You want control of your WordPress website. You paid a lot of money for it and when you ask for things to be done you want them done quickly. The trouble is, your web developer is very busy and sometimes it takes a while for the work to get done. Sometimes it doesn’t get done at all. It’s frustrating the hell out of you because you hear all your business colleagues telling you how easy WordPress is to work with. Why can they make the changes and you can’t? While we are at it, why is everyone talking about blogging but your blog is nowhere to be found? Here are 3 signs that you don’t have as much control over your WordPress website as you thought you would:
- You don’t see the “Plugins” or “Appearance” button on your side menu bar when logged in to WordPress.
Wordpress was designed to be user friendly and flexible. You can change themes, add plugins and direct content wherever you want to. The reason is Roles and Capabilities. “WordPress uses a concept of Roles, designed to give the site owner the ability to control what users can and cannot do within the site.”
Undoubtedly there are risks with adding plugins willy-nilly or changing themes at the drop of a hat, but if you want to be able to change the look and feel of your own site and add functionality then you need to have full administration access to your site.
If you can’t see the “Appearance” or “Plugins” button then your access level is probably not set to Administrator. Ask your web developer to change your role to Administrator because you want the capabilities of an administrator.
- You have Administrator access but you still can’t install or switch themes or install new plugins.
The Capabilities of any role can actually be changed. This means that a web designer setting up a site for you could add you as an administrator but manually change the database or use a plugin to set your user’s Capabilities to disable certain functionality. The potential issue here is that Plugins and Themes can provide potential backdoor access to hackers. If your Plugins aren’t being updated on a regular basis then your site at a higher risk of being hacked. If you want to gain this control back, again you will have to talk to the web developer and ask for those capabilities.
- You can’t find your WordPress blog.
Perhaps you didn’t know this, but WordPress was first and foremost a self-publishing tool. We’re talking about blogging. Getting your head around Posts versus Pages is one of the first steps to realising that your WordPress is more than just a website. Google loves blogs and getting indexed quickly is one of the reasons for the rise of content marketing and the renaissance of blogging in general.
If you don’t know where your blog is located you are potentially missing out on one of the best reasons for using WordPress in the first place. To find your blog, go into Settings, Reading and see what “Page” your “Posts” are being sent to and see how many Posts you have set to display.
Once your Blog is found and you are starting to get some content up, go and learn about Taxonomies. (maybe I’ll talk about Taxonomies next time)
Your web developer will have his or her own reasons for controlling this access. This is commonly to do with past clients making changes that were fatal to the website, but maybe you never told them that you wanted a blog, maybe you indicated you were worried about breaking the website. Sometimes circumstances change. I’m not saying the reasons are good or bad and I am not taking sides of either web developer or business owner.
In the interests of good communication, and a good and lasting relationship between web developer and business owner, the levels of control and access should be clearly addressed by both parties before commissioning the site build. Flexibility and understanding should be exercised afterwards.
As the website and business owner, you should have knowledge and control over this crucial aspect of your business. If you are uncomfortable with having access and control over your WordPress website, nurture the relationship with your web developer and keep the lines of communication open.
If you want to get a review of your website, don’t forget about our Digital Enterprise Program Mentoring. To learn more about WordPress, make sure you book into one of our free upcoming WordPress workshops.