The meteoric rise in the popularity of WordPress as the go-to starting point for website building has had a lot to do with everyone and their sister exclaiming how easy WordPress is to work with.
It is, and it isn’t. Sorry to maybe burst your bubble, but there it is.
5 Common Fallacies About WordPress
It’s super easy to build a WordPress-based site, even if you’re a beginner
If you want a website that looks like thousands of others, with no unique personality, standard features, and basic functionality then yes, it’s fairly easy to build a WordPress site from the ground up. The same way it’s easy to ride a bicycle for the first time, or to drive a car if you’ve never been behind the wheel.
There are a number of things that you’ll have to learn in order to put up a basic WordPress site. It will take some time to learn them. You’ll need to learn about how to get a domain name, how to get hosting, how to evaluate which themes and plugins to use or not use, and more.
Owners can update their sites easily
It depends on what ‘update’ means. Yes, often it’s easy to go in and change text on a page, maybe add a picture or a graphic. It really all depends on how your site was built. If it does special things like slideshows or rotating content blocks or any kind of automation, it may not be easy at all, at least without learning about how your site works.
Just add a plugin
As a developer, I’ve really come to hate this phrase. The concept of a WordPress plugin has become mystical – and mythical. Sometimes, adding a plugin to achieve some special effect opens a can of worms you’d have been better off leaving closed. Often a plugin, in order to be attractive to a larger audience, does way more than you need it to do. This can cause your site to slow down. Admittedly, we’re talking in microseconds here, but when you add 50 or more plugins (yes, I’ve seen it) we start talking real load time slowdown.
Need a different look? Just change the theme
If your website is just a basic blog then you can probably do this and get away with it. If your site has been custom-developed just for you, though, you will lose much of that customization.
You could purchase a premium theme from somewhere and try to make it do what you want. Some theme authors promise the world in their sales copy, but deliver far less in reality.
If you build it, they will come
My site is on WordPress! WordPress has great SEO! Google loves WordPress sites! How come no one is coming to my site?
I can’t begin to tell you how often Taughnee and I have heard some variation of this. The harsh reality is that just because you’ve written something and put it out on the web, the world isn’t going to see it. Not, at least, without some work on your part promoting your writing to your audience. But that’s fodder for another post 🙂
The Bottom Line
WordPress has made it easier for site owners to maintain their own websites. In years past, the owner would have to call their developer – if they could even find them again – and pay through the nose to get changes made, even minor ones. Thankfully, as a general rule web developers have steered away from that business model, the one that basically held the site owner hostage to the developer. Believe it or not, we love to have you maintain and update your website yourself when you can. It makes life easier for us, and less expensive for you!
Sometimes, though, it just doesn’t work out that way. You’ll try to make some changes, they won’t work like you thought they would, and life won’t be rosy any more. When that happens, you can call us.