You chose WordPress because you understood that it could make launching your business online simple and affordable.
The most popular self-publishing software on the web, its creators tout it as easy to use “with no coding experience or expert knowledge.”
“Most users are able to pick up the basics without any training at all,” the WordPress About Codex asserts.
For the most part, it’s true. Built on PHP and MySQL, WordPress powers more than two thirds of the top million websites on the Internet today.
But working with WordPress is not without risks or challenges.
While advanced knowledge of code is not necessary, as you dig in for more complex and customized features on your website, you’ll soon discover that technical proficiency makes all the difference.
How Building A WordPress Website Gets Complicated
Building your website on WordPress.org starts by choosing the theme, the template for your website. WordPress has a growing library of over 200,000 themes, and they’re created by thousands of developers around the world.
WordPress beginners might select their website’s theme based on aesthetics alone – an eye-catching look and feel that they want for their blog or business. More experienced users or users with development training might vett the specs, functionality and developer credentials more carefully. Once you test drive your first couple of themes, you’ll discover that some are easier to use than others.
Plugins – The Wild West of Application Development
Next, comes plugin installation. Out of the box, your theme might not do everything you want it to.
So, users cobble together more complicated sites by upgrading their theme with plugins. These open-source add-ons do things like add Twitter feeds to your sidebar, allow visitors to post Testimonials and reviews, sign-up for your latest posts, and so much more.
Plugins are less rigorously screened than themes, with lots of “me-too” products and copy-cats flooding the market with choices. As Mark Forrester, the co-founder of Woo Themes, notes in this 2013 blog post, many plugins are out of date, hard to use and fraught with bugs. Plugin installation is where things can really start to get messy for green WordPress users – and more experienced ones too!
Eventually all WordPress users understand that the success of a site depends on the time or resources one can invest in it, persistence, and an aptitude for technical development.
There is no 1-800 help-line to call. Refunds are rare, as you have no way of “returning” the product (software) to the developer once downloaded.
Instead, you need to be resourceful and peruse the Support forums for comparable dilemmas to your own and, hopefully, comparable solutions. You can email the software developers, or post a question, rating or complaint on their product page. As many developers work other day jobs, however, their response time might not gel with your project timelines.
This is where professional WordPress developers come into play.
Now I know what you’re thinking. You chose WordPress because you didn’t want to hire a web development firm. You wanted to maintain control over the project, learn new skills and minimize the overhead costs.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. We make WordPress support and customization our business, and have done so for the past five years. Operating from Kingston, Ontario, our clients come from Ottawa, Toronto and the WordPress community around the world.
Here are three things we want you to know about outsourcing your WordPress challenges to an expert.
- It can be simpler and faster than you think. Believe it or not, some of the customizations and bugs that you’re spending hours on can be fixed by an expert PHP developer in 5 to 15 minutes. That times-saving is valuable in and of itself – think about how much faster your project will move, and how much more you could get done with your time.
- That means – it can be cheaper too! Some theme and plugin customizations can be achieved for as little as $10 USD. Depending on your developer’s hourly rate and the complexity of your issue, your website fix could cost you less than lunch.
- Your hired developer needs to be professional and trustworthy. They’ll likely require admin access to your website in order to test and debug the errors. That means they could also have access to your databases of customer information, as well as all of your site content, and your website User profiles. Don’t hire too quickly or too hastily. Find the developers on LinkedIn, ask for references or reviews from past customers, and examples of past work.
We think WordPress is one of the greatest cultural forces on the planet, and an amazing learning community. But when you need the support of an expert, don’t hesitate afraid to reach out. Bookmark this page and let us know if there’s something we can help you with.