I have a formal degree in graphic design, but over the years, I have developed my skills as a web designer and developer. Now, I am not to the point where I whip out the command line interface and start running tasks and scripts to develop my sites, but I know my way around the WordPress database and how to use PHP to make WordPress do what I want. A lot of people, especially businesses, look at WordPress themes as a quick, cheap way to build a website. However, I strongly disagree with that notion.
WordPress is a Business Solution
A lot of times, businesses hear of WordPress, and they think (and even say) “ I don’t want a blog”. The thing that irks me is when I have to go into detail, explaining that I won’t be using it for the blogging side of things, but for the database and the content management system itself.
You Can (and Should) Customize It
If you are providing a custom WordPress solution for your clients, it’s a great way to solve specific problems. Sometimes, all you need is a solid custom post type to get the job done. Other times, you need to add a few functions to the core of the theme to handle more in-depth projects. Whatever the case may be, WordPress is a great platform for creating database-driven solutions to common business problems.
It’s Great For Smaller Membership Sites
WordPress stores users, their usernames and passwords all within it’s database. There are a multitude of great plugins out there that allow you to manage members, and lock down content. This is a great way to provide a special section for specific customers. Clients love this, and it’s not hard to set up or maintain.
Bought Themes Can Be a Gamble
Unless you are familiar with the developer, paid themes can be a gamble. I can’t tell you how many times I have bought a theme, because it was supposed to do XYZ, but it couldn’t even handle x properly. Many times you have to go in and fiddle with premium themes, flipping through settings and making adjustments. If the theme isn’t well documented, you’re in for a lot of trial and error.
WordPress is Easy to Update
When you build a website using WordPress, most of the time the reason is because clients want to be able to handle their own updates for news, projects, and more. In a static site, if you change the logo on one page, you have to go in and change it on all of them. In a WordPress site, the header info is pulled in the same on every page, unless otherwise coded to do something else. You update the logo in the back end, and it shows up on every page consistently.
It’s Not a Nightmare for Clients
Other web designers will argue that giving clients back end access is disastrous. I couldn’t disagree more. If you handle it properly, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Disable the ability for clients to update a theme or the WordPress version. Also, disable automatic updates. Only allow them certain permissions, such as creating new posts and pages. You won’t have to worry about clients ruining what you’ve built, if you take the time to lock them out of that part of the site.
I use WordPress all the time to solve business problems for my clients. You can embed scripts within pages, and plugins add any type of functionality you can imagine. You can also code your own features within a theme easily, making it a viable business solution for anyone. It’s easy to set up and easy to maintain. Do you use WordPress as a business solution for your web design clients? I use it for my own business, and I couldn’t imagine business without WordPress. Leave a comment below, discussing how you use WordPress for your own business. I’d love to hear what you have to say.