DIY or Professional Help? What's the Best WordPress Website Choice?
Know your reasons before choosing
“Go with WordPress!” they tell you when you’re ready to launch your business or not-for-profit website. So should you do-it-yourself or get help? Read on for the pros and cons.
Certainly, WordPress is a popular website platform – and rightly so as it works well and also looks good. In fact, the Search Engine Journal earlier this year reported that 39.5% of all sites on the web are WordPress. But there are some details to the WordPress story you might not be aware of that you should think through before creating your new site.
WordPress is an open-source website platform, which means that the tools are free for anyone to use. While WP is clean and simple, some technical skill is needed for making the tools do what you want, particularly if your website needs more advanced functions. Fortunately, WordPress’s popularity also means that there should also be skilled support for years to come.
The platform may be free, but know that there are other costs. Yes, you can launch a free site if you use a subdomain of wordpress.com, as in “mywebsite.wordpress.com.” Professional websites usually have their own domain name which requires paid hosting, neither of which are terribly expensive, but they aren’t free either.
If you choose to go the do-it-yourself route, the first thing you’ll notice is that you are welcomed to “My Blog.” That’s because WP was originally designed to be just a blog and the other usual website functions were added later. There is no obvious “login” button or administrative page visible, but there are plenty of online tutorials that can help you figure out how to get started.
Most websites will not lead with their blog posts, so you’ll need to create a Home page, a Contact page, and so on and add them to the menu so folks know how to navigate your site. You’ll want to have a cohesive look to your website, something that mirrors your logo and branding, so spend a little time beforehand sketching out some designs.
The design possibilities of WordPress are vast, but keep in mind that if your look is particularly unique or your pages are especially complex, you may need to hire a WP coder to engineer what you have in mind. The choice of themes and plugins will be limited, especially for free websites.
One more caveat: A lot of people create WordPress add-ons, often for fun rather than as a business. Some perform better than others. Certain plugins don’t work together. You may also find that when the WP platform itself updates, some themes or plugins suddenly stop working and there is no one to call for support.
Finally, don’t forget about your SEO. Again, there is plenty of online documentation on how to optimize your WordPress website for search or you can hire a professional to take care of it.
In fact, you could hire a professional to do it all. When the budget is absolutely dry, the DIY route may be your only choice, but otherwise, it just doesn’t make sense to waste time tinkering with a website when your business needs your undivided attention. Just give us a call to talk it through and let us build your WordPress website for you. It’s the easy choice!