Search for “build a wordpress website in an hour” and you’ll see hundreds of articles with tutorial and tips on building your own website. The authors aren’t wrong – WordPress is easy to use out of the box and it is possible to have a website up and running in an hour. My husband even did it for his blog site. But will the website you end up with match the vision of what you want in your head? If you think you will build a website for your business in one hour, five hours or even two months without previous experience with WordPress, CSS, HTML and PHP you will be sadly disappointed.
Why Build Your Own WordPress Website?
Build your own WordPress website if you want to play around with WordPress and understand how it works. My husband wanted to learn WordPress and decided to start with a personal blog. This is working out great for him – he can experiment with themes and plugins all he wants because he isn’t worried about branding or presenting a consistent face to customers. My own personal blog (sadly neglected right now) is the same way – it changes constantly and I play around with WordPress. Sometimes I break it, but I’m OK with that because I know I don’t have much of a readership and my business doesn’t depend on the site.
If you want to go beyond the basics, expect to invest time into learning CSS, HTML and perhaps some PHP. For my personal blog I have the experience to change the css and html and add or remove parts of the theme to fit a vision I have in my head. This is experience gained over 10 years of working with websites and programming applications. My husband has no experience with CSS or HTML and is teaching himself, but he gets frustrated between learning something and applying it to his site. Right now he is too busy with other things to mind much, but at some point he says he wants to “get it straightened out”.
There are many all-inclusive or specialty themes that you can find on the internet that will help you get a site that matches your vision, but expect to spend a lot of time to learn how the theme works. Some themes are very complicated. I worked with one recently that took me 10 hours to get the hang of. The client came to me after installing the theme because they couldn’t figure out how to use it.
Why Have a Professional Build Your WordPress Website?
Whether you have a template in mind or want a custom design, working with a professional will ensure that you end up with a WordPress website that matches your vision right from the start. If starting from a pre-made WordPress theme a professional should be able to get everything set up for you and working so that you can take over and manage it going forward. I offer training or a customize manual with screenshots from the client’s site as well as 30 days of free email support with all projects.
Think of your WordPress website like a car. With no experience you can drive off the lot with a white Buick that looks like everyone else’s car. If you want to put some work into learning auto mechanics you can add features to the car and even change the color, but you’d expect to spend time doing it and the outcome might not be as professional-looking as it could be, but you are paying very little (or even nothing) for it. For a car that has the nice stereo, interior, air conditioning and a nice paint job you’re probably going to want to take it to a professional. Your WordPress website is just the same.
Your Business Site Should Look Professional
If you want to use WordPress to build a business website and don’t have CSS, HTML and PHP coding skills, please get professional assistance. Your site will reflect your business; in some cases it may be the only side of the business that your customers see. It needs to be right, it needs to be responsive, it needs to conform to usability standards and it needs to be optimized for search engines. It needs to be all of those things right out of the box, not six months down the road or when you have time.
I’m not against people building their own websites, however I’m all for educating those people about the time and energy they will need to put into the process in order to achieve the results they expect. If you building a site for fun or for personal use – go for it! Learning is never a waste of time. But be realistic. If you think you will build a website for your business in an hour or five hours or two months without previous experience with WordPress, CSS, HTML and PHP you will be sadly disappointed.