This session’s presentation was Jacques Surveyer‘s basic sales pitch for WP newbies on the reasons he believes make WordPress a compelling proposition for small business owners.
I realized that the the 26% WordPress market share figure doesn’t take into account the number of pages by CMS. There are a lot of WP sites but many are likely to be small. One enterprise SharePoint site could easily have a million pages. (I thought I had documented the stats but I couldn’t find anything.) I couldn’t find the chart used by JS. See Usage Statistics and Market Share of Content Management Systems for Websites, October 2016 and then see Can You Trust BuiltWith, W3Techs and Software Usage Statistics?.
Several people expressed the feeling that they were being held hostage by their lack of technical knowhow in WP. The WP pitch of fast, cheap and easy (like SharePoint) attracts people who then feel overwhelmed, frustrated and dependent on people for work they don’t understand but think that they should. Feelings of inadequacy. This is a worthwhile topic to develop.
JS thinks that SEO and site promotion are now one of the 3 categories of work in a site. The other 2 are content creation and updating and site operations and performance tuning. He thinks SEO is the number one problem people have with their sites (i.e., traffic). He categorizes Beaver Builder as a content creation tool. He thinks its fine to use for authoring pages and posts.
I realized that HTML and CSS are essential skills for both WP and content on any CMS.
Should I go multisite so that I can create test and/or lab sites, client prototypes and a CRM or another specialized one.
Multisite is a feature of WordPress 3.0 and later versions that allows multiple virtual sites to share a single WordPress installation. When the multisite feature is activated, the original WordPress site can be converted to support a network of sites. S: Multisite | Codex. Create A Network | Codex is the key page and provides instructions for a manual install.
I wonder whether free themes are all that useful outside of novices and hobbyists because of their limitations. This is another aspect of the easy, fast and cheap — yes, but with limitations and caveats.
I should move to SiteGround in November. JS has persuaded me that the new managed services providers are better than generic ones especially in speed (SSDs). Plus the cost is much less for the first year than I will be paying Sibername, the host I’ve used for 6+ years. My experience with Sibername has been excellent but they’re not competitive with managed services providers.
In the JS pitch, plugins play a big role. However, there are caveats:
- how many of the 45k aren’t maintained (50% or more?)
- reviews are not helpful and ones like Theme Switcha have none (so far)
- many plugins poorly documented in part because many developers are virtually illiterate or non-English
- bait and switch is is the feeling you get from some of them
Nothing to speak of on theme selection. The key criteria are:
- business requirements
- skill level, technical capabilities
Sites start out as publishing platforms and then evolve:
- primary customer interface
- key marketing and sales vehicle (digital marketing)
- then as a DW
The hosts he recommended were:
I looked for the plugin that displays shortcode in the editor and couldn’t find it. I found the following in the process. Edit Screen Shortcode Lister | WordPress Plugins (100) displays a list of all the shortcodes available for use on the post and page edit screens. In that way, you don’t have to remember all of the shortcodes available to use. Display Posts Shortcode | WordPress Plugins (70k) is for inserting content in a post. Shortcode Reference | WordPress Plugins (800) does the same thing.
While working on this, it occurs to me that the way in which consultants and developers organize and manage technical information isn’t something people talk about or document. How do you keep track of themes, plugins, tools, etc. so that you can find them when you need them. Do you use WP for this? Should you?
What are the issues with page builders?
- they’re not as simple as they appear and often have cryptic aspects
- tech lockin
- desktop publishing experience (chaos, overuse; how much does Word improve your writing?)
The advantages include:
- less tech knowhow but still some
- agile development especially with WYSIWYG
- pages designed for specific business purpose and potential for structured content
JS recommended the SiteGround CSS styler plugin editor:
- SiteOrigin CSS | WordPress Plugins (“We’re committed to keeping SiteOrigin CSS, free.”)
- CSS editor | SiteOrigin
Other plugins recommended:
- WP Edit | WordPress Plugins (100k; compatible with TinyMCE 4 and replaces TinyMCE Ultimate as of WP 3.9); WP Edit Pro ($17.50 and up)
- Spam Protection: Spam Protection by CleanTalk (no Captcha Anti-Spam) | WordPress Plugins or SPAM Protection and Anti SPAM | WordPress Plugins?)
- WP Analytics (WP Analytics Pro | WordPress Plugins (90)?)
- Cyclone Slider 2 | WordPress Plugins (80k)
- Greg’s High Performance SEO | WordPress Plugins (20k)