I hate to keep writing about WordPress, but with it being so prevalent in the world today it makes for a prime topic.
It really surprises me the number of people that call themselves “Web Design Professionals,” when there is a lot more to being a web design professional than simply adding some text, and putting in some pictures.
Having worked in the web design industry since the early 2000s, there are a lot of things that you learn that are dos and don’ts, but I routinely see the don’ts in a large portion of WordPress websites. I’m becoming a firm believer that Web Design Professionals are misrepresenting themselves, and are in fact little more than someone who installed WordPress, added some graphics and text, and said “wow, look I made a website. I can do this professionally.” This would be like a 15-year-old getting his driver’s permit and telling everyone that he’s a professional Nascar driver.
I’m sorry, but a true web designer is going to need to know more than just how to add text and a few graphics. Any 5-year-old can do that. But being able to perform any technical requirements requires some expertise.
I recently encountered a “Professional WordPress Web Designer” who didn’t know how to FTP the WordPress files to an account on a server for installation, and the only way he knew how to install WordPress was to use an automatic installer, such as Fantastico or Softaculous. Really, that’s pretty scary. Any half brained true web professional could do this. That’s what screams AMATEUR. What’s going to happen when there’s the inevitable technical issue that needs to be resolved? There’s no auto-installer to help with that. Now, granted, for the most part, you should be able to install and go, not having to worry about it any further. But with every professional class website, you are going to need to do some tweaking here, or tweaking there at the server level, if anything to tighten the security of the install. I’ll go into security in another blog.
As with any project, don’t go with what is popular, but go with what will do the job, question and interview the “contractor” to ensure that they actually know what they are doing, and that the person isn’t just passing him or herself off as a professional when they are no more than a wannabe amateur.