Having started my WordPress journey 12 years back, the first thing that struck my mind was why is WordPress so hard to use? After all, the developers could have just provided a push-button platform for non-geeks like me.
So I searched for answers and came up with 7 possible reasons for what makes WordPress so difficult to use and the possible solutions to make WordPress more user-friendly.
1. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS)
WordPress, offered by the WordPress.org foundation, is a CMS and not a proprietary blog publishing service like Blogger or WordPress.com. It is an open-source software intended for website owners who wish to run their websites after purchasing a domain and hosting.
It is used by casual and professional bloggers, marketers, merchants, news sites, dog lovers, and practically anyone who has a mind, can think, and walk on two legs.
WordPress is intended to manage your blog posts and other data like images and files and learning WordPress, naturally, involves a short learning curve.
WordPress is to be installed on your host server and only then can you use it for blogging or other purposes.
Many users get spooked when required to install WordPress on their own.
2. There are some settings to configure in WordPress
Novices just starting out with WordPress usually get frustrated with the settings that need to be configured before they can start churning out juicy blog posts.
There are widget settings, display settings, menu settings, and so many more settings to configure that a newbie blogger will find herself so overwhelmed at first that she will want to give up blogging with WordPress forthwith.
Fortunately, there are reliable beginner WordPress guides on starting a WordPress blog from scratch which I strongly recommend you go through before starting your WordPress journey to avoid later complications.
3. You need to select a WordPress theme…ouch
Another reason why WordPress beginners consider it hard to use is due to the availability of thousands of free themes and they are often confused about the right theme to use on their blog.
What makes matters worse is that there is a baffling number of configuration options in modern WordPress themes like the header options, sidebar and widget settings, etc.
I did not even mention the myriad color options on offer that confuses you further.
Spoilt for choice, aren’t we?
4. Plugins complicate matters further
As if choosing a theme from thousands on offer wasn’t enough, plugins have complicated matters even more.
There are literally thousands of free, freemium, and premium plugins to dip your fingers into.
And plugins really are the life and soul of WordPress since they extend its capabilities endlessly.
You will have a hard time choosing the best plugins for speed optimization, search engine optimization (SEO), contact forms, and so on.
You get the point.
5. Hey but what about this SEO stuff?
If you thought that selecting a theme and the right plugins were the only difficult aspects of WordPress, think again. You also need to hone your search engine optimization(SEO) skills if you don’t wish to be the only person reading your stuff.
SEO is the art of ranking higher on search results, mostly Google.
So you will need to first install a good SEO plugin, then configure it and do keyword research (the words people are searching on Google to get to your site, desperately).
And finally, write a blog post with the keywords in mind and at the same time ensure that it’s engaging enough to not induce your readers to sleep.
Where’s the wise guy who said running a WordPress blog was child’s play?
6. While you are WordPressing, don’t forget the Analytics
Researching the content ideas and writing the actual content is all fine but how will you know whether your enchanting writing is seducing the readers to your WordPress blog?
Enter the analytics solution.
You will need to set up an analytics tool either by way of a plugin or a script to measure the traffic and other events occurring on your WordPress blog.
And to make it really hard for you, there is no single analytics solution in sight. Although most of the WordPress blogs use Google Analytics, there are other analytics tools like Jetpack by Automattic, Clicky, etc. to choose from.
You can even deploy multiple analytics tools as many WordPress bloggers do.
7. The miscellaneous stuff to make you cry
Save the dessert for the end they say.
When your blog starts to get some traffic and you finally get someone other than your spouse to read your posts, you will also receive comments on your posts.
With great comments comes not just great responsibility to reply to those comments, but also spam.
To keep the spam comments in check you will need to monitor your comments regularly and delete the spam that sneaks in through your automated anti-spam filters.
You will also need to tweak your site design every now and then for the optimal user experience and to realize your conversion goals.
Of course, you cannot and should not ignore building a thriving email list to whom you can send the latest masterpiece that you published on your WordPress blog.
If WordPress is so hard to use, shouldn’t I just give up?
And stick to a platform like Blogger whose pages are shining bright on the 100th page of Google?
Of course not.
How to make WordPress easy to use
WordPress is not just hard work. Of course, it is not easy to use right off the bat, but then which blogging platform is?
But over time you when you get used to the WordPress dashboard and the various configuration options, you will start to enjoy and even relish your WordPress journey.
After all, WordPress is the software that powers 42% of all websites and holds a 65% share among all CMS’. This statistic is only climbing upwards.
It could not have attained such heights of popularity if it was too complicated to use.
Rather, here is an exhaustive list of easy-to-follow WordPress tutorials that you can refer to any time you feel lost in the WordPress jungle.
Learning WordPress is a process and not an event
I have been in the WordPress game for 12 years and guess what? I am still learning this wonderful software.
You should start small and eventually learn about the intricacies of using WordPress through trial and error. Don’t try to become an overnight WordPress expert, because no one can.
When starting your WordPress blog, it is always better to first get the basics right like installing a functional theme and configuring the basic plugins.
Only then should you explore WordPress in-depth like learning to create a fancy blog design using a fancier page builder or using a complex plugin to make your WordPress blog do wonderful stuff.
When in doubt ask the community
Don’t try to solve all your WordPress problems by yourself. Reach out to the thriving WordPress community via WordPress forums, plugin support forums, and Facebook groups.
In fact, there are hundreds of Facebook groups with thousands of members who are ever willing to solve your WordPress queries. All you need to do is ask.
Just start WordPressing!
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Give it a try. You will thank yourself later.
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