Getting Help With WordPress
WordPress is practically the most popular CMS (content management system) used today. From personal blogs to sites for huge news portals, universities, and businesses, WordPress is used to operate an incredible 38.5% of all websites in existence today, and that percentage is growing every day.
One of the main “selling points” of WordPress is its ease-of-use. WordPress is intuitive and simple enough to operate even for beginners. The drag-and-drop page builder, the plethora of free themes and plugins you can add to your site, the ease of publishing a post with the press of a button… You hardly need to know anything about coding to get things started. However, WordPress isn’t without its failings – there are some bugs and common error messages that will pop up and need fixing over time.
And that’s not all. Unless you’re just running a simple blog without aspirations to earn money from visitors, ads, services, or products, it’s likely that you’ll need some help to get things moving and keep them running smoothly. If you’re running a business or trying to get your site higher up in the search results, you’ll need help to optimize the functionality of your website, boost your SEO, market your products, get the ideal look for your brand, publish some original, high-quality content, and so on. If you’re really serious, well, then it takes a village. So the question arises – who can help you with all these tasks?
We’re here to answer that question, and show you in detail what tasks you’ll need to complete for the success of your website, what types of problems you may run into, and what sort of expert can help you with each of them. This guide will help you figure out what sort of support you may need with WordPress, and who can provide it for you.
What to Expect: Tasks, Problems, and Experts
We have broken down this guide in sections that combine each task with the person who possesses the necessary skill set to get it all done, as well as which WordPress problems they can help you fix. Keep in mind that the sections are not put in order of importance. Which expert(s) you’ll need just depends on the needs of your website, your goals, the problems you’re facing, and your particular set of skills.
You’ll find that a lot of these tasks fall under the broader category of web development, which includes all the work that goes into creating and developing a website. So while a lot of the experts we’ll discuss are web developers, their technical expertise varies in accordance with the task at hand and which stage of the web-building process we’re talking about.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
1. Creative Design
Web design is an umbrella term that includes several key stages of the website production/creation process. It encompasses aspects such as the visual elements of your website (the look, layout, graphics, colors, templates, fonts, and so on), the functionality of your website (the interactive parts of your site, like plugins), and the user interface of the website (like optimizing its user-friendliness). While you may find cases where a single web designer has knowledge of each stage of this process, it’s more likely that you’ll need different experts with specialization in the various subfields of web design.
Therefore, we are starting off with the aesthetics of your website, i.e. the creative design.
What Is Creative Design?
Creative design is all about turning your website into a memorable visual experience that converts potential clients into buyers. While at first look, creative design deals with the graphics of your site, it goes a lot further than that. The aim of creative design is to use photography, computer-generated imagery and animation as a tool to present your business and product in the best way possible. This means that your designer will need to put a lot of thought and effort into making your site, your mission (or sales pitch), and your product look attractive.
Who Can Help You with Creative Web Design?
Look for a web designer with a specialty in creative design. It’s always a good idea to look over someone’s portfolio before hiring them, to see if their work suits your taste and the needs of your website. A good creative web designer will know how to work with most of these coding languages and programs:
- HTML: standard markup language that’s used for creating websites. Web designers use this to organize how the content is displayed.
- CSS: CSS is key in developing the visual look of a website.
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Web design
- Adobe Photoshop
What Are the Tasks of a Creative Web Designer?
Some of the tasks of a creative web designer include:
- Beautiful, unique visuals. A well-designed website will not only draw visitors in but also keep them around. Plus, the visual aspect of your website should help your brand and logo stand out, so as to leave an impression on site visitors. This can include custom fonts, themes, images, colors, logos, and iconography.
- Effective presentation of your product. Humans – and so, customers – are visual beings. Not only are 37% of the population visual learners, but users have expressed time and again that images are the most important field when they’re choosing a product. So, creative design includes presenting your products or services in a way that is attractive to clients.
- Image optimization. It’s important to have relevant and beautiful images on your site. They can help get the attention of visitors and help them establish a connection with your product. However, your images also need to be optimized, so that they won’t slow down the loading and functionality of your site.
- To tell a story. One of the main purposes of creative design is to tell a story to your clients – the story of your business and your product. In addition to attractive graphics, a designer can add videos, ads, and animations that help communicate your business narrative. Additionally, they will help you combine text and visual content more effectively.
- eCommerce stores. Creative web design is especially important when you’re building your eCommerce store.
What Problems Can A Creative Web Designer Help You With?
A creative web designer can help you set up the initial look of your website. It’s important to get fresh ideas and a unique look for your business. They can help you create a website that is memorable, elegant, easy to use, and concise.
After that, if you want to create new pages, or if you’re experiencing issues with WordPress themes, you can ask a creative web designer for help.
2. User Interface
A successful user interface is key in keeping your clients happy and getting them to stay on your website for as long as possible – or at least as long as necessary to make a sale. For instance, information that clients would frequently search for, like pricing, important pages (like FAQs, About or Contact pages) should be readily available. The different buttons, links, and forms should be ergonomically placed in a way that suits the visitors’ needs and expectations.
In a nutshell, the aim of a user interface design is to make the user’s experience on your website as easy, simple, and efficient as possible.
If you’re finding that your users are having trouble accessing parts of your website, signing up, selecting items, paying, and so on, you’ll need the help of someone who can set up a great user interface design.
Who Can Help You with User Interface Design?
UX (user experience) or UI (user interface) designers are the experts on this subject matter. A UI/UX designer makes your website more easy and intuitive to use, navigate, and interact with. UI/UX designers are knowledgeable about user interaction – how people evaluate their interaction with certain site models and templates, so they know the best layout for a user-friendly website. In a sense, UX/UI designers are in charge of the functional design of your website – how can it be more efficient and easy to use for your target audience?
Additionally, a UX/UI designer can help you create a special mobile-friendly version of your website so that people can visit and shop from their smartphones with ease. Keep in mind that in some cases, you may only need one person to do both your creative and your interface designs (and possibly the functionality of your website too – which is part 3), since the person that will be creating the visual look of your website can also be responsible for the user-friendliness of that design.
A UX/UI designer would be familiar with the following tasks, coding languages, and programs:
- UX wireframes
- Adobe Creative Suite
- User research: how users interact with websites, what they find intuitive and easy to use, and what they find confusing or difficult.
- Visual design: this still matters, because a UX/UI designer would need to combine the site’s visual look with the best user experience.
What Are the Tasks of a UX/UI Designer?
Some of the tasks of a creative web designer include:
- Optimizing user experience. A UX/UI designer will make sure that users find the layout and interface of your website as simple and intuitive as possible. This is important for boosting sales and getting your potential clients to stick around.
- User-friendly mobile sites. Whether it’s mobile sites or mobile apps for your business, a great UX designer is key. Mobile websites are quite different from desktop websites, and so their layout needs to be adjusted to suit user needs.
- User research. UX/UI designers will do some research regarding your client base, or target audience. What sorts of layouts and designs do they find simple and attractive? What can be improved on your website to boost user experience, and thus increase sales? And lastly, how can the functionalities of your website be tweaked to suit those needs?
What Problems Can a UX/UI Designer Help You With?
As with creative design, a UX/UI designer can help you set up the initial layout of your website – or at the very least, refresh it.
More specifically, if you’re finding that your clients are having a hard time navigating through your website, having difficulty finding the pages and information they need, they’re abandoning your cart frequently, or contacting you with persisting issues about frustrating sign-up forms, you can count on a UX/UI designer to fix it. They can also help you update your eCommerce store, product pages, and cut out visual clutter.
Another instance in which a UX/UI designer would be quite helpful is if you’re trying to launch a mobile-friendly version of your site.
So far, we talked about creating a design that reflects your brand, solving visual design issues, and organizing your website in a way that boosts user experience. However, there are a lot of moving parts that go behind designing a website, and the key to everything working properly is the functionality of the website.
Before you begin building your website (coding and designing), you should have a clear idea of what functionalities it will offer. Getting started on web design and then realizing you’re missing a key feature can cause a lot of bugs and result in someone having to re-do a lot of the work.
What Is Website Functionality?
Website functionality entails how your website works, what it can do, and how users can interact with it. The functionality of a website is spread out across several different areas: making all the moving parts work without affecting any other parts – thus making it more efficient; making sure that all installed WordPress plugins work well, are up-to-date, and don’t have issues with other plugins or themes; optimizing your website for speed and performance, and just making sure that things run smoothly overall.
More specifically, website functionality includes the various dynamic parts of a website, like what interactive actions a user can perform and what sort of dynamic content would be present. For instance, creating an eCommerce store, having a shopping cart, a live chat button, animations, videos, or a slideshow of blog articles all fall under the auspice of functionality.
Who Can Help You with Website Functionality?
The experts in the area of site functionality are called web developers, or more broadly, software developers. There are front-end and back-end developers (we’ll get to these girls and guys later). For functionality purposes, you should be looking for a front-end developer.
A front-end web developer works closely with the creative web designer and the UX/UI designer to make their vision reality. The former two tell the developer where a button should be and what it should do, and the developer makes sure that that button is there and does that function.
Some coding languages and programs a front-end developer should be familiar with include:
- Ruby on Rails
What Are the Tasks of a Front-End Web Developer?
Some of the tasks of a front-end web developer include:
- Coding your website. As we’ve discussed, they make the vision of your website become practically and functionally possible.
- Creating and managing the interactive parts of your website. Things like client forms, eCommerce stores, and just overall structuring the framework for the website in a way that allows users to actively engage with it.
- Coding a mobile-friendly version of your website. Front-end developers can help you realize the vision of UX/UI and creative designers on how the mobile version of your site will look.
- Fixing bugs. Testers figure out what’s wrong with the website, and front-end developers fix those bugs. Before publishing your website, they make sure that everything functions properly.
- Making sure all your plugins function properly. WordPress offers thousands of free and paid plugins. Unfortunately, not all of them are bug-free, and not all of them play nice with other plugins. A front-end developer can help you make sure your themes and plugins work together in harmony.
What Problems Can a Front-end Developer Help You With?
A front-end developer can help you with any functionalities or features on your website that don’t work as they should. They can also help you add new ones.
If you’re having trouble with your plugins, eCommerce store options, or interactive parts on your website, a front-end developer is your go-to person.
4. Website Server
All the data pertaining to your website is stored on a server. When visitors attempt to visit your website, a request is sent from their browser to the server, which holds information about the site’s structure and its data. Then, in return to the request, the server provides the website, allowing visitors to view it and interact with it.
This section is devoted to your website’s server and the databases that store all your site’s information. Server-side coding ensures that your site’s content is compatible with the front-end design and development and that it gets delivered to the user’s browsers.
Who Can Help Manage Your Server?
We finally arrive at back-end developers. Back-end developers deal with servers and data storage/databases which hold your website’s information. Back-end developers make sure that your site’s content gets delivered to the front-end, and their work is focused on how the data is stored and how it responds to client requests
The back-end (or server) holds the site’s core structure and its files. Back-end developers handle the coding on web servers and databases, and they work together with front-end developers to improve the speed and functionality of your website. They also collaborate with different web designers, but less so than front-end developers.
Some coding languages and databases that a back-end developer should be familiar with include:
- Ruby, PHP, Rust, Python, and/or Java
- MySQL, PostgreSQL, or MongoDB: databases.
- Git or Apache Subversion: version-control systems.
Keep in mind that there are WordPress developers that work exclusively with WordPress-built websites, and can often help you with both front-end and back-end development, taking care of everything from themes and plugins to server problems.
What Are the Tasks of a Back-End Web Developer?
Overall, a back-end developer makes sure that your server and databases are in order, and that the site’s core structure is well-designed, allowing the site to load quickly and run efficiently.
Some additional tasks of a back-end developer include:
- Managing your website’s hosting environment. A common server issue is website traffic overload. A back-end developer can help manage your site’s hosting environment, like scaling and administering the database, which would help prevent changes in site traffic and overload.
- Security. One of the biggest problems you can experience is your server getting hacked or “contracting” a virus. A back-end developer will help improve and maintain the security of your web server and databases.
- Handling server-side logic. Back-end developers code on the side of the server to make sure that your website runs smoothly, and that what your front-end developers have created works properly when user requests reach the server.
- Creating databases. Basically, creating the storage containing your website’s information.
What Problems Can a Back-end Developer Help You With?
In addition to the initial setup of your website, a back-end developer can help you with any server or database issues. Things such as server overload, compromised server security, server crashes or failures, and even slow page loading speed are all issues that a back-end developer can help you resolve.
SEO (search engine optimization) is a process meant to boost your site’s placement in the search engine results pages. To help draw in site visitors and potential buyers to your website, you want your website to be one of the first things that pop up in Google – or any other search engine – when a user types in a word, phrase, or question that’s related to your website’s content and business (service or product).
In a nutshell, boosting your SEO can help you rake in visitors, and turn them into potential clients.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO rankings are based on several factors, coded in search engine algorithms, which place your website further up or down the search results. Boosting your SEO can help increase the number of visitors on your website, especially through unpaid (“organic”) traffic. This sort of traffic stems from online searches (video, text, image, news, etc.) relevant to your website, as well as backlinks (links from high-profile websites to your own).
Who Can Help You Boost Your SEO?
The experts in this field are SEO consultants or SEO specialists. These individuals take into consideration what algorithms are in place, i.e. what factors a search engine considers when ranking your website. They also consider which search engine your target audience uses, and tweak the SEO strategy for your website accordingly.
Basically, an SEO expert takes into consideration what you’re selling as well as what your target audience is searching for and where (which search engine), and then adjusts your website’s format and content to make it more visible to users.
A good SEO consultant will know how to handle the three layers, or three stages, of SEO:
- Assessing the structure of your website. When ranking websites, search engine crawlers go through your website to check for keywords, backlinks, original content, and so on. An SEO consultant should know how to assess the structure of your website, in terms of how crawler-friendly it is, or how easy it is for crawlers to check out and index your page’s content.
- On-page SEO. There is the content we see and the content we don’t even notice on websites. In addition to making sure that your written content includes popularly searched keywords and phrases which are related to your business (the content we see), an SEO expert also needs to take care of the unseen content on your website. This includes making sure that HTML tags and even image tags and names are written in a way that can boost organic traffic to your website.
- Off-page SEO. This includes link building or creating backlinks from high-profile websites that lead to your site.
An SEO consultant should have extensive knowledge of various internet marketing channels, so as to help your businesses maintain a presence across various platforms (omnichannel marketing). Additionally, they should be familiar with various keyword optimization tools (Ahrefs, Google Search Console, Keywords Everywhere, and so on).
What Are the Tasks of an SEO Consultant?
Some of the main tasks of an SEO consultant include:
- Helping you reach your marketing objectives.
- The three layers of SEO: the ones we talked about above!
- Keyword research, analysis, and mapping.
- Increasing your online visibility.
- Boosting your website’s SERPs placement.
- Research and analysis of your target audience.
- Copywriting skills: to help you create more attractive and SEO-friendly headlines, subheadings, metatags, meta descriptions, and so on.
- Content development: one of the main ways to improve your SEO ranking is to churn out some high-quality content that’s relevant to your website on a regular basis. An SEO expert can help you come up with new content ideas and topics.
What Problems Can an SEO Consultant Help You With?
If you’re finding that your website doesn’t reach many visitors and buyers, you may wish to contact an SEO consultant for help. They can help you edit and add content that can boost your website’s ranking in the SERPs.
As we mentioned in the last section, one of the best ways to improve your site’s ranking in the SERPs, and thus one of the key methods to get more organic traffic, is to feature great content. Most websites – ones devoted to media and press, businesses, NGOs, organizations, universities, churches, and so on – feature blogs, which contain content relevant to the site’s topic and the interests of the visitor/customer.
So, as they say in SEO – content is king. Regardless of what your business is, or if you’re earning money online from ads or things like the Amazon affiliate program, there’s always room for some good blog posts on your website. Plus, you don’t only need good content for your blog, you’ll need it for your home page, about page, product pages, etc. Let’s take a look at who can help you create great content to draw in more visitors and turn them into buyers.
Who Can Help You Create Great Content?
The go-to professionals for website and blog content are, you guessed it, content writers (also referred to as web content writers). Content writers have the capability to write a good, original piece on a given subject while taking into consideration the needs of your website, its visitors, and the internet algorithms that dictate ranking.
As we briefly mentioned, content writers produce all types of written content for the web, including blog posts and articles (informative articles, comparison guides, how-to guides, and so on), product descriptions for your eCommerce store, sales copy, texts for graphics, and even e-books. Although a good deal of content writers have an educational background in English, communications, creative writing, or journalism, it’s not a necessary prerequisite. When hiring a content writer, it’s best to look over a portfolio of their work or ask them to prepare a sample text for your website.
Some skills that content writers possess include:
- Good writing and grammar. Every type of writing requires a different structure, syntax, and language (word choice). For instance, writing blog articles is completely different to writing academic essays. An experienced content writer knows that, and knows how to write for your website’s audience (concisely and clearly). It also goes without saying that they should have a strong handle on grammar.
- Research skills. Content writers often produce content on various topics, so they have to regularly do research for different clients and assignments.
- Basic knowledge of WordPress. You may want your content writer to write blog articles and post them on your site themselves. Content writers know how to write and publish articles on WordPress.
- Optional skills: topic specialties, social media marketing. If your topic is very specific and requires some knowledge of intricate technical systems, you may wish to look for a content writer that is acquainted with the subject to some level. If you’re trying to market your product or service across social media platforms, you’d want a content writer who knows how to write short, concise lines and paragraphs to draw in clients.
What Are the Tasks of a Content Writer?
Some of the tasks of a content writer include:
- Writing articles, blog posts, and content for your website. Content writers will adhere to the tone of your website and your audience in their writing to make sure every content piece is on-brand. They keep the information relevant to your site, and relevant to the readers’ interests.
- Creating social media posts. If you’re trying to market your product across various platforms, a content writer can help come up with a catchy text to draw in clients.
- Product descriptions. If you’re starting up your eCommerce store, getting professional help with product descriptions can be a great idea – especially if you don’t feel like writing is your forte. This is because after looking at the photo of your product, the second thing a potential buyer looks at is the product description – so it better be good.
- Including keywords and phrases in the content. As we mentioned, an SEO consultant may help you come up with a content strategy based on what your target audience is searching for online. They then assign this topic to a content writer, who makes sure to include the keywords they’ve been provided with to rank higher in the SERPs.
What Problems Can a Content Writer Help You With?
If you want to expand your website to include a blog, in order to rank higher in the SERPs and draw in more visitors through organic traffic, you may wish to hire a content writer. This also means that if you find organic traffic to your website to be low, a good content writer can help you fix it.
You can also get help from a content writer if you’re having trouble writing the main pages of your site (like about page, home page, FAQs, products/services page). Just provide them with the main information or topic, and they’ll do the rest.
7. Getting Help From Online Services
If you feel confident enough about handling your website without a team, and just need help to manage some aspects of it, you may wish to look for service providers that provide online assistance with WordPress. Here are some examples of online services that can help you out:
- WordPress maintenance services. A WP maintenance service is useful in managing the day-to-day aspects of your site so that it always runs smoothly and you face as little issues as possible. Our WordPress maintenance service offers daily backups, WordPress core updates, plugin and theme updates and compatibility, optimizing databases and website performance, website and uptime monitoring (making sure your site doesn’t go down), as well as 24/7 support.
- Ask your host for help with WordPress error codes. While some WP error codes are easy to fix, others can be a bit of a hassle and require a bit of coding. You can turn to your hosting provider for support with these types of problems, so you won’t have to deal with them yourself.
- Custom website designs. If you’re looking for affordable custom web design, but don’t want to deal with bringing together a team, you can get your custom web design from a team of professionals here, at Domain Name Sanity!
- Email hosting. Growing businesses need their own email hosting and management.
A Few Words Before You Go…
Hopefully, we’ve helped you figure out exactly what, and more importantly, who you need to sort out your WordPress-related task or problem. There are lots of excellent experts out there that can help you with every aspect of your website and business – all you have to do is ask. With a bit of learning and a bit of support, your site will grow and so will your profit margin!
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