WordPress is not easy all the time, But it’s good

Can I tell you a story? You know I'm going to.

I had some free time. Plus, we were on vacation. And I was in my happy place – Cabo San Lucas.

So it just kind of made sense – especially since I'd already sent my wife and her friend to the spa – for me to book my own appointment.

I thought, why don't I book myself a haircut and then some sort of spa treatment. So that's what I did.

I'll be honest; I didn't read the spa treatment too closely because I'm a guy that doesn't pay attention to those kinds of details. On top of that, this was in the male section of the spa book. So it wasn't like they were going to do something horrific to me.

What could go wrong?

I arrived early and had some nice water with cucumber in it – the sign that I was in a posh place. I waited for them to call my name and proceeded to head to the salon.

They took me to the chair and proceeded to cut my hair. It was perfect (not sure how they could have screwed up my hair cut anyway), and I was happy.

From there I was asked to head to another table and to lay down. Since I'm a veteran of getting massages, this wasn't surprising to me.

I thought I would be getting some sort of shoulder massage and some thing called a facial peel – which sounded like a light scrubbing of my face with a warm towel.


Well, there was no massage. Instead it was just some warm stuff on my face. And then she said, “you may feel a pinch.”

Do you know what a chemical peel is?

Trust me, if you try to look it up, all you'll read about is the benefits of a chemical peel. You won't get the details of what that warm cream does to your face.

It burns off all your old skin. No one tells you that. And apparently this is something men don't know about (or don't talk about).

I didn't feel one pinch. I felt like crabs were eating my face off.

Sure the next layer of skin will be fresh, less wrinkled and all that.

But who cares? Especially after crabs have eaten your face off!

Why am I telling you this story?

I'm telling you this story because I hear a lot of people run around telling normal, everyday, non-developer, regular people that WordPress is super easy.

And yes, compared to coding a site by hand, it's super easy.

But that's a comparison most normal people aren't even considering.

And so they hear how easy it is, and they sign up for a site a little like I signed up for a spa treatment. They read the words but they don't totally get it.

And before you start judging people and blaming them, ask yourself what kinds of questions you would ask if I asked you to build me an airplane. It's likely that the extent of your expertise with planes is how the seats feel. So you wouldn't know the first thing to ask about the construction of an airplane.

Well most everyday people don't know the first thing about what questions to ask, or what answers to give, when it comes to getting a website launched.

Getting upset about that is silly. Like getting mad at me (or any guy) for not knowing what a facial micro peel is. Or for not asking the right questions.

[Tweet “Getting upset that a normal person doesn't know the inner workings of web development is silly.”]

Chemical peels hurt. And people can feel over their heads and frustrated when they're getting one – especially if they had no idea what they were about to experience.

Trust me. I know.

Spinning up a WordPress website can also be surprising and tough. We don't naturally have a simple onboarding experience without asking people to learn about:

  • themes
  • plugins
  • widgets
  • drag and drop themes or page building plugins
  • hosting options
  • domain name purchasing
  • domain name configuration with a host

Face it, it can be scary.

What I'm not saying.

I'm not saying WordPress sucks. I'm not saying it's super hard. I'm not saying it's so bad we should recommend other solutions.

What I'm saying is that we should stop acting like it's the easiest thing in the world. WordPress is not easy all the time, but it's a great platform. We need to keep remembering, however, what it was like to learn it.

[Tweet “We should stop acting like WordPress is super easy simply because we can't remember what it took for us to learn it.”]

Here's the good news.

The good news is that with a few simple choices, you can help new clients get on a good host (like WP Engine, SiteGround, or Pagely) and install a plugin like BeaverBuilder, and they can get most of the experience they would get on SquareSpace.

And the great news is that if their site grows and changes, they won't be stuck on a platform that can't change with it.

More good news – my peel stopped hurting within a couple hours (aided by Malibu & Diet) and my new skin took years off my life. I looked young again.

Ok, just kidding. I don't think I looked any different, but I did learn a lesson that day. Stick to haircuts.