WordPress Site Development

Aug 21, 2013 articles, wordpress

There is a right way and a wrong way how to develop a client’s WordPress site.

When you develop a site for a client you more than likely always put it up on a test server before you put it on their live server. This gives them a chance to look it over and to “finalize” everything before you go live.

A sure way to tell the amateurs from the professionals is when the company or person doing the development installs an unfinished WordPress site onto your live site and works off the live site. This means they know nothing about code and only know how to do things in the Admin section of your site. (which by the way is where you the client would edit the site, so why are you paying someone to do something you can do?) If this is the method your company or developer wants to do it, don’t let them! At that point you tell them you want to see a test site on a test server before you put anything up on your live server. If they say this is how they do it with all their other clients, time to find a new company! And no, BLOCK SEARCH ENGINES isn’t the same thing as blocking all and any traffic. See below…

If let’s say the client has a fresh domain name and hosting and basically has nothing on the live server you could use their live server for the testing area. But you DO NOT display it to the public. And no, that doesn’t mean just check the box in the WordPress admin panel that says block search engines. This means to setup a redirect to an Under Construction page to all IP addresses outside your clients and you the developer. This redirects all traffic to the under construction page, the allowed IP address, the cleint’s and the developer’s will see the site as if it were live, but everyone else won’t. Finding your IP address is simple! Just Google “whats my ip address”.

What’s up with the Lorem ipsum?

Just the other day I meet someone who was in the “Industry” and they handed me their card. They said the were a new startup and were social media specialists, and a high end marketing company. I went to their site and cruised the “staff” section and every bio had Lorem Ipsum! Of course it was a WordPress Template site, and I guess they overlooked that section, but they did add the correct photos so maybe they decided the Lorem Ipsum was fine? Not very professional, especially when you claim to be a high end marketing company.

Recently Ive been looking at some of my competitors websites. Googling, website by “competitors name”, one competitor in particular has tons of sites that have all Lorem Ipsum text. This tells me either they don’t know what they are doing or they have purchased a template and put it on client’s live server and just haven’t gotten around to editing the dummy text in the template. But the site is live and just sitting there unfinished.

It’s not that hard to spot the amateurs from the professionals when you’ve been around the block.

In conclusion

Before hiring a company for any CMS platform. Whether it be WordPress, Joomla, Drupal. Ask what their process is, ask how they present the site before it goes live. If like I mentioned they want to install and use your live server as a testing ground, make sure that either a) You don’t have a current site up already, why take down an official site for a “in the works” site? or b) They use a redirect technique to all outside visitors except for your specific IP address and theirs for the duration of the project.  Note this might this redirect technique might be “outside” you, the client, tech realm. But the redirect is super simple for someone who works with websites. If they don’t know how to do this…then you might want to find someone who is a little more tech savvy to build your website!