EP333 – Is building a website as easy as they say it is?
Jason Tucker: 00:00 This is WPwatercooler, episode number 333 this topic is, is building a website as easy as they say it is. Let’s go before we go around the room, I just want to let you know that this particular episode of WPwatercooler is brought to you by ServerPress makers. That desktop server go over to their website over serverpress.com right? I know, that’s pretty awesome, isn’t it? So let’s go around the room real quick and get everyone introduced. Let’s go with say, let’s Sé, tell us a bit about yourself.
Sé Reed: 00:33 I don’t know who I am anymore. No. I’m Sé Reed. I make WordPress street for [inaudible] in limit. [inaudible] Preach WordPress at say, read media on all the things. And I’m a co organizer for WordCamp long beach and I just book some of the after parties can be real fun. So y’all people should come out and you should also talk about future WordPress cause it’s getting some traction and you should come chat about it.
Jason Tucker: 01:02 Awesome. Good to have you on as a always say. How about you? Cassper.
New Speaker: 01:08 I’m Jason Cosper and I forgot to put pants on this morning. Back to you Tucker.
Jason Tucker: 01:15 Glen, pants? Or no pants. How’s it going? Don’t say forget. Go and tell us a little about yourself.
Glen Ingram: 01:23 I’m Glen Ingram, I have a web design optimization business based in Huntington beach and we specialize in web accessibility. So
Sé Reed: 01:30 Wait, you optimize design search search. Okay. Cause like I didn’t know if there was a design optimization or design and optimization if those were separate or together.
Glen Ingram: 01:45 Yeah. Typically your first round is if you don’t design the website and optimize that properly, then they spend two to three times as much optimize offsite. So if you’d get the foundation built properly, the building works better.
Jason Tucker: 01:55 Glen’s optimizing your money is what’s happening here.
Sé Reed: 01:58 I’m not, but I think you can start with that. Screw design.
Jason Tucker: 02:02 I’m Jason Tucker, you can find me over at Jason Tucker on Twitter. My website is Jason Tucker.blog. I do this show as well as another show called WPblab. So feel free to go take a look at that Sé is freaking out because I’m actually making things show up on the screen here and it’s awesome. So you can go to wpwatercooler.com/subscribe that’s where you could find this show WPwatercooler as well as WPblab. The tweet, which we did yesterday and we talked a lot about we talked a lot about the, just the various things that were happening here in in WordPress over the summer from acquisitions to all sorts of other fun things
Sé Reed: 02:36 Be summer for WordPress, It’s sleepy, you know, no news that is happening.
Jason Tucker: 02:44 So “Is building a website is easy as they say it is?”
Sé Reed: 02:47 I have a sec. A way to rephrase that “Is building a WordPress website as easy as launching a tumblr?”
Jason Tucker: 02:57 Or buying a tumblr
Sé Reed: 03:00 Apparently. Cause apparently you can do that really easy to no, I mean obviously there’s going to be cost and having a 200 person office, however 3 million, that’s a steal for all those users. That’s my comment. That’s all I want to say on tumblr. Get a part for you.
Jason Tucker: 03:23 Well, we have, you know, we’ve had people that that have, you know, we’ve had customers that have come to us and say, you know, I built this website on Wix, I built this website on Weebly I built this on whatever and it sucks. I’m having all sorts of issues with it. I can’t do all the fun things that I want to do with it. It’s just, it’s just not working right. And they thought it was easy.
Sé Reed: 03:44 The thing I hear most is I can’t do X. Like they be like they can put the site up. That part’s easy, right? You can get the site launched and there is a thing on the internet with some pictures and maybe a little bit of blurby content, but does that a website make
Sé Reed: 04:06 It’s a philosophical question. I’m putting it out to you.
Glen Ingram: 04:10 Well, I think I may make a brochure. If they give somebody that you are on a business card, they can find it. But other than being a brochure is a really successful. And was it three years ago or three years ago in January that every, Wix site was de-indexed?
Jason Tucker: 04:24 Oh, dang.
Sé Reed: 04:25 Oh yeah. Well, the Wix has had some serious serious that a CEO SEO SEO problem. I’m just drinking coffee right now for coffee. Coffee. You beat me to that one. I didn’t think of it makes you coffee. Mostly water. Caffeine is already controversial enough in my state of state of being whole. Let’s not go crazy. Okay, let’s not get child protective services called me yet. So is it easy in, and if it’s not easy, then what do you do to get out of it? So I just want to, so the impetus for this question is, because we briefly touched on this last week, and Glen had a question about like what, what I was saying about how GoDaddy and Bluehost and all of the WordPress third party spinner uppers, you’d call them that I just made that word up. They make it sound so easy that I guess get a WordPress website. Two seconds. You’re good. Which is very Wix. Squarespace. Weebly, where just like boom, bam, boom website. And then Glen asked a question in one of our groups, OC WordPress, I don’t know which group I posted it somewhere on the internet. And, and you, so your question was, well
Glen Ingram: 05:57 I think it’s just the abundance of advertising that Wix, GoDaddy Squarespace or just publishing on television can telling people you can have this great looking website in 10 minutes and be out there making money with your online stores and stuff like that. And we all know the reality of that isn’t true. I mean there’ve been on a how many clients that have that were on one of those platforms that literally we built it properly on WordPress, make sure all that their foundations is built on the website properly and in 30 60 days, all of a sudden on the first page of Google and they think we’re gurus. No, we just made the foundation built better than Wix, Squarespace GoDaddy. When builders are going to do
Sé Reed: 06:31 Well, I mean, so is that like, what do you think is that false advertising? Like in terms of like, they’re like, you can do this or is it really just that the definition of website is so, so loose? Like they Godaddy’s not like you can be on top of Google. They don’t even have any, they don’t even talk about that. Right. They just make it seem like it’s easy. And people’s belief about what a website is is that it will also be found.
Glen Ingram: 06:57 100%.
Jason Cosper: 06:58 If you build it, they will come.
Sé Reed: 07:00 like the second you publish launch or push publish. Like people are just like, come and do your website. Like you’re suddenly on Google and people are finding you and everyone’s coming there. That’s, that really is the con the, the perception though. Like that’s, you know, you even see that when people are like, Oh, I don’t want to put push publish on this site because it’s not done. And I’m like, it’ll be okay. It’s fine. Don’t worry.
Jason Cosper: 07:28 So fun fact. I know for a fact that don’t ask me how I know that GoDaddy even though they say you can build a store in minutes and start selling your products and everything else, if you decide to use their managed WordPress product for that, you cannot shut their caching off. Woo commerce is not compatible.
Sé Reed: 07:50 Yeah.
Jason Cosper: 07:50 With the way that aGoDaddy managed WordPress hosting works. So I mean, you know, here’s, here’s somebody who is advertising everywhere and saying, Oh, you can build a store in minutes as long as you use whatever they have for like a store builder. But if, if you wanna use WordPress, if you think, Oh, I’ve heard of WordPress and sign up for that, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
Sé Reed: 08:18 Well, I, I wonder if we should just do a lot of suing to everybody for false advertising, but see what they’re not saying. You can have a store up in minutes, right? Like that’s again the, the perception of what people think. Oh, a website is a website. It’s a website. So a website I can launch that’ll immediately have, you know, a full membership backend or it’ll automatically have, you know, an entire eCommerce store or it’ll entirely, you know, automatically just have all of these things with it. Like what one person’s perception of a website is, is varies widely amongst,
Jason Cosper: 08:56 Oh, absolutely. And when I tell people that I work on websites like for a living they’re normally like, Oh, can you help me build my website? And it immediately turns into like, okay, well what, like I, I go, no, but what do you need? And then we talk about it. And they always think because they don’t have, you know, hands in, they have no skin in the game. They think, Oh, someone could just put a website together because of the advertising of places like Squarespace and places like Wix where it’s, Oh, it’s just a few clicks and you can get some stuff set up. And a lot of times there’s been a, a few tragic moments where I’ve decided to say, Oh, yeah, yeah, I can help you guys with your website. And the, the worst and the worst. I know it’s, it was a, it’s a rookie mistake but I made it less than.
Jason Cosper: 09:54 Yeah, no, I, I never told them that. But the, the biggest teeth polling I can, I mean you can find a pretty off the shelf theme and, and kind of tweak it a little bit. Like I don’t, I’m not going to do any special design work for something that I’m doing a favor for, but the biggest point teeth is getting content out of people actually. Like what do you want to put on your website? Yeah, sure. I can set up a, a page with a nice looking theme that’s fairly fast, but Hey, let’s talk about content for a minute. What do you want to put on these pages? And then everything grinds to a halt.
Sé Reed: 10:33 I think that’s actually the biggest misconception out there because people listen to the, although you know, Wix, we, all those guys and the GoDaddy’s and they don’t, they’re like, Oh great, I can have a website. And somehow everyone thinks that the content is just going to like be there like that. They don’t have to write that part. That’s actually a huge part of like all of the training and the workshops that I do. It’s all focused on content. I’ve been obsessed with it for, I dunno, forever. But like that is the, that I think is the main misconception because you can have a website, you can pop up a WordPress website in minutes. You really can, and you can sign up to Wix and you know, a couple of minutes. But that, that doesn’t, that’s a shell. That’s a, you know, a splash page. That’s not a, again, a functioning website and you have to go into all the content of like, what are those details? What are, what are you doing with the website? What are you, you know, who you talking to? And that, that my friends is marketing.
Jason Tucker: 11:35 And speaking of marketing, how many times did we come up with a different name to describe like a half-assed website? Like it’s like a splash page, a one pager, a single page. Like there’s all these different terms that are like defining like, I just need my business card on my website.
Sé Reed: 11:53 I need a URL.
Glen Ingram: 11:54 Yeah. I need something that looks like I have a website and it’s there. Cool. Yeah. And these people aren’t doing and probably don’t have any ideas for call to actions. Don’t have any, I guess I’m looking at the psychology of the buyers. So you’re actually building a site, whether it be analytical or emotional. I think the funniest one was I walked into a law firm where I’m about eight, 10 years ago and they had this brand new loss at our website. They were just so happy with and look through it and I said, how do I contact you? They built a website with no phone number, no email.
Sé Reed: 12:20 [Inaudible]
Jason Cosper: 12:22 It’s the internet. They didn’t show up through the internet. You get, you received them through the internet and then you, you, you sell, you sell them on the thing.
Sé Reed: 12:30 Well I got an email like, it’s kind of like through various networking groups. Last week, Jason, you saw it on Twitter where they were basically like selling a webinar for building the most successful website there ever was. And you know, I’m like, well the, their whole tactic was wrong. Basically. They’re like, I was looking at your website, you know, this is like a person to person email from a person. This is not like straight spam even though it was spam, but it’s not like, you know, some random emailing you. It was like someone within the network and they’re like, “I’ve been looking at your website and there’s a lot you could be doing that you’re not doing.” I went to their website and it was a splash page pointing to a Facebook group and then I index them. I went and looked, you know, Google at, at their actual to see what pages were indexing and they had, you know, a whole shell of a website behind that. That was just Lauren. If some text and blank pages and literally nothing. And I was like, well a lot, like I didn’t, I didn’t name in the shame because
Jason Cosper: 13:36 To be fair, say do you have it? Do you have a Facebook group? Cause if you don’t, you’re just leaving money on the table.
Sé Reed: 13:43 I have like 20 Facebook groups and in and run, it’s awful. It’s the worst,
Jason Cosper: 13:50 Right? Because does your website point to your Facebook group? Cause that’s the real money is made,
Sé Reed: 13:57 You know what everyone who’s just on Facebook, like, you know, grouping around, it’s not, not, it’s not a good thing.
Jason Tucker: 14:04 We’re missing all this money is what is Jason Cosper is saying?
Jason Cosper: 14:07 Yeah, I mean, I mean look at those those commercials that Facebook’s been running about the, the power of their groups, like dads watching a baseball games with their daughters and it’s like they’re running ads that do that.
Jason Tucker: 14:20 I don’t have TV, so I have no idea. But really they put ads for that.?
Jason Cosper: 14:23 I pay for all of the streaming services and all of the cable. And I just, it’s, it’s constantly on at my house inject television into my veins. Please. And but yeah, they, they have they’re trying to realign themselves towards Facebook is towards groups and Facebook. That works. No, it it because that’s where all the white supremacists hang out.
Sé Reed: 14:54 Okay. Well get a one pager. So my point being that the groups don’t work just because the groups are being used for nefarious reasons. In fact, I might say that it means that they are working and that is part of the problem.
Jason Tucker: 15:09 So what about if you have a Facebook page that you think is doing really well and now you are feeling that you need to break out of Facebook and build a website for it is that easy? Like is that something that you can do?
Sé Reed: 15:22 Happen? Is that a trajectory that happens? Like people go from Facebook, like I guess it does actually. Really, Mo goes Mo Gore’s, it more goes from Instagram. I would say these days people have a successful Instagram and then they need to branch out more into a website.
Jason Tucker: 15:42 Hmm. Yeah. That’s probably hard because now you’re actually putting words on things instead of just photos with a description that no one reads.
Sé Reed: 15:50 Yeah, I put bad training like Instagram and Facebook are like bad training for developing a website. Like it’s like teaching you all of the wrong things that you should do. Like, you know, hashtag 10 million things which everyone does, even though that doesn’t work on Instagram anyway. I don’t know if wrong with everybody. Like the more hashtags equals the more views. No, no.
Jason Cosper: 16:12 So I, I, I will I will relay a funny story about Instagram. My wife’s uncle runs a salsa business here out of Bakersfield. He posts regularly that Instagram and adds as many hashtags as he can for discovery. He found that
Sé Reed: 16:30 Totally unrelated by the way. Like super.
Jason Cosper: 16:32 No, they are, they are actually, they’re fairly well targeted. However, he was realizing that none of his images had captions and he could not understand why. It’s because he was shoehorning so many hashtags into the actual you know, image description that Instagram was like, Oh, this is spam and stripping the entire caption. Oops. They were still letting the photo post to go up. And he’s like, man, I can’t tell anybody in the farmer’s markets. I’m going to be at, I can’t tell anyone this. And it’s like finally he decided to only post something that has like five or 10 hashtags and it was fine.
Sé Reed: 17:15 That’s the only way that works. Anyway. Everyone’s got, I crack up cause I, there’s a lot of people that I thought, well not a lot of people that I follow but I thought various friends that I follow who like have like, you know, businesses also and then it doesn’t matter what post picture they post, they have the same like hashtags that are like this collection of like random hashtags that have nothing to do with the photo. And I’m like, you people are ruining all the feeds. That’s your fault that these hashtags aren’t more effective if you’re a go. Do you ever go and look at hashtag we’re totally off topic, but do you go and look at hashtags and just like see all the random nonsense? It’s in there. It’s actually really funny. They’re like half of them maybe.
Jason Tucker: 17:56 Oh yeah. Everybody tags #sunset and it has nothing to do with a sunset. You know, it’s just like,
Sé Reed: 18:03 You know what’s on set here. Okay.
Jason Tucker: 18:06 I mean, we have people that do that with, with content that they put on their websites where they’ll go and put a bunch of tags or categories and they’ll just like overload it with all this stuff. And you’re like, Whoa, like this isn’t the way you’re supposed to like use taxonomies. I don’t understand why you’re doing this.
Sé Reed: 18:22 That’s definitely thing. I have a client who has been essentially blogging for, I don’t know, maybe like 10 years. Right. And we’re going to do a website update and I’m like, so this is great. We could change the title. So it’s, you know, blogs, it’s a little more modern. And he was like, I don’t want to, I don’t want to have that anymore. I’m just gonna use social media. And I was like, I was like, I don’t know. How do I explain to you how important, like your, the only people, you’re, you’re one of the few people providing actual original content on a website. Like, this is a value to people as opposed to just noise in the social media nonsense. And I’m like, like, like for to explain to a non-techie client, I was just like indexing and like, like stuttering of all these things.
Sé Reed: 19:17 Like I don’t even know where to start to explain to someone who’s just like, Oh yeah I don’t need that. I’m just going to do this on social. And I’m just like, you’re, you’re taking away a value that you’ve created and just substituting it with something that it will be, you know, they’re like, Oh, just put up. Like, you know, we can just do a Shopify thing and I’m just like, I can’t, you know, I want to talk properly anyway. That’s, so that’s the thing, right? People just think it doesn’t matter. And I have a ton of like, old clients who you know, people who are not working with anymore and they’ll come back to me and there’ll be like, so we did a website update and we had someone build this, this new website, and suddenly none of our sites are ranking anymore. And then like, Oh, you mean your web developer didn’t like care about your links, didn’t pay attention to your content, just changed all your links and you lost all of your decade of SEO that you’ve been working on bummer. That’s cool. No big deal. You can totally get that back and NBD!
Glen Ingram: 20:18 Yeah, we didn’t need all those other pages that were ranking for all these other things. We used to do these five pages.
Sé Reed: 20:21 That’s all we need. That’s all we need. But see that’s the problem, right? It’s this conception that like you don’t need that. Like people really do not understand. This is what I also like to tell people. They don’t understand how the internet works. Like they don’t understand how Google works. They don’t even stop to think about how their clients are wanting to use their website. Like people go onto websites and they’re, they want information. It’s why are you going to a website? Especially if you’re in a small business, right? You’re going there to get information about the business and so if the business is like, Oh, I don’t need to provide any information. I’m like, what are you, what’s, what are we doing here at then? Like if you like in this, I always frame it to my clients. If you go on a website, what are you looking for about the business? And they’re like, information I was like, and if the website doesn’t have that information on it, what do you do? They go find another website. I’m like
Glen Ingram: 21:13 So maybe that’s where websites are coming in and have all pictures. They’re Instagrammers that are building websites. Don’t think any content.
New Speaker: 21:20 Yeah, I mean, yeah. So I guess that really answered your question is yeah, sure. It’s easy to build a website depending on what your definition of website is. So, Hey, guess what? It depends. Just like every other episode that we’ve ever done, it always,
Jason Cosper: 21:36 I was going to say it’s really interesting. I’ve seen businesses that start here in restaurants that start here, that will end up they’ll spin up a site like, Oh, website coming soon. But here’s like the basic, like, here’s how to get, you know, here’s the address, our hours of operation and that’s it. And you’re like, well shit, I want a menu. I want to see you like what you guys have. So what, what do you end up doing? You go to Yelp and someone is, yeah, someone has taken a crappy picture of the menu photo and there are restaurants that limp along like this, that for, you know, months or years. And it’s like, how much money are you leaving on the table by not actually having, by not taking what is probably a PDF copy that you guys are printing.
Sé Reed: 22:34 Yeah, put it, make it a better picture on there. I mean, it should, it should, it should be actually [inaudible]
Jason Cosper: 22:44 Text. I always kind of cringe a little bit when they post a PDF that hasn’t been optimized for the web. And then you download like a five megabyte PDF and you’re sitting there and there’s a big image, right? Right. Anyway, Yelp or your phone browser or whatever crashes because it wasn’t expecting a PDF, like all of this crap. And it’s just like, no, just Hey, even if you have to do the, like the, the basic minimum, minimum viable website effectively. Then please just fucking do that
Sé Reed: 23:21 There. Meet that. And this is happens a lot. I think with restaurants, they’re like, we’re seasonal, changing our menu changes seasonally and so they don’t want to put their website, their there, their venue, that inappropriate gesture phase it the, they don’t want to put their menu on because it changes all the time and it, you know, it seasonal, whatever. So I literally, there’s this restaurant around the corner and it says it says on the website our menu changes, you know, daily just come in and of course, you know that you go to Yelp and you look at the photos on the website and you look at the menu photos from, you know, last week or five months ago and a year ago. Guess what menu not changing daily. Same menu! So even though they have like lofty aspirations, maybe they have a daily special, by the way, that can be put on Instagram.
Sé Reed: 24:14 Maybe they have a daily special or something, but like, you know, you have some basics that you’re going to sell and like put that stuff on there. Yeah. The PDFs is they’re not accessible. And as the whisper lounge up in LA, they lost the lawsuit over a PDF on their website that wasn’t accessible. Ooh, I like it has lawsuit, the word lawsuit in it. That’s the best way to get people to comply. Like with the email privacy stuff that’s happening and you’re like, yeah, but you can be sued. And then they’re like, okay, I guess I should listen to you now.
Jason Cosper: 24:45 But on, on the flip side, we have a, who is it Domino’s who’s having a big fluff over the accessibility on their site and I think it would cost them, it was something in the ballpark. It was 23,000 or $32,000 to basically like update their website, make it accessible and they are putting you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars of the lawyers and everything else to try to defeat this accessibility challenge. So basically they are spending more money than they actually need to spend to try to smash down. Accessibility walls.
Glen Ingram: 25:22 It’s actually personified. I just saw an article last week that they were accessible and they put a BOGO, buy one, get one free on there. It just isn’t the right time that one of these testers was on their website and they were sued over one part that wasn’t accessible. Everything else had already paid for.
Sé Reed: 25:36 I just can’t, anything that’s worse. Yeah. And that’s, I mean, that’s going to start happening more and more. Especially with the the, well in California, even California, Glen, you’re in California. So in California January 1st the California consumer privacy act goes into effect, which is essentially like the GDPR, I wouldn’t even say the GDPR light, it’s just basically the GDPR, but for California which, you know, there’s a lot of commerce that happens here. And I envision, I imagine, I predict that there will be consumer groups that are going around and, you know, creating what I would like to call attention grabbing lawsuits where they’re just making a point to show that these websites are not complying and you do not want to get caught up in that. Like it could even not actually be a customer who’s coming to the site.
Sé Reed: 26:36 Right? Like, and I didn’t know about the accessibility one with the Dominos, but at this point it’s like, you know what, just do best practices and stop, stop arguing that it’s not worth it because the lawsuits. So again, people knew what they’re doing. No one doesn’t tell you this stuff like Weebly doesn’t tell you this stuff like you know wordpress.com has an automatic like privacy thing that comes in and WordPress core has that too. I actually don’t know how that pops up on like managed WordPress stuff. Like does the, I don’t think it’s automatic. The privacy, a cookies thing on the wordpress.org installs. It is. It does happen by default on wordpress.com so there is some protection built into that. But as far as I know on Wix, Weebly and the like, they’re not interested in helping you protect like they’re not liable. They don’t. At least that’s what I’ve seen. I don’t Shopify to like are they
Glen Ingram: 27:40 At the annual level? You don’t do those things for you. In fact, I, that company in Chicago hit me a month or two ago. It’s an attorney and an it person that come together and they build a plugin for your putting your foot or towards the attorney will update the privacies and stuff like that as laws change and automatically roll it out to every site. You put it on good service. Yeah, it’s spreadsheet.
Sé Reed: 27:59 That’s great. Also, you told that it sounded like it was a joke. You’re like, and I and I T guy and a lawyer walked into a bar.
Glen Ingram: 28:07 Yeah, elaborations come together.
Jason Tucker: 28:11 Hey, have you heard of cookies? Let’s make this happen. So it sounds like, it sounds like that’s definitely a topic that we need to discuss here on the show at some point, which was definitely the background for it.
Sé Reed: 28:23 California consumer privacy act. Yeah, I’ve been talking about that a lot lately.
Glen Ingram: 28:28 Well, you’re going to have the same law firms. You have like two or three law firms in each County that are doing these serial lawsuits for accessibility. They’ll T they’ll jump on to CCPA after first year as well.
Jason Cosper: 28:37 Since we don’t have a lot of time left. I’ll, I’ll give another little quick thing about accessibility. Accessibility actually helps everyone to the point where now I, I’ve been reading articles about how millennials gen Z et cetera, even old ass people like me are using subtitles on Netflix on stuff that they watch. Basically you know, the, the subtitles weren’t built for me. They were built for people who have issues hearing, but basically watching shows with that on in case you missed something in case you, it’s not as great to, to use on a comedy, but the, the fact that you can actually do that you know, it actually helps everyone. One,
Sé Reed: 29:26 Every like by default on any I watch, I always have subtitles. I watch it. In fact, I find it weird to not watch with subtitles. I don’t know what, I don’t, I didn’t know that with like a generational trend I thought was just weird. But I’m glad to know I’m representing my millennial generation.
Jason Tucker: 29:46 Well, the first ones it was shoot
Sé Reed: 29:49 For not having close capitals.
Jason Tucker: 29:54 Look at the time. Look at the time, folks. I want to say thank you very much for hanging out with us today. We really appreciate it. Go over to our website at wpwatercooler.com and you can click on the links there to subscribe. Feel free to go take a look at that. Look that Sé”s face right there. You see it right there. Let’s see his face.
Sé Reed: 30:10 It’s over there on that side. I was like, yeah.
Jason Tucker: 30:13 All right folks. Y’all have a good one. Talk to y’all later. Bye bye.
Sé Reed: 30:17 Bye.