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WordPress Development

WordPress is the most prolific Content Management System (CMS) in use today. In fact, you’re using a site built on WordPress right now. The upsides of WP include: ease of use, a global support community, ability to become virtually any solution a small to medium business can use. The challenges include: it’s so easy to set up it is also easy to “mess up”, can be very slow loading (I can help with this), is time consuming and somewhat challenging for the novice or intermediate webmaster or site owner to get it to work as envisioned.

Many advertisements lead people to believe *anyone* can build a website using monthly fee services. The reality is a few can, very few. Even for some who can why would you? After all, unless you’re a web developer you don’t get paid for building websites. WordPress is very easy to use and should always be that way for the end users (you). Some developers make it much more difficult than it should be. Some companies even use highly customized (hacked) versions of WordPress themes to keep you locked in with them forever. In fact I just rescued a vacation resort from exactly that. The company had modified the site in such a way that even the average developer would not be able to easily make changes. There are even plugins which sound like they may make a WordPress site easier to use but in the end they destroy function and flow and even prevent sites from displaying properly on all browsers.

My sites are responsive. This means they are checked in multiple browsers on multiple devices including smart phones, iPhone, tablets, laptops, desktops, and even TV monitors. With the rising number of users not even owning a laptop or desktop, it is even more critical today than in times past to have a site that functions exactly as needed on all devices. I do not use Flash because it is not supported (and full of security challenges) on many devices. I use JavaScript sparingly when possible to keep browsers from blocking functions they don’t trust – even if the function is clean and secure!

WordPress is free. Many themes and plugins are free. To help you relate to what we’re talking about imagine if BMW gave you all the parts to make a car for free. The only thing assembled is the body and the drive train. No windows. No paint. No seats, stereo, or A/C. No tools, a few simple instructions, and thousands of parts. While it’s not quite that difficult this is one way of helping you understand why an experienced, professional web developer can help.

Let’s begin by discussing what you want the site to DO instead of how you want it to LOOK. Looks are easy. Do are sometimes easy 😉

Just Help Me Please!

More often than not I am contacted by people who either started a project on their own and got too busy to finish it or who hired a “designer” who just doesn’t have the necessary programming skills to make it happen. If your website is built on WordPress and you “just need help” go ahead and contact me. There’s no job too small.

Custom Themes

While I can create a completely custom theme for you it’s generally much less costly, and time consuming, to find a theme that is “almost” what you like and then hire me to change the code, primarily the CSS code, to better meet your specification. This includes layout of where things appear on the pages, custom pages inside of the site which have a different appearance (template) than other pages, colors, fonts, header size, menu appearance, etc.

Custom Plugins

Again finding a plugin that “almost” does what you want is generally must less of an investment. If the plugin is created correctly by the original coding team and uses proper plugin etiquette I can generally make the plugin do what you want and still be able to be updated. Occasionally, in fact too often, we find plugins that once they are modified the update will “break” the modifications. In these instances the easiest thing to do is to keep the modifications separate and simple “fix” the updated plugin. Other times it may just make sense to go ahead and create a custom plugin from scratch.

Security

Because WordPress is so prolific these sites are targets for cyber criminals. Don’t think they can’t possibly be interested in your site. Sometimes they don’t even care what your site is about, how many visitors you have, or anything else: they just want to infect your site and take control of it to carry out their acts. It may just be setting up a make enhancement store or it could be something much more vile. I can do a lot to help keep your site secure and your good name intact with your friends…and Google.