Lee Kenny: A beginners’ guide to the world of Wordpress

Lee Kenny, managing director of Snowflake Media
Lee Kenny, managing director of Snowflake Media

Fifteen years ago a piece of software called Wordpress was released to provide an easy way for people to create a “weblog” or Blog as we know it now. Since then over 75 million sites have been built upon the Wordpress content management system.

If you are considering building a website, here’s the basics of what you need to know when considering Wordpress.

Not just a blog: Wordpress made its name as a free blog platform, a basic white web page and a series of posts on whatever topic you wished to talk about. The last five years though has seen Wordpress develop as a content management system (CMS) which means that almost anyone can become their own web designer.

It’s Free…Kind of: I remember 12 years ago, starting out with little money and just an idea being seduced by the ability to do things for free. “No coding experience necessary”. “Even a baby could do it!”

Well, I’d like to meet that baby, because it took so much time and the finish wasn’t comparable to using a professional designer or developer. It was a case of penny-wise, pound-foolish. Wordpress is theoretically free, but you might need some help getting the right finish.

Starting over, I would have focussed on selling enough services to fund a professional designer to help.

Themes: A design agency using Wordpress can save around 80 per cent of the web building time by using a premium theme. A theme is a pre-built template that allows you to download and install it and then spend time personalising it and making it unique to your business.

Some people think this is cheating, but imagine building a garden shed. You wouldn’t insist on chopping down the trees yourself, you’d buy pre-cut wood. You’d go to B&Q (other stores available!).

The difference is huge in time savings, which of course means cost savings too. It’s why our average website build project is in the £100s rather than £1000s.

Security: Wordpress sometimes gets a bad name for security, or perceived lack of it. This can be avoided if you regularly update your software and any plugins that have been used. Think of your website like a house. If you have locked all your windows and doors and kept them in good working order, you are unlikely to have a problem. Leave the windows wide open when you go to work and you may have a different outcome to handle when you get home.

The best thing about Wordpress is the support. There are literally 100,000s of developers around the world who all can help and will instantly know how your site is built and should work. Due to the sheer volume of developers, costs are also very reasonable. So for your next project, consider Wordpress and you won’t go far wrong.

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