Theme Changes: Myth or Fact?

Making Changes: Myth or Fact?

We love WordPress, which is why it is the only content management system we provide for our clients. There are others, but WP does a good job.

However, there are misconceptions that people have about it. Basically today’s WP is not yesterday’s WP. What was simple, is now far more complex. What used to be easy to change, is now not as easy.

People always come to us and say “I want to be able to make major changes with a click. That’s what WP is all about right?”

Yes it is… or it can be… but not so much as it used to be!

Let’s talk about this a bit.

My experience tells me that most people, once they are happy with the site, do not change it for light and transient reasons. When sites do what they need to do there is little reason to change them. When has Google or Yahoo or the New York Times made huge changes in their sites? Hardly ever, if at all! Why? The sites “work!” The sites are OK.

The keyword is “OK.” People think a website is going to make or break them. This is just not true. A website is just another marketing tool… like radio advertising, direct mail, cold-calling, networking, publicity, etc. While having a good website is more important now than it used to be, it is still a tool. No one does biz with you solely because of your website… there are many other factors involved.

A website is like a nice business suit and the proper accessories… shoes, bag, jewelry for women… tie and cufflinks and watch for men. You make an impression with your website… not the sale. Bad impression… probably no sale. Good impression… better chance for a sale.

Depending on how you look at it, there is either a structural problem OR a defined benefit with WordPress. The system was originally designed for simple blogging. It has successfully morphed into a viable content management system… the most popular one out there. One reason is that it is easy to add “look, feel, and function” to the site via themes and plugins. If you want “something” done, you can find a way to do it with WP. But what you gain in the new flexibility you lose also lose in the new flexibility.

The beauty of WP was the promise that IF you entered content in pages and posts you could change to any theme you want… and it is still true. But people have wandered way off the reservation and are building a lot of their sites with themes that have complex new code modules and plugins such that if they want to switch, it is not ¬†always slam-dunk.

Often, if you switch themes with the same vendor, there is some consistency, not always. And it is the wild, wild, west out there when it comes to moving to a different theme vendor. It is the same with free themes, and sometimes even more difficult to switch if you are making use of a lot of vendor-specific proprietary modules and plugins.

The truth of the matter is that the oft-hailed holy-grail and rallying call of Word Press… “It is simple to switch how your site looks” has become somewhat of a myth IF the site was constructed using lots of proprietary widgets and shortcodes and plugins.

So what does our company do?

There are some design outfits (our competitors) who will not build any sites using any special or proprietary tools making it easier to switch themes. Those sites are often very “bland.” People don’t like them… they are boring. These new tools can really add pizzaz to a site and that is what people want.

Other outfits basically BUILD their OWN theme almost from scratch such that it is almost impossible to switch themes.

We’re decided to compromise somewhere in the middle by using a single vendor with a most popular “framework” called Genesis which is the “engine” behind the actual themes that you see on the site. :

This article tells why we chose Genesis.

Even using the excellent Genesis platform, we want to emphasize to our clients that it is “prudent” to take some time in deciding what theme they want to use because the ease of EASILY changing themes has become more of a myth with the advent of all of these proprietary tools. We think it is better to “measure twice and cut once” than to follow the old adage that “There is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over.”