Here at Church Reach Media, my associates and I have had the opportunity to explore many different website : Weebly, Joomla, Squarespace, Wix, and of course, WordPress, to name a few. There are good things and not-so-good things with each of these. We LOVE WordPress here … but, to be fair …today, I want to focus on the top 5 problems with wordpress websites.
All these companies have done varying levels of good work developing websites that fit the common man’s website needs. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses… (but unfortunately that’s an article for another time).
Today we’re going to talk about WordPress, the company we settled on for our website-building, and why WordPress may or may not be the right fit for your church.
Now the title of this article may seem slightly confusing, considering Church Reach Media builds primarily WordPress websites. Shouldn’t our goal be to shake down the myths surrounding WordPress sites, and to alleviate any and all possible concerns you may have regarding these sites?
To tell you the truth, I’d love for you to choose Church Reach Media to build your church’s website. But I’m also going to be honest and show you the whole picture. When we’re done, you can decide for yourself if CRM is right for you.
Let’s jump right in.
What are the 5 biggest issues people have with WordPress sites?
This is a serious one. Even the most sheltered, internet-illiterate user knows the dangers of security issues such as hacking, viruses, and malware.
You know what a plugin is, right? Extra fonts, graphics, and all those other additives that make a website a little more personal? Well, In 2013, it came to light that the 50 most downloaded WordPress plugins were vulnerable to web attacks like SQL injections and XSS (malicious codes that can be inserted into your new, beautiful website and cause all kinds of problems).
Clearly this is a huge problem for many people. At Church Reach Media, we take security very seriously. Here are a few of our policies to keep in mind that may prevent this issue from being your WordPress deal-breaker.
– We always ask the question, “how often has this plugin been updated?” (The more often plugins are updated, the less likely they are to be attacked.)
– We use an automatic backup system off-site, which is updated every two weeks. This keeps a copy of your updated site, just in case the worst should happen.
– We also utilize antivirus, anti-malware plugins.
2. ERROR REPORTS
“I keep getting a 404 error report, and it won’t let me get back to the homepage!”
As frustrating as error reports can be, they are often very easily resolved. For example, error reports are often simply the result of missing or inaccurate code. Fix the code, and you fix the page. Sounds simple, right?
You may be thinking that’s easier said than done. Fortunately, we at Church Reach Media have a team of talented, trained professionals to fix that code and get your site back up and working for you, in no time flat.
3. USABILITY AND CONVERSION
Wordpress has come a long way in the world of template designs. They offer many fantastic, professional looks that work well for generating leads and keeping users happy.
In addition to this, the first rule of thumb when designing a website is Keep It Simple (I’ll refrain from adding the word, “Stupid,” which granted, would complete the acronym, but might offend your intelligence in the process).
Basically, users want to see a site that is aesthetically pleasing, and in today’s world, that means streamlined simplicity. Keep your basic colors neutral and or monochromatic (especially backgrounds and text), maybe allowing one or two (at the most) items with a little more pop or pizzazz.
Also, make sure your site’s navigation tabs are simple; 3-6 buttons seem to work best for users. Less than three makes your site seem shoddy and less reputable, while more than six makes it difficult for users to navigate, which can cause confusion.
Another thing that helps with usability is keeping loading times low. Research tells us that the average adult has an attention span of roughly 8 seconds. If your site takes longer than that to load, chances are people won’t stick around long enough to read your carefully crafted information.
Keeping your site simple helps with loading times. A good web host can also help; I recommend a WordPress-specific host such as Flywheel or WPEngine. One more little trick is to install a cache plugin, which can drastically reduce loading times for your users.
Another common complaint is that WordPress sites take too much time and effort to maintain. You have to add content and update information to keep up with the times, not to mention check periodically for user comments, broken links, and security issues.
We at Church Reach Media know you have many more important things to do than worry about your website. That’s why we started this company. We want to make sure you have the time to focus on the things that are truly important, while maintaining a great website that showcases your church and its mission.
5. MOBILE SITES
So many people access websites on their smart phones now, and your site cannot afford to be behind the times. Mobile friendly sites are both easier to see and easier to navigate on mobile devices.
At this point, nearly all WordPress themes are mobile friendly and responsive. If you’re wondering whether or not yours is… simply type the site’s url into your mobile device and see!
If you have an older or especially content-heavy site, you may want to consider installing a mobile friendly plugin such as Jetpack’s Mobile Theme module, which translates websites into an easy-to-read format perfect for smart phones and tablets.
*Quick Note: Try not to use too many popups (calls to action, email subscription offers, free ebook downloads, etc.). These can be off-putting to users, and tend not to translate well to mobile devices.
These are the top five most common complaints website builders have with WordPress sites. What do you think of WordPress sites? Leave a comment below and let us know!Share