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WordPress consultancy services: does it makes sense?

WordPress is one of the easiest technologies to work with, especially when you know nothing about it. It’s also very simple if you need to create a web page with text and an image. Moreover, you can buy a template for approximately $30-$100, tweak it with minimal effort, and be happy with your beautiful site.

I used to work in production for a while, and I’m used to the principle: “Shit in Shit out.

I don’t know the numbers of WP sites used by companies vs individuals. Even Google AI doesn’t know it, despite it being an even better web consulting company than devurai is 😀 Although what you can find is that even huge companies use it for their presence. Take a look on 40 HUGE companies which utilize WP

I also know that our clients are mainly companies (9/10) who really care when they have a perfect setup of their WordPress/WooCommerce instance. And usually, it’s really far from perfect (sometimes those are done not by the brilliant and beloved full-stack developers of Devurai, bless their outsourcing souls).
Note: sometimes there are really good sites without issues. Honestly, it happens even not that rarely.

Issues I’ve personally seen.

Let’s put it this way: I’ve seen a huge number of problems. Being a software development company owner, we had to create marketing materials for each and every client. Actually, it led us to the creation of a small separate WordPress department inside of Devurai, which has matured and grown into a WordPress consulting services department. This is when you not only can do things right but can also identify issues in systems built by others.

Going through hundreds (maybe thousands, I didn’t do official math) of issues, all of us can name the main, most repetitive and problematic ones literally right away:

  • Sites built using any of WordPress templates using site-builders (Elementor, for instance), which are meant to be universal for multiple customers. This leads to dramatic amounts of useless code, which not only loads the instance more but slows down the loading speed for the customers. Besides that, the number of non-used, and sometimes interconnected, WordPress plugins installed can cause an unacceptable number of bugs and issues.

    I don’t even want to mention what happens when you start updating things: I literally had a few cases when it was faster to re-build the whole system, rather updating all the existing plugins :-/ Slow loading speed due to the lack of proper optimization done. Spoiler: installing RocketCache or any other plugin won’t give you perfect results.
  • “Strange” user experience. My friends, making something “simple” is usually not the easiest task, which requires a lot of experience and knowledge
  • A lot of times – lack of scalability. And the most painful is not when you have issues with having more visitors (pay for a bigger server and forget about that), but when you cannot add another feature or plugin.
  • Terrible maintainability. Probably, we’ve all heard stories that the site goes down periodically or something went wrong by adding a page? If not–you are lucky, as we face it pretty frequently, and it’s a true pain 😀

I’m not trying to give you official statistics here. I can tell you that at least 2 of the issues combined were faced together by 60% of my last conversations. Although I remember just the last 5 of the consultancies we provided, so I’m not sure if that’s a proper number 🙂

So, is it that simple then?

Obviously, what I’m trying to say is no. And especially big NO, when it comes to making money (leads/sales/traffic money).

Let’s put it this way: if we say that just 1% of current WordPress instances are active and supposedly are made for making money–you have 835,000,000 * 0.01 = 8,350,000 competitors, using the same technology. Isn’t the number too high? It’s high, although there a research by barn2.com which I don’t have reasons not to trust.

Some of them do a good job, some of them do not. Although I personally don’t believe we need to think about them, but us. You need your site to make you money, not them to be bad 🙂

How to win?

Obviously,–be better.

Better in marketing. Better in the goods/services you provide. Better in the ideas you share. Better in the vision you have. And related to this particular post–be better in terms of the quality of the first communication channel you have. Be better in the experience your customers will have when opening your site, store, or system.

Being personally a software development consultant (I promise to add a link here when I write in detail about what I do there), I truly believe: you have to be close to flawless if you need your clients.

Is that possible? Obviously. I can tell you even more: in the majority of cases, you already have not that bad of a start! Sometimes it just needs a fresh view and a bit of love.

Where do we start

I can discuss the approaches for building anything in Web Development and Software in general. The long story short – everything requires a proper care, vision, and expertise. Let’s quickly step back to regular SDLC.

Based on my experience, when it comes to WordPress, usually (most of the cases), the “Architectural Design” is completely missing, and “Requirement Analysis” and “Planning” are at least partially missing. Sometimes even “Testing” could be missed, although let’s not talk about an extreme situation.

I can agree that «Architectural Design» aligns more with “software” itself. Although WordPress, technically, is a software as well. Even in a basic landing page, you can have pretty complex scripts (hero image animations, multi-language, etc), functionality (sign-up, callback request, live chat, etc). When it comes to WooCommerce or just bigger company sites, or specific WP software–the architecture of a build makes even more difference.

I had a case when our client wanted not only to translate the whole content but also to have it stored as a separate site (for making separate tweaks). I’m still happy our Senior WordPress developer asked another Senior developer if this made sense. It came up that the way he wanted to migrate content (using a plugin and doing an auto-translate on a new site) would potentially cause serious issues.

As a result, we created a small microservice responsible for translation and pushing the translated content to the second site, which made things way better. Yes, it took an additional 6 to 10 hours of work compared to the original ETA. However, we still think that if he had moved forward with his original plan, it would have taken him another 25-30 hours.

And it’s our best WP developer, who has never failed in his 6 years working for Devurai (okay, he did, but it was more than acceptable every time). Isn’t that a great example of an unofficial planning/ architectural design? 😀

You don’t need to spend weeks-months on investigation as it’s needed in.. for instance, payment gateways development. Although even a couple of hours to discuss which requirements we have, and which part to be selected, as site builder fits your needs more (Gutenberg for performance vs Elementor for quick changes), or which plugin makes more sense (SliderEvolution when you need more “wow”, vs custom for perfect scores). Selecting proper hosting, cache mechanisms, CDNs, etc.

Doesn’t it worth investing <10% of the total budget in the beginning for that, rather than spending another 20% afterward or having a wrong result?

Mykyta Not Famous

“We know everything”

Words of true experts, who know how much a black car costs, even without asking if it shouldn’t be a truck.

There’re over 70,000 WordPress plugins. Could you imagine anyone who worked even with 1% of those? Most likely not. Moreover, a lot of those plugins aren’t that well compatible, and the majority of those don’t work the way intended (painful reality). I can ensure you, nobody can know in advance what will work out, or what will not. I can say even more–even perfect planning won’t guarantee you that, but will at least help avoid wrong STRATEGIС solutions.

I’d like to be very blunt: it’s absolutely normal that you expect a complex feature in WordPress to take 2x or even 3x less time compared to what it really has to take. It’s still a 3rd party software where you need to align a lot of components between each other, and facing a tremendous issue can happen.

In the meantime, you can work on a preliminary vision of what will be done easily, and where you might face issues. I can say that this is something between «Architectural Design» and «Planning», which makes an absolutely fine sense.

Simple expamle of planning

Let’s take a bit complex feature as an example. For instance, an eCommerce with an Upsell and a payment gateway which isn’t supported by the UpSell plugin (for instance, FunnelKit). This is a pretty common case, which I faced 3 times in the last 3 months, with some minor differences.

How would the ideal planning look like, from my personal perspective:

  • Understand what you need for 80% (<10 mins)
  • Write down a very high-level number of action items to be conducted (<30 mins) Outline potentially problematic steps vs simple ones (<2 mins)
  • Confirm the vision together, so we’re 100% on the same page (<30 mins)
  • Make adjustments (<15 mins)

By adding these 1-1.5 hours of work, we can know for sure what will be simple and where we will face issues, taking those into planning. Predicted problems are way less painful, aren’t they? At least we can plan the budget and timelines in advance 🙂

Is that exactly a WordPress consulting?

Above is just a minor example of how you can have processes much more lenient. And it’s <10% of what you can expect as a part of IT consulting services.

At devurai, I accentuate the focus on:

  • Optimization: #1 step always. Your site/software should work flawlessly (bold DOT).
  • Template Adjustment: user experience must be good. By doing a basic review and tweak, you can change everything.
  • Custom plugins: I believe that to stand out, it’s best to be unique. Utilizing custom solutions with non-standard steps, you can bring an experience to your customers that your competitors didn’t think of.
  • Proper migration: I think I spoke about an architecture a lot above. «Shit in-> shit out»
  • Security: from basic security setup to a pan testing. You don’t want to loose your data, right? 🙂

By the way, funny moment is that only when it comes to WordPress I don’t separate small business it consulting vs eneterprise. This is a moment when probably, customers expect the same, if not even more from a small company, compared to any enterprise.

Why do I might need a wordpress consultation

I think it’s simple: you might achieve better results. You might have already found your WordPress developer rock-star. You might be sticking to a nice company already. You might not have them.

The idea is not in replacing your team, or finding a new one. The idea is in a proper, processed and outlined approach, and the main thing – the reputation of being straightforward.

A proper web consulting company will tell you the truth about what’s going on, where you are, and

what you should expect. I genuinely believe that only clarity can **properly** affect your decision in growing your business in a certain way.

Knowing, that your architecture or template will not allow you to add a SAMPLE feature, or make all the pages load in <2 second, or… whatever else you might think of should change your direction. Knowing that you have a bottleneck there or having a non-secure feature somewhere should affect you a lot.

I truly believe you cannot afford having those troubles. I don’t even want to imagine investing a couple tens of thousands in ads pointing to a site which loads 5 seconds, loosing you 80% of traffic even before the site is loaded.

How does it work?

WordPress is not simple, you have to utilize it better. Here the marketing moment comes! You can talk to the brightest, the most clever, and just brilliant Devurai WordPress consultants!

What can they do, you ask (I know you didn’t, but I answer!):

  1. Review in very details the current setup.
  2. Review the key metrics, performance, structure, and logic of the build.
  3. Give you a fair answer if it makes sense to work with the current setup, and adjust it, or better to start from scratch.
  4. Give you a detailed report of adjustments to be made, so the site works viably better.
  5. Suggest to you the way of implementing new features, decomposing that in very detail and even giving the particular solutions (libs, plugins) which we can definitely suggest.
  6. Something which will help you get into a “Better position,” which I can say more particularly when I understand what is the “better position” for you personally.

The main thing you are going to get–clarity. I truly believe it’s the main component of a correct decision.

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