WordPress is currently one of the most popular, and fastest growing, website builders and content management systems (CMS) available. Versatile, flexible, and free, it is the basis of websites as famous as Facebook, the New York Times, and Walt Disney.
Consider these facts about WordPress:
WordPress is popular in part because it is open source and DIY. You can obtain, use, modify, and add to WordPress for free and as you see fit, and its templates allow you to build a website with a minimum of technical prowess.
All of this flexibility and versatility, however, doesn't mean that a superior WordPress website is easily available. Most businesses will need WordPress support to build a customized site.
That is why we have created this comprehensive guide to WordPress support. Read on to learn everything you need to know about finding, using, and benefiting from professional WordPress development and maintenance.
WordPress is one of more than 250 content management systems available in 2020, and it is one of the best, competing alongside other market leaders like Squarespace, Joomla, and Drupal.
So why use WordPress instead of one of the other CMS options available? The world's most popular CMS holds that position for a number of very good reasons:
Because WordPress is open source, users can modify it at will to achieve the look and functionality they need. For users who want to deal less with code and more with plug n' play capabilities, WordPress offers about 55,000 plugins and themes from which to choose.
Tens of thousands of plugins and themes give WordPress users the ability to choose the look and functionality they desire, and even allows them to achieve a degree of uniqueness in their site design, without dealing with complex coding.
WordPress' e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce, allows businesses to set up e-commerce stores through WordPress.
WooCommerce offers the same customizable, open-source flexibility that defines the rest of WordPress, and offers features like payment integration that create a more seamless online purchasing experience for consumers.
WordPress is easy to use. Users can install plugins, themes, and templates without professional support, as long as they do not require customization for their site. Users also have access to an intuitive administrative dashboard for making changes and adding pages.
Users own their websites, and the content therein, meaning they do not have to abandon their old website and start over when a redesign, new web host, or new domain name become necessary.
Blogs come standard in WordPress. That means users can easily begin adding SEO-rich content to their sites without a lot of extra time, or effort.
Small businesses in need of an affordable website option can choose WordPress with confidence. This CMS is free, while many plugins and themes are either free or low-cost.
If WordPress is easy to use and is a good choice for building a DIY website, why do you need to hire WordPress support to create or maintain your site?
WordPress' ease of use and DIY capabilities come with limitations. To enjoy WordPress' full functionality and customization abilities, you will benefit from professional support as you build your site. Here is why:
WordPress is flexible and customizable because it is open source. That means that the WordPress code, templates, and plug-ins are free, accessible, and modifiable by anyone.
If those programming languages look more like alphabet soup to you than something you can use to build an incredible website, you need the assistance of someone who understands and is comfortable using those languages in web design.
A basic template and plugins will give your site basic functionality and design. Unfortunately, it will also give your website something of a cookie cutter appearance.
If you want to avoid looking like other websites (and therefore losing your distinctive branded look), you will need to customize your site. Customization is almost unlimited, thanks to WordPress' open source coding.
However, as mentioned above, dealing with that coding to modify your site will require expertise from a WordPress developer, unless you already know how to use multiple programming languages yourself.
Problems will arise with any website, no matter what CMS you choose. When problems crop up, you need to resolve them quickly, because downtime costs money, up to $10,000 an hour by one estimate. There are very few small businesses who can sustain that level of loss for long.
Handling WordPress issues yourself will take you much longer than hiring WordPress support, unless you are a professional web developer yourself.
Putting WordPress support in place before you experience issues can help you to quickly receive assistance in resolving issues, and that can save you time and money.
With 55,000 plugins available for your website, it can be hard to choose. Finding secure, high-quality themes and plug-ins that will deliver your desired functionality also presents a challenge. Not every plug-in is equally secure and reliable.
Support from professionals who understand the WordPress landscape can help you narrow down your choices and implement themes and plug-ins that will meet your needs for the long term.
It may only take you a few minutes to build your WordPress site on your own, but what happens after you have it up and running? There are many website tasks needed to maintain a robust site.
WordPress support completes these tasks for you, saving you time and improving the functionality and security of your site.
Consider these services available through WordPress professionals:
WordPress professionals can add elements to your site that make it more likely that your site will rank favorably on the search results pages (SERPs).
WordPress patches and updates regularly improve the security of the platform. Monitoring your site for problems and keeping up with these updates reduces the chances that your site will experience a data breach.
As developers update their plug-ins and themes, you need support to implement those updates on your own site. These updates improve the functionality, security, and integration capabilities of your plug-ins and themes.
Making sure that all the pieces of your website work together often requires professional website help.
As a business owner, you have many responsibilities. You free up time to focus on those responsibilities by removing the development, support, and maintenance of your WordPress site from your plate by hiring a WordPress developer.
This professional can do anything your site requires, from building the site from scratch to offering maintenance and troubleshooting services, while you devote your time to building a business that you are proud to feature on your site.
WordPress comes with multiple customer service features you can use to deliver a better user experience on your website (customer feedback forms, ticketing systems, email support, live chat, and more). You need these features if you hope to deliver a customer-facing business through WordPress.
WordPress support allows you to integrate and support these features by guiding you to the right ones, customizing them for your site, assisting you with issues that arise while using these features and more.
Since WordPress is an open source CMS, it does not have a central customer service department or help desk that you can contact when you have WordPress issues or website questions.
Never fear, though. WordPress support is abundantly available. You just need to know where to look. Typically, the best places to locate assistance with your WordPress site are the following:
The WordPress website has an extensive support section with tools to address common problems. Here, you can access step-by-step guidance for tasks like
In order to access the WordPress support section, simply go to the WordPress website (wordpress.org, NOT wordpress.com) and click on the "Support" tab.
Just be aware that this support section does not feature a live chat option or any other access to real-time communication with WordPress experts. To get interactive support, or support for more complex questions, you may want to consult one of the WordPress forums.
Another major source of WordPress support is the set of WordPress support forums you can also access through the WordPress website.
These forums are populated by active, experienced, and global members of the WordPress community. Here, you can post any question you have about setting up, using, or maintaining your site and receive knowledgeable, real-time answers.
You can access the WordPress support forums through the Support tab on the WordPress website. Scroll to the bottom of the page to access the link to the support forums.
These free WordPress support forums are divided by topic as well as by language and area. That way, you can access support for the specific problem you face in the language that is most comfortable for you.
In order to get the most out of your support experience, and to avoid wasting community members' time, make sure you read the forum guidelines before posting.
The WordPress support section and forums are good places to find free WordPress support help.
However, you may need to look elsewhere for answers to complex questions. In some cases, you will find faster, or more complete answers, by contacting the developer of the plug-in or theme under question.
This approach works best if you have a theme or plug-in that is actively supported by an involved developer (which is the kind of plugin and theme you should be using, anyway).
You should also pursue this WordPress support option if your question directly relates to the functionality of the plugin or theme.
You should be aware that you may need to pay the individual plug-in developer for their assistance. You may also find that busy developers only have limited time and may not be able to answer many questions. Be respectful and cognizant of their time when interacting with them.
Because WordPress is mostly free and easy to use, it might seem counterintuitive to spend money on a professional WordPress developer.
This professional, however, can do a lot for your website. They can deliver customized features, improve your site's security, and even vet and update themes and plugins so you enjoy a better site with less work.
Examples of the kinds of services a WordPress developer can offer include the following:
Sometimes, businesses do not need a WordPress professional for their site. Typically, however, this is because the business owner is technologically savvy or their website is very small. In most other cases, a WordPress developer is the fastest and most reliable way to create a branded, customized, and secure WordPress site.
There are many areas of web design and development that benefit from a WordPress developer's support.
Just because you can DIY a WordPress site does not mean you should. Most of the time, you will want assistance with creating a site that goes beyond the basic template or plug-ins. A WordPress developer can create your site from scratch, either by helping you select and use themes and plug-ins that deliver the look and functionality you want, or by developing custom solutions. Often, their assistance includes some of both.
Your website should position your business as a unique, branded, and professional industry leader. A WordPress developer will customize your website with your brand colors, fonts, and values so you do not need to struggle to achieve a branded look with cookie cutter themes and plug-ins. They can even create custom themes and plug-ins to help your company stand out.
Your website requires regular maintenance to run smoothly. Website maintenance can be time-consuming for busy business owners. A WordPress developer can move beyond developing your site to offer regular maintenance and troubleshooting support. Tasks they can accomplish include the following:
Every so often, your WordPress site will require an update to keep its design modern and fresh. Whether you choose the less intensive site refresh or the more intensive redesign (See how to choose here), your WordPress developer can offer guidance and implement the necessary changes.
Businesses that handle sensitive payment, personal, or account information need to keep that information secure. A WordPress developer can build on the security already inherent in the WordPress platform to offer you customized security features for your specific needs. They can help you to
With 1.7 billion websites on the Internet (https://techjury.net/blog/how-many-websites-are-there/#gref), getting your site noticed and listed on the first or second page of the search results is no easy task. A WordPress developer, however, understands and can integrate SEO techniques into the fabric of your website so you have a strong SEO foundation upon which to build.
Cost, of course, is a major concern for many small businesses. One of the appealing features of WordPress is the fact that it is free to download and use. Up to 54,000 plug-ins are also free, and many of these are high-quality products that businesses can use with confidence.
The good news for small businesses is that WordPress support does not have to be a cost-intensive undertaking. Many support options are themselves free to utilize. For example, the WordPress website and forums are all free. Many times, individual plug-in developers will also answer questions at no cost.
There are two primary costs associated with supporting a WordPress site: Maintaining the site and hiring a WordPress developer.
Businesses will accrue maintenance costs whether or not they hire WordPress support because maintenance is necessary to keep the site running smoothly over the long term. Costs typically come from the following sources:
In general, businesses can expect to spend up to $200 a month on maintaining their WordPress website. This number can be more or less depending upon the size and customization level of their site, as well as on how many paid vs. free maintenance tools they use.
Hiring a WordPress developer will be a financial investment. The amount businesses should plan to spend depends on many factors, including the following:
However, before businesses choose to forego the advantages of hiring a WordPress developer, they should consider the ways in which this professional can save them money over the long term.
Downtime is expensive, to the tune of $10,000 an hour on average. When your website is not working, you lose visitors, leads, and sales, sometimes permanently.
WordPress support saves businesses money by reducing the amount of costly downtime they face. WordPress developers, for instance, can quickly get a website up and running and implement maintenance measures to prevent downtime in the first place
WordPress support, as mentioned above, saves business owners valuable time that they can use to grow their businesses.
This saved time is saved money. Those extra hours devoted to business growth earn profits that boost the company's bottom line. WordPress support can pay for itself.
DIY websites do not often perform as well as professionally-designed ones. Their cookie-cutter appearance, lack of necessary functionality, stock photos, or other issues discourage visitors from staying long.
A WordPress developer can create a more vibrant and customized site. WordPress support allows the site to remain updated and modern.
It attracts more visitors and encourages more activity. Ultimately, it can earn businesses more money.
Small budgets don't have to equal inferior design. WordPress support allows businesses to access creative, cost-effective solutions that work with their budgets. With the right support, workable solutions may appear that the business never considered before seeking help.
WordPress support is valuable and necessary for virtually every WordPress site. The right support can offer expected assistance in areas like troubleshooting and security.
However, WordPress support can go beyond basic assistance with website questions. Businesses can access developers for the creation of customized features, obtain entire website builds, integrate SEO and e-commerce into their sites, and more.
Before you write off WordPress support as too expensive for your business, consider the fee and low cost support options available and consider the cost-saving possibilities of hiring a WordPress developer. The right support can help you to get the most out of your WordPress website for years to come.
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