I published my first website in 1998 and you really needed to know HTML. You can see it here! Ten years on I was using WordPress for most of my sites. WordPress is easy, if you can use a word processor you can at least blog. WordPress is free. You can also learn to use plugins if you are a WordPress.org person with your own domain. Plugins (apps created for free by the thousands of WordPress authors) do amazing things like set up forms or share buttons, cache and stats, spam bots and seo. Over the past couple of years or so page builders have come to the fore.
Some criticisms of WordPress are that it is primarily a contact management system and not a website builder like FourSquare, Wix or Weebly. These latter have a drag and drop facility, you can see what you are doing while you are doing it. Neither do you have to register and host your own domain. Not having your own domain is a considerable drawback as far as I am concerned. Everyone should have their own domain. To add to that, having your own domain is easy these days. Hosting is cheap $2 to $4 a month, registration $12 a year. Hardly breaking the bank are we? So that objection flies out of the window. Hosting by WordPress using one of their plans is expensive and limited. The installation of WordPress onto your domain is a matter of three clicks away (I’ve counted them) if you can read you are mostly there. No specialised knowledge needed, and, likewise no need for help, though some companies will offer to do it for you, sigh, a fool and their money :).
Like other systems WordPress has themes and thousands are free. You can pay for premium themes tho I have only done this once. There are also themes that make your site look like a site and not a blog. Sydney is a theme like this and you can see it here: http://TheAugmentedAge.com/ it’s not a blog it’s a website. You can get a theme which has associated plugins and these make creating the site even easier especially the ones that work with page builders.
Elementor is a free (there is a pro version but you don’t really need it) WordPress plugin. It has been around for over a year tho I have just discovered it and I am amazed. This page was created using Elementor.
This plugin has taken the whole notion of drag and drop to new heights. There are videos how to use it so no problem there but once you have the basics under your belt it’s a piece of cake. AND boy can you make some pretty websites especially coupled with an Elementor-friendly theme like OceanWP. However a caveat is that it will work with any theme – it’s that good. One thing I love is the ease of using fonts. I love fonts and as I get older the fonts I use have become more refined. This one is a Google font ‘Open Sans’. I also love ‘Special Elite’ which i reserve for http://MyDigitalJourney.org another Elementor site but only a week old.
We are living in an age of digital agility and we may be judged by our digital quotient. See http://DQ.ie for more info, and the good news is you can improve it, not like some other quotients I could mention. An excellent way of improving it is to have and manage your own domain. Gone are the days when you needed coding skills, gone are the days of freebies that looked like freebies. It is also the most digitally creative act you can do without long expensive training. It can be a hobby and also it gives you loads of street cred! email@example.com looks good.
Are Web Designers dead?
Well as a web designer I am about to commit seppuku. My time is done here. I think the days of paying outrageous fees to design a website are gone. WordPress and Elementor have raised the bar…Oh no hang on I can teach Digital Literacy. And everyone needs their hand holding when taking baby steps. So I can be a mentor to those wishing to improve their digital competency not just on the Internet but with it.
So I am here to help, no charge I’m retired.
Come on it’s 2018 for god’s sake!
If you don’t believe me here, in the video below, is the proof.