One of the main thing people want from a WordPress website is the ability to do things themselves. A noble goal, yes. But does it always make sense? No, not in practice.
Case in point: To manage a WordPress website requires:
Keeping WordPress versions, plugins, themes up to date.
Seems simple enough, many updates are as simple as a single click. Well, anyone who has made updates knows, there are times an updated plugin can totally break your website. You see, many times plugin vendors aren’t ready for a new version of WordPress, so you need to be careful. Most important, know how to revert your site back to pre-updated state. Otherwise, your site maybe down for a long period of time.
Content is king, always has been always will be. Content is the main thing business owners should concentrate on. Whether it’s writing a weekly blog or putting up news, this is where you should be focused. While WordPress allows you to add your own posts, you may be better off sending them along to an experienced web developer who can not only put up the blog posts, but take advantage of some of the search engine optimization techniques to help you succeed in having better rankings. This of course is something everyone wants. Of course, for the do it yourself-ers, you can make all the small text changes, for instance a change to an employee bio or an update to your about or services page.
This of course is related to number 1, but much more than that. you have to be up on the latest vulnerabilities and tweak your settings to stay safe. You also need to be taking regular backups and have the ability to restore your site should trouble come your way.
This is one of the most important things facing website owners in 2018. You hear every day about hackers and information being stolen, etc. You need to be able to respond quickly when your site gets hacked. The best thing you can do is to have a plan on how you can get your site back up and running if and when it is hacked. For this reason, managing your own website security is a risk you can’t afford to take.
In Closing: WordPress is the most user-friendly content management system on the planet. That is why over a third of new websites use the platform. You should use this for your business, as it fulfills the needs of most companies. But, other than doing some simple tasks, blogging & perhaps a text edit here and there you should leave the management in the hands of a professional website management company. And be sure to use a company that specializes in WordPress sites. As the software has its own share of issues and ways of doing things, you need to see it on a daily basis in order to keep up with all the changes coming your way.
Those who read my posts know I relate everything to web design, development and the management of websites. (I know, makes me a geek. I am what I am :)) This summer has been no different. Bored with TV, I like many people have gone to Netflix. I stumbled upon MASH, a show I watched as kid, liked but in truth never appreciated fully. As I watch more and more episodes I realize what made this show special and one of the most successful of all time.
Here are my 5 lessons:
Content – People tend to think a show is only as good as its cast. While generally this is true, MASH lost many of its stars over the years. After a couple of seasons, Wayne Rogers and McLean Stevenson left. The show survived and flourished. Larry Linville left, the show survived. Why? because the writing was amazing, the scripts were a work of art. There are more reasons as well which we will get into, but certainly content was number 1. Lesson Learned: Content is the most important thing, whether you are a website or writing for social media. People want to do well in search, but they worry more about what something looks like rather than investing in the most important thing, content. Put money and time into improving your content and posting new, quality content on a consistent basis.
Tug at the heart strings – MASH was a comedy, no doubt, but what made it special was that it truly was emotional. The show could make you laugh, sure but it could make you cry as well. When Radar comes into the operating room with no mask to say that Colonel Henry Blake’s plane had been shut down over the sea of Japan, I cried like a baby. MASH made you care about these people, even though they were fictional. Lesson Learned: Show your heart. Don’t only show your skills, show a bit more, humanize your company. People don’t like cold, faceless companies. Nice testimonials, showing you go the extra mile, go a long a way. On social media, show the fun side of your company. If you do charity work, show it. People want to do business with people they like and respect. If all you do is sell to people, they grow bored and go elsewhere.
Longevity – The series, which depicted events occurring during a three-year military conflict, spanned 256 episodes and lasted 11 seasons. Incredible, the show was much longer than the Korean conflict. In television, as a series stays on the air, more and more people become aware and tune in. Lesson Learned: Longevity in the web world is important. Google definitely factors this into their algorithm as it should. A company that sprouts up complete with a new website won’t outperform a company that has been around for many years (at least for a while). The lesson is patience and not to expect search engine success right away. Add quality content, on a consistent basis and search engine success will come. And remember, MASH struggled in year one in terms of ratings as did Seinfeld.
Don’t give up on what works. MASH is the best example of this in entertainment history. McLean Stevenson, Wayne Rogers, Larry Linville and Gary Burghoff all left before the series ended. They all had their reasons, but none came close to the success they had on MASH. As an actor you dream of participating in show that lasts over a decade. Lesson Learned: Don’t abandon a ship that ain’t sinking. If your site works well, don’t be so eager to move to a completely new one, especially if you have search engine success. Say you have a site that has great content but not mobile-friendly. Rather than blow it up, consider tweaking the design so your site is responsive. We have done this with sites and the results have been impressive.
Quality – Watching MASH this summer I realized it isn’t one thing that makes the show great. The writing is brilliant, the acting, the direction, the sets. EVERYTHING! There are virtually no flaws in the show’s execution. Lesson Learned: Pay attention to every detail. Design, coding, testing, graphics, performance are all important. Even things like grammar are truly important. Poorly written content is a major turnoff. No detail is unimportant on a website. Attention to details pay dividends.
Bottom Line: You can learn a lot by studying the success of others, even if it is a different industry. In this case it was a classic TV show, but you can apply this to other industries as well. See what makes them a success and apply to your business.