For a good number of months now we have noticed an increase in the number of businesses approaching us with a new awareness of the benefits of using WordPress as a CMS. We understand that the decision makers need to be convinced of the benefits of a new solution before they begin to embrace it, but why now? Why the increased demand for WordPress as a comprehensive website solution? The answers may be found in the numbers.
WordPress by the numbers:
As of this post WordPress version 2.8 has been downloaded more then 5 million times.
So, what does that mean? What does this number tell us? If you think about it, 5 million downloads is not an very large number, however I would venture to guess that not all 5 million copies are live WordPress blog or sites . This begs the question then – what are people doing 5 million times and why? The increased number of downloads for the current version, comparatively speaking, means that a good number of downloads are falling into the category of discovery. Many times we are contacted by a Marketing VP or a IT Manager asking for help with specific questions about the application. Never before have we had such a number of people in the business arena reaching out to us and inquiring / hiring us for the purpose of helping them understand how WordPress can be used as a CMS for their corporate sites. When we take on the task we notice that they have already set up or tried to set up WordPress on their own.
Such an increased interest by corporate towards WordPress does not always translate to a successful deployment. In other words, what we have noticed as a result is an increased number of businesses being ripped off by fly by night developers/designers, and as much as I hate to say it from overseas outsourcing firms as well. Cutting corners with design and development costs is causing a backlash and high levels of frustration for businesses new to WordPress. I have three simple rules for businesses seeking help with WordPress design and development:
1 – Know the firm. You’d be surprised how many times the person on the other end of the email or phone is a guy in his pajamas coming across as a professional firm. Ask the where, who, and what of the vendor to ensure you are not being taken for a ride. Also, increasingly firms are outsourcing their work [your work] to less knowledgeable freelances and pocketing higher profits – be very mindful of this practice. If you opt to go overseas with your project – well all I can say is good luck. I am not saying it can’t be done, but I prefer to sleep at 3AM rather then be up for a meeting with someone who does not know me, my business, and our company culture.
2 – Ask and Tell. Ask all the questions you want, and look for contradictions. This is the best indicator of a future problem. Not saying people can’t correct themselves, but look out for the yeah we can do that, and the subsequent I am not sure we can do that statements. Also Tell the vendor what you want, and do not expect to be the tech expert. It is our job to understand and translate business needs in to technical solutions. I do not buy a car and expect to be able to recite the specs of the drive train and electronic on board computer to the dealer. All I care about is it will take me from point A to point B at the price I am willing to pay for it.
3 – Educate yourself. If you approach any subject without the some basic knowledge, you become gullible and prey to the one with the knowledge. Too many times I have seen how clients try to hide their lack of knowledge by boasting about the knowledge they have about their own business. When it comes to WordPress design and development – you need to know something about WordPress before you sit down to negotiate a solution for your business. If all you do if visit the WordPress sites and read about the platform, then do that. But never speak to a vendor without first doing some homework on the subject.
Nicasio Design knows and loves WordPress design and development. Ask us all you want to know about WordPress. We’d be glad to find a solution for you. Or, minimally point you in the right direction of some resources. For a list of our most recent WordPress design and / or development projects click on the Launches link.
WordPress design and development is a Nicasio Design tradition!