IF IT’S NOT BROKE – DON’T FIX IT.


BAD VERSUS GOOD WEBSITE DESIGN

if its not broke

The professional world is not a perfect place. Professionals do make mistakes. We would make less of those, however, if we stopped fixing what works well.

Some time ago, I’ve taken upon myself to develop e-content for a badly constructed website. Its creator, having started from overriding a functional CMS, created his own dysfunctional monster theme. The sloppy & inconsistent design turned styling the website into a session of trial & error. Consider the tiny task of wrapping an image with text, in the top left corner. It’s simple, isn’t it? Yes, it is! So, how does the image end up in the middle of the page, unwrapped? The list goes on: address bars inconsistent with names of individual pages, access to vital CMS specifications including CSS – blocked; adding pages – impossible unless you contact the developer (maybe), but then reaching him is impossible too. In a nutshell, the work’s undone! I can understand why my client had completely abandoned their own site for almost three years.

As for me, armed in patience & determination, I managed to bring the web to a semi-presentable state. Yet, the standard was far from what it could be, plus the work had taken a ridiculous amount of time which I hate to waste. What’s really frustrating though is that the website’s host was WP – a great CMS with a broad choice of certified, professional & easy to deploy themes. On this note, if you’re thinking of starting a blog or a website CLICK HERE to see if WordPress..com is a good fit for you.

Why create a theme, from scratch, if all you have is a basic understanding (or misunderstanding) of coding?! Why not create a child theme instead, or just leave it to someone who can actually do the job? Well, my bottom line’s this… if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Leave it as it is – especially, if you haven’t got the right tools, skills, time or willingness to do it right.

TIPS for SMEs employing a website developer:

–        Be careful when giving control away – maintain full access to your own website.

–        Have an agreement (preferably written) – it should include the relevant copyright/licensing transfer.

The above can help you avoid unnecessary virtual or/and legal battles, in case your brilliant lifesaver turns out to be a phony.

Summarizing – if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I am a creative, always full of ideas and initiatives, hence this article is for me as much as it is for anyone else. I hope we can all resist the tendency to fix things that aren’t broken and that we can focus on the big picture.

If you are a website designer searching for additional tools (plugins, etc.) CHECK OUT JETPACK. It offers themes, high-speed content delivery, and a variety of tools to customize your site – you don’t have to create them from scratch. 🙂

WordPress.com or WordPress.org?


WordPress Image Linked

My website is powered by WordPress.com, and I’ve recently started contributing as the CMS Community expert. Yet, I have also worked on websites & blogs created on the WordPress.org platform. Are you undecided about which platform to pick?

I need to let you know that I am not technical in any way, and I don’t have a technical team at my disposal. Hence why, WordPress.com was an obvious choice for me. If your situation is similar to mine (no tech team or skills) my suggestion is: forget WordPress.org for now.

However, if you are technically inclined and want to have full control (as well as responsibility) over code and the other technical bits, WordPress.org may be the right platform for you. Then again, unless you really know your stuff, start small. I believe in learning by doing, but if your site needs to be available and functional ‘yesterday’ – choose .com

Here’s why:

  • On WordPress.com, technical skills aren’t necessary. There’s no need to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a server. You will be able to focus on creating amazing content and getting your work noticed from day one.
  • You can start for free. Simply sign up, choose the site’s name, template and start creating. Publish for free if you want to, and upgrade whenever you’re ready.
  • WP.com provides many themes/templates (free and paid) and built-in plugins hence you don’t need to download your own unless you choose to. Please click right here to read my previous post about Premium Themes and the Premium Plan.
  • The last point takes me to the Business Plan on WordPress.com (under $25.00 per month). The plan seems to be a middle ground between WP.com and WP.org. It enables the user to host on WordPress.com, yet one can still upload custom themes and plugins. The plan gives you access to advanced SEO features, enables Google Analytics integration and removal of the unwanted WordPress branding.

WordPress.com is a reliable option for individuals and businesses without technical skills at their disposal. WP doesn’t permit free trials on paid upgrades. 😦 However, you can cancel your plan upgrade and get a full refund within 30 days from purchasing. 😊

To find out more about WordPress.com or to sign up now click on this WP affiliate link:

Now… Code is poetry according to WordPress.org. Well, it’s the type of poetry I don’t understand, so I won’t pretend I know more about the self-hosted platform than I actually do. I have, however, seen and worked on some poorly designed websites. Therefore, I’d say don’t do it unless you know what you’re doing. Plus, you should be willing to put in the time and effort necessary. If not, make your life easier and your site’s visitors’ experience better by choosing WordPress.com.

WordPress.org software can be downloaded for free. However, it then needs to be installed on a web server so it can work. The user is responsible for researching and installing themes, plugins and so on. Having said that, there are WordPress.org forums which can be very helpful and agencies that specialize in developing WordPress.org sites. To find out more about WordPress.org click right here.

In summary, all roads lead neither to WordPress.com nor to WordPress.org The choice is yours, and should be made based on what you know, have (expertise, money, etc.) and what you want from your website.

Interesting fact: Some notable WordPress users include: The New York Times, CNN, Forbes, Ebay, UPS, Sony, Jay-Z and more. And yes, there’s me and hopefully you as well. 😉

I hope this article was helpful. Please let me know if it’s so. Happy WordPressing!