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Everything is Relative: Frameworks, Plugins & SEO

Everything is Relative: Frameworks, Plugins & SEO



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    Everything is Relative: Frameworks, Plugins & SEO Everything is Relative: Frameworks, Plugins & SEO Presentation Transcript

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