I need to user to be able to answer some questions in a quiz before showing them a more advanced lessons/article, is this type of thing easy to do with plugins or also difficult? Thanks. – Ray Jan 23 '16 at 22:41
  • Sorry Ray, but this goes too far for a Stack overflow question. Your requirements are very specific. I can help you if you contact me directly : click on my name to see my profile and find my contact. – Fabien Quatravaux Jan 25 '16 at 8:21

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