WordPress: You Can’t Just Set it and Forget it

Note: This post was already written when I began seeing reports about the brute force attacks on WordPress installations.  I wrote a new post to address fears regarding the brute force attacks here

WordPress makes it easy to build a great website but…

There are so many great things that can be said about using WordPress to build your business website; ease of use, fast updating, content marketing extraordinaire just to name a few.  It’s definitely a wise choice, and not just for business owners on a budget.  However I’m seeing some problems developing in the world of WordPress.

The DIY web designer.

While it’s absolutely true that WordPress is DIY friendly, many individuals are diving into WordPress and then finding themselves in over their heads.  The allure of being able to build a great looking website without the need for costly web designers is a huge benefit to using WordPress.  And while it definitely is possible, unless you are prepared to dig in a little deeper to understand how WordPress works and how to keep it running smoothly, you could be in for a rude awakening.  Many individuals create their website and think that’s it, it’s built and all they have to do is perhaps create blog posts or change out copy occasionally.  But that’s a dangerous school of thought.

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Who’s Building Your Website?

With the popularity of WordPress new ‘website designers’ are coming out of the woodwork.  It’s true, the WordPress CMS framework is ideal for business websites as well as easy to work with in comparison to flash and html websites. That doesn’t mean that just anyone can create a well designed, professional website  that is uniquely fit to your business.

The truth of the matter is that some of the so-called designers are totally reliant on pre-fabricated WordPress theme designs and plugins.  Don’t get me wrong, part of the beauty of WordPress lies in plugins and themes, but there should be a lot more to building your business website than adding a custom header to a theme and installing a bunch of plugins.

The Mechanics

A good WordPress website designer is going to have skills that allow them to go beyond themes and templates.  They will understand the theme they use as well as its capabilities and know how to use them to get the look and functions you need.   A really good designer should also know how to use CSS, HTML and PHP coding to do things like position elements uniquely and add functionality.  And a great WordPress designer is also going to understand the possibility of conflicts when it comes to plugins and know how to troubleshoot, find the cause of conflicts and repair a ‘broken’ website.

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