Getting WordPress Help for your Website
Moving over to a new website developer is not a decision to take lightly. WordPress websites are built with different, themes, page builders, plug-ins and modules. The person who built the site is likely to be very familiar with the software used. Another website developer may have experience in that same software, but then again, they may not.
If you’re considering handing over your website fix-ups and maintenance to a new service provider – read on.
Open Source Software – WordPress
WordPress is open source software – in other words – it’s free. Its beginnings are with a bunch of IT geeks who thought it would be great to make available a website builder that was free for anyone to use and anyone to author software for. This noble tradition is maintained today. WordPress is widely used across the globe because it is free and flexible.
The open source nature of WordPress also means there are hundreds and thousands of innovative and clever people writing software that is compatible with it. These pieces of software (i.e. themes and plug-ins) are used by website developers to build WordPress websites. This makes WordPress a very flexible platform.
That’s the good news.
However with flexibility comes complexity. And that’s the bad news.
Let’s use an analogy to help us understand how this complexity impacts on your decision to hand over your site to a new developer.
What if Cars were made using Open Source Designs?
Let’s say there was an open source designed car. The car design was freely available to the whole world – no patents – no legal stoushes over who owns what. Just an incredible worldwide community that can use the basic car chassis design. Other car designers can use the chassis and add to it as they see fit.
Now let’s take it one step further and say from the initial chassis design lots of other car part designers came on board and made designs for car doors, windscreens, seats, locking devices, engines, radiators and braking systems. And these were also freely available for the worldwide community of car builders to use as they saw fit.
Somehow these car builders would need to make cars that were roadworthy, fit for purpose and complied with their country’s road laws. And somehow, amazingly, it worked!
Wow – we’d get lots of interesting cars on the road wouldn’t we?
Our car example is a hypothetical, but it’s not unlike the worldwide community of WordPress developers.
The reality is your car door could have been designed in Belgium, the car braking system in Nepal and the air conditioning module in Australia.
Is the car door designer in Belgium reputable and good at designing car doors? Is the air conditioning factory in Australia a backyard operation about to go out of business? Is the braking system compatible with the tyres in your country?
Does the plug-in from Belgium play nicely with the plug-in from Australia?
And so it is with WordPress.
Does the theme from Cyprus integrate well with the page builder from Texas?
Have those two software authors made them compatible with each other or, in the world of hundreds of thousands of WordPress plug-ins, have they not communicated with one another? Are both still in business and updating their plug-ins to be compatible with the latest version of WordPress and website browsers?
Who takes responsibility for the overall finished product?
Your WordPress website developer does. And if they move on, or you move on, who do you then go to?
Is the new developer familiar with the theme, page builder and plug-ins used on your site?
Tricky isn’t it?
Freemium options add to the complexity of WordPress.
WordPress itself is free, as are most of the themes and plug-ins. However the software authors often have premium, or paid, version of their page builder or plug-in. Hey – they’ve got to make their money somehow!
Getting the premium version will often unlock extra features and enable access to the support help desk.
If the licence key or original purchase for the theme or plug-in is with the original developer, transferring it to someone else can often be difficult.
Our car example is a hypothetical, but it’s pretty close to the real situation if you’re looking to get help with your WordPress site.
Choosing your website developer carefully, in the first instance, is a must to prevent a situation where you need to hand over your site. Choose a business you can trust to ensure your site is reliable and functional with a maintenance plan to prevent, or quickly address, errors.
Sticking with the person who developed your WordPress site is the best way of getting WordPress Help. They know the website and can easily move in and out of the various modules and parts to maintain and fix the site.
How-ever that sage advice is cold comfort if you find yourself in a situation where you need to move on from the original developer.
Perhaps you had your site built overseas and would now prefer to communicate with someone local to you. Perhaps a friend built it for you and you’ve used up all your favours. Perhaps you were working with a small business that has now gone out of business, and therefore no longer available to help you.
What-ever the circumstances, you’re now in the situation of needing help with your WordPress site.
Why use WordPress at all?
This discussion naturally leads to why use WordPress at all – if it’s so much bother?
That’s a fair question.
If you’re building your own site the all-in-one commercial platforms such as Wix, Weebly or Squarespace maybe the choice for you.
But as professional website developers we want, and clients expect, sites to be built that look good and function well. The simpler builders, such as Wix, usually don’t allow us to meet the expectations clients have for their website. Take a look at our pricing and portfolio page for examples of the sites we’ve built in WordPress. You’ll see there are a range of looks and styles.
For all the reasons above, many website developers will not take on the maintenance and fix-up of sites built by others.
Here at DIY Digital we’ll take a look at the site and make a decision from there. Back to our car analogy, we’ll take a look under the hood to see if it is a site that is set-up in a way that fits well with our skill-set and experience.
We can help fix your broken or slow WordPress website, support you to keep it in tip top shape and boost the browsing experience of your audience.