Platypi News

WordPress Websites: Buyer Beware? It doesn’t have to be. Part 1 of 4

In the last month I have had a couple of business owners ask me if I could help them update their WordPress websites.  Initially they were under the impression that once their websites were in WordPress that they would be able to add, edit and remove website pages and content without any issues.

Truth be told when a WordPress website is designed and implemented correctly this is what the experience is supposed to be like.   In both cases they had gotten someone to design their websites, however neither knew the right questions to ask in order to make sure that they got what they wanted and neither had received training on how to manage and maintain their site through WordPress.

Sadly, also in both cases, I had to deliver bad news.

One website was custom designed to work in WordPress however the way the site design was implemented the client would only be able to edit just the basic page content for inner pages (i.e. about, services) and the home page was completely coded in PHP (a programming language) so any changes would have to be written in that programming language

The second site was also a custom design implemented in WordPress and changes to universal elements (i.e. website navigation, right hand side bar) would require you to have PHP programming knowledge.   As well the actual site design was programmed to only have space for 3 top level navigation items.  A top level navigation bar normally accommodates 5-7 items (i.e. Home, About, Services, FAQs, Contact).  So there was no more room left to expand the site without adding in a fair bit of extra custom code to accommodate the extra page into the navigation.

Needless to say the business owners were disappointed with the news that I had for them.  While their sites were both in WordPress, due to poor design planning and design implementation both were stuck not being able to edit their site in the most popular content management system in use in the world today.

Here are some questions to ask to possibly avoid the above case scenarios.

  1. Ask for a tour of WordPress
    If you are looking at changing your website and you’re considering using WordPress as your content management system before you hire the designer you like, ask for a tour of WordPress.They should be able to sit down or do a remote screen sharing session with you to show you how WordPress works, what the tools look like, and maybe share some examples of features that they might use for your actual website.This will help in a few different ways.  You will see how comfortable the designer is with WordPress.  You can ask questions and voice any concerns you might have.  You get a feel for what updating your site will look like if you go with WordPress.

Please check back weekly as we publish the remaining 3 questions.

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