One month and hundreds of dollars worth of development help ago, I began consolidating my Web site and blog onto WordPress, the popular blog, Web site and content publishing system.

My new site still isn’t up, I’ve lost dozens of hours of productive or leisure time (and will lose more) and my output of marketing posts (the aim of the whole exercise) is lower than ever. The reason: Confusing, contradictory terminology, a truly baffling design interface and the need to understand and upload obscure files into obscure server directories to do simple things.

If you sell the highly-touted Thesis, Headway, or Flexibility 3 themes don’t bother calling. I’ve tried each and none of them deliver. When I should be writing insightful, clever posts on recent industry trends (or, even better, doing paying work) I’m trying to remember the difference between a widget and a plug-in, a top sidebar vs. a sub-sidebar, and a regular sidebar vs. a widget-enabled sidebar. Then there are “skins” for themes. Isn’t “Skins” a TV show?

Designing a page is tricky because the “left” sidebar really appears on the right side of the page, and is actually the “top” sidebar – but only if I resize the “right” sidebar to certain dimensions. To create a scrolling text box I have to download an FTP client to upload the “external.php file” to the “themes” directory on the server, and then find the right place in the code (see screen shot to the right) to insert my text. And on and on.

Some smart coder out there is going to get rich by selling a truly easy-to-use, WYSWIG (what you see is what you get) drag and drop design interface for WordPress. Especially with the economy picking up, it would be worth several hundred bucks (which I’m spending on themes and professional help anyway) to get beyond setup and into creating compelling content to get more business.

The same, by the way, goes for any marketing automation/demand gen/content management/inbound marketing system. People do not have the time to even create the content they should be creating, much less learning complicated systems to host, distribute and track it. If we don’t make things much simpler, we’ll never get mass acceptance for content marketing.

Does anyone out there in the WordPress developer community get this? If so, I’m dying to hear from you.

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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