Do you have a WordPress site that needs maintenance or updating? As a Boise WordPress developer, many of my clients are local to the Boise area. But I help people from all over who hire me to add pages to their website or even redesign the whole site. (See my portfolio here.) It’s fairly easy to find WordPress developers that can do things on your site, but a fair word of advice is in order.

Beware of Cheap Developers

Whether you use a Boise WordPress developer or someone from another location

Many people can get your site to do what you want it to do. Often they will update the files in a way that renders your site unable to update. This is a big problem because WordPress updates the core all the time for security reasons and to keep up with technology trends. So, if your site can’t update without breaking, you’ll soon need to redo your site to even be able to use it.

I’ve seen this happen over and over again. Someone needs something done on their website. So, they hire the cheapest WordPress developer they can find and trust them to make the changes. Some developers don’t understand how the theme is set up. So, they write custom code, often inside the theme files, or plugin core files. This seems to work at first, but quickly you notice that your site needs updating. When you go to update the site, something goes a little wonky, or worse yet, your site could completely break.

What should you do to avoid this?

To keep yourself safe, you need to ask your developer to try to only use the theme settings and the customizer to add code. This is the safest way to make changes that can work through updates in the future.

Some themes are better than others for updating and making changes that will be safe for future updates. While I have used and am familiar with many themes over the years, my favorite is Divi by Elegant Themes. I now use it in all my WordPress sites I build. There are many reasons I exclusively use Divi. One is that there are so many settings that can do what I want inside the theme, so I don’t often need to add custom code to do things. When I do need to add code, there are safe places within the theme to do those things without breaking things. This makes it much better down the road when things need to be updated.

Update: While I still love Divi for it’s ease of use and great visual builder, for some sites, it may be better to custom code a theme so that you can get the fastest page speed and optimize the site more than you can do with any page builder theme. For this, I recommend a starter theme, such as Underscore or Sage. You lose the ability to see what you’re editing while you’re building it, but the speed you gain from having a very simple theme and clean code may be worth the loss of convenience in some cases. I am finding that some of my clients really prefer having a visual builder (I’m still using divi for those) while others really just want the best performance they can get in a site (custom coding a theme for those). So, this is a decision you can make when building the site.

What if I just don’t update my site?

What if you don’t update your site? Your site can last longer without updating, right? While this may be a convincing argument, it’s not a good one. Updating your site is one of the best ways to keep out hackers. If you don’t update your site, chances are hackers will find you. And that costs a lot of money to repair. You can’t run a contaminated site on most hosting platforms, so they will shut down your site until you clean it up. It’s a bad mess, with costly consequences.

So, what’s a person to do?

Here are my final words of advice as a Boise WordPress Developer. Be careful who you hire to do your WordPress development. Stick with the same person if possible. They will be more familiar with your site and modify it in a cleaner way. Ask for referrals and read the reviews. You’ll be happier with the end results if you do a little homework and research first. Don’t be afraid of higher prices. Often the people who charge higher prices can do the work in a shorter amount of time. Plus, if you can avoid expensive problems, you’re better off in the long run.

If it seems like we may be a good fit, do your homework. Read my reviews. View my portfolio. And then, set up a consultation where we can discuss your business and find out what kinds of things I can help you with.