Do You Understand Your WordPress Limitations?
WordPress is a fantastic program which has brought website management to the masses. However, just like almost all software, reality can hit pretty hard. There are big promises about how easy it is to use, and I have to admit that it’s probably the easiest website management tool for non-technical people to use. However there’s a lot more to building a website than throwing some text together and slapping a couple of pictures on your site. Make sure you fully understand your WordPress limitations so that you know when it’s time to hire a professional. Whether the content management software is WordPress or anything else, eventually the point may come very quickly where you’ll realize that you’re in over your head.
There are some basic rules when it comes to how you should write the text on your website pages. The most basic of rules don’t have anything to do with search engine optimization or marketing. As a matter of fact, they begin with how to format your text. I don’t mean using the bold or italics buttons in the toolbar, but rather letting the software know what format the various pieces of text should have. You need to differentiate between a title, sub-title, paragraph, quote and so on. Most of the time it doesn’t even matter if we’re talking about WordPress or Microsoft Word. The general population simply isn’t educated when it comes to properly formatting text. Understand your WordPress limitations! As an example of how bad it can be, I recently realized that a client of mine uses the space bar to center text on the page, instead of using the center button in the toolbar!
Even though WordPress uses a lot of point-and-click technology, it is necessary to get into some coding if you want to have any kind of real functionality. I have a few clients who are familiar with how to properly format text and also how to work with basic HTML. However, most people will not want to work with code. In my experience the end result is one of the following:
- The client plays around with the content formatting and HTML. In the end the page gets messed up and eventually they call me to fix it.
- The client is hesitant to make any major changes, so their content doesn’t get displayed the way they want. Eventually they call me with a “to do list” so that I can take care of the more advanced changes they want.
- The client doesn’t touch anything. The site stagnates. After a couple of years they call me and state they want a complete makeover.
- The client realizes that they have limited capabilities, so they have me manage their website for them. They accumulate a bunch of small changes which they give to me every now and then.
Do you understand your WordPress limitations? Which category do you fall into? In the end, the solution which I find works best is if the client takes care of simple changes and stays within the boundaries of using WordPress like a word processor. As soon as they need to do anything more complicated than that, they contact me so that it gets done properly and saves them time and frustration.
Do You Really Want To Be A Programmer?
I have looked into a number of different WordPress tutorials for my clients to use. Most of them only deal with the basic stuff. The reason is that once you start getting into learning code, you’re becoming a programmer. If that’s what you want to do, that’s okay. However if you truly understand your WordPress limitations, you will most likely realize that you want to run your business and not become a programmer. Otherwise you’ll end up crossing the line and stop running your business and start learning computer coding. I guess you have to ask yourself what you want to do, and what you don’t want to do. I compare it to my car mechanic. I don’t expect to crawl under the car with him and have him teach me how to maintain my vehicle. I pay him to do so. If I would want to learn anyway, I would take mechanic courses, read books, consult the internet and learn how to maintain my car.
I find that customer service isn’t necessarily about giving the client everything they ask for. Rather it’s about giving them the end result they ask for. The path how to get there may not be what they expect. However, if the end result meets or exceeds their expectations, everyone comes out a winner.
Understand your WordPress limitations and you can work much more efficiently and effectively together with your website developer. Don’t try to do everything on your own. If you find yourself spending an entire afternoon trying to get something to work on your website, then it’s most likely time to pass the work on to someone else.
It’s equally important for your website developer to understand your WordPress limitations. Don’t be embarrassed to admit that you don’t feel comfortable making changes on your own. Most people don’t. If your website developer can understand your WordPress limitations, they can ensure that you have a solution which works specifically for you.
On the other hand, if you know your way around WordPress really well, let your website developer know that too. They can then help you out by providing you with additional tools which help you manage your website at your advanced level.
In general, ensure you work together with your website developer. This is true during the initial development process, but also for later on when the website needs to be managed. Understand your WordPress limitations and make sure your website developer knows them too!