WordPress is so versatile! The WordPress platform can be as simple as a blog or as complex as an e-commerce site. It just depends on how you use it.
Right out of the box, WordPress is a wonderful blogging software, which is how it got its start. However, it has developed over the years to become a complete CMS (Content Management System)–and a hearty one, at that! So, without adding anything to WordPress, you can create a fully functional website, including a blog…or not. At this point, I’ll just add a little explanation. The term “website” generally refers to static information, although from a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) perspective, you are best to make frequent changes. The term “blog” or in the early days, “web log”, generally refers to a frequently updated web page, listing most recently posted articles first and working backwards, chronologically. Having a blog on your website will maximize your points with Google and other search engines, thus, helping your site to rank higher in search engines results.
One of the beautiful things about WordPress is the versatility of it. When you add plug-ins to your site, the functionality changes. So, your WordPress site can become an e-commerce site in a matter of minutes. It can also become a Membership-Based site in just as short amount of time.
Plugins are ways to extend and add to the functionality that already exists in WordPress.
The core of WordPress is designed to be lean and lightweight, to maximize flexibility and minimize code bloat. Plugins then offer custom functions and features so that each user can tailor their site to their specific needs.
Currently, there are almost 33,000 plugins listed in the WordPress plugins directory…and many more that aren’t listed there, but are available elsewhere. Most “premium” plugins (ones that you pay for) have their own websites, as the plugins in the main directory are free. Some plugins can be seen by the visitor on the website, such as a calendar or a web form. Many are working behind the scenes to make a website more secure, easier to update, or just give the end-user a better experience.
As with most things, there are good plugins and bad plugins. Some of the things to watch out for with bad plugins are compatibility issues, security vulnerabilities, and abandoned plugins. Not everyone will know what to look for or even how to research what may be good or bad about a plugin. Protecting your site from those bad plugins is one of the things I do for my clients. Let me know if you need help!
So, today was worldwide Geek Pride Day. It happens each May 25th, as that’s the anniversary of the opening of the first Star Wars (A New Hope) film release in 1977. I am a self-proclaimed, openly proud Geek–have been for many, many years. I love Star Wars, Star Trek, Syfy channel, and Science Fiction in general. My husband and I even went to a Star Trek Convention once…which my children LOVE to tease us about! My geekiness doesn’t stop there, though. It expands to include computers, HTML coding, and reading magazines and books that most people would think you’d have to be taking a computer class to read. And don’t even get me started on gadgets! I must move on…I’m starting to make myself drool!
The new catalog is out and registration is now open for the classes I am teaching this summer. I invite you to register for any that may interest you! The classes are being taught through Forest Hills Public Schools Community Education and early-bird pricing is currently in effect. You can register online for each of the classes by clicking on the registration links below.
I hope to see you there!
I’m excited to tell you about my new client, Ruth-Ellen Wiersma. She is a health coach and the owner of RE Wellness Health, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan most of the year. She also works out of Tampa, Florida for about 4 months each year. She can work with clients in either location–or around the world, for that matter, thanks to the use of technology! She uses Skype, email, and phone calls to assist her non-local clients.
Ruth-Ellen had a previous website through the Integrative Health and Nutrition Institute, where she received her training, but it wasn’t meeting all of her needs and didn’t have the functionality that she wanted from her website. By moving her to a WordPress website, I was able to create a site that she can truly love. The redesign also gave us the opportunity to customize the look and feel of the site to reflect her personality, which a website should always do. Why? Great question! By allowing your visitors to see your personality, you are giving them the opportunity to get to know you–and people do business with people they KNOW, like, and trust!
In addition to the static content that Ruth-Ellen had on her previous website, I was able to suggest some more dynamic content ideas after learning about her business and goals for her business. She has enthusiastically embraced these dynamic suggestions and I’ve been really proud of her for stepping out of her comfort zone to learn and implement new technology and skills.
I’ve always felt that it’s important for my clients to LOVE their own websites. When you love your website, you are proud to refer people to visit, which is very important because your website should be the hub of your marketing plan. Now let me clarify, your website shouldn’t be your entire marketing plan–just the hub–the place where all of your other marketing takes your prospective clients. Why? Your website is the place where you have complete control over the content. At some point, Facebook and other social media channels could disappear without your consent or take a drastic turn that makes them no longer a viable option for you (think: My Space). If your marketing is completely wrapped up in that marketing channel, you could lose all your previous hard work, or it could just be ineffective. The key is to have “all roads lead home”…your website.