Monday, July 11

Doing the Ultimate Blog Challenge

Well, I am up to Day 10 on the Ultimate Blog Challenge, but using my other site here.   As much as I am a lover of blogger and teach that to my students who are embarking on creating their own blog or website, I have seen the benefits of using WordPress, but it is not as easy as Blogger.

One does have a bit more ability to change/add things, and I like the SEO plugins that help you improve your Search  Engine Optimisation.  I'm still a bit of a luddite with it all though.  My thing is writing, NOT web design or similar.

WordPress folk tend to be a bit "nerdy" as they play around with the "back end" of a site.  However, I have found some interesting things  I work with a number of web designers as I provide content for some.

I am surprised how in efficient they are at working with their clients.  One site I work with is for a not-for-profit organisation and I do much of their content.  When I started going to WordPress MeetUps etc I learned how little the company, which was paid quite a high sum, didn't and doesn't, tell me much about the workings of the site.  

The assume (WRONGLY) that I know everything.  The guy seldom answers my emails until I ask the same question many times, and them I don't always feel that he has told me as much as I need to know.

It is frustrating.

I have had a discussion with a WordPress Guru - and he tells me the same thing.  It seems that some web designers

  • want to keep control (but are not always available for advice)
  • assume that the person doing the content knows all about the back end
  • has no instructed his/her client sufficiently 
  • has little interaction with the client after the site is "completed".

Life goes on though and mostly all the issues are minor.

I continue.

Saturday, July 2

Blogger or WordPress?

For years I have been a Blogger Fan - and happy.  I felt that as a Writer I needed to be a bit more technical to work with WordPress.  I have had a website with WordPress, but when I do Blogging Workshops I usually recommend Blogger.

I have attempted the Ultimate Blog Challenge before, but have not completed the tasks. This time - July 2016 - I am doing it again, but from my WordPress site. 

Recently I attended a WordPress Camp, and MeetUp, and am slowly coming to terms with all the  extra's that are available in WP, and am managing to use them.  Some challenges do come my way, but all is ok.  Mostly.

I do have a BIG complaint.  Not necessarily about WP, but about the "web designers" who charge a lot, and I don't think "service" their clients well.  For example, I have been the one helping out with a not-for-profit group.  I update their website, and do their blog.  With difficulty as the organisation does not give me all the data/information I need.

But when I learned more about the back end of WP I raised some questions with the "web designer" who charged a lot of money to change/create the website.  It was already done by someone who was very challenging to deal with and seldom did things when asked.

The new guy was full of promises and to be fair he did a good job in setting up, but that's where it ended.  He assumed (wrongly) that I was competent with WP, and I was not.

In my recent learning I found out quite a lot - and found out quite a lot that he didn't do, or didn't  inform us that he didn't do.

I've met this week with a big time WordPress user and expressed my concern at the way the site was done, but in 18 months no advice, or help. It has been hard to get him to do things that we knew we needed.  

Customer Service?  No - nothing.  He's even slack sending invoices.  I have to remind him.  Maybe he will not get any more reminders and we will find someone else to do it.  Mmmm.  Just thinking................

Here's my new blog.