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Wordpress

WordPress was originally designed for managing a blog. WordPress is open source which makes it cheap and accessible for developers. Developers from all around the world have built a large and diverse pool of plugins which makes WordPress quick and easy to customise. WooCommerce is an ecommerce framework built on top of WordPress and can be significantly enhanced with numerous plugins and extensions.

The WordPress platform is especially to suited for lead generation websites and small to Medium ecommerce. Benefits include:
  • Comparatively Cheaper development - One of the most cost effective platforms with low cost plugins, themes, and development, with an abundance of community help. 
  • Comparatively Cheaper hosting - WordPress popularity means there are many providers to choose from.  Because the platform is  generally more efficient, it is lighter on server resources
  • Deeply customisable through extensions and plugins - Many diverse plugins to choose from.
  • Scores well in the search results - Due to its fast performance and blogging functionality.

Hacked (1)1. It is important that you keep the website platform up-to-date and secure

A blogging platform originally, WordPress relies on multiple third party plugins to achieve specific functions. Each plugin varies in quality and can form a potential door for hackers to compromise a website.
The open source nature and the popularity of WordPress means hackers have access to the source code and their efforts will affect a large volume of websites.

WordPress and all the plugins, like any open source platform require regular updates to be installed to keep the website secure. Updates also provide performance improvements & feature enhancements. Unlike many other hosting companies, Zeald provides automatic updates your base platform and all the base plugins that the website ships with.

If you have chosen to customise and install additional plugins there is the chance that updates will conflict with other plugins and the base website. This might cause certain functions to break or change unexpectedly and it is important that you test the website thoroughly each time an update is applied. The more you customise your website the greater the chance of this occurring.

You or your developer can choose to apply updates and test yourself, or you can get Zeald to help out on a Time & Materials basis. If your website is especially customised or complex, we recommend that you purchase a maintenance programme in addition to your hosting to assist with the scheduling and testing procedure.

Automation /Integration: If you are connecting your WordPress website to a third party system eg ERP or POS, there will be ongoing updates and changes to the third party systems which may cause unexpected changes to the website or the connection. Additional time and budget should be reserved for testing and updating your connection and the website.

Learn more about our WordPress Security & Updates

plugins2. Leverage 1000's of plugins from developers around the world and save developing from scratch

WordPress thrives on its simplicity and “Click and build” architecture. WordPress leverages a large plugin ecosystem which makes it quicker and easier to customise. 
It can be tempting to add more & more features which make the website more complex and harder to use. In typical software systems, 64% of features are never or rarely used in reality.  Only 20% are commonly used.

Although plugins are developed by a third party, they need to be researched, configured, tested and often modified to meet your requirements. They also require ongoing updates and maintenance.

Compare to buying a new car (WordPress website) and installing a turbo (Plugin) to make the car go faster (requirements). Zeald provides the installation services (customisation) on a time and materials basis. Your mechanic (MS) will help you source the turbo for your car, then install configure and tune the turbo to get it running.
This involves connecting the turbo to the engine, also connecting the sensors, the cooling system, the lubricant. Then it is time to test and tune the turbo to maximise the speed and fuel efficiency. Not to mention upgrading the gearbox and brakes to handle the additional power.

If you are considering adding a plugin to customise your website it is important that you understand the pros and cons of customising as outlined in our Customisation Process

duedilligence (1)3. Plugin builders are responsible for their own technology

At the beginning, we discuss your requirements and help you source the most suitable plugin. We estimate the time and cost to setup, configure and test the plugin.

The plugin may not achieve your requirements as you expected. We can't foresee and know for sure if the plugin will achieve your unique requirements. No matter how thorough the upfront investigation or our experience using a plugin.

Once your turbo has been installed, we might discover the turbo is faulty. The car might not run as efficiently or go as fast as you expected; It is difficult to know until we start testing.
If you require more speed, we can help you install a different turbo or a custom exhaust (new plugin) if you are willing to invest further.
  • The plugin may have bugs. All software has bugs. 
  • The plugin might not do what it says it will do. Sometimes they don't work the way they are advertised. 
  • The plugin may change later or become unsupported. Sometimes a plugin builder will change the way the plugin works or drop features. Sometimes they might die or give up on the plugin. In which case the plugin is no longer supported, maintained, kept secure and updated.
We can help...
  • We might be able to customise the plugin install.
  • We can help you investigate and install a different plugin. 
  • We can help you log bugs or features on your behalf and work with the plugin builders. It is up to the plugin builder if and when they fix bugs or develop new features.
  • We can help you explore alternate options, perhaps changing the way you work behind the scenes. Sometimes a simple process change can save issues and costs associated with customisation
  • We will provide an estimate to help with any option you choose.
If the plugin function is key to your business, it is important that you do your own due diligence. You should research the developer and their company to ensure it is well supported, stable and secure and that it will remain so. You should test your specific requirements upfront before you build the website. Let us know and we can help you setup a test environment. It can be a worthwhile investment to avoid finding out later on, that the plugin doesn't perform a key function or work the way you were expecting.

design4. WooCommerce is great for a small/ medium ecommerce shop

WordPress was not originally designed to handle ecommerce transactions. WooCommerce is an ecommerce framework built on top of WordPress. The WooCommerce comfortable upper limit is around 2500 products /variations. 

WordPress is less scalable than other more purpose built platforms such as Magento. Features are prioritised over scalability. More plugins slow it down and complicate efforts to scale. 

The database structure that WordPress is built on is less robust and does not support more serious customisation and integration to automate business processes.

As your business grows and develops, your customer base, ecommerce functions and your product database will grow. The WordPress architecture will strain and you will need to consider a platform with more horsepower. Most WooCommerce stores are naturally small or middle sized with a few exceptions in the hands of professionals.

WP template5. WordPress WooCommerce leverages proven templates for design and layout

Your Marketing specialist will help you plan, wireframe, design and build a custom design for your homepage and the look and feel of the website container Eg. the Header, Footer and style guide). 

For the second level pages and the responsive (Mobile) display, we use pre-defined carefully selected themes. Themes provide a templated design/layout for each of the different page types and responsive views. 
Each template has been pressure tested and refined across many websites so the design is user friendly and results focused. Key features are located, displayed and function how users expect. The design is consistent across different browsers and devices.
Check template designs for the various themes: https://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/divi/

DIVI page builder plugin helps you customise and edit content pages like the homepage and other internal pages.

WooCommerce template pages. Eg. Category, Product, Cart, Checkout, My account, etc the design of these pages are all based off a template. The template defines where and how the data is displayed on the page. Check template designs for the various WooCommerce themes: https://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/divi/ 

If a unique design is important for you and your business, you may choose to invest in customising the design and layout of your key pages.  Keep in mind customisation requires additional investment for the upfront development and the ongoing maintenance. You should discuss this with your Digital Business Specialist (DBS)

WP testdrive (1)6. It is important you take the demo website for a test drive before you purchase  

You wouldn't spend thousands of $’s on a new car without first checking the specs, looking under the hood and taking it for a test drive.

We have setup a Demo Base Zeald WordPress & WooCommerce website for you to “try before you buy” This website is setup with all the Standard features and layout of a base WordPress Website that Zeald build as standard.

If you can't see your specific requirement please speak to your Digital Business Specialist (DBS) If a unique function or design is important for you and your business, you may choose to invest in customising the website. Keep in mind customisation requires additional cost for both the upfront development and the ongoing maintenance.

Patience7. It will take time to learn

As with any system, there is an interface to learn and with it a learning curve. You need patience, time and budget for you and the team to upskill in the new technology. You will likely be familiar and comfortable with your previous website management software from many years experience. You might expect your new system to work the same or similar to your current system. Website software is designed and built by different people from different backgrounds for different purposes (ie. WordPress was originally designed as a blogging software).

The more customisation and plugins your website uses, the more difficult it will be to learn. The more powerful and feature rich the system is, the more complex the interface needs to be to house the controls and necessary levers required to run the website. 
The base software was originally designed for administering a blog. It is not uncommon for a WordPress website to require 15 or more plugins. Plugins are built by different people from around the world. The design, usability and the support varies significantly. You have to learn where to go to find information or update content and settings associated with each plugin, for exampl you might change the image of your homepage under the “Super Duper Slider”. The online help might also be limited and difficult to find.

Zeald WP websites ship with DIVI page builder. DIVI allows you to create/ layout professional content pages without coding experience. DIVI is very powerful and flexible. With this power comes responsibility; DIVI will also allow you to break your website which might require developer intervention to resurrect or fix your page design. In such cases please contact our support team for an estimate as early as possible.

Index

  1. It is important that you keep the website platform up-to-date and secure
  2. Leverage 1000's of plugins from developers around the world and save developing from scratch
  3. Plugin builders are responsible for their own technology
  4. WooCommerce is great for a small/ medium ecommerce shop
  5. WordPress WooCommerce leverages proven templates for design and layout
  6. It is important you take the demo website for a test drive before you purchase 
  7. It will take time to learn

About Zeald

Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest SME website design and digital transformation agency in New Zealand and has clients throughout both New Zealand and Australia. This is the Zeald story …

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