Karen Skeens

Karen Skeens is a freelance creative director and web designer with 20 years agency and media experience from Phoenix and Seattle.

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WordPress vs HTML/CSS Websites

WordPress saves costly testing time

A good CMS (content management system) like WordPress comes with a ton of benefits. One key benefit is saving costly testing time.   

In 2001, I began specializing in custom built-from-scratch websites. I was fascinated by the web and dove in, exploring the many bells and whistles the web has to offer. At the time, my role was project manager, yet I spent a lot of time conducting web testing, troubleshooting solutions and handing them off to developers. 

Testing custom websites is exhausting. You must test every page in dozens of different browser / operating system combinations. You must test again every time a change or fix is made to a page. This adds a lot of extra cost to developing custom websites.

Enter the scene: WordPress themes and page builders. 

WordPress has come a long way since it was first released in 2003, but especially the last five years. If you work with a good, newer theme and/or a good, newer page builder that requires minimal (if any) HTML / CSS coding from scratch, there isn’t a need for traditional browser testing. The issues are already worked out, except for the occasional bug that may pop up during development or after WordPress or theme updates.


How to choose a good WordPress theme

 I am reminded when developers, including my firm, used to build shopping carts from scratch. They were nothing but headaches due to the need for excessive testing. Like other agencies, we moved to customizable “off-the-shelf” shopping carts that already had the bugs worked out and were in use in thousands of websites.

That’s where websites are at. Why build a website from scratch that’s going to need a ton of testing when you can get a highly customizable and functional “off-the-shelf” WordPress website? It means a lot less cost, testing time and headaches.

New Beginnings

Two days ago, at 3:00 in the morning, I awoke to find my Siamese cat, Molly, on the deck with a dead white duck. Molly proudly looked up at me, saw my disdain, and immediately took cover under the wicker chair.
I snatched her, slammed the pet door closed with her safely inside, and went back to bed. But all I could think of is how the pond I visit every day would be short one duck. There are always 12. Now there would be only 11. These ducks are like my personal pets; I visit them almost daily while walking my dogs.
The next day, I went to the deck to retrieve the duck and was taken aback at what I saw. It wasn’t a duck, but a beautiful white dove. Even as it lay lifeless.
I swear I had never seen a more beautiful bird. I was so saddened over the loss of its life.
I looked up the meaning and symbolism of white doves – both alive and dead. There are many meanings, but the main meaning seemed to be: “new beginnings.”
That day I skipped my daily walk to the pond.
But today, I took my two pups for a walk around the pond where the ducks, turtles and large goldfish live. They are a source of true joy for me. And I often count the ducks in the pond, curious why the number always remains at 12, never more, never less.
But today on my walk, I was distracted. The path was extra busy with lots of walkers and kids. I only glanced at the ducks.
As I circled around the pond, something in the pond caught my eye. And I stopped in my tracks and began excitedly counting. One, two, ten, 20…I counted 80. There were 80 ducks! All swimming every which way in the pond. It was probably my 500th walk around that pond in almost two years. But today, there were not a dozen ducks, but 80!!
Coincidence in timing?
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