Revamping Some Word Press Sites - Hmmm - Do Ourselves or Do Out Of House ???

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by Page, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    Posts: 3,340 Likes: 254
    We have some word press sites that are in need of a refresh and update

    So then - this is how I see it

    We have the technical skills in house to do basic stuff - and wordpress is not to demanding (?) at a basic level which is perhaps good enough for us

    I am not sure really sure what value an outside developer/designer could add against the cost and hassle of them doing it

    It is all time interacting with them - we will have to write the blurb - and provide images etc
    And it may simply be more time efficient to get on with it and then make changes as and when we see fit

    So can they add much value and if so what would that be - short term and then longer term

    These are not shopping sites but brand information sites to give at least some weight to brands we have had to create for ecommerce reasons
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
    #1
  2. LiveNetworks Ltd

    LiveNetworks Ltd UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 124 Likes: 26
    If you want the management accountants answer, what can you earn a day be staying active with the business. If that's more than the cost of a Wordpress expert, then you're financially better off giving the job to someone else.
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2018 By: LiveNetworks Ltd Member since: Jan 31, 2018
    #2
  3. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    Posts: 27,761 Likes: 8,183
    Do both. Sort out all the content yourself but get someone external to advise on the technical aspects of the site. I agree that WordpPress can be easy to use with a bit of practice but it's also easy to bloat out the code and spoil the user experience.
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2018 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #3
  4. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    Posts: 3,340 Likes: 254
    It is not the cost that is the factor - I take your line on cost versus gain versus my time costs

    It is what can they actually give us for the cost

    It can be very efficient doing what we do when we do it and exchange ideas and comments very quickly

    As soon as you use someone outside the business things can slow down and soak up time in another way
    (The plus is they can bring a different perspective - but to often unless they understand the business well it is often pants)

    I sort of feel that if I can find a designer with some technical ability then that might be the better option

    But with that we do have design skills in house - but then they are also short on time

    I am hoping this thread will help me work out where is best for us and our businesses etc
     
    Posted: Feb 4, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
    #4
  5. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 551 Likes: 166
    What are you hoping the designer/developer will bring? Some ideas on how to improve the design or update it for a modern audience? Do you know what needs improving, or are you hoping they'll offer some suggestions?
     
    Posted: Feb 6, 2018 By: Paul Murray Member since: Nov 24, 2011
    #5
  6. antropy

    antropy OpenCart Experts Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 2,733 Likes: 462
    It depends totally on what changes you have in mind.

    Basically:
    1. If you only need to make small updates to content, images, wording etc. it will be quicker and cheaper to do it yourselves.

    2. If you want them redesigned and rebuilt to look better and work better in terms of sales and conversion rates, if you do it yourselves you'll probably make them worse and have the opposite effect, so in that case find some professionals, but make sure you choose wisely.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: antropy Member since: Aug 2, 2010
    #6
  7. adzeds

    adzeds UKBF Contributor Full Member

    Posts: 40 Likes: 9
    I guess by going outside you may get another level of experience across a broader spectrum, such as being able to design/build for SEO, Conversion and growth which may be lacking if your team are simply developers.

    We often get asked by clients about helping them to be involved in their redesign/rework of sites to ensure they can improve their online visibility rather than harm it with a poor technical implementation.
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: adzeds Member since: Apr 13, 2012
    #7
  8. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    Posts: 3,340 Likes: 254
    Broad knowledge and advice - so not just technical nor just design - and because I think the requirements are basic - more design than technical
    BUT maybe I am missing a trick

    And I suppose you are in a way just reasking the original question in a different way - in other words I am not sure what they can bring and if it is worth it
     
    Posted: Feb 7, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
    #8
  9. Paul Carmen

    Paul Carmen UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 102 Likes: 13
    The trouble is it's the old chicken and egg conundrum, it's hard to answer because we are not sure what you want, you're not sure what you want because it's hard to answer. There, that was as clear as mud!

    The reality is that you need to break down what you want to do and assess what skills you have internally.

    We always ask questions about projects to fully understand what the client can and can't do, then try to make the experience easier, but you're right a lot of agencies seem to make it more difficult. The questions we'd ask are: -

    So what do you intend to do with the site: -
    • With WordPress, are you just going to use a theme as is, or do you have a lot of design work and customisation in mind
    • Do you need any graphic design work as part of the process; e.g. new logo, assets created for any areas etc.
    • Do you want to integrate external functionality; e.g. email CRM, PayPal, WooCommerce, finance systems etc.
    • If you're migrating an existing site, do you know how to setup redirects, make sure URLs are correctly structured and that you don't ruin your existing rankings
    • Do you know how to make sure the site is secure, PCI & GDPR (for May 2018) compliant, so that its actually legal
    SEO & copy/content experience: -
    • Do you have the technical knowledge to carry out the onsite SEO; e.g. write compelling titles & meta descriptions, h tag setup, alt tags, sitemaps, decent taxonomy & internal link structure etc.
    • Do you understand search and what Google are looking for; e.g. lots of companies we get involved with write good copy of their own, but use lots of internal techy language and never research what customers actually type into search engines, or look at their competitors sites to make sure they're doing a better job
    • Do you have a good handle on Google Search Console and Google My Business setup and your NAP/markup, so that you can monitor the site and ensure that the local element is consistent everywhere
    Now lots of agencies won't do any of this well either, they'll just charge you a load of money for adding content and making minor tweaks to a theme, don't bother with that.

    The good ones will take the burden from you and do this for you, creating a site with good speed, usability and content that ranks in search engines and converts customers for you.
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2018 By: Paul Carmen Member since: Jan 27, 2018
    #9
  10. Russ Michaels

    Russ Michaels UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 46 Likes: 10
    Can you do it yourself and make it look nice is the question. This is the difference between just knowing how to use WordPress and being able to design websites.

    What I do for clients who have no money or are just tight, is I tell them to make the makes and add the content as best they can, then I go in afterwards and tidy it up and make it look nicer using the themes built-in shortcodes or other plugins.
    Of course if they did a really poor job to begin with then this can result in my literally having to redo every page anyway.
    There are a number of companies out there who will offer unlimited changes to your website for a very reasonable monthly fee.
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2018 By: Russ Michaels Member since: Jan 19, 2018
    #10
  11. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    Posts: 3,340 Likes: 254
    So as part of my thinking on this I had a look at theme forest again for the first time in years

    And simply looking at the top selling theme which is Avada - https://themeforest.net/item/avada-responsive-multipurpose-theme/2833226?s_rank=1

    To my mind I can install that and we are away but maybe I am kidding myself

    Maybe the time creating something in it - is not worthwhile for us to learn for a one off that is going to sit there again for a few years
    But still maybe there is some design element that we could benefit from that involves knowing the theme well - and understanding design and how the two fit together

    To give this context to these comments - when we did our first web site in cs-cart - which was an early cms type cart
    We could do all the setting etc and put in content
    But changing this setting - meant that this other setting now needed to be changed etc for it to look right
    It was a case of A affects B - affects C - affects g - which partly affects b etc

    So I remain unsure

    We do not need hosting - but it might be worth moving where hosted - we are currently on white label with Heart

    And do we actually need technical help if it sits there and nothing changes
    Wordpress already auto installs the latest updates - so what else is there to do

    ??
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
    Posted: Feb 10, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
    #11
  12. Paul Carmen

    Paul Carmen UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 102 Likes: 13
    @Page, it's really difficult to say without knowing what you are trying to achieve.

    Are you literally updating the sites to look more modern/mobile responsive with essentially the same pages/content?

    If it's more complicated than that, or about getting more leads & customers then it's very hard to give you useful feedback.

    If you don't want to share URLs on the forum, or discuss the details in public, feel free to pm or email me & we can give you some free no obligation advice.
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2018 By: Paul Carmen Member since: Jan 27, 2018
    #12
  13. Page

    Page UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    Posts: 3,340 Likes: 254
    To be honest it is so long since I looked at them that I had not realised how bad they were - long story but ho hum

    So a fresh start is not an issue

    They do not need SEO except on the brand name which they already have

    I am unsure about adding some sort of product directory - this could be woocommerce with no shopping option - but I think that is perhaps not needed and would not give the best presentation anyway

    I do not think I want to sell from them - and probably never will - but to have the option down the line - for example then tap on woo commerce

    To be able to internationalise them at some stage and maybe earlier on

    The last time I looked at them there was a theme that was good for this - but maybe it was something else such as an add on - and that was all going ahead in house and then stuff happened
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2018 By: Page Member since: Jul 28, 2007
    #13
  14. Paul Carmen

    Paul Carmen UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 102 Likes: 13
    OK, its often difficult to formulate a plan.

    We usually audit sites as a starting point & then discuss potential options.
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2018 By: Paul Carmen Member since: Jan 27, 2018
    #14
  15. Russ Michaels

    Russ Michaels UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 46 Likes: 10
    Even if you are not making any changes to your site, it still needs to be maintained and updated if you are using WordPress or any off the shelf solution as these popular apps are being scanned and attacked daily. 30,000 wesbites get hacked every day due to not being properly maintained.
    You need to keep the core, themes and plugins all up to date, so you want to logging into your wp admin at least once per week to check for updates.
    While you can host WordPress anywhere, the dedicated WordPress hosts have better performance and usually have better security as they have WAF that scans for common injections and brute force attacks.
    If you are just using a cheap/generic host, then you should at least be using WordFence plugin and can look at using Sucuri as well for better security and a performance boost.

    If you already have some WordPRess skills, then it should only take you a couple of hours to get to grips with a new theme.
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2018 By: Russ Michaels Member since: Jan 19, 2018
    #15