I get this sort of question a lot.
Sometimes, I’ll run into a potential client who understands they might need help with their logo, or brochure…but for some reason, they’d like to be a little more hands-on when it comes to their website.
Especially once I mention that I use WordPress for all the websites that I do.
“Oh, WordPress? I can do that.”
There’s no point arguing, so after I chuckle to myself, I let them go on their way.
Inevitably I get a call a few weeks later.
“Um…yeah, WordPress was a little harder than I thought. It’s just not doing what I want it to. Can you do my website for me?”
So is WordPress easy or hard? Well, it’s both.
I tell everyone, including my students, that WordPress has a rather steep learning curve, but of course it’s possible for anyone to learn and master.
Just like everything else in life, all it takes is time, effort, and commitment.
Sorry to burst your bubble.
Just like everything else in life, #WordPress takes time, effort, and commitment. Click To Tweet
The WordPress Myth
There is one common myth that floats around about WordPress that drives me bonkers. It’s that coding or knowledge of code is not necessary to create a site or blog.
But that’s not true.
Having a basic understanding of HTML and CSS is essential to creating a decent WordPress site. So if you’re super squeamish around code, you might want to hire a designer or skip WordPress altogether, and use a more user-friendly drag-and-drop type system, like Squarespace or Weebly.
But to those of you who are more adventurous, I like to use my husband as an example. I helped him setup and got the basic design down for his WP site, lifebyjohn.com. But he did a lot of the heavy lifting himself afterwards.
And he is not a designer, nor a developer. In fact, at the onset he knew zero (as in, zip, zilch, nadda) HTML or CSS.
But, he is very tech-savvy and comfortable around computers. And he is very resourceful, and was able to figure things out as he went along.
Plus, he also was able to devote over 60+ hours to work on his site.
Did you catch that? For the average Joe, doing your own WordPress site is as easy as:
- being comfortable around technology/computers
- being resourceful and knowing what questions to ask
- having 20-80 hours to work on said site
So I tell my DIY clients, if you meet these criteria, of course you can set up your own site, and you have my blessing. These types of individuals tend to do very well with WP.
It just so happens that most people I’ve come across don’t want to spend that much time or effort on their website, which is what they pay me to do.
So yes, technically *anyone* can set up their own WordPress site, but like anything, you get out of it what you put in.
What WordPress is not
WordPress is not is a magic wand that creates an amazing site, instantly.
WordPress is not is a magic wand that creates an amazing site, instantly. Click To Tweet
What it’s also not is something that you set up once, and then walk away and forget about. A self-hosted WP site takes additional time and effort to keep things updated, to fix things, add content, and to keep it secure.
So the question of whether or not you should set up your own WordPress site really comes down to whether you want or need a very basic looking site with basic functionality, or whether you want a site that looks and behaves more professionally.
Whatever you end up choosing is completely up to you, I just like people to know exactly what they’re getting themselves into before doing something.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love using WordPress. It makes creating websites SOOO much easier than painstakingly coding each and every page. It works seamlessly in browsers, is SEO optimized, and makes adding or editing content a snap. As a content management system for developers and designers to use for their clients, it rocks.
I just don’t like how its reputation as being relatively easy has been stretched to mean that even a caveman could do it. I would pay good money to see that 😉
What about you?
Do you think WordPress is easy or hard? Has it been touted as too easy or too hard in the past?