WordPress : Money Is Time
We have been at this a long time; custom programmed sites, online platforms, do-it-yourself solutions and more. One thing is certain, there is no silver bullet to having a hands-off website… nope, no Field of Dreams in this web world. So let’s talk about today where things like responsive, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), performance and security are all the rage. And by “all the rage” we mean they are as required today as a roof is required on your house, that is, if you don’t wish to sleep in the rain.
Sure, we can custom program your website, spend hours upon hours getting it to look and sound right, customizing it to have all the bells and whistles all while making sure it shrinks down to your phone (or “phablet” as it were). But there are things that we know for certain, each site owner wants their site to reflect them, many want it yesterday, and many think it should cost less than a week’s salary. So how do we get a good balance between quality, time and cost (pick two right?)? We use a widespread platform, cultivated by very smart people and do our best to not re-invent the wheel. This approach cuts down on development time, enables a multitude of features to be “plugged in”, and allows more time to be allocated on the marketing components, which by the way, is why the site is there to begin with.
Most have heard of WordPress as a blogging tool. Those of us who know better know it as a very powerful open-source website engine (ie: developers collaborate on WordPress as a community). Today WordPress drives over 25% of the world’s websites… as in total site population of the internet on this planet! There are good things and not so good things about being the popular kid. Let’s discuss both real quick.
- WordPress comes out of the box with blogging capabilities and can be extended through plugins built by the community. Once upon a time developers had to custom build these things with login forms connecting to databases, and development would take what would seem like an eternity today. Think of it as you having to build your own house based with your own plans rather than moving into an established neighborhood.
- Most Themes (pre-built designs) come responsive out of the box. This means that the site will resize on any platform be it your phone, tablet or computer without much more tinkering than installing it.
- You want a form, we have a form. You want a video installed, no sweat. You want to sell stuff, cool! With a collaborative community comes innovative people who want to extend it. Consider this as having a world full of developers at our fingertips.
The Not So Good
- Not everyone out there is on the “up and up”. There are hackers out there trying to access sites to do damage or just for the heck of it. Check out this article by Wordfence (a WordPress Security Plugin). You may think you’re a small fish in a big pond but there really is no such thing today and a popular kid gets picked on by unpopular people.
- Today’s websites make us sweat. Let’s put aside content creation and optimizing for search engines and talk about maintenance. WordPress core and plugins (much like SEO) is like a lawn and garden, if not tended to on a regular basis, we’ve got weeds, everything dies, and it takes a plow to get everything back to optimal condition.
- Back to the SEO part. So you’ve got a whizzbang site, you’re up and running and whew! that cost is finally behind you. Think again. If you are looking for any traction on the internet today, you better budget for the long haul. Remember those weeds? They’re ferocious and even more persistent in the SEO world. Stand still for too long and your next door neighbor just won the neighborhood beauty contest and all the prizes that come with it.
So did we mention the good? Let’s take a look at the three pillars of quality, time and cost.
- Quality – This comes down to who is working on the site for you. You want someone with experience. Sure, your best friends son is quite the computer genius, but experience is worth a bar of gold here.
- Time – With WordPress, on many sites, development time can be cut down to weeks rather than months. Of course, this depends on how ready one is with content and imagery as well as site size. The point is, hours have been eliminated by the house already being built, now it’s time to move in, decorate and add rooms as needed.
- Cost – Of course with less hours, cost is decreased. However, with the addition of the maintenance needs of a website, this may be something that everyone needs to come to terms with.
We’re not saying every site needs to be nor should be WordPress. If there aren’t any plans to cultivate the site and it is simply a brochure, then by all means, you do not need the Ferrari. We know a great guy down the street selling compact cars and that will get you down the street just fine. Tell him Tarragon sent you.