In order for me to appreciate WordPress I had to change my expectations.
Before discovering WordPress I designed websites using Photoshop and Dreamweaver. The end result was a beautiful…online brochure. WordPress is different.
Unlike a “set it and forget it” website designed with Photoshop and Dreamweaver, WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System). CMS programs allows you to log into your site from anywhere in the world and add content. What this really means is you no longer need to pay a website designer every time you want to change some text or add a picture or video. You can do it yourself.
Not All CMSs Are Free
You can hire someone to create a custom designed CMS program for your company website, but be prepared to pay at least $20,000 for all the hand coding and specialization. A programmer I recently talked to says his sites range from $30,000 — $50,000 and take at least 6 months to create.
WordPress is open-source software meaning it’s a free. A developer created WordPress. Today there are teams of developers who pride themselves on keeping WordPress up to date and user-friendly. Most give their time and skills freely, just to be acknowledged as a contributor. As someone who has paid thousands of dollars each year for graphic design computer programs to maintain my design business, downloading free software that I used on a regular basis still seems a bit odd, but I digress.
You will need to pay a monthly hosting fee to a company like Bluehost, GoDaddy or HostGator if you want a WordPress website that sells any type of product or service (a.k.a. business website). You may also need to purchase a premium theme and plugins if your site requires these things, but it’s far less expensive that a custom designed CMS.
There are thousands of WordPress templates to make your site look nearly done, right out of the box. The downside is, if you want something other than exactly what the template looks like, you’ll need to learn more skills or hire someone who has the skills.
What A Developer Can Do For You
Developers are people who know how to write CSS and PHP, which is a fancy way of saying they can make your site look exactly the way you want it to look. For example, if your WordPress theme places your navigation bar menu items flush left, developers can make them appear flush right, or dead center. You direct, they code. Developers typically have computer science degrees, and charge upwards of $100 per hour for their skills and knowledge.
What A Designer Can Do For You
I’m a designer. I work with a WordPress template that looks close to what my clients are trying to achieve with their websites and then make their site look unique by designing and adding:
- a custom web header
- a custom designed e-book
- 3D graphics of their e-book and CD cover
- web buttons
- I then style text meaning I choose a pleasing color and size for headlines and body copy, and make it look like something your prospects want to read
- I write a tiny bit of code in order to place an opt-in box and IFO (Irresistible Free Offer) in the header widget, and
- add plugins to improve the look of your sidebar and footer
I’ll also show my clients how to use, maintain and update their sites after they’re done.
Why WordPress Is Good For Business
People who need a product or service typically type in a name or descriptive phrase into their preferred search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo!). The job of the search engines is to find the perfect match. If your prospects words and phrases match your site’s words and phrases, your site comes up on the search page. That’s where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes to play.
WordPress makes it easy to add text. If you know what your prospects are looking for, and you put those exact words and phrases in places like your headline and first paragraph, your web page can display near or on the first search page. You’ve been found!
Now it’s time to engage your prospect with a professional looking site. Hellooo WordPress. Come on down.