When business owners or marketing professionals try to manage their WordPress websites, many things can go wrong. Inexperience or lack of proper training can lead to disaster. For example, I’d like to refer to the YouTube videos (I’m always watching YouTube videos) where inexperienced drivers of brand new exotic cars take a turn too fast or try to show off in front of a crowd. They wind up embarrassing themselves by crashing and destroying their precious European import. The same thing happens all too frequently when the untrained try to take over their WordPress-built websites.
Such a large percentage of websites are now developed on the WordPress open source content management system (CMS). It has grown to become a fantastic tool to build and manage websites. There are a tremendous amount of plugins and add-ons that allow those with no web programming knowledge to customize them.
At Trillion, we receive a lot of calls and inquiries to design, build, fix and customize WordPress websites, so we’ve heard and seen it all. Since WordPress is such a great CMS, many of the websites we design utilize it (including ours). We are very familiar with its limitations and nuances so our goal here is to clarify some misconceptions that website managers may have in regards to using WordPress.
You can quickly upgrade to the newest version of WordPress
The great thing about WordPress’ popularity is that updates and new versions of the CMS are openly and regularly available. A colored alert box at the top of your dashboard makes it tempting to upgrade. However, a thorough understanding of the upgrade is critical. Why? Sometimes older plugins, widgets or custom code are not compatible with the new WordPress release. If you upgrade, some features may stop functioning correctly, causing errors on your site or making it disappear altogether.
It’s fast to add new content and formatting is easy
This statement is true. However, doing it correctly is something that so many WordPress site managers miss. The biggest problem stems from copying a formatted Word document and pasting it into the visual editor of a new post or page. This process causes ancillary code to be included, yielding text that has various and inconsistent formatting. When you are about to paste text into your new post or page, make sure you do so through the “Paste as Plain Text” button or directly into the html editor.
Also, a properly coded theme will have all of the predetermined text and image formatting available in the “Format” drop down menu. Similar parameters are also applicable to images and placed art.
You can change your design to a new theme and everything will work
There are thousands of themes and design templates which exist for WordPress users to take advantage of. Many are free but there are also varied levels of paid templates ranging from acceptable to terrible. Recently, a business owner asked us about several features that were not working on his website only to discover the culprit was an uncooperative plugin. When we design WordPress websites for our clients, we are building a custom theme that delivers the appropriate experience for customers. Once created, changing the theme is not necessary.
It’s easy to move pages around
WordPress does allow you to move content around fairly easily, though with some limitations. If a website is carefully planned out, moving pages will not be required. However, sometimes things need to move. When it comes to moving pages, WordPress can make the process as easy as selecting a drop down menu item. Something to keep in mind is the URL structure for that page and if any other pages on the site are linked to it. Moving the page can change that URL structure and cause broken links on your site or from other inbound linking sites. Having the broken links can cause Google and other search engines to penalize your website in regards to page rank. The good news is that WordPress does a good job of creating proper redirects from the old URL to the new one. So technically moving pages around is easy, however, you must do so with extreme caution.
You can easily download and install the latest, trendy plugin
Many times, plugins are no more than a few clicks away from being installed onto your website. Trends drive what many businesses want on their website and plugins can make it easy. However, plugins are likely to need additional development to be more visually tied into your brand’s website. Also, depending upon the quality of the plugin, it could make the website load slower or be the cause of a formatting inconsistency. When you are looking to add a new trendy feature to your site, make sure it aligns to your brand values and will truly make the user’s experience better.
When we create a WordPress website at Trillion, we plan out a thorough blueprint of the site before we design the look and feel so our clients aren’t burdened with some of the misconceptions listed above. We also create YouTube tutorial videos for our clients on how to manage the key tasks of the website. This helps them learn at their own pace or be able to refer back to the videos as needed in the future. Our team is always available to discuss or help implement additional features our clients would like to include on their sites. In the event that our clients do not want to spend the time to manage their day-to-day website needs, we do it for them.
If you are wondering if WordPress is the best fit for your website design or redesign project, give Trillion a call at 908.219.4703 or use our contact form to ask us any questions. On the other hand, we can design, build and manage a WordPress site for you, too.