Why Getting WordPress Help is like owning a unique car
Getting WordPress Help for your Website
Moving over to a new website developer is not a decision to take lightly. Websites are built on different platforms and with different themes, plug-ins and modules. The person who built the site is likely to be very familiar with the platform and software used. Another website developer may have experience in that same platform and software, but then again, they may not.
In this article we’ll discuss what’s good to know if you’re considering handing over your website fix-ups and maintenance to a new service provider, if you have a WordPress site.
WordPress is a very popular website builder. It is open source software. Its historic 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 sites.
That’s the good news.
However, with flexibility and open source comes complexity. And that can be bad news.
Let’s use an analogy to help us understand how this 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 car maker. Let’s say they’d made their car design available freely to the whole world – no patents, no legal stoushes over who owns what – just an incredible worldwide community that could used the basic car chassis design and added to it as they saw 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 by their country’s road laws. And somehow, amazingly, it worked!
Wow – we’d get lots of interesting cars on the road wouldn’t we?
But how does this pan out as the car owner?
Let’s say you’re the proud owner of this roadworthy, law complying car and the brakes fail. You’d go back to the person or business that built it and ask them to fix the brakes, or maybe, the failure was prevented in the first place as you had a regular service schedule in place with them.
Our car example is somewhat of a hypothetical, but it’s pretty close to the real situation if you’re looking to get help with your WordPress site.
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. And although they all had free versions available, maybe the car maker decided to buy the premium version of the locking device so they could get particular features you had requested as well as accessing the support help desk if they needed to.
This happens in the world of WordPress. A website builder will buy a premium version of a plug-in to get features and access to the support team. Or they will purchase the plug-in from Belgium because they’ve used it before and they are familiar with how to install and configure it.
Does the plug-in from Belgium play nicely with the plug-in from Australia? 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 versions of WordPress and website browsers?
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 back to front 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 more local to you. Perhaps a friend built it for you and you’ve used up all the favours you feel you can. Perhaps you were working with a small business who has now gone out of business and therefore no longer available to provide you with WordPress help.
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 and 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, often don’t allow us to meet the expectations clients have for their website. Take a look at our portfolio page for an overview of the sites we’ve built in WordPress. You’ll see there are a range of looks and styles. If you visit any of those sites you’ll see some a very simple and some are very complex large sites. And they’re all built in WordPress.
Many website developers don’t take on sites they haven’t built. For all the reasons above, many 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.
Contact us if you need WordPress help and would like to enquire about your website maintenance and fix-ups.
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Better yet, call us on 0400 835 161 and let’s have a chat.