Is WordPress Right for You?
WordPress is a popular choice for blogs, special interest websites, and freelance service providers, largely because an endless stream of articles praise WordPress for its low cost and ease of use.
However, I often hear from people who tell me WordPress isn’t working out for them. Sometimes they are trying to build their own website. Other times, they already have a site, but are finding it a lot harder than they expected to add content or customize site design and features. In most cases, they did not realize there would be ongoing maintenance tasks to keep WordPress secure and updated once their site was built.
The WordPress Self-Screening Test
I have created a self-test to help people who are considering WordPress decide if it is right for them.
Read the statements below. Count the statements you agree with. If you disagree, don’t know, or are not sure, don’t count that question in your total.
- I like to learn new things, even if I have to work at it, and make a lot of mistakes at first
- I use my computer or smart phone every day
- My computer hardware and operating system are pretty current
- I know how to organize files on my computer so I can easily find them when I want them
- I have a lot of free time to study WordPress and work on my site
- I browse the internet with my phone
- I can usually find what I’m looking for on a webpage, even if it’s a busy one
- I seek out articles and videos on the internet when I want to learn how to do something
- I check my email throughout the day, every day
- I understand that my WordPress website will need ongoing monitoring and maintenance once it is built
- I use at least five of these in a week (can be different ones each week): YouTube, ebay, Amazon, Yelp, Google Maps (or another online map service), craigslist, online weather information, online traffic updates, online banking, social media such as Facebook, Meetup or Nextdoor, PayPal or other online payment service, online news sources, online calendar or appointment setting
Interpreting Your Results
The self-test is designed to screen for people who:
- Are comfortable with technology and use it frequently in their daily lives
- Have the resources of time and interest to develop WordPress skills
- Do not experience limitations of vision or attention
In my observation, these are the characteristics that best predict a satisfactory experience with WordPress.
If you counted/agreed with all 11 statements, you can probably figure out WordPress and related technical proficiencies (managing your hosting account and domains, FTP) with a sufficient investment of time and effort.
If you disagreed with several statements, review those statements to pinpoint where WordPress might not be a good match for your needs. Doing it yourself is not the only option. You can opt for partially-assisted site management where you perform your own content changes and/or site maintenance, but hire someone with more advanced skills for larger changes, troubleshooting, or periodic site “tune-ups” to make sure everything is as it should be on your site. I provide advanced support for many semi-DIY clients. If your focus is content creation, or the product or service your site promotes, having someone else build and manage the website end of things may work best for you.
This article does not cover all considerations in the choice of a website platform. WordPress supports a dizzying array of functionalities that are essential to certain websites. Feel free to contact me for a personalized consultation on whether WordPress is right for your website.