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Why Do We Call a WordPress ELN S.A.F.E.?

We use the S.A.F.E. acronym for a WordPress Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN) because it has the features of being Sustainable, Affordable, Flexible, and Easy. We find this to be a fairly unique combination for an ELN and so we want to make researchers aware of this relatively unique combination. More details are provided below.

S is for Sustainable – We use the word “sustainable” in this context in the sense that it will be sustained in the marketplace for many years to come. The stable WordPress Content Management System (CMS) currently runs over 40% of all websites, a market share that has steadily grown since its introduction in 2003. WordPress is open source with a relatively simple and stable core code base, which should continue to contribute to its success. With this market share and its history of growth, you can have a high level of confidence that WordPress will be a sustainable platform for decades to come. It is also likely that WordPress will continue to improve over time with additional features.

A is for Affordable – The core WordPress CMS will always be free and open source. In addition, there are also over 50,000 free and open source plugins that extend the core capabilities. Sophisticated premium plugins provide additional advanced and well-supported capabilities, most of them for a very reasonable price. The reasonable prices are sustainable because of the economies of scale for such a popular platform.

F is for Flexible – Concerning the flexibility of adapting WordPress for your needs, you can begin with the core WordPress CMS and then customize WordPress for your particular situation using appropriate plugins. The goal of this MyLabBook website is to help you in making good decisions concerning appropriate plugins for your ELN. There is a plethora of other resources on the web concerning plugin capabilities as well. You also have flexibility in hosting options by using one of the hundreds of hosting providers with a range of price points. You also have flexibility in choosing to develop the WordPress ELN yourself or to hire one of the many WordPress developers or agencies to build a WordPress ELN for you.

E is for Easy – WordPress has many positive attributes that can be described as “Easy”, which is a major reason for its success. WordPress is well-known for its easy installation process. The basic software setup of the LAMP stack is most commonly used for WordPress. This is one of the easiest software stacks to set up. And installing plugins is easy, requiring only a few mouse clicks. Custom plugins are relatively easy to develop. The administration interface has been fine tuned for over 2 decades to provide a consistent and relatively easy and pleasant user interface experience. The vast ecosystem of documentation and support also makes it relatively easy to solve most problems.

Of course, it is important to first determine whether or not WordPress with appropriate plugins can provide the capabilities that you need for your ELN. But if you determine that a WordPress ELN is adequate for your research needs, then it will provide a S.A.F.E. alternative that you will probably find to be fairly unique in its advantages for your research.