Today I nearly threw my computer across the room. Several times.
A client I am working with is in the process of refreshing the entire brand- including a website. Due to timing constraints with a trade show, however, we are taking a phased approach to updating the website. We are doing a quick and dirty refresh for the first stage to better reflect the new handout materials. In the second stage, we’ll do a full brainstorm, wireframes and build.
That said, right now we are working on the first stage. The client’s original site was built using wordpress. For the second stage refresh, I wanted to move away from wordpress because the client is not blogging at all and has no desire to update the website. The client actively uses Facebook to post new photos and updates, as well as Constant Contact. (Have I mentioned this is a great small business client?)
Anyway, I digress. Back to the first stage. Since the original site was built in wordpress, I figured it would be easiest to just refresh the site using wordpress, but add new headers and content. Unfortunately, updates on wordpress are immediate. I didn’t want half the site updated and half the site not updated so I went to my blog account, logged in and registered a new blog.
And NOTHING was the same. Where was my “editor” feature? Where were the plugins? I was stumped. 5 hours and 1 glass of wine later, I realized my gigantic brain fart. I needed a wordpress.org site, not a wordpress.com site. In the words of Homer Simpson, “DOH!”
But it got me thinking…
How many people are building websites off a blog format these days? If you aren’t particularly picky about layouts, wordpress.com offers a lot of great, easy-to-use options. It is self-hosted and live immediately.
WordPress.org is even better. It provides fully customizable themes that act like websites with a simple blog extension. It takes a little more knowledge of code to utilize (not to mention a paid hosting service like Bluehost), but basic training will get you where you need to be.
A built from scratch site using CSS is a thing of beauty, but does it make sense to start from scratch when open source coding is so readily available and highly customizable?
As we embark on 5 or 6 new websites, it’s a big question in my mind, especially when it comes to time management. If I can produce a unique site using open source wordpress sites as my base, and save a lot of time and hassle, is it worth it?
Tell me what you think.