So you have a new WordPress website that was professionally designed and you’re ready to make some updates.
Just because you can add new pages, swap out photos and built out new sections of your website because WordPress makes it easy, doesn’t mean you should. I know it’s tempting to get in and start tinkering around, but our experience has been that when clients maintain their own websites the design standards go out the window, usability suffers, and the website begins a slow death.
I can’t tell you how many great sites we’ve built over the years only to turn them over to our clients and watch them go straight down the tubes. In fact, when we recently redesigned the Bright Tribe website, there were 3 projects we completed within the last year that we did not include in our portfolio because of changes the clients have made to their websites. It’s sad to see all that hard work get messed up.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your website looking great after the launch:
- Know your limitations. If you could build a professional website you would have done it yourself to begin with. So if you don’t have experience in marketing, user experience or design – it may be best to let your web designer make updates for you. Basic text changes and adding now blog posts is pretty simple, but many sites utilize a Visual Editor that may require a greater degree of knowledge.
- Your developer does it faster. Seriously, what may take you an hour to futz around and get done in the backend of WordPress may take a professional only 10 minutes.
- Don’t use colored fonts. Yes, this happens. For some reason WordPress still has the option to add inline CSS font colors from the text editor. And some clients believe that adding funky colors “draws attention” or helps important content to “stand out.” It doesn’t. It makes it look unprofessional. Don’t do that! Your website’s content formatting is controlled by CSS and is standardized across your site.
- Maintain design integrity. If you have to add new photos to your website make sure they are optimized / compressed (don’t upload photos directly from your phone or stock photo sites), that the dimensions are correct, and that the image is scaled to fit properly where you’re using it. Often we’ll see clients add new logos to their website not realizing that all the logos we’ve added were transparent PNG files and all the exact same size.
- Don’t install any plugins. Yeah, I know you have a buddy who told you about some great plugin that you need. But if you install something without talking to your WordPress designer, you’ll run the risk of security issues, outdated plugins, compatibility issues, etc. A professional web designer will try to limit the type and number of plugins used on a website for these reasons. It’s happened more times than I can number that a client calls with a problem on their website only for us to find all kinds of outdated plugins that have been installed and never updated since the site launch.
If you have a new WordPress website, be sure to ask about ongoing support and maintenance costs. You need to budget for these. In the long run, playing for professional updates will be more economical and keep your website looking great longer.
If you’d like more information about our WordPress support platform and fees, feel free to give us a buzz at 678-267-3267. We’re happy to help you with your website even if we didn’t design it.