As a website development firm SocialNicole employs some brilliant developers. Unfortunately, developers require a higher rate of billing than many other consultants we utilize. I am always happy to pay for developers as they create magic everyday online and it’s worth every penny. Yet as a virtual agency, SocialNicole is also very conscious of helping small and mid-sized businesses with their needs within tight budgets. We look at providing great service and products and true value to our customers every day. This is our promise to all our customers. And this is one of the reasons I am such a huge fan of WordPress and it is the only content management platform for websites we develop for clients.
WordPress and, specifically our theme company of choice, Studio Press Genesis allow for people with little or no coding experience to step in and make simple changes to their site. My clients are able to change text on specific pages and with Studio Press Genesis they can also customize their website colors, fonts and more without any code. That’s cool and easy! Beyond that – plugins through WordPress allow for simple changes to be made to websites that do not always require a developer.
WordPress: Simple Solutions
The website owner is typically not a developer and most website owners are small businesses with limited resources to spend on website development. Once developed websites also need ongoing maintenance to keep them running smoothly and optimally. Most small businesses make this investment and adjust to paying maintenance and therefore try to save whenever they can on any future changes or needs.
One of my favorite parts of WordPress is that there are oftentimes many solutions to the wants and needs of the website owner that require minimal and sometimes no developer time. If the website owner is willing to do a bit of research and learn new things, oftentimes making changes to their WordPress website can be quite simple. Even changes that seem like they may be complex can sometimes be quite simple. In full disclosure, I work on WordPress websites all the time running a company that develops, hosts and maintains WordPress websites – but I am not a developer. There are many things I can do myself and will do myself, but I also am very aware of the value of my developers and I know when to hand a task off to a developer. Typically when a solution is being found for something the time involved to research and do it myself is better used on my business and I will pay my developer to come up with the solution. Having said that you can do things yourself on WordPress, many things and this is what I love about it. It gives you the opportunity to have autonomy if and when you want it.
To find solutions and/or possible plugins to solve your WordPress wants and needs you can conduct a quick Google search. Type into Google something like “WordPress column plugin” or “Best WordPress column plugin” to find a bunch of article about that topic. One warning is that you need to spend a bit of time researching the plugin, see how it is rated on the WordPress.org website and if the developer maintains the plugin (so that when WordPress updates so does the plugin). You will often find bloggers and others singing praises for a certain plugin or theme for WordPress which is find but they are sometimes making money on affiliate links for referring you -so you need to look beyond the first recommendation.
I also highly recommend that you ask your developer what their opinion of the plugin is. At SocialNicole, we do not upload any plugin without our developer giving consent and clients who want a plugin uploaded it send it to us to approve (we approve and load for free). The reason for this is that we want to make sure that quality plugins are installed and that we monitor any changes that are being made to a website and server. Even though plugins are easy to use, they can cause problems and in the end you don’t want a simple solution to cost you more money to fix a problem it created.
WordPress: Example of Simple Solutions
An example of a simple WordPress solution was a recent request I received from a client who wanted to be able to make columns on her pages. WordPress, out of the box, allows for just one column text like this post. I turned to my developers for an easy solution to columns and, unfortunately, the answer was not so simple and would have required development time which equals money the customer would need to pay. The problem was that the most column plugins would unformat when the client entered the text edit screen and would require us to reset the structure. What a hassle! That would not do, as I needed a solution that would be client-friendly.
I turned to Google to read about this issue and found that there were a lot of plugins available for columns. I started testing the plugins and found that they still were not all that client-friendly. Just as I was beginning to think this may be a more expensive solution that would require the developer I stumbled upon the Easy Column WordPress plugin. It did exactly what it’s name said! It provided an easy way to format columns and it was client friendly (meaning the client would not interrupt the code when making text changes). It even has a super sweet menu to make choices (as you can see below).
Where Can You Find Wordpress Easy Columns?
To learn more about this plugin you can visit the developers website here. This was the only column plugin that seemed client-friendly but robust in its offerings, and that also worked with the Studio Press Genesis theme. Easy Columns solved a problem without having to pay our developers to hard code this page, allows the client an easy solution and made everyone happy!
WordPress columns is just one of a million solutions that are out there for WordPress. Being one of the most rapidly growing website platforms and because it is open source (free for any developer to use and evolve) there are many developers working on solutions all the time. This is what makes WordPress so amazing, that and it is so easy to operate and is a social solution right out of the box. We recommend you consider developing your next website in WordPress and if you would like to discuss we are more than happy to have a conversation with you about the pros and cons. It’s a worthwhile option to explore.