Anyone Can Install WordPress … Right?

Anyone Can Install WordPress … Right?

If you are using WordPress as a basis for your business website, you’ll expose yourself as a newbie, possibly open yourself to online security risks, and lose potential SEO benefits the software provides if you don’t take time to learn how it works. While it is true that installing WordPress is simple, setting it up correctly contributes to your website’s success, which also has an impact on your business success.

We’re talking business here, right? I do acknowledge that there are many extremely successful bloggers who established blogs on free sites, like Blogger, before WordPress came of age. These days, sites like that are most useful in your SEO linking strategy and should NOT be the base for your primary website. This is also true of WordPress.com, another free blogging platform.

For starters, free blogging sites offer limited theme and plugin options. The most important for you to understand about them, however, is that they own your content and can arbitrarily take your website down at any time. While “free” may sound good to you, building SEO for a website is actual time spent, whether you outsource the work or not. Why in the world would you choose to invest that much energy on a domain and content that you do not have complete control over? It boggles my mind…

Although WordPress is a one-click installation on most hosting accounts, choosing a good theme, customizing it, knowing how to configure the software correctly, and selecting the right plugins are not one-click solutions. Knowing what to look for is not intuitive if you don’t understand how WordPress works.

So here you are. You have a great business idea and you know you need a website to make it happen.  Everyone is saying that WordPress is what you should use too. You’ve found a lot of helpful and free articles on the internet explaining how to install and set it up so why would you want to hire someone to do this for you?

Based on stories I’ve heard from my clients and some of the projects that I’ve been asked to finish, I can think of several reasons. Primarily, they come under the heading of insufficient technical skills or a lack of understanding about how computers and database applications work. If you don’t understand the underlying technologies of your WordPress software, you can get into trouble which can affect your business plans.

Other things that make it easy to spot a newbie include:

Lack of Focus
Have you ever visited a site with frequent and unrelated posts designed to bring in affiliate sales? Offering too many different things or choosing too broad a niche can make your website invisible. Up-front keyword research, to isolate low competition keywords with adequate search volumes, is essential to your website’s success, whether your products are affiliate offerings or your own content, like an eBook.

Having Too Many Pages
While every place you go on the internet is considered a web page, WordPress uses the term pages differently. When I wind up at a site where the majority of the content is pages, I know that the site was created by an inexperienced WordPress user. The beauty of WordPress is that it notifies search engines automatically when post content is updated.

Default Installation Content on the Site
Another dead giveaway is seeing the default installation content, like the blogroll or the standard meta login. Worse yet is spotting the “Hello World” post or the default about page on the site.

Categories
Visiting a WordPress site with nothing categorized is a tell-tale sign of a newbie blog. So far as I’m concerned, no content should exist in the “uncategorized” category.

Cross-Browser Inconsistencies
Although I’ve been tempted, I’ve never published a site with a “best viewed in …” message on it. Without inflaming the debate about which browser is better, and taking the high road, assume that you should not enforce the use of one browser over another. Over the past several years, I have learned that not all themes are created equal and solid CSS skills, as well as knowing what to look for in the theme, are necessary to resolve browser incompatibility.

After a free consultation, people often say that they can put up their own sites. After weeks of trying, some have come back to retain my WordPress website development services.

Our blogs are intended to present us as professionals. The best advice that I can offer to you is that, if you are not technically adept, hire a professional who can deliver the website you want and help you learn what you need to know so you can build your online reputation and add value to your bottom line.

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