To WordPress or not to WordPressTo WordPress or Not to WordPress

Well, you’ve made the decision to create a new website or to update your existing website. So many questions arise these days concerning look and feel and let’s not forget the all important SEO. All of the options to characterize your online presence, could be a mind boggling task to say the least. No problem, take a deep breath and scrutinize your needs and potential. Once you realize this potential the task becomes a lot simpler than you would imagine.

First of all ask yourself if you’ll need to do regular updates, changing your sites content on a regular basis. These days this is all important as it keeps you up on the search engine rankings. That being said, you may not have the means to hire a staff of programmers leaving only one option and that is to have a Content Management System (CMS). With a good CMS you’ll be able to keep your site up to date yourself without having to worry about being a programmer/coder.

Here at 4MediaGraphics & Marketing we’ve seen that content management systems can be both good and bad so don’t get too excited and read on. If you’re in need of more than just updating content and don’t have the technical skills to do so a CMS can be cumbersome. You will want to make sure that your new site is displayable on both smart phones or iPhones and tablets. WordPress started out as a blogging system and has grown into a full-fledged content management system. It is easy to make content updates but it’s difficult to make cosmetic changes.

Yes, we at 4MediaGraphics & Marketing love working in WordPress, we’ve been doing so for 5 years now. This site is done in WordPress and the owner Mark Mentzer’s personal portfolio site is done in WordPress as well. But, we also know the constraints of WordPress. Like I stated above WordPress has gone from a simple blogging system to becoming the most popular website creation engine in the world. Yes, it has become a master of web creation potency while still needing growth. So, take a look at what we consider the pros and cons of WordPress as a content management system.

Pros:

  • Your Site Will be Blog Ready: As stated above WordPress was originally created as blogging software. Almost every theme you’ll find for WordPress will have a built in blog page which is ready to use at the drop of a hat. Using WordPress for blogging is second nature and elegant.
  • Content Updates are a Breeze: I’ve made this number one because it is the top reason to use a content management system. You can easily add text and images to your site through adding new posts and pages. The method used to add content is very intuitive. With some technical work done upfront there’s a multitude of ways to setup custom programs and blocks of text which, after implementation, can be used and edited by just about anybody with simple computer skills.
  • E-Commerce Made Easy: When e-commerce first reared its ugly head on the web only the best of programmers could make this happen. But, once again, there’s a multitude of plug-ins to make this a much easier task. With the advent of these WordPress add-on’s known as plugins, creating e-commerce apps that give you the ability to create a shopping cart which does the ordering, shipping and processing is now doable for even the most fearful.
  • Doing your SEO is Fairly Straight Forward: Considering the plethora of SEO (search engine optimization) plugins for WordPress all that you have to do is read and make fairly simple changes to your content to make it more searchable to the “Bots” and “Sniffers” on the web. It’s time consuming but much easier than it is with a straight HTML site. You’ll be adding Meta tags such as titles, descriptions, keywords and H1 tags like an SEO/SEM (search engine marketing) pro. We use Yoast for our SEO, it’s one of the best. It will help you to, not only add these all important Meta tags, it will also assist in giving you an idea of your site’s strength in optimization for SEO and SEM. So, with Yoast and other SEO plugins WordPress has become an easier way to add SEO/SEM to your site.
  • Your Site is Ready for Mobile Phones, Tablets and PC: If you use a theme that’s responsive your site will automatically ready to show on all of these devices without any need for programming. This is mega important as many people these days view websites on devices other than PC’s. The content of your site and the look and feel will be consistent on all platforms.  The layout will change depending on the platform but the content and look and feel will remain the same. When choosing a theme for your site be sure to do a search for responsive theme to insure that it will be unchanging on all platforms. With this search you’ll find many themes that adhere to a responsive nature whether you’re using a free theme or a premium theme.

Cons:

  • Making Your Site Custom is Very Difficult: Content Management Systems are great out of the box, but to make it look EXACTLY like what you’re looking for can be rather tricky. WordPress works with themes and the themes layout is programmed through CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and PHP (Personal Home Page). Unless you’re an experienced programmer, making look and feel changes to your site is nearly impossible. So, if you want to customize your site be prepared to hire at least one programmer, if not a staff. This programmer will have to be familiar with making your WordPress site responsive and will need to be a pro at the languages of CSS and PHP. Once the customization is complete you’ll be able to create new content and pages/posts with little to no experience.
  • WordPress Needs Regular Updates: WordPress is “Open Source” software which is defined as “denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.” You cannot work on a WordPress on your personal hard drive as you can with HTML, CSS and even PHP to some extent, you must work on the server. It requires updates and patches which are released roughly annually. These updates assure that you are combating hackers and pirates, not to mention improvements on coding. If you don’t have the proper skills to do these regular updates you could run into trouble. You must make a backup of your site before you update and, even then, a simple plugin could prove to be disastrous. You might need a professional to dismantle a plugin or theme on the back end if a catastrophe occurs.
  • Being a Programmer or Developer Isn’t Necessary But it Helps: Marketing experience doesn’t hurt either. You can have the slickest site in the world, but it won’t draw traffic without the proper maintenance. In order to insure success you will need to make a planned, continuing effort to keep users/customers returning. The act of creating the website is the easy part, it’s the marketing that is important and time consuming. Most sites require a constant SEO/SEM marketing plan to keep up with the competition online. So, you might want to hire a marketing guru in house who can work with an agency. Remember staying dedicated and having a plan which is specific to your marketing needs will make sure that your site is keeping users coming back to engage in your services.

Remember, if you are in need of a highly functional and professionally designed WordPress website you’ve come to the right place. Contact us, describing your needs and let’s get started in creating a website that will stand out above and beyond your competition leaving them in the dust.