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What Makes a Good WordPress Website?

A Winning WordPress Scenario

WordPress tides seem to have shifted recently on the Western Slope. Over the last few years businesses have created WordPress sites with dozens of local designers. BlizzardPress has ridden the wave, designing many businesses their first WordPress website.

Today many businesses are looking to redesign and revamp their current WordPress website.  More and more business owners are coming to our WordPress seminars to learn not how to build their first WordPress website, but, how to manage their existing WordPress website.

Always Two Types

We encounter sites of all shapes and sizes and consistently run into two types of failed WordPress scenarios. Sites that have run their course and are in need of some sort of help. Sites that are often only 2-3 years old.

Scenario 1
The Simple Struggler – a website that is usually a few years old, is most often not mobile friendly, and the current theme/plugin infrastructure won’t support features it needs. What it really needs is professional designer and a more powerful, modernized theme. It probably needs some better photography too! These sites have often never been updated and are running on old versions of WordPress.

Scenario 2
The Over Developed Beast – a website that has a custom theme, uses often dozens of plugins and is not user friendly.  A real coder-geek developed it and it cannot be untangled.  It feels very proprietary and is hard to work in.  Often, front-end elements in the site are broken or don’t work together properly. Often the “themezilla” was customized beyond the box and can not be updated.

In both of these scenarios, the vast majority of websites share the following problems:

  • No backup or easy restore functionality
  • Not hosted on a dedicated WordPress host
  • Site does not employing cacheing
  • Installed theme is severely out of date
  • Site lacks proper optimization

A Winning Scenario

What does a winning scenario look like?  We want to see a website that:

1. Is built on a popular and powerful theme (Avada, Jupiter, The7, X, Enfold, Bridge and Salient to name just a few). These themes have several things in common:

  • Full styling controls so that style sheets rarely have to be hand edited
  • Typography options employing Google Fonts
  • A visual composer to make WSYWIG editing easy
  • Ability to customize headers, sub-footers, footers, titles on any and every page.
  • Common built in features: portfolio, testimonials, staff, news and FAQ sections
  • Built in robust photo slideshow functionality
  • Built in responsiveness

2. Uses plugins conservatively and properly.  Our websites typically employ 5-15 plugins.  Almost Never 20. We typically install:

  • Akismet
  • Google Analytics by Yoast
  • WordPress SEO by Yoast
  • Contact Form 7 or Gravity Forms
  • Layer Slider or theme dependent slider
  • Visual Composer

3. Uses a child theme (if available) for easy updates.

4. Is hosted on a dedicated WordPress host like Flywheel or WPEngine.

What does all this add up to?  For BlizzardPress, our design philosophy! For you – a robust and portable website. A website any WordPress developer can maintain and add to.  Simple, elegant, manageable and timeless.  Practical.

 

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