Everything is Relative: Frameworks, Plugins & SEO

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Everything is Relative: Frameworks, Plugins & SEO

  1. 1. Everything is Relative Frameworks, Plugins & SEO WordCamp Grand Rapids 2012 #wcr @theandystratton
  2. 2. To custom code...
  3. 3. ...or not tocustom code...
  4. 4. ...that, isthe question.
  5. 5. What arePre-Built Themes?
  6. 6. $Repository }{ Marketplace
  7. 7. Designed to solve a specific,common problems
  8. 8. What areTheme Frameworks?
  9. 9. $Repository }{ Marketplace
  10. 10. A pre-built themethat typically contains it’s own set of API’s/hooks
  11. 11. Meant to be customized in WP Admin or via child theming
  12. 12. Typically verycustomizable & flexible
  13. 13. Commonisconceptions
  14. 14. Fast/easy to customize
  15. 15. Less risky than a freelancer
  16. 16. Compatible with yourdesired/existing plugins
  17. 17. SEO Magic!
  18. 18. Save time/money by minimizingdevelopment efforts
  19. 19. Easy to Customize
  20. 20. You don’t really knowuntil you buy, login toWordPress & activate.
  21. 21. Well, it depends.
  22. 22. How thetheme/framework was written
  23. 23. How well you know WordPress
  24. 24. How well you know the theme/framework API’s & hooks
  25. 25. Are you the targetcustomer for this theme/plugin?
  26. 26. Theme/Framework may require hours ofauditing to understand
  27. 27. Some of thesethemes/frameworksmay not use standard WordPress hooks
  28. 28. Is the codepainted into a corner?
  29. 29. Cascading CatastrophesChanging one feature breaks another.
  30. 30. Killing CoreSome disable expected core behaviors.
  31. 31. Less Riskythan a freelancer
  32. 32. You probably have no idea who coded this thing.
  33. 33. Many marketplace themes/plugins havegaping security holes.
  34. 34. Real World Example. Hey, Remember Puck? Anyway...
  35. 35. Optimization Issues. The low-cost re-design.
  36. 36. Client needed a re-design.
  37. 37. Client’s friend re-designs.
  38. 38. For free.
  39. 39. Client’s launches re-design.
  40. 40. 99% of requests timeout.
  41. 41. Client’s hires me to audit/fix.
  42. 42. 200+ database queries per page load.Slider, paginated posts, widgetized sidebar.
  43. 43. Client has me rewrite theme.
  44. 44. <= 30 database queries per page load.
  45. 45. 1/3 HTML/CSS.
  46. 46. Site loads!!1All is right in the world.
  47. 47. Compatiblewith other code (plugins/themes)
  48. 48. Faux FunctionalityCustom code to emulate something WordPress will already do.
  49. 49. Bypasses standard data flows & hooksother developers expect.
  50. 50. Are you future compatible?What happens if core changes? It does & will. Are updates offered? How?
  51. 51. Support may not exist.What do you do when something explodes?
  52. 52. Three delicious layers of vulnerability.
  53. 53. Think about upgrades,optimization, & security.
  54. 54. Real World Example. Woo, woo.
  55. 55. Client has existingmarketplace theme.
  56. 56. Client hires me to addawesome functionality to site via plugin. (Naturally).
  57. 57. I build a shortcode resulting in crazy & unexpected auto-formatted output.
  58. 58. Client’s theme was turning off standardWordPress content filters. wpautop, wptexturize
  59. 59. Client’s theme adds its ownfunctionality then emulates these filters.
  60. 60. Client’s theme completelytaints expected output of 100% of shortcodes.
  61. 61. Client’s theme cost 3 days of delays andhundreds of dollars in fees.
  62. 62. SEO Magic!
  63. 63. Some themes come with meta datamanagement built-in.
  64. 64. Page title, keywords, descriptions.
  65. 65. No, not really.
  66. 66. Did the developer whocreated your $28-40 themereally master Google’s ever changing algorithm?
  67. 67. Let’s say you’re using a really awesome framework...
  68. 68. Let’s say it’s calledTerm Paper...or Exodus...
  69. 69. Does the PHP code & the theme options thatsearch engines never see get you rankings?
  70. 70. No, not really.
  71. 71. But...doesn’t the theme’s markup help?
  72. 72. Maybe
  73. 73. Once you change a theme’s markup, you changehow well it’s optimized.
  74. 74. But...doesn’t theSEO/meta management help you rank?
  75. 75. Maybe
  76. 76. This theme isn’t the only wayto manage this information.
  77. 77. Plenty of Options: All-In-One SEO HeadSpace WordPress SEO
  78. 78. But the sites RANK!@
  79. 79. Content & linksconfounding variables in this equation.
  80. 80. Relevant linksget sites amazing rankings.
  81. 81. People link to great content.
  82. 82. Awesome frameworks likeTerm Paper and Exodus?
  83. 83. Made for & used by people who write great content.
  84. 84. Still awesome products. But not magic.
  85. 85. You can’t polish a turd with well placed <h1> tags.
  86. 86. If your site/content sucks... it sucks.
  87. 87. Be your flavor of awesome.
  88. 88. Saves Time/Money
  89. 89. Really?
  90. 90. What have youever purchased that was amazing in quality & really f*cking cheap?
  91. 91. Like a girlwho likes “Call Me Maybe,” this is a huge red flag.
  92. 92. Your theme is a box of chocolates.
  93. 93. You don’t know what you’re getting until you get it.
  94. 94. Many times unaccounted issues ariselong after launching the site.
  95. 95. Cheap theme? $15Low-cost developer? $200
  96. 96. Not having a gaping security holeor optimization issues?
  97. 97. PRICELESS.
  98. 98. There areno shortcutsto awesome.
  99. 99. If content is king,context is queen.
  100. 100. Use your best judgment when deciding pre-built vs. custom.
  101. 101. Going pre-built.
  102. 102. Measure your needs against how wellthe product meets them.
  103. 103. Prepare to make compromises.
  104. 104. Educate your clients. (do this anyway)
  105. 105. Thank you.

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