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Because WordPress itself is free, open-source software, and there are many good free themes and plugins, people have the mistaken idea that building a WordPress website should be free — -or at least very cheap. While you can set up a WordPress.com site for your business for a mere $4/month, you’ll pay a lot more than that in time if you aren’t familiar with WordPress, and you do have to put up with feature limitations.

If you hire an experienced developer or agency, even a very simple website is going to cost a minimum of $1000 and an average of…


If you think managing a website is hard, remember what it was like when you were learning to drive.

This is a spinoff of a longer article I published on my WP Fangirl blog, originally posted on LinkedIn and revised slightly for Medium.

The secret to successful outcomes is managing expectations. If you make over-inflated claims about your product or service, people are bound to be disappointed. Disappointed customers write bad reviews, complain about you on social media, and don’t want to work with you again.

Let’s face it: most software is unnecessarily confusing. Anyone who calls herself a developer has an obligation to test what she’s created on actual humans. …


If you want a successful outcome, better get your ducks in a row

It’s not easy to hire a web developer. If you are a typical business owner or marketing manager, you don’t write code at all. That makes it hard for you to know whether the person whose portfolio you’re looking at writes good code, or even good-enough code. (By “good-enough” I mean it does what you wanted it to, it doesn’t break something else, it doesn’t suck up all your server resources, and it’s not full of mile-wide security holes.)

Fortunately, there are lots of helpful articles to guide you through the interview process. I especially like “How To Hire A…


Although we weren’t in a position to provide a comprehensive overview, Jonathan Denwood, John Locke, Kim Shivler and I did our best to compare some of the popular form-building plugins for WordPress in Episode 159 of the WP-Tonic Podcast.

So. Many. Form. Plugins.

I remember well when Gravity Forms was the only sophisticated form plugin for WordPress, and the only premium form plugin. Over the years it’s been joined by many others, enough that it’s difficult to keep track of them all: Formidable Pro, Ninja Forms, CaptainForm, Caldera Forms, WPForms–and many more. There seem to be almost as many form plugins as page builders…


In Episode 157 of the WP-Tonic podcast, I got together with Jonathan Denwood, John Locke, Jackie D’Elia, and special guest Robert Abela of WP White Security to talk about site migrations.

Moving a WordPress Site to a New Host

Moving a WordPress site from one host to another is usually pretty straightforward, especially if you are keeping the same domain. I normally use BackupBuddy for this, because you put the import script and backup file into an empty directory and it takes care of almost everything else. …


My colleague Cody Landefeld just posted a great video about the difficulties that companies face in finding the right person (or team) to build their websites. I’ve encountered similar situations myself: clients come to me after someone else has disappeared in the middle of a project, or worse, taken their money and produced nothing at all. The WordPress professionals I know are honest, but not everyone is a good fit for every project–or every client–even if they have perfect integrity. If you’re looking to hire someone to (re)build your site for you, take 2 minutes and watch this video.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know your website has to be mobile-friendly to avoid search penalties. Google laid down the law about this in 2015. Even if you confuse “responsive design” with the current trend for single-column websites with long scrolling home pages and full-width hero images, you’re aware that your website has to work on phones and tablets.

What you may not know is how mobile-friendliness constrains your design choices. One of the reasons that single-column layouts are so popular is that you don’t have to worry about how to stack the columns on smaller screens…


This is not an intuitive interface…either for the driver or the horse!

People have described WordPress as “intuitive,” but in fact we’ve known since at least 1994 that no user interface, online or off, is “intuitive.” If you grew up driving a horse-drawn buggy (people still do), then it’s obvious to you that the way to turn your vehicle to the left is to pull on the left rein (but not too hard). If, on the other hand, you grew up with automobiles, it’s obvious to you that to turn your vehicle to the left, you twist the steering wheel to the left.

Come to that, I recently drove a rental car…


London’s Carnaby Street, 1969. By The National Archives UK, via Wikimedia Commons

I’m reading Millennials and Management by Lee Caraher after hearing her speak at BACN on Friday. The book analyzes various stereotypes about Millennials and assesses their basis in reality, as well as suggesting methods for developing successful intergenerational teams.


It starts as soon as I see the sign that tells me I’m entering Kern County, whenever I drive south on Interstate 5 to Los Angeles. I know I was well past the county line when it happened, but my eyes dart off to the right, gauging the thickness of fence posts, checking to see whether the ground behind them is flat or hollowed out, then looking hastily back at the road in front of me.

“Is that my ditch?” I wonder constantly, comparing these brief glimpses with increasingly distant memories.

I remember the name Buttonwillow, how it struck me…

Sallie Goetsch

WordPress Fangirl, meetup organizer, copywriter, podcast enthusiast, cat lover, and Mazda 6 owner. Married to @StefanDidak

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