I notice that some people who design websites, don’t really know how to create websites, but focus on choosing a theme from Squarespace or WordPress. I don’t personally have a problem with this because they are actually offering a service. They are designing a website for clients. People put all this emphasis on not being able to develop a website when there are some developers who have no design ability. You need a good design to attract clients.
Well, I actually have a background creating websites and I’m a designer. I was in the Front End Development program at San Diego Continuing Education (but I didn’t get to finish the last few weeks because I had to move back to Houston). To me, creating websites from scratch using HTML and CSS is fun and easy. Even though I love creating websites from scratch, here’s why I use WordPress to design client websites.
Sidenote: If you live in San Diego, CA., and want to take classes for FREE, check out their website here. I loved the IMCP program (Interactive Media Certificate Program, I think they changed the name) and the Front End Web Development program (FEWD). If you can’t take part in their certificate programs because they are too long (the IMCP program is 9 months long and 25 hours a week), they also have short classes too. I’ve taken WordPress classes, classes on Social Media, Typography, and so on. Almost everything is free, so take advantage of the classes! I wish they offered free schools in Texas.
Reasons why I use WordPress to design client websites:
01. It’s convenient for small businesses.
As a small business, you don’t have time to worry about learning HTML and CSS, so what do you do if you need to create a web page or blog post? After I design the website and upload it to the host, everything is up to the client (unless they pay a retainer fee, then I maintain everything for them). WordPress makes it easy to create a new page and blog post. No coding necessary.
Is Natasha Lane Design Co. a WordPress site?
Since then, I had to create different pages like a landing page for my email course, an F.A.Q page, a client portal and so on. In the end, to save time on creating new pages, I customized a WordPress theme to look EXACTLY like the website I coded. It was a nightmare, but it saved so much time in the long run for my business. It doesn’t take me as long to create a web page and I can focus more time on creating designs and websites for clients, new products for my audience, and have time to focus on writing blog posts and newsletters.
Creating a new page still takes time, so don’t think it will just take a few minutes. I still have to design it, create branded photos or images, and create the copy. BUT I don’t have to re-create the header and footer. Those are things that should consistently stay the same on every web page. Also, I can just add the new page link to the menu and the navigation should automatically update. It’s still a magically experience for me.
02. WordPress is free.
I like WordPress because it’s free. It comes with a lot of templates that create beautiful websites. Even though Squarespace is beautiful, there aren’t as many templates and it’s not free.
Fewer templates mean your website looks just like anyone else who has that theme. Not only that, but the themes have limited customization compared to WordPress themes. This is actually a good thing for people who don’t know how to create websites because it means that it’s harder to mess up the theme if you try to update the website yourself and make a mistake.
Squarespace is $18 to $26 per month for a business account. So you would have to pay that plus the domain fee. With WordPress, you just have to pay for domain and hosting. The price is dependent on who you choose for domain and hosting. Right now I pay $10/year for my domain and I think about $96 for a 2-year contract (this is promotional, so it will increase in the future).
03. Big Businesses use it.
I’m not going to lie, I use to look down on WordPress. Why would someone pay a designer to create a WordPress site for them, it’s just drag and drop, right? Plus, won’t all the websites look the same? I was totally wrong. After doing some research and using it myself, it was complicated.
Did you know that some of the big companies use WordPress? Those big names include BBC America, Variety, Sony Music, The Walt Disney Company, The New York Times Company, and so on. Click here for a list of more companies.
I thought every website would look the same. From a branding standpoint, I didn’t understand how you could stand out if you’re using the same theme as everyone else. If you review these websites, you would never know they were WordPress sites. Every website looks so unique. Which leads to the 4th reason.
04. It’s customizable.
I love WordPress because you can customize it. Like I hinted at earlier, this is the real downfall of Squarespace for me. I don’t want to be limited in the possibilities of creating the website I envision. Nor do I want my website to have the same theme as other people.
This is one of the reasons big name companies can use WordPress. You want to be able to customize your website to look different from your competition and attract your ideal audience. If you’re only using WordPress to drag and drop, then your site looks just like anyone else who is using the same WordPress theme as you. The point is to stand out and be noticed.
WordPress isn’t perfect
I’m not saying that WordPress is the best. It’s probably more frustrating than Squarespace. Even though it’s easy to use, if you have no experience and try to fix something yourself, you could destroy your whole site.
By destroying your site, I mean, when you type in your web address, you will see a blank white screen. This has happened to me a number of times. Only because I want to fix something or add something to a website, and I accidentally type something wrong on the back end of the template. I always fix it right away, but we all know the panic of losing your website. It feels like the world is about to end.
If you have no experience and you want to do it yourself, then Squarespace would probably be a better choice. I say that because WordPress is a little more difficult to learn if you don’t have the time to learn it. If you do have the time, there are plenty of Youtube videos and articles to get started. In fact, you can read here on how to create a blog post.
What are your thoughts on WordPress? Let me know in the comments below.
-Paigon | Natasha Lane Design Co.