Let’s say, hypothetically, you just decided to up your online marketing game for 2017.
That means an evaluation of your marketing goals and a plan to update your website to reflect your new, 2017 online marketing plan and maybe beginning to address those lofty, five-year goals in your head.
Let’s also say, hypothetically, you’ve been updating your own website for many, many years and feel it’s all, “no worries” to change things around. You’re a hypothetical online marketing professional, after all. Part of your new marketing plan is to offer packaged services and products. That means your website needs e-commerce abilities. Not a problem, you’ve worked with… oh, WooCommerce for WordPress, for years. NO BIG DEAL.
Until you realize your current WordPress theme doesn’t jive with WooCommerce.
The CSS is off and your first test product just looks HORRIBLE on your website. NOBODY IS GOING TO BUY YOUR SERVICES AND YOU WILL FAIL AT LIFE. Kidding.
We’d love to believe that looks aren’t everything, but they come pretty close to being everything on a website. You feel an emptiness in the pit of your stomach, a fear of truly not being as awesome as you thought you were. TECHNOLOGY, WHY DO YOU HATE ME? Then it hits you… you’re in the same place as your clients have been. Only, now you have to tell yourself that you need to invest some more time (and money) into your own website to make it work… to meet those goals and the deadlines that come before the goals.
In short… I AM SO SORRY.
I’ve just had to be my own client, so I know that when your website sucks, it can feel like a punch in the gut. It all started out so innocently, too, and as I work out the new bugs and publish new products on MojoWriting, I’m finding that I’m actually really, really happy with all of the changes I’ve had to make. BUT WOW, there’s a lot of nail-biting angst, fist-shaking at the clouds and personal reflection involved. I know that can’t be easy to hear from someone else who then wants to invoice you for their time and effort.
The MojoWriting website upgrade has given me a huge opportunity to walk myself through what I walk others through regularly, so I consider it all a big (pain-in-the-rear) win. Ready for some wisdom? Here you go:
- WordPress Theme Choice. ThemeForest is my favorite WordPress theme repository. I never use a theme that doesn’t have current technical support, a few months’ longevity on the site and at least 4 stars from reviewers. Also, it needs to support any major additions to a website, like WooCommerce, Bookly (appointment bookings) or any other go-to WordPress plug-ins.
- Fonts, Fonts, Fonts. For reasons I won’t go into, it used to be that font choices were serif, sans serif, or SOL. Ha! Fairly recently, those limitations gave way to web fonts that allowed more customized design choices. Google Fonts has made it easy to choose web fonts that are complimentary, fairly unique and that don’t pull you into a 6-hour rabbit hole of font-seeking, ending in your inability to read anything ever again. You want a theme that supports Google Fonts or similar, unless you’re totally okay with regular fonts.
- Bells and Whistles. When you start with WordPress, you get WordPress. WordPress is pretty easy to use at that level. When you add a premium theme, you get WordPress and the extras from that theme. You’re basically learning a new way to use WordPress through the theme’s controls, plus the WordPress controls. Once you add e-commerce or whatever, you’ve got a third level of control, and all of the learning curve that comes with it. Yes, it all will work well together, but you’re going to have to figure out HOW it all works together!
When I say WordPress is the easiest way to manage your website and give you the most control, I’m not lying. I’m also not saying it is easy… just the easiest solution. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right?
The good news is that with the right online marketing pro (ahem), you can find solutions to these and many other problems with your website. Your website probably doesn’t suck, it just needs a helping hand to get it back into the game.