I had the benefit of attending a regional WordPress conference in Buffalo this year. It was designed for everybody from novice bloggers to high-end developers, with different “tracks” along the way. My primary area of interest was how we can use this ever-developing technology to better market our clients’ businesses, so that was the lens I looked through when attending the sessions.
It is estimated that almost 60% of websites with a known content management system (CMS) currently operate on WordPress, and for good reason (supporting data here). It is easy to use, highly supported, and offers a huge variety of options.
One common theme I observed during the Q & A sessions, was the situation which may occur when things “go wrong” with a site. One of the great benefits of open source content management systems is flexibility, but it brings its own set of unique challenges. It can be quite easy to bring an entire site down, and unless you are reasonably adept with technology, the results can be devastating. Even some of the more experienced website owners had stories of situations where they found the need to contact professional support to help “save their bacon.”
It reminded me of how fortunate we are at Cazbah, in that we have an outstanding technical team, which helps us greatly in this regard. They are great not only at developing quality websites, but at troubleshooting the inevitable situations which occur when dealing with technology. I can think of countless situations in which they have found solutions to complex problems. It may come as a surprise, but no website is “perfect”, and will require frequent attention to maintain.
One such situation occurred recently with a plugin which allows shipping to calculate accurately on orders. This (rather important) plugin had an issue which caused challenges for some users when trying to navigate through the shopping cart. Our team was able to identify the root cause, and submit the necessary information to the plugin developer, who then implemented the solution and made the needed updates. This benefited not only our client, but any number of others who may have run into something similar.
I can think of times when a server has gone down, for any number of reasons, and having a team of folks who can respond is truly invaluable. Having proper monitoring of websites is one of the hidden costs in web site hosting that is often either overlooked or taken for granted.
Technology also plays an increasingly important role in optimizing for search results (SEO). Everything from schema/structured data layout, page load times, link tracking and much more are dependent upon best practices in technology. These are things everybody wants, but can be easily neglected.
Staying on top of the most recent trends, updates, best practices, tools, etc. is nothing short of a full-time job. Being able to rely on a trusted partner who will handle these situations can bring great peace of mind when the challenges come.