Dachia here, and welcome back to Focus On Your Small Business.
I have mentioned a few times that I belong to several groups online. Business, marketing, social media… Marvel.
I also belong to more particular groups like WordPress support, or mail chimp, LinkedIn, Facebook advertising, or several other social media platform support groups, or support for particular tools that I use or think others are or should be using. Basically, I am in a LOT of groups.
And because I spend my day, almost every day… almost all day…online, learning what’s working and what’s not and what has changed. I am in several groups and follow several experts who I refer people all the time.
For example, if you are thinking of creating a membership, I’ll turn you onto the Membership Guys on Facebook and their membership website and their podcasts. *
I love sharing my personal experiences and knowledge in my own building of a membership site, but I’m going to send you directly to the people who live this particular subject matter.
And if you want to create a webinar, again, I am happy to share my experience but if this is where you are going to plant your flag for your business, I’ll send you to Amy Porterfield.
I have no affiliate links with these people, I just know they know their stuff and I want you to succeed.
Now, having said that… I’m also going to share pieces and tidbits I pick up that I think you might benefit from.
Be it from a group or an article or blog post or a book.
So, today, I want to share a couple things about WordPress. WordPress is what I use in my own business. It hasn’t always been the case. I started about 15 years ago, with Godaddy. And at that time, they offered a website builder that was somewhat easy and was wysiwyg, what you see is what you get, drag and drop… and of course a pretty good customer service. I stayed with Godaddy for 10 years or more and then I tried to use wordpress.
Keep in mind, I’m completely self-taught in everything online.
When I first tried to switch to wordpress, I was still with go daddy, and I was completely lot, and because wordpress is not their product, go daddy didn’t offer an advice or support with it.
So, I thought I would need to switch hosts. I had heard other people rave about their host, and using wordpress and I thought one meant the other. So I switched to Bluehost.
Worst year of my business life ever. It was horrible. I still didn’t know anything about wordpress or how to use it and add to that that the customer service was horrible. Long wait times, never responded to messages… I hated them. As soon as my contract was up, 1 year, I switched back to Godaddy.
At around the same time, I found support groups online. I was figuring out wordpress on my own with LOTS of support from strangers.
I built a couple sites. I had some ideas on different business ventures and each time, I rebuilt m site. I moved my blog off blogger and onto my own site.
Now let me say here that if you have the funds to hire professional to build your site, and there is no aspect of building your site that you find enjoyable… then hire a pro. I would suggest using wordpress as your base for a couple reasons.
I likely have told you about dealing with the site builder company that handled the site for the real estate company I worked with.
The company was somewhat trapped. They could not make many changes on their own and they were completely at the mercy of the company that handled their website. And likely you remember that I thought they sucked. And their customer service was horrible and their business skills were appalling.
When they asked me to find them a new builder, the local guy who was way easier to work with, was using joomla. I had heard of joomla and as he went through the build of another site he did, I saw that joomla was way better than what we were currently stuck with.
But… we would still need him to do some things for us because the folks in the office were not site builders… they were realtors. And joomla is not as well known as wordpress.
So, after I left the company and my client there, I decided I was going to be an advocate for wordpress. Even if you have a pro build it… and a pro maintain it… I still suggest using wordpress so that person can never hold your site hostage.
At the real estate company, the entire build belonged to the builder. So when they discussed hiring another company, it was going to be quite a task to move their content.
Had it been built on wordpress, and they owned the theme, it would be their own work and easily moved to another theme or to be worked on by another company… or use a plug-in for this and that.
Now, I happen to enjoy working on my site. I like figuring stuff out. And everything is figureoutable.
But I know many of you are getting a tight chest just thinking about working on your website. I get it. I cried a few tars and screamed more than a few obscenities when I was first switching to wordpress…
Actually, I swear a lot anyway, so that last part doesn’t really carry much weight, but my point there is that I was very stressed and overwhelmed and there were months that would pass when my site was just a mess because I could not get motivated to even visit it, let alone open up the backend.
And I have another suggestion, if you are using a pro. The first one is to own your own theme and use wordpress, and have ownership of your site. The second one is to look over your pro’s shoulder when you can. Ask questions. Start bookmarking resources for wordpress support.
So if your builder suddenly raises his rates (more than you feel the job is worth), or gets in car accident and is out for a few months, or packs up and moves to Japan and quits the business… you have at least a modicum of understanding to know what you need and where to go to get it.
I’m actually putting together a one week course for folks who would rather have leaches on their body than to build a website… to build a simple bare bones site and have it published. We’ll go through getting a domain name, getting hosting, picking a theme and publishing a landing pager a blog or both.
I just want you to have an understanding of how your site works so that you are not completely stuck if you are stuck doing it yourself temporarily or longer.
Now, if you already have a site, and it’s built on wordpress, you’ll find some advice and resources on the membership site, but there is also a decent group on Facebook. The url is Facebook.com/groups/wphelpandshare/
Or do a search on Facebook for WordPress Help and Support, make sure you click on groups. The one you are looking for has 16,000 members at the time of this podcast.
I’ll include the link in the show notes, but I’m behind on getting show notes posted, so try to find it with my directions. Also, I’m happy to email you the link to the group, so just email me and ask for it. firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s not my group by the way. It’s just a group I found and joined and I think it is a good group.
Keep in mind that if you are spending hours and hours in research mode online, learning what you need to do to build your business and then hours more figuring out how… you might want to check out the membership site. It can save you many hours every month in research and determining which resources are accurate and worth your attention.
You can find more information and a webinar that will walk you through whether or not this is the right path for you, on dachia.com/membership
Until next week. Make it a good one. It’s all up you… with a little bit of me.
*Edited to Add that I am now listening to and following Stu McLaren in the membership building arena.