Beginning June 2018, I’m going to be offering a brand new, fully supported website service - WordPress Development! Yep, you heard me right WORDPRESS. Those who know me, know WordPress has never been my go-to content management system, "it’s a bloated blogging platform”, ”theme based”....
But really my 2 biggest problems were:
- Lack of design control (pixel perfect or I can’t sleep)
- Post launch management (“I added a plugin to my website, now it’s not working - HELP!!”)
So, design control - WordPress (WP) is mostly theme based, designing a ‘custom’ WP theme is difficult, making it disproportionally expensive. It’s also extremely dangerous (oh the drama!), but it’s true. Designing a custom Wordpress theme is a specific skillset AND specific to whoever built it, which means you are going to be tied to that one developer/team, (there’s many, many ways to work with and build WP themes), no-one else will be able to take over as it’s nigh on impossible to reverse engineer (unless, of course you have a bottomless budget), it’s just not good business to place all you eggs in one basket (looking at you Adobe Catalyst). Ask any WP support team their worse case scenario, it’ll very likely be ‘the custom WordPress job’.
I’m a graphic designer people come to ED for our ability to design stunning, custom websites. Not to simply implement a cookie cutter WP theme.
But something happened last month that changed everything. EVERYTHING.
Elementor 2.0. Theme Builder. This awesome WP plugin gives total control over the visual design and layout of popular WordPress themes! A ‘frontend’ design tool with real-time visual updating (and Nondestructive to boot), in WP, WOW! Elementor 1.0 has been around for a couple of years and I’ve been watching it grow, reading reviews, developer's experiences and client feedback. Then I started hearing about a version 2, header and footer design, dynamic data, blank canvas, templates, theme building, global settings and more - it was all sounding rather immense… And boy did they deliver! When testing the public beta - I knew this was going to be a game changer for me and ED.
So what makes Elementor so powerful:
- It’s a real-time frontend design tool for WP (again WOW!)
- It's Nondestructive - ie you are not 'tied in' to the Plugin
- Its UI is beautiful, clean and powerful, making it really fun to use
- Clients can be locked out of the design (LOL, if need)
- A thriving community (over 800,000 installs)
- Extremely lightweight, once published
So, problem one solved, Yay! One more to go…
Post Launch Website Management & Maintenance…
Because of WP’s ‘plugin culture’ it’s super easy for a client to download a plugin and add it to their website - this is one of the great things about WP of course, but the downside is not all plugins play with other plugins, or certain themes, or widgets, or…. integrations are so deep it can break a site, literally take it down in an instant.
Also, because WP is so popular (about 25% of websites are powered by it), it’s vulnerable to viruses, malware, hacks - you name it. WP is open source meaning no-one owns it - if it gets hacked via a bug, it’s out of our (ED’s) control (and everybody else's) until a fix is produced (normally pretty quickly to be fair). You need back-up plans for such emergencies.
So, site maintenance can get complicated quickly.
Introducing Brad Pinzur from Semantics Marketing. Brad is a true WordPress hero, he’s been working on and championing WP for over 10 years working as developer and programmer. He’s seen a thing or too, and I know he will be able to quickly assess a situation, take appropriate action and get things back up as quickly as possible, if needed.
It all sounds a bit frightening, right? But if WP is looked after right, kept up-to-date, then most WP installs work perfectly from year to year, just look at the client list: Vogue, BBC America, WIRED, Sony Music, Beyonce, Walt Disney. I’m sure they wouldn’t use WP if it was really that vulnerable.
So Problem 2 solved! Now what?
Brad and I have worked together many times over the last 8 or so years, including the Chris Bosh project and on many WP projects, me as designer, Brad as WP developer. We work well together and have been kicking ideas around for years. Well, at last, the stars aligned…
Welcome to WordPress Heroes!
Brad and I have set up a sister site to ED focusing wholly on WP and WP development. If you want a website converted to WP or need a brand new website with deep CMS, SEO and CRM integration for your marketing department, then we can help (we’re also offering new marketing services soon), or if you just want the latest WP news, power-tips on all things marketing, plugins, widgets, updates... and a lot more, then WordPress Heroes is where it’s at! We have so much planned for the site, so make sure you bookmark! Officially launching late June. But you can take a sneak peek here:
Of course, here at Easthall Design its business as usual, we design custom, award winning websites, period, whether it’s in WordPress or not.
It’s just another service that we can now offer to our customers "WordPress Development". There I said it!