Why do I specialize only in WordPress? It is #1 for a reason. : being the largest and most flexible free website platform is just the start. There are more plugins for functions, styling, forms, etc., than most developers know about; and help for each (except for some themes and plugins; keep reading, details in “Three Problems with WordPress” below).
Support: there is so much help for those starting out on WordPress.com and WordPress.org that you will need a great deal of time to go through it all. Then there are all the independent suggestions you can find by Goggling the problem. As long as your theme and plug-ins are not old or are being supported by the developer today, you can find even more specific information about issues you may have. It is also a great way to find what all that your WordPress site can do.
Versatility/flexibility: the basic free theme (Twenty Ten or Twenty Eleven) has all you need to day; mobile adaptability, sliders, galleries, etc. Use the ones included with these great themes or add more plug-ins; of which there are hundreds of thousands. They handle functions, add new gadgets/forms/etc., get help with SEO and Analytics so detailed your head will spin, and more are being created every day!
From simple to very complicated websites. You can put a very nice, extremely functional website up for free as a Do-It-Yourselfer … well, you will have to pay someone to host it. To do this you will need some HTML, CSS, and PHP to get it looking and functioning just like you want; but you don’t NEED to for your site to look competitive. Did you know CNN, The New York Times, and Forbes use WordPress platform for their sites, and this is only a few; check out this Notable Users list. WordPress isn’t just for bloggers anymore; but because it originated to help bloggers get up and going quickly and easily online, the backbone of this platform will enable you to more easily use the most effective and powerful marketing venue of the Internet… blogging. With or without plugins you can write your blogs over the weekend and have them scheduled to post over the next year if you want; your plugins then can automatically post to almost every social site out there once your blog is published! And THIS type of automation doesn’t require coding! And the types of automation is ever growing!
Three Problems with WordPress:
- If your plug-in or theme is free, make certain you know it is being supported by the developer today. You can do this by going to the WP site and querying the name of the plugin or theme, once on its page click on “Support” and note the “Freshness” column. If it hasn’t been updated in the past two years keep looking. This is one reason to go with the top WordPress free themes “Twenty Ten” or “Twenty Eleven”; it may take a bit more knowledge/coding to get your site JUST like you want it; but you can make these basic versions look and function any way you want with some persistence. These same checks need to be made on elements (themes or plugins) you pay for too.
- WordPress and active themes and plugins are being updated multiple times each year. These upgrades may not work with one or more of your other elements. So it is 1) imperative you have a good backup system in place and 2) you know how to quickly restore your site to the previous version. It is not important to do each update (whether it is for your plugin or your theme or the WP platform) immediately, but the longer you wait the more chance you will have to bypass a few different upgrades which increase the chance it will not work with something else. My suggestion is to do the upgrades (again I can’t stress this enough) AFTER you do a backup, at least once every quarter.
- If you are setting up or migrating your WordPress site by yourself, it really is essential for you to do a bit of training on the different types of coding. The only time you won’t need this is when your theme looks and acts exactly like you want out of the box. I can suggest you use Lynda.com ($25 – $37.50 a month for VERY GOOD videos and you can watch as many as you can fit in), the best thing about these tutorials are that they teach you “best practices” which will save you in the long run. On the other hand you can always go to YouTube and watch all the free videos on almost everything you need to know about WordPress.
I believe the best thing about the WordPress platform is flexibility: from novice to web developer, from a basic blogging website to a fully functioning e-commerce site, from little or complete automation of your online presence, WordPress is your platform. And with it your website will expand and evolve along with Internet in a way that keeps you looking and functioning like a pro.
Contact me for budget friendly help with your website or web presence: Management, Maintenance, or Marketing.