Just about the first question, every potential client asks us is, “Are your WordPress websites easy to maintain?”
And to be honest, it’s a fair question. (Skip the backstory and just read the interview.)
WordPress is one of the, if not the, most widely used CMS platforms used to build fully editable websites. At the time this blog post was written, WordPress states that it “powers over 40%” of the websites across the Internet. That’s a lot of websites. The open-source nature of the platform allows developers to create a wide variety of tools and plugins which allows content creators to build rich, digital experiences with little to no design or development skills needed.
But this doesn’t always mean a site built on WordPress is easy to maintain. In fact, when developed incorrectly, WordPress sites or any CMS-based site can be quickly turned into a ball of Duct tape that is nearly impossible to undo without causing major headaches.
So then it’s worth asking, how do we typically respond to this question?
“Yes. Our sites are easy to maintain and grow without the help of a designer or developer after launch.”
I know. I know … brag much. But we think it’s the truth. We take a specific approach to design and development that allows our clients to build new pages leveraging pre-made Gutenberg Blocks, pre-made drag-and-drop patterns, and simple-to-style templates driven by metadata fields.
Additionally, we work with our clients to identify what content types should be driven by page templates and what content should be more free-form. While I could go on about our process, we thought it would be best to sit down with one of our past clients and get their take on this topic and see if our response is accurate.
We sat down with Kyle Nowaczyk, Communications & Content Manager, from Dare2tri and asked him a series of questions to get his honest opinion on our approach to WordPress development and post-launch maintainability. Below is the interview.
Conversation with Kyle Nowaczyk of Dare2tri
Kurt: Kyle, can you talk a bit about your project? What were the goals of the new site? What struggles were you facing before the redesign? Do you have a background in design or have any prior professional design experience?
Kyle: We had several goals for the new site, but our top priorities centered around accessibility, enhancing the design, and amplifying our storytelling. Dare2tri works with a large number of people who are blind or visually impaired, so having a fully accessible site was crucial. From a design standpoint, our previous site was very limited. It was designed in Squarespace’s Developer Mode, which lacked the versatility and customization options we needed to create engaging content.
Since I had previous experience with WordPress page-building, I knew WordPress would be a good solution for Dare2tri from both an admin and user perspective. Made by Munsters’ custom theme was a major upgrade. From the homepage to the Spotlights section and beyond, we’re able to showcase our mission, our athletes, and our volunteers in a way we couldn’t before.
Kurt: Did you have experience with WordPress before the site redesign?
Kyle: Prior to the site redesign, I had roughly 4-5 years of experience with WordPress (at a different organization), so my comfort level with the platform was fairly high. I worked with a different page-builder/plug-in but the transition was pretty smooth. Throughout the site development, MBM walked me through each section they created to explain the ins and outs.
Kurt: What are your feelings now about WordPress? More specifically, do you think it’s relatively easy to create new pages or posts? What about creating engaging designs that use the tools Made by Munsters built for you?
Kyle: WordPress is great. It’s simple to maintain and work within. On average, I create anywhere between two and four pages or posts per month, sometimes more. With all the plugins available, it’s extremely versatile, especially when you have the right developers to work with and guide you along the way.
Thanks to WordPress and MBM, we created a custom page for our online giving day that attracted the most visitors in our site’s history and helped us raise $200,000. WordPress makes it simple to expand your site as needs arise.
Kurt: Do you use the custom layout blocks Made by Munsters built?
Kyle: Anytime I create a new page, I use the custom layout blocks Made by Munsters built. There was a slight learning curve working with the grid block, but now I feel like a pro when I see a page come to life. You don’t need to have a deep understanding of web design or HTML to create great-looking pages.
I should note, I still have trouble with spacing from to time. That may just be my personality or design brain kicking in, but it does take me a few tries to get the spacing between sections correct.
Kurt: What would tell other current and or potential clients about the WordPress site Made by Munsters built for you?
Kyle: If you’re looking for a versatile custom site that’s not going to be a headache to manage, look no further. WordPress is the way to go.