A lot of red flags started waving
when I picked up the phone that night after dinner.
- Her business partner was an angel. Literally. (Actually, an archangel.)
- Her developers had left her in the lurch.
- The referral had come from someone I barely knew.
And she was in a hurry.
That was a problem.
It wasn’t her fault.
But the very first task took way more hours than it needed to. That was the housekeeping of combining two separate websites into one and converting visitors into customers.
It wasn’t her fault.
But she had always said she didn’t know much about building websites. So she’d left everything in the hands of two developers.
Who had taken two completely different approaches.
On two different platforms.
With two very different ways of organizing information.
Oddly, it was the WordPress site that was the hardest to switch.
This site you’re on is a WordPress site.
Built properly, a WordPress site is like a house built from Legos.
Everything fits together. Yet you can rearrange it nearly endlessly.
Change a few blocks, and you can change a lot of things fast and easily. If they don’t perform better than before, you can rearrange things again.
But to have that flexibility, you have to use the blocks.
On a WordPress website, those Lego blocks are the posts.
The posts are where the meat of a site belongs:
- Blog entries.
- News stories.
- And more.
“A whole site with nothing but posts? Pages are where the cool layouts are!”
We use pages to show our posts in all those cool layouts.
Maybe the lead article on a news page takes up half the space, and then the others are in a grid – each with a photo, the headline and a few lines from the text.
Maybe all the pictures are in circles. Or there’s just one giant picture and then a listing of headlines.
When you’re working with posts as the building blocks, making those kinds of design decisions is fairly straightforward. And it’s not a big deal to change them.
“But what’s so terrible about having each article on a page?”
It’s not terrible. It does make things hard to work with.
That’s the situation I faced when I was combining those two sites for my client and her angel.
I thought the site on the different platform was going to be hard, but it wasn’t.
It was the WordPress site that kept me up until all hours.
If you build a WordPress site with pages instead of posts, you have a lot less flexibility. And these pages had code in every paragraph that, until it went away, would keep the site from taking on a unifying design.
So. To recap:
On a WordPress site, posts are the bricks. Pages are the walls.