To Do or Not To Do

Clients often ask “Can I do my own updates to my website?”

This is a question best addressed before we build the site. At that time, we can choose to build the site using WordPress. There are trade-offs with the WordPress platform, but if doing your own updates is important, then it is the right choice. The trade-offs are typically that it is more difficult to customize the site to look exactly like you may want and when WordPress updates its versions, as it does periodically, it can be extra work for us to keep the site operating properly.

Probably of more relevance to my readers is the question “If I already have a (non-WordPress) website, can I do my own updates?”

The answer is still yes, but it is a lot more challenging. If you or someone on your staff is a bit of a computer nerd and has the time, you (or they) can learn to update your own site. It takes purchasing the Dreamweaver software from Adobe and learning to use it. Dreamweaver currently costs about $400 (or they offer a $30 monthly fee for using it “in the cloud.”) The problem is that without a lot of training in html, CSS, and other coding tools, you won’t be able to do everything and some things may not appear exactly the way you want them to. However for simple things like text changes and additions, you can usually manage those without difficulty.

An alternative that we’ve found works pretty well in some cases is to set up certain sections of a website with WordPress and leave the rest of the site as is. So for example, you might have a section where you post news items. That section could be in WordPress while we continue to handle changes to the rest of the site. Naturally, there is another trade-off. These WordPress sections will not look exactly like the rest of the site. We cannot exactly duplicate the appearance of menus, footers and other design features so they appear completely seamless with the rest of the website. But we can get pretty close.

In short, it is possible to do your own updates to some or all of your website. If you are interested in this option, please talk to us.

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