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Insider Report SERIES

WORDPRESS:
 YOUR WEB DEVELOPER IS SHORTCHANGING YOU! Are you using or considering WordPress for your practice website? Find out the real reason web developers sell WordPress websites and why private practice owners should not buy them. Reading time: 15 min



Your web developer is shortchanging you!

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This document was produced by PracticePulse Website:

practicepulse.com


Contact:

info@practicepulse.com

Disclaimer: While the author has used best efforts in preparing this document, no representations or warranties are made regarding accuracy or completeness or fitness for particular purpose or suitability for your situation. No liability will be accepted. Due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, certain links and website information contained in this publication may have changed. Copyright: © PracticePulse. All rights reserved. You are free to share, distribute and print this document as long as you don’t modify it in any way. Version: 1.0 (July 2017)


Your web developer is shortchanging you!

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Table of contents What is WordPress?

4

Where it all began

4

What’s so good about WordPress?

4

How you’re being shortchanged

6

WordPress is popular, but not for the reasons you’d think

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What you’re really buying

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PracticePulse: Making things right for private practice

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Get on the right track today

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About PracticePulse

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A message from Yalcin Yilmaz, PracticePulse.com founder.

If you are reading this, chances are you’ve heard much about WordPress for managing your website lately. Let me first set the tone: I think WordPress is marvellous. I get how it works under the hood and I love the power it offers me both as a developer and a website manager. But then again, I know my way around these things.

Unfortunately, there are several key problems at the core of WordPress. There needs to be a more balanced evaluation without the hype. This is especially true for you as a local health business in private practice.

You have specific needs, limited resources and minimal interest in technology – you’d rather focus on what you do best instead. You don’t want to get stuck with a tool that will always get in the way of your business while you pay for the privilege. It is for this reason that I decided in the early days of PracticePulse that we wouldn’t offer WordPress websites. Instead, we architected a system that gives businesses in private practice all the power, flexibility, features and support that they need from their website. No overwhelm, no confusion, no high up-front costs. As a web development company, we would save o ton of expenses by switching to selling WordPress websites. However, I’m simply not convinced that it is the right choice for our clients. If you love tinkering with technology and have the time, chances are PracticePulse is not right for you, and you will love WordPress. Read this report and decide for yourself.


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WHAT IS WORDPRESS? Where it all began Websites are typically built by highly technical engineers who’ve mastered special computer languages to compose a website to make it look and function the way it does. Every time you load some web page, incredible amounts of computing is performed across several layers of technology to render the page in your browser. It would be impossible for the average person to even edit basic content on a single web page without special knowledge. Over the years, tools called Content Management Systems (CMS) were invented for this reason. CMS software is installed alongside your website. A non-technical website manager can log into an admin console provided by the CMS to make updates to page contents and website settings. The CMS is then responsible for completing the remaining tasks across the complicated layers of technology, so visitors can see the revised content. The website manager no longer needs web development skills. WordPress is one such CMS. It started out purely as a small blogging system; It gained popularity in the 2000s as blogging proved valuable for publishers and business owners alike. Over time, really smart software engineers evolved WordPress to include website management features and became the powerhouse that it is.

What’s so good about WordPress? Wordpress is “open source” Open source means that the original WordPress developers/owners offer it to the public (and other developers) free of charge. Anyone who has the technical skill could install it on their website without paying for it. Open source also means any skilled web developer could collaborate in its future development, enhancements and direction.


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WordPress is not the only open source CMS but is the most popular. Other big names include Joomla and Drupal.

Low cost Because it is open source, you don’t have to pay for the software itself. However, as a typical private practice owner, you will still need to pay a web developer to download, install and configure WordPress before you can use it to manage your website yourself.

Themes: Designs for your website Think of WordPress as a skeleton, onto which you can put different skins to give it a different look. Being so popular, there are tens of thousands of skins (themes) available. This is another way WordPress can save you money — instead of paying a designer, you can select a pre-made theme to skin your WordPress installation. You may need to purchase a theme, but usually they’re quite cheap (under $100). The difficult part is to find a theme that suits your branding — and more importantly, a theme that your target users/patients/clients will enjoy using.

Plugins: Adding features to your website Plugins add new features to WordPress. For example, if you want to add an appointment form to your website, there’s probably a plugin for it. Just like with themes, there are tens of thousands of plugins available and some require purchase.


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HOW YOU’RE BEING SHORTCHANGED WordPress is popular, but not for the reasons you’d think Remember that WordPress has been developed over several years by real web developers, technical artisans and engineers. Nowadays, any lesser-skilled technician, marketer or tech-savvy person can launch a new website simply by following a checklist: 1.

Download and install WordPress on a web server

2.

Find a cheap (or free) theme that the client likes the look of

3.

Install some plugins to provide required functionality

4.

Give the website admin console to client, so they can maintain it themselves

With WordPress in hand (for free), many so-called web developers could quickly build a website and charge clients good money for little actual work. WordPress even advertises its famous “5-minute install”, directly targeting lesser-skilled web developers (not you, the practice owner). So everyone got on the WordPress bandwagon, citing its power and flexibility. In reality, its tremendous popularity is driven purely by web developers who want to churn out websites and get paid quickly. Today, WordPress is a hugely popular CMS, mostly pushed by average web developers who have their own interests at heart. The client’s needs are an afterthought, if anything. There are excellent cases for using WordPress, but it is not for everybody. Consumer mis-education and demand for cheaper websites means the average private practice business owner is left with a website that doesn't deliver on expectations. They feel helpless and frustrated.


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What you’re really buying Expensive website Websites built with WordPress may seem cost effective from the outset, especially if provided by a solo web developer with little technical knowledge or experience in your industry. Costs will add up very quickly if you want a website that is tailored to your and your visitors’ specific needs (i.e. a website that works).

Generic admin console So most WordPress implementations don't live up to the “user-friendly” vision. Since it is trying to do everything for everyone, the admin console can be very confusing to use. Each time you add plugins, your website and admin console get even more confusing. In fact, the only people who are comfortable with the WordPress admin console are developers and other highly technical people. The ideal admin console helps you to do exactly what you want, and not overwhelm you.

Abundance… of mediocre themes With its popularity, designers have also jumped on the WordPress bandwagon… and most of them are just as unskilled as the majority of web developers. 99% of themes will lose design integrity when put into practice. They can’t possibly cater for all combinations of uses and plugins. It’s really hard work to find a suitable theme that still looks good as you customise and use it. Then, 2 years later when you decide to get a new theme, you will find all the customisation you paid for has to be reversed and redesigned for your new theme.


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… and mediocre plugins Plugins are a great idea, in essence. They allow WordPress to do things that it wasn’t intended to do as a core product. WordPress doesn’t do a great deal without plugins. For example, certain plugins help make a WordPress website rank better in search engines or provide appointment request forms. But just like the plethora of themes, 99% of plugins are simply rubbish. Besides, wouldn’t your visitors expect things like appointment forms? Why are these things afterthoughts? When it comes to higher rankings in search engines, plugins alone won’t help you one bit. There’s still a ton of work to be done. These plugins simply make it easier for the website manager (or SEO professional) to update and monitor your website with this goal in mind… Again, these should be built-in, not an afterthought.

Slow website WordPress can do a lot. It can be customised in countless ways. All this can come at a cost of performance. We’re talking about slow loading pages that need to load dozens of unnecessary features that are not even used. The speed of your website affects search engine placements negatively.

Security flaws… this is important! Being open source is a two edged sword… Legitimate developers can view and fix bugs, but this also means hackers are able to easily exploit vulnerabilities or build plugins or themes that offer a back-door entrance to your website, opening it to hacking and information theft. Widely available themes and plugins are not screened for quality or fitness for purpose. Furthermore, it is very easy for the website administrator to install these via the admin console. As there are millions of websites running WordPress they are an obvious target for


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computer hackers. At best, many plugins will spam you with advertisement while you manage your website. At worst you’ve just opened up a backdoor for hackers to hijack your website, simply by installing what you thought was a useful plugin. When your website is hijacked, it could steal your data (such as user information), or delete your content, or even replace all your content with whatever the hacker has chosen. It is also likely that your admin console access will be blocked and you can’t even log in. One day it’s business as usual; next day your website is selling erection pills and you find out from a client on the phone. Just do a Google search for “my WordPress website has been hacked”. See how many hits you get. Updating your WordPress installation, themes and plugins regularly is a good start to combatting security issues. Of course, this is provided that you know what you are doing. An update could be incompatible with one or more of your plugins or themes. By updating WordPress, you've just completely broken your website. Not long ago, there was one WordPress release that caused havoc. You can read about it here. This is a case where WordPress alone (not plugins) opened itself up to hacking. You did make a backup, right? You know how to restore the backup, right? If not, be prepared to hire someone and pay heaps. There’s a whole industry of WordPress security related services. Even when you buy a theme or plugin from a reputable source, security could be a problem. Below is an email we received from Envato a little while back, warning their clients of possible vulnerabilities in their themes:


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Expensive support and maintenance If you are comfortable with technology and have the time to get your hands dirty, WordPress is a wonder to tinker with. Otherwise, do you know what you’re getting yourself into? How will you manage your risks? Where do you get emergency technical support? Will your web developer care for you enough to be around? Even during the normal course of things, the WordPress software requires updates and backups. What happens when your theme or a plugin is not compatible with the most recent update? How will you go back to the way things were before you clicked the simple “Update now” button or your website got hacked? Note that right now, you haven’t even started to think about whether your website hits its business goals. You’ve just been managing things. An entire industry of WordPress maintenance services has been born because most small business owners can’t manage their WordPress websites. Just Google for “WordPress support plans” to see how much the going rates are. This is in addition to the thousands of dollars you paid for your website in the first place.


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PRACTICEPULSE: MAKING THINGS RIGHT FOR PRIVATE PRACTICE Think of WordPress as a fold-out sofa bed. Millions of people use them; they are practical, portable, cheap and readily available. It might be fine in the corner of a cafe, but a physiotherapist would not unfold a sofa bed to treat patients. With WordPress, website developers have essentially trained unsuspecting business owners about the way things are done while protecting their own interests. Don't drown in a sea of 70,000 rickety plugins duct-taped to your website. All the core features and functionality you need should be built into your website system, based on research and evidence. Don’t lose yourself in 15,000 design themes which may or may not work together with your chosen plugins and content. Why can’t there just be a handful of researched, beautiful, effective and professional designs that you and your visitors will love? We stand for what our clients need. This is why we’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, starting with the end in mind. Our cloud-hosted CMS requires no installation or maintenance by our clients. It is engineered, developed and monitored by our engineers so you never have to think about anything except your message. It would be so much easier for us to switch our offering over to WordPress. But we have an obligation towards our clients.


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GET ON THE RIGHT TRACK TODAY We’ve developed the best website and content management system available to health businesses in private practice. Then we added unlimited world-class support.

Built for healthcare industry, based on collective intelligence & best practice. Unlimited support and advice from your own account manager. Gorgeous and effective design themes — change whenever you want. All the tools and features you will need — like having the best plugins installed and configured for you. New features added as technology & your needs change — don’t lift a finger. Always secure, monitored, backed up and updated. SEO and mobile optimised. Simple admin console — implement new ideas easily. No confusing bells and whistles. Cost effective — no large investment or risk involved. 2-day setup.

Get in touch today, for no obligation assessment and advice.



About PracticePulse We are experts in creating, marketing and managing private practice websites, helping generate more business for our customers and making them local heroes. Talk to the experts who only work with health businesses in private practice‌ Visit: practicepulse.com

Many other private practice business owners are asking the same questions as you. So we wrote a big book. Get it here: clinicsinthecloud.com

WordPress: Your web developer is shortchanging you!  

Are you using or considering WordPress for your practice website? Find out the real reason web developers sell WordPress websites and why pr...

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