As a marketing consultant, I help clients update collateral materials and websites frequently. However, the old proverb…“The shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot” certainly applied to my woefully dated website I created back in 2004.
So, I made a resolution to update my website this year. A friend, who developed my previous site, suggested I look into WordPress.
After doing some quick research, it turns out a LOT of folks are doing websites on WordPress, even though it was designed as a blogging platform. Granted, you have to do some modifications to make it LOOK like a website and not a blog. However, I easily found LOTS of articles and tips.
In order to streamline the design process and save time though, I opted to use a template. I researched a lot of companies, but I preferred the templates from a company called StudioPress. I fell in love with their Agency Child Theme and felt I could easily modify the template to recreate my website. After reading the reviews, it sounded as if the company had a reputation for not only good looking templates, but also for SOLID code behind them (which is important). The template and Genesis framework was only $79.95 (as of January 2012).
Please note, I could have used a FREE template from WordPress (and spent lots of time tweaking it). Or, I could have purchased a less expensive template from another company…there are MANY options. However, I felt the Agency template hit the mark and was backed by a good company, so I was DELIGHTED to make a small investment in a quality template.
To use a third party template, like I selected, my site HAD to be hosted with a separate web hosting company (not through WordPress). I use 1&1 because I like their dashboard, their service is inexpensive and their customer service is good.
Once I got the template installed, (which was a little tricky because it had to be uploaded to my host server, and I am virtually illiterate when it come to the backend tech stuff), I was able to go back into the WordPress dashboard and quickly create the pages and add in photos. The interface is intuitive and very easy to use.
However, when it came time to customize, there were some things I didn’t understand. I could have taken the time to read every “how to” guide, but I decided to hire a WordPress expert who has been GREAT. Eugene Oprea is very dependable and his rates are very reasonable. I highly recommend his work!
Now, I can change my copy and photos whenever I want! And, I have a fully integrated blog that is super easy to use!
WordPress is not the solution for everyone. However, for many small and mid-sized businesses, the combination of using a good template (to save time and money) and the flexibility WordPress offers in terms of easily updating content is an IDEAL and inexpensive solution.