WordPress or Not?

The First Decision: WordPress or Not?

In my professional life, I work with a particular segment of professionals and build websites for them.  People who are running their other business, let’s just say Doctors, Dentists, Lawyers, Accountants, Real Estate Agents, Most Restaurant Owners, Construction Company Owners, etc probably do NOT need it, but they struggle with whether to use WordPress or Not.

Now if you work in one of those industries and are thinking, yes….yes I DO want WordPress, then that’s OK too…. if you’re building your own site.  If someone else is building your site, chances are you’ll never log in and make a single change, so just don’t worry about it.  However, if you are here because YOU YOURSELF would like to build a website for your company, then you can build a great WordPress website quickly and easily and be successful doing so.     I hope that wasn’t confusing.   But after all, you’re currently on a website that shows people how to use WordPress… on a page that asks if you even should use WordPress, so you probably should have anticipated some in-fighting here.

What’s Good About NOT Using WordPress?

Again, if you’re not the one updating your site, a LOT is good about NOT using WordPress.  Straight HTML sites are really good for people who do not update their sites very often or need a lot of interactivity with other websites.  When you think about a lot of small businesses, they just need that little “Who We Are” page and then the “Contact Us” page.  You see a lot of those types of websites forced onto WordPress, and now you’ve got this “Recent Categories” thing in the side margin….problem is, you’ve never written a post, and you don’t know how to delete that stupid “Hello Dolly!” post so now your websites has a link that says “Uncategorized” to a page that’s called “Hello Dolly”.     nice.     So the point here is that if you want a static site where you have complete control over how it looks, HTML is probably for you.

Design.  This is a Good Reason to NOT Use WordPress.

If you have a custom design and are not flexible about some minor changes to it, you may not want to use WordPress.  If your website is currently is NOT on WordPress, but you’d like to move it to WordPress and have it look exactly as it does now, you’re going to need to build a custom theme.   For 95% of people who casually use WordPress, figuring out how to build a custom theme is going to probably be pretty hard.  It requires a lot of knowledge about HTML, CSS and PHP.

Customizing Someone ELSE’S Theme

However, there are a TON of themes that already exist, and if you know how to do some basic customizations to them ONLINE (ie NOT using any coding) you can do some amazing stuff.  You can make some great customizations to other people’s theme’s fairly easily and without a TON of computer knowledge.

This was, at least for me, the key to learning how to be effective with WordPress.  I kept on trying to figure out how to manipulate the code to make my HTML / Dreamweaver design work as a WordPress theme.  Once I figured out some basics about WordPress that happen AFTER it’s installed and set up, I realized how powerful it was.  That, plus looking into the options that are available in Customizer, which is where you can make changes to a theme online without using any coding, made me realize it was time to just use someone else’s theme.