Hey there, I’m just back from NAMS10 down in Atlanta and what a wild weekend that was! As usual I learned a lot, made a ton of great new friends, and re-connected with some I’d not seen for a while yada, yada, but that would be a whole other post as they say.
What’s got me all fired up today is this…I saw a lot of people getting great help as they start an online business and learn how to use WordPress to jump start things because it is fast, simple and easy to get a site up and running at super low cost, in a minimal amount of time.
I totally get just how helpful the visual editor seems at first, because most of us want to get a site up, live and start adding content to start making money as fast as possible.
I Don’t Need HTML – I’ve Got A Visual Editor!
Like almost everyone else, when I first discovered WordPress, I used the visual editor to make a site look, what at the time I thought was half-way’s decent, without need or cost of using a web designer SCORE!
Once I learned a little more, I began using premium theme’s to offer “already done for me” layouts with fancy widgets to add functionality and make my site’s look what I thought at the time was, quite spiffy.
But the one thing I REALLY WISH someone had taught me from the very start, is the benefit of at least learning some basic HTML & CSS.
What Does HTML Stand For & Why Do You Need It?
A hundred bucks say’s you thought HTML stood for Hyper Text Markup Language…NOT SO I say!
It REALLY stands for How To Make Love [To Your Website]. Well maybe, it really means how to make READERS LOVE your website and come back more often, bringing their friends with them.
Without coming up with an entirely new acronym, I believe HTML really ‘means’ how to make your pages and posts look just “a tiny bit marvelous”!
Ah huh, it’s confession time again; anyone who’s known me for any length of time will probably have heard me confess to being a recovering plugin tart. Well, I just got off a consulting call where I found myself evangelizing about the major benefits of and need to be at least minimally competent using html and I realized I’m also a recovering visual editor tart too!
For many years (1996-2008) I was at the mercy of web designers and developers for every tweak and change needed on any of my websites.
The visual editor had set me free from what I called the “designer drip”, meaning the constant flow of dollars from my wallet to their bank account.
I see many a business leaving outdated content on their websites simply because it’s too much cost or trouble for them to have to go to a web designer to change it. WordPress can put an end to that at least, but why stop there?
Back track to about 18 months ago when I was arguing, quite vehemently I might add, with Liz Jamieson (former Stomper Net moderator and current SEO Brain Trust Action Team Leader) that the only, or at least the main reason (besides my rampant -at that time- plugin addiction), I liked WordPress was BECAUSE you COULD use the visual editor.
“I have no desire to learn HTML or any other code, that’s what the visual editor is there for. People much smarter than me invented the visual editor specifically so I don’t have to learn HTML”.
I was looking for an easy button and I had found it in WordPress and the visual editor, so I’d be darned if anyone would step in and take those tools away from me!
However, I had also come up against the dreaded WYSIWIG (what you see is what you get), or as I call it WYSI-A-WYG (what you see is ALMOST what you get) editor anomalies, you know, images not quite where they should be and the constant limitations of page layouts available even using ALL the editing toys in the kitchen sink.
Visual Editor Withdrawal
I am absolutely convinced, in fact I know, without a shadow of a doubt, there are MANY others out there who are (at the very least, occasionally) frustrated with the limitations of the visual editor, as nifty as it is, especially when you first discover it, you don’t know any better and likely have a very real and visceral fear of becoming a code monkey.
Thank goodness, Liz (who is now a very dear friend) is just as opinionated as me and so she fought valiantly for her HTML cause.
She convinced me of the value of learning just enough HTML to have your site’s look awesomely professional. She did that by showing me a few OPP’s (other people’s pages) that were a lot like mine at the time (eeek) that had obviously been created using the visual editor.
Thanks to Liz’s dedication to her belief and her “evangelical insistence” that it would be easy for me to learn, I was like Napoleon at Waterloo, thoroughly defeated, except I was soon feeling a whole lot happier about the defeat and my sites 🙂
I hired Liz, yes; I paid her real as in cold-hard-cash money, and a significant amount at that, to teach me what I could clearly see she knew a lot about. It was the BEST investment I’ve made in my business to date.
In those one to one sessions, I realized this was super valuable stuff she was teaching me but on a one to one basis the budget required would be too rich for me to accomplish my “Mashable” level site-style dreams on a “blog-spot” budget. So I begged and pleaded (and yes maybe even brow beat) Liz to teach her simple HTML & CSS approach via a one to many membership program.
Genesis Club – Your VEW Recovery Support Group
Don’t worry about Visual Editor Withdrawal, help and support is at hand. Liz started the Genesis Club, a membership site for those using the Genesis framework and child themes.
You won’t be coding sites from scratch, but that’s NOT the objective. Having sites that function for both bod’s (humans) and bot’s (search engine bots), that rank well to bring in and convert traffic and most of all, that you can ultimately be very proud of IS the objective.
It’s a ‘club’ for people who want to create sites for themselves and others that are well designed, cleanly coded and structured to drive traffic and convert more sales without requiring you become a code monkey.
The GC has become the welcoming safe harbor for many a reformed visual editor ‘tart’ such as myself, along with a growing number of converts who want to learn how to make their sites look “just a tiny bit marvelous” using simple to learn HTML and CSS skills.
Thanks to Liz and the Genesis Club, HTML has become my EASY AWESOMENESS button. I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned in the GC in all types of places beyond sites, pages and posts (like the custom aWeber form below) and in fact would be quite honored to be considered a tiny bit of a code monkey (although I do believe even that would still be a bit of a stretch in my case).
Oh and BTW… I generated an additional $20k of revenue in 6 months building sites for others based on what I learned in the Genesis Club, without even advertising!
If you’re at a stage where you ‘get’ that the visual editor is, or could be, holding you back, or if you just want to join the quest to build better looking websites, “EASY-PEASY-FAST-NOT SLEAZY”, bung your name and email in the form below and I’ll send you an invite to the next FREE “behind the curtain” session on HTML [How To Make Love] to your website.
Cheers & TTFN!