The great thing we hear about WordPress (perhaps its most impressive accomplishment), is that it makes setting up a site so easy that non-developers can quickly set up their own at little cost. One-click installs, themes to suit any style and thousands of plugins to add features – before you know it, web developers could be out of a job… or could they?
To the contrary; at some point, customising WordPress presents coding challenges because there’s always going to be a situation where someone needs their website to do something a WordPress theme or plugin author would never imagine. Many WordPress sites are just simple educational blogs like this one, using a free theme since there’s little needed around branding or design customisation. But the business now needs to upgrade to an expertly branded site and the free theme doesn’t allow this.
Decide What’s Important – Technology or Site Traffic?
Other times it just get too hard for a business owner who, after trying to save money by making their own site, figured out they’re better off spending their time where it makes them more money. Things around WordPress that newcomers will often spend hours/days figuring out themselves, WordPress developers immediately see what’s needed and can do in a fraction of the time. This is why we go out and employ accountants, mechanics, plumbers etc. Yes we all like the DIY concept since it can often save money, but at some point it is often more cost-effective to hire qualified people that do it for a living.
The big difference with WordPress is that it’s more a team effort and the site owner has way more control than other websites. Especially around adding content and new pages.
The areas amateurs and business owners need to really focus upon is not the WordPress theme, design, plugins, hosting, security or coding updates, but the site content, marketing and SEO which is what drives traffic.
All this means is that WordPress, as a platform appeals to a broad audience, for a variety of reasons. It allow amateurs to get a decent web presence at little expense. It also allows skilled coders to extend the platform in ways amateurs cannot, resolving branding, performance and security issues with relative ease. Developers can super-charge and safely extend the humble WordPress website in ways newcomers cannot even imagine.
Yet business owners and users are still heavily involved working with developers, adding in content and creating interesting, relevant posts that gets more traffic to their website.
This is the power and the attraction of WordPress. This is why I like talking about it and helping others learn more. It’s a website technology for all people, seasons and markets…
Kevin Trye, Web Developer, Auckland User Group Meetup Organiser