In the world of websites, you’d be hard “pressed” to find a platform more widely used than WordPress. Powering nearly 40% of websites, WordPress is a solid choice for web developers to create rich, dynamic, and responsive sites that are easy to update on the back end with its customizable, built-in CMS (Content Management System). This allows client end-users to make changes to the site’s content without altering the site’s architecture or master design and without the need for complex web design skills.
However, just because WordPress is widely-used and designed to bridge the gap between web developers and client end-users into an easy-to-use platform doesn’t mean that WordPress isn’t without its challenges that can cause frustration for both you, your team, and your customers! In this blog, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of WordPress, challenges that can arise from self-management, and how a WordPress support partner can help keep you focused on growing your business while saving money in the process.
What are some of the Pros and Cons of WordPress?
One of the benefits of WordPress is that it is highly customizable to the specific site that is being managed, which allows developers to program specific editable fields that both safeguard the website against edits that alter its contents in unintended ways, while also making it easy for the user to know what actions to take to update specific parts of the site. However, with all that customization comes an inconsistent backend that can vary based on website, even between different sites for the same company designed by the same agency. Despite a multitude of resources online about WordPress maintenance, its customizable backend means there is more of a learning curve to adapt to the nuances of controls for your specific site. Users with previous experience with WordPress may need time to adjust. WordPress also offers many plug-ins to help organize the workflow and maintain the site. These costs can add up, and plug-ins that allow users to save time are often priced with that convenience in mind.
What is WordPress Maintenance?
In addition to updating site content as needed (images, videos, specific copy), WordPress also relies heavily on updates to its core platform to counteract security issues as they arise, in addition to tweaks to your specific site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to optimize traffic and to enhance your sales funnel. With updates and tweaks come inconsistencies with how plug-ins and customized site features will interact with each other. A site feature that works beautifully one day may become an error the next. WordPress maintenance encompasses both types of needs: content-driven changes to the site’s layout, media, visual elements, and support-based changes that may not be visible by site viewers but are required for overall site performance.
What are some of the Typical Services and Benefits of a WordPress Support Partner?
With an ecosystem as diverse as WordPress, and with a myriad of industries using its services for their websites, the scope of a WordPress Support Partner is equally as varied, and could range from managing a site’s planned or dynamic periodic updates, to security and unexpected issues (anyone ever had their website go offline right before your big marketing email was sent?), to content development and deployment in conjunction with or in place of the website team in your marketing department. Support can range from as-needed technical expertise to on-demand content creation and optimization to full turn-key website management and content development. WordPress support partners are professionals that understand the nuances and new features of WordPress, and are able to quickly and effectively navigate updates and errors.
How to determine the Scope of your WordPress Support Needs
A website is the primary means of contact for many organizations with their clients, and as such it’s a reflection of your end product. Picking the scope and the supplier for your WordPress support needs is paramount to success. Many organizations make the mistake of investing in a beautiful website but then fail to give their team adequate resources to effectively manage it. Because sites don’t always need the same amount or type of maintenance each month, having a partner that is able to react to needs dynamically may be a more cost-effective solution than hiring a full-time employee. And if that person updating the site is you, consider how much time and energy is being given to the maintenance of the website each month, and whether that time would be more adequately used for other essential business functions. Does your organization have a plan for when an unexpected error causes your site to go down? And is that error you skipping whatever you had planned to do that evening to fix it, or find someone to fix it? Because of how WordPress support partners will routinely monitor and proactively correct errors on your site, you’re less likely to experience issues. And better yet, the cost is often less overall when factoring in the cost of hiring last-minute WordPress support to fix an issue in real-time. It’s like an insurance plan for your unexpected website issues.
What to Look for in a WordPress Support Partner
Flexibility is key to a great WordPress support partner. It’s important that any partner understands both your business and how your business uses its website, and also the types of changes that need to be made to the site and how frequently. A great partner understands what you need help with, what you don’t, and what you have so little interest in that you don’t even realize it’s something you need to manage (we’re looking at you parse errors!). They should be there when you need to make a change to your content, and also there when you didn’t realize something changed that caused your site to malfunction. Look for a supplier that seeks to understand your needs and customizes a package that best fits your organization and site’s unique needs.
WordPress support is one of the many services we offer our clients at Highforge, and it’s one of the most important investments you can make in your organization’s marketing efforts. Whether you need help safeguarding against unexpected issues, or a robust partner to help your marketing team stay flexible and agile with changing website needs, consider adding a WordPress support package to your website to help eliminate the stress of the unexpected while allowing your business to grow. Reach out to our team of experts to learn more about WordPress support and let us take the pressure out of WordPres