In case anyone reading this doesn’t know, I’ve been working with WordPress since the very early days. I’ve seen a lot change, what to do and what not, and I will honestly say that WordPress is not the complete solution.
It is heavily limited in so many ways, and very vulnerable in others.
It’s not entirely the developers fault. This free, open source system is accessible my everyone, and no one is perfect.
Anyway, the issue isn’t with WordPress. The issue is with “developers”, and there are so, so, so many of them.
Third Party Developers
As a developer, I’ve had to fix up a lot of sites where they’ve been built on systems that are ultimately abandoned. I’ve also had to build sites using mandatory themes and plugins.
And the sheer amount of work and stress I’ve put into these sites, it would have been far easier and cheaper to build a system from scratch; heck, the site would run a lot smoother to begin with.
I get it, you’re on a budget and money is tight, and the lure of this “all in one, magic bullet system for less than a hundred quid” is very, very tempting, but here’s the thing… they are absolutely rubbish (and there are thousands of them).
Given a year, the vast majority of them won’t be updated any more.
Given a year, your “developer” who you’ve paid thousands to will tell you to hoof it (and I’ve seen that happen far too frequently).
Given a year, you’ll be frantically running around, trying to find someone to fix your site for you because it’s falling apart at the seams.
I write this off the fact I’ve spent the past two months fixing sites because their previous developers left their clients in the lurch, and essentially didn’t care about the work once the invoice was paid.
I write this off the fact that I’ve had to calm owners and managers because their site is suddenly unusable and it’s their primary source of income.
2020 is bad enough.
What should you do?
The TL;DR is find someone who is trustworthy and reputable… which is a hard thing nowadays, because there’s a lot of snake-oil salesmen out there.
People will try to squeeze every penny out of you, and use very under-hand tactics in order to do it.
Or they will outsource it to someone else, for a fraction of the cost they are charging you, and it will be a dumpster fire. Again, I’ve seen this be the case.
At the end of the day, do your research like you are going to build it yourself.
Sure, you may not have the skills or the know-how, but look into it.
As someone who has to write up proposals and manage whole projects, it makes my life so much easier talking to clients who have a basic understanding of what they want.
Don’t buy cheap (hence the title of this post). You will be paying far more in the long run.
Find someone that can show you what they can do, in a variety of different ways, and especially someone who actually knows how to build things from scratch.
And question all their decisions. Why are they using this theme, those plugins, why are they building it themselves, etc.
((but, you know, in a nice way so you are able to understand and not come across as nagging))
This is your idea, your livelihood, your money that you are spending, so ultimately, you are in charge.