Cheap – the Option that Frequently Costs You More

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Cheap – the High Cost of the Discount CultureI wrote back here about why doing things on the cheap (particularly important things) is a false economy.

Today I have another example of how easy it is for the cheap option to end up costing you more.

I was approached by a company that, in order to save money, had asked an acquaintance to build a WordPress website for them.

That was, apparently, 2 years ago.

I came into the picture, the other day, when I was asked to take a look at this website (which, after 2 years, still hasn’t been launched) because it had a couple of problems – specifically, that you could not view any pages at all other than the Home page.

It also occasionally gave them malware warnings.

When I logged into the site here’s what I found:

  • The theme had been written from scratch by someone who signed themselves ‘Anonymous’ (an unfortunate choice of name given that it’s also used by a well-established group of hackers)
  • The CSS in the stylesheet can best be described as ‘exceedingly proprietary’. (The ‘body’ selector, which should only be used once, had been used 35 times and the stylesheet contained BASE64 code)
  • Some good plugins had been installed but also a number of completely unnecessary ones, which were of a type that quite significantly slows down page load times
  • As far as I could tell, no security had been built in (as a result of which, possibly, malware had been inserted, hence the warnings)
  • The default WordPress theme had been removed (it’s good practice to leave that installed because you can use it as part of troubleshooting to establish whether or not the problem stems from the theme. It’s also the perfect theme on which to base a child theme if you want to create a unique design.)

To further muddy the waters, I understand the site had been originally built on a Linux server and then transferred to a Windows server. While WordPress does run on Windows it’s not recommended, particularly for business sites, and many plugins are unstable or simply do not work on Windows-hosted WordPress websites.

So, all-in-all, this was a pretty sickly website, in need of some remedial surgery – which will cost money.

This is an ongoing story, the end of which is still some way off. But the moral is already clear to see: if the company in question had approached a professional WordPress development company in the first place, all these problems would have been avoided.

For sure, they would have paid more than they probably paid their ‘acquaintance’. But it would have been a lot less than they will have paid by the time the site is healthy and live..!

Plus, the site would have been live and operating about 1 year and 10 months ago!

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Martin Malden

About the author: Martin Malden owns Abledragon, a WordPress agency that was established in 2009. Today it serves customers in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK. Abledragon websites are built for today’s Internet, with the mobile user in mind, and are known for security and speed. Successful Abledragon projects.