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Wordpress: A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

Everyone wants to use WordPress. WordPress! WordPress! Yay! Yay! Yay! It’s free, it’s easy, it’s… sometimes very problematic.

I’ll be the first to admit I love WordPress. I love the shit out of it. But there are times when it isn’t appropriate to use. WordPress wasn’t meant to perform all of the robust features and functions we try to glean from it. It is but a humble blog that was SO awesome that folks saw potential there. That potential is valid as long as you don’t try to get too crazy with it.

As a general rule of thumb WordPress works great if you are simply displaying content (text, images, videos), or selling product or services via PayPal. Heck, I’ll even go so far as to say Woo Commerce might serve you well if you really want to put a retail module in place on your site. But that’s it – That’s as far as you should go with WordPress. When you make WordPress do things it wasn’t meant to do, it creates huge problems later. Problems you can’t always see in the beginning.

Plugins tend to be the culprit in many cases. If you’re having trouble, look to thy plugins for the answer. Turning them on and off can help find the source of an issue. It’s reminiscent of the old days of Mac OS 9 and lower – turning your extensions off and on to see why your computer is crashing. The more plugins you install, the greater your risk of some kind of conflict. Don’t get plugin fever! Also test the theme you’re using – deactivate it and see if the issue resolves.

The Database. Once you start getting into changing the DB in WordPress, that can also be a source of heartache. For example: Don’t try to build Facebook with WordPress/Buddypress plugin. You will have a nightmare on your hands. And while on the subject, just don’t even try to build Facebook on any platform. Work with Facebook instead of against it – you can’t compete.

Another facet to consider are WordPress themes. Like WordPress, the themes are displayed before our eyes like shiny, delicious hard candy. You feel yourself being woo’ed as you go through the demo and you MUST HAVE IT. Then you buy the theme and try to use it… Sometimes there are issues that also don’t arise until you’ve nearly finished. Sometimes the theme just doesn’t deliver what they promised. Always be sure to investigate the theme features with a fine tooth comb. If you still have questions, contact the theme developer to verify it can do what you need it to. Also check the demo on multiple devices. Make sure it really works like they say it does.

On occasion the theme support sucks, and you can’t get issues resolved via that avenue. Most theme support I contact responds within a reasonable amount of time, and usually resolves the issue or points me in the right direction. I always go with a paid theme that offers support in case there is an issue. When you use a free theme downloaded from the internet, there may be no support. That can be a bummer when you need it most.

In the end, we must recognize and accept the animal for what it is. We can’t ask the sheep to do the job of the wolf.

If you’re not sure what type of set up your site needs, contact us to get an assessment.

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