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I thought WordPress was supposed to be easy …

wordpress websites

Someone said to me recently “I thought WordPress was supposed to be easy …”. Well, the answer to that is… yes and no.

In case you don’t know, WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) software package for websites. These days it is pretty much a defacto standard and is used on millions of websites and blogs around the World since it is well proven and so well supported. It is currently estimated that WordPress is used for around 45.8% of all websites on the internet in 2023, that means that more than two out of every five websites use WordPress

The Classic WordPress editor function is pretty straightforward and easy to use – if you just want to add new blog posts or basic pages, drop in an image or two and add some text alongside it or beneath it on your website then this is what it was designed for and it is quite good at that. WordPress have recently introduced a new Block Editor which is more difficult to use if you are used to the classic one and comes with  a fairly big learning curve.

However, when you want to start doing more complex things like adding different structure or layout to pages, or add more complicated functions or features to the site then it gets a bit more complicated and you need to have more technical knowledge (and time).

You can change the look of your site quite easily by changing the theme, of which there are literally thousands to choose from. Some are free or you can purchase professional, commercially developed themes. Like anything in this world, you get what you pay for.

Most free themes are very basic with very little in the way of configuration required so are pretty easy to use but are generally a bit too basic or restrictive for all but the simplest designs. Typically they require you to upgrade to a paid (Pro) version in order to add any useful features.

Usually it is much better to purchase a commercial theme from a reputable provider who designs them to meet the WordPress guidelines. These are less likely to cause you problems (but there is no guarantee). One advantage with these is that you get support from the developers if you need it.

Themes are progressively getting more sophisticated in order to add more features and enable you to build better, different looking and feature rich websites. Using these requires a bit more technical knowledge and can involve a considerable amount of work to configure them. Often you will need the assistance of a professional web designer / developer to figure out how to use these or to customise them to get the specific look you want.

So there’s your answer… depends.

Steve Wood owns and runs Scalar Enterprises based in Portsmouth in Hampshire. He offers a range of services including Web design and Internet marketing to small businesses and SMEs in Hampshire and the surrounding areas.

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