My Journey With WordPress

By now, most people have heard of WordPress, with more than 200 million websites built using the platform – she has been around for awhile. My own relationship with WordPress goes back to 2006 – WordPress version 2.0. She was awkward and unattractive, but there was something charmingly simple about her. We dated for a bit, but I eventually left her for the elegance and controlled poise of HTML. By 2009 I had grown weary of the constant learning curve and complex maintenance of my HTML girlfriend. I had, however, invested a number of years with her and we had been through the trenches together. I had no intention of leaving her. I loved her… really!

Then I saw WordPress again. She was all grown up, her plugins were full and robust. Her themes were gorgeous and rich, her core was stable and secure. I was weak and in a moment of passionate abandon, I rebuilt my website with WordPress. When HTML found out, it was like the end of the internet. It was a huge emotional mess! Luckily, the three of us worked through this very difficult period and came out on the other side stronger and with more clarity than ever before. We were all maturing.

We now have an understanding. WordPress and HTML both need me and I need them. HTML and I work beautifully together to build sites when the client has no interest in managing content – they are completely happy to send me a text document or folder full of images and let me work my magic. WordPress and I offer a full palette of services for clients who want a more hands-on relationship with their website. We have learned how to make our unique relationship not only work but thrive!

Catering to My Clients Needs

Okay, metaphors aside, I am a freelance front-end designer and web developer. I appreciate the specific strengths and benefits of both WordPress and HTML. In fact, if it wasn’t for HTML and CSS I wouldn’t have the level of control and flexibility over WordPress that allows me to tweak and modify the themes and plugins.

After an initial discussion with a new client, I know which path I need to head down. I have found that they are always pleased that they have the option of a CMS (content management system) or a site built completely in HTML; however, with the advent of WordPress security plugins, like WordFence, and the evolution of its core, WordPress has become a more attractive and economical option for an increasing number of my clients. I now find myself using WordPress for about 9 out of 10 of the sites I build these days.

I now find myself using WordPress for about 9 out of 10 of the sites I build these days. Click To Tweet

My WordPress Recipe

Over the years, I have come up with a starting “recipe” for developing a WordPress website. The main ingredients can be divided into WordPress themes and WordPress plugins.

My most used themes include:
  • Vantage
  • WooThemes Storefront
  • MySiteMyWay
  • Customizr
The WordPress plugins that I tend to use include:
  • WordFence
  • WPMain
  • Google Analyticator
  • Gravity Forms
  • WP SVG Icons
  • Widget Manager
  • SEO By Yoast

Depending on the needs of my clients, I may substitute one ingredient for another. I listen to what my clients want for their website and tweak the recipe to create just the right taste.

Tweak the WordPress recipe to create just the right 'taste' for each client. Click To Tweet

WordPress has truly evolved over the years and I am happy to again embrace her as part of my website development strategy along with HTML and CSS. Informing my clients about the benefits of using WordPress allows me to better serve and assist them as we work together towards their goals.

If you would like to learn more about WordPress, for your own needs or the needs of a client, then take a moment to look at some of the resources available on my site or feel free to send me a message.

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