Graphic for Wordcamp Kansas City 2017 event.

Website DIY

I attended a conference last weekend called WordCamp KC. I learned about plugins used to help keep track of your site’s SEO, tips to increase your sites speed, and do’s and don’ts for easy to understand navigation. New tools were presented to help organize new sites, tips for giving presentations website related, how to debug for problems that arise, ways to optimize images, I even learned a little bit about plug in development. While looking over my notes I’m asking myself, “How is this info I learned going to help an AWG retail member?” So I want to step back from the details and look at a bigger picture. Maybe not as bad as a doctor, but when people I talk to find out I’m a Web Designer, I get lots of questions. Mostly, “How much does a website cost?” Where is the best place to buy a domain name? Most of these questions are backed by a personal story. Some people are thinking about starting a business, others already own a business and others work for someone who owns a business. Then there are those going to school who plan to start, own, or work for someone who owns a business. So I am going to address the elephant in the room, what do I suggest for a retailer who wants a custom site with the ability to manage it? WordPress. Why?

  1. WordPress is an extremely versatile CMS (Content Management System). We can set up a simple one-page site with a logo, a few pictures, and paragraph about what you do, store hours and contact info, or we can make a robust site with a bunch of features.
  2. WordPress websites can grow and change with your business. Let’s say we set up a website for a business, but you move, change jobs or get too busy to maintain your website. Multiple people can have access to your website. Maybe Joey gets the final pdf proofs of your weekly ad, make him an editor so he can post the ads on your website. Maybe Susan is a dietitian who can write blog posts about nutrition. You can give Susan access to your site as an author. These user roles have different access to your website, so if Susan and Joey get into a tiff, they can’t sabotage each other’s work either. But the AWG Marketing team will be there for the big changes.
  3. New plugins are constantly being developed. I like to refer to them as “bells and whistles”. They help your business website look up to date. Every once in awhile when you’re surfing on the web you might see something new, like a drop down menu with a picture, or a search box that finishes your sentence. Most likely we can help you find a plug in for that.
  4. WordPress user groups support people who are in the same situation as you, and it’s free. You just have to show up for the events! If you like to learn online go to the WordPress website. We use them, too. It helps us keep up to date on improvements to your site.
  5. WordPress websites are very popular, everywhere. This blog post is on a WordPress site. If WordPress is not the most used CMS for websites, it’s close. If you don’t believe me look at these stats.

If you want a completely flexible custom site that we can help you manage, start with a WordPress site and build your knowledge from the beginning. If you are the type who enjoys building and learning, give it a try. Who knows, maybe I’ll see you at WordCamp next year?

Why do I work at AWG? “It’s hard to find a native Kansan who doesn’t have family living in a small town community... and I am no exception. My family tree is full of farmers who have helped put food on our tables for over 100 years. So when I hear of a small town’s only grocery store closing down it hits home. Even though I now live in a big city, I like to know through my work I can help keep small independent grocery stores stay open for future generations to enjoy.” -Sharlyn