What is WordPress? WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS). WordPress is the system Doohickey uses to build our websites, and being open source means it’s free to use. As with most CMS’s, WordPress maintenance and updates are required. The internet is always changing, so online technologies need to change and grow alongside these changes. When WordPress releases an update, all of the themes and plugins used on the website should also be updated. You can make the updates on your own or we can do it for you.
We have a lot to say on this topic.
So feel free to learn a little or just skip it and contact us.
Content Management System (CMS)
There are many content management systems available for use, and we’ve worked with many of them, but we prefer WordPress over any other CMS. “Content management system” is somewhat self-explanatory – it helps you manage your own website content. You don’t have to call your website developer every time you want to make an update. Here are some examples of things you can do just by logging into the administrative dashboard:
- Write blog articles (posts) that publish to the website’s blog section and may populate to other areas
- Manage photos and galleries
- Add new pages and change content
- Change your website’s navigation or menus
- Edit information that shows up in page sidebars or widgets
- Work on search engine optimization
That said, everyone has their own comfort level. Some of our clients prefer to send all of their WordPress maintenance and updates to us, regardless of complexity, while others are eager to dive right in and begin making their own updates. Regardless of your preference and comfort level, we typically handle any major changes that are outside the scope of WordPress capabilities.
WordPress Plugins are added to WordPress websites to add more functionality that is either not already included in WordPress or not included in the WordPress theme you’re using. Plugins can be anything, including: slideshows, galleries, form builders, real estate management tools, maps, etc. Often times, developers believe a feature that is not already available is needed, so they will go ahead and develop it, then either offer it for free or make it available for sale to the WordPress community.
Free plugins are often the basic stripped down version of the paid or premium version of the plugin. Free plugins may have advertisements on them or ask for donations to keep them running. Free plugins are not always updated and may need to be replaced overtime, and technical support may not always be available at a free level. If you are in need of plugin support or require ongoing WordPress maintenance, including plugin updates, we can help.
Paid or premium plugins tend to be more reliable, have better support and the developers are often more likely to keep their products up-to-date and working with the latest versions of WordPress available. However, too many plugins can weigh down your website and make things run sluggishly. Some plugins may cause conflicts with other plugins, or even break your website altogether.
On a basic level, you may think of WordPress themes as templates. But it is not as simple as applying a theme to your WordPress site, and poof, you’re all done. WordPress themes still require design and graphic elements, as well as content to be well organized and formatted. If WordPress is the system to manage your content, then themes are the structure that are added on top of WordPress to add functionality and the ability to customize a design. All themes are different because they are created by different developers and can include various features and functions.
WordPress is secure as long as it’s maintained, updates are made and the right precautions are taken. WordPress core install, plugin and theme updates often contain security updates due to the fact that, unfortunately, some people are able to take advantage of technology in a negative way. For extra security, we offer firewall protection, server side monitoring and malware removal as part of our WordPress maintenance packages.
WordPress Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
We utilize a variety of SEO tools and plugins to help maintain WordPress site rankings in search engines. We also provide content and blog writing along with other SEO strategies to keep your website competitive and informative.